Ladder Safety in the Parish

The Diocese has had all parishes under go a Risk Assessment protocol. We have completed many of the requirements identified in the risk assessment report. Several such as door replacements are on going and hope to be completed this next fiscal year. Fencing will be done around unsafe areas. Signage has been posted where needed. A security system is being installed shortly.

ladder safetyAs we think about workers and volunteers around the church, we have been asked to come up with a ladder use policy in hopes of preventing an accident on the property.

Here is our new Ladder use Policy.

Ladder Policy

A Note from Father Perez

Dear Parishioners:
It has come to our attention that a scammer is again sending emails impersonating Father Perez. Be assured Father Perez is not asking for gift vouchers or anything through email or text messages. Any email that has a suspicious address should be ignored.

Official emails from OLV parish and the Diocese of Arlington will have our domain name, ourladyofthevalley@comcast.net or arlingtondiocese.org.

• If the email address ends in Yahoo, or Gmail, or Hotmail (or any other provider), it is not an official email from Father Perez or Our Lady of the Valley.
• The current fraudulent email is as follows:seniorpastor1x@gmail.com Fraudulent emails often include grammar and spelling errors and awkward wording.

If you receive a suspicious email:
1. Do not reply to the email.
2. Report it as spam to your email provider (there is usually an option after you select the email; for instance, in Gmail, the option is identified by a symbol with an exclamation point in a stop sign).
3. Do not send money, gift cards, or personal information to an unverified entity. Forward the email to ourladyofthevalley@comcast.net.

It is also a good idea to change the password on your email account.

We have reported this incident to the Diocese and are working with them.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call the parish office, 540-743-4919 or email us at ourladyofthevalley@comcast.net.

Thank you for your concern and prayers.

May God bless you in your compassion and generosity,

Father Perez

From the Bishop

Statement Of The Bishops Of The Province Of Baltimore And The Arch-diocese Of Washington – Lifting the General Dispensation from the Obligation to Attend Mass

We, the Catholic Bishops of the Province of Baltimore and the Archdiocese of Washington, give thanks to Almighty God for the progress our country has made in curbing the coronavirus pandemic. The average number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline due to the observance of safety protocols and the increase of the availability of the vaccine. At this time, many places in our region are enjoying a return to some sense of normalcy.

Therefore, we are lifting the dispensation of the Sunday and Holy Days Mass obligation in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Dioceses of Arlington, Richmond, Wheeling-Charleston, and Wilmington and reinstating that obligation beginning on Saturday, June 26, 2021 and Sunday, June 27, 2021.

We welcome and encourage the Faithful to return to full in-person participation of the Sunday Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic faith (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 1246-1247 and Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2180).

This obligation does not apply to those who are ill; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus, another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions. One should consult his or her local pastor if questions arise about the obligation to attend Mass (Canon 1245 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2181).

Safety protocols and other liturgical directives in each diocese remain in effect until modified or revoked by the respective Diocesan Bishop.

Let us continue to be united in prayer for one another and for an end to the global pandemic.
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge Bishop, Diocese of Arlington

Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory Archbishop, Archdiocese of Washington

Most Reverend William E. Lori Archbishop, Archdiocese of Baltimore

Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout Bishop, Diocese of Richmond

Most Reverend Mark E. Brennan Bishop, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Most Reverend William Francis Malooly Apostolic Administrator, Diocese of Wilmington

Parking Lot Update

Dear Parishioners:
The above photos speak volumes about the excellent work that has been completed in our parking lot. We think you will agree that Running Rhino, LLC, has done a remarkable job.
We now have 23 marked spaces, three designated handicapped spaces, and the circle is a fire lane. The fire lane is for loading and unloading only. Those using the handicapped-accessible parking spaces may enter the church through the sacristy entrance (the door closest to the handicapped spaces) if that is more convenient.
In the event more parking spaces are needed, feel free to park in the rectory driveway.

Parish Update

Update on Projects

Our Lady of the Valley remains focused on and committed to good stewardship of our build- ings and grounds. To that end, we are reporting on in-progress and completed projects.

Two (2) dehumidifiers have been installed by Mountain Valley Home Comfort and are operating.

The parking lot is being sealed. Painting the spaces is contingent on weather conditions. The Harrisonburg Parking Lot Striping Company will complete as weather permits.

An AED (automated external defibrillator) has been purchased and will be installed next week. A qualified nurse will train ushers and any interested volunteers.

We are also looking into security cameras. More on that in a few weeks.

The new parish giving program will be rolled out in the next few weeks. This is online program will be a time saver for our offertory counters and be cost effective and time efficient for parish staff.

Our sincere thanks to our Parish Council, Finance Committee, and our generous parishioners for making these projects a reality.

God bless you,

Father Perez

A Different Kind of Political Engagement

Election Day is November 3. In Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (www.faithfulcitizenship.org), we and our brother U.S. bishops noted, “Unfortunately, politics in our country often can be a contest of powerful interests, partisan attacks, sound bites, and media hype. The Church calls for a different kind of political engagement: one shaped by the moral convic- tions of well-formed consciences and focused on the dignity of every human being, the pursuit of the common good, and the protection of the weak and the vulnerable. … We are called to bring together our principles and our political choices, our val- ues and our votes, to help build a civilization of truth and love” (no. 14).
To grow in holiness, a question each one of us must answer is: How will I respond to this call for a different kind of engage- ment? This question is key as we approach Election Day, as well as every day before and after it, as faithful citizens.
In a pre-election letter on voting decisions we issued last year, we offered three main points:
Many issues are important.
Not all issues have equal weight. Protecting life is paramount.
As bishops responsible for the pastoral care of the faithful in our two dioceses, we re-offer these points here for your continued prayerful consideration, as an essential framework not only for the critical voting decisions that must be made each year but also for the vital prayer and advocacy that must be done on a constant basis.
Whenever human dignity is at stake for any of our brothers and sisters in the human family, we must be attentive and engaged. “[R]espect for the dignity of every person … is the core of Catholic moral and social teaching” (Faithful Citizenship, no. 10).
Our moral obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts – which are “always incompatible withlove of God and neigh-
bor” (Faithful Citizenship, no. 22) – “has a special claim on our consciences and our actions” (no. 37). Of these, abortion is the “preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and be- cause of the number of lives destroyed” (Faithful Citizenship, Introductory Letter). Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, there have been more than 61 million abortions in our country. Other issues of grave moral importance “undercut the dignity ofthe human person” (nos. 22, 23). Our priority must be to protect life to the fullest extent possible.
For more on the principles involved in voting with a well-formed conscience, we encourage you to read paragraphs 34-37 of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (www.faithfulcitizenship.org). For a side-by-side comparison of what the two major-party Presidential candidates have said or done on a wide range of issues of importance to Catholics, visit www.vacatholic.org. The side-by-side comparison was compiled jointly by a number of state Catholic conferences, including the Virginia Catholic Conference.
On November 3, please vote. Every day, please seek and live out the “different kind of political engagement” that will provide a clear example to others of the civility and consistent concern for the common good we are all called to embrace.
Faithfully Yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Arlington

Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout
Bishop of Richmond

Gospel Reflection & Parish Updates

This weekend’s Gospel, the Parable of the Tenants, helps us understand how we, the tenants of the Vine- yard, should behave and how we should follow Jesus and heal the world.
Jesus once again speaks to the priests and elders with a parable about the Vineyard; a theme from the two Sunday’s prior gospels. In this parable, the landowner leases his Vineyard to tenants and sends his servants to collect the portion of the harvest that the tenants owe to him.
The servants are often sent to collect a payment, and each time they are beaten and killed by the tenants. Fi- nally, the landowner sends his son to collect his rent. The tenants, believing that they will inherit the Vine- yard if the landowner dies without an heir, plot together and kill the landowner’s son.
After telling the parable, Jesus questions the chief priests and elders about what the landowner will do to the wicked tenants. They all agree that the landowner will kill the wicked tenants and give the land to new ten- ants who will pay the rent.
In telling this parable, Jesus is drawing upon Isaiah 5:1-7, which is today’s first reading and one that the priests and elders would have known well. Jesus doesn’t have to explain the symbolism of the parable; the Pharisees would have understood that the Vineyard represented Israel, the landowner represented God, the servants represented the prophets, and the bad tenants represented the religious leaders.
Yet Jesus nonetheless explains the parable’s meaning: The Kingdom of God will be taken from the unbe- lieving and given to the faithful. The chief priests and elders have condemned themselves with their answer to Jesus’ question.
Matthew names the religious leaders as Pharisees and chief priests. Clearly, this Gospel shows the tension that was mounting between Jesus and the Jewish religious leaders who thought that his message was dangerous.
Matthew’s Gospel was written about 70 years after Jesus’ death and reflected the conflicts and tensions found in the Christian community at that time. Conflicts and tensions that are, sadly, still with us today in our modern-day Vineyard.
This Gospel reminds us of the importance of listening to God’s word. In many ways, God speaks to us through Scripture, through our Church tradition, in our Church’s teaching, and through modern-day proph- ets. Are we attentive and receptive to God’s word to us through these messengers? Are we tending to His Vineyard with an eye toward everlasting life?
(Excerpt from Loyola Press Oct 2017)
Continuing with the theme of being good tenants in our very own Vineyard, please know that, thanks to your generosity, we have accomplished (or are in the process of accomplishing) the following projects:
1. Dehumidifiers installed in the Church basement to alleviate moisture and mold potential.
2. Parking lot lines of demarcation for parking spaces, handicapped spaces, and delivery/fire lane spaces will begin the week of October 12th.
3. Moving the parish office and personnel out of the Rectory and into the existing confessional space.
4. Starting an online parish giving system; details to be announced.
5. An Automated external defibrillator has been ordered.
Enjoy this beautiful Fall weather and keep your Vineyard in a manner that will be ready to welcome Jesus.

God Bless You,
Father Perez

Cans for KOVAR

The Knights of Columbus are collecting aluminum cans to raise money to support our KOVAR charity.

In the past you have seen our members in their yellow vests handing out Tootsie Rolls and collecting money. Due to the pandemic we are not following that path this year.

Please help us by donating your cans. They can be deposited in the trailer located near the utility pole at the back of the parking lot.

KOVAR is a Virginia Knights of Columbus Charity established in 1971 to provide financial assistance through grants and home loans to tax exempt organizations providing training and assistance to citizens with intellectual disabilities.

See www.kovarva.org for more information

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners,

In the Gospel passage for this Sunday, the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Our Lord and Savior presented three parables to the crowds concerning the kingdom of heaven, and at the request of his disciples, he explained the first parable of the weeds to them.

Our Lord spoke in parables in order to teach and illustrate various matters concerning the Son of Man and His kingdom in familiar terms which the people understood matters which “lain hid- den from the foundation of the world” and remains hidden until its fulfillment at the end of time.

The parable was the way in which Our Lord would unlock and reveal the supernatural mysteries of God and heaven in real and tangible ways to those who were willing to hear Him.

As for the parable of the weeds; during the time Our Lord dwelt on the earth, it wasn’t uncom- mon for one’s enemy, in an act of malice, to ruin another’s crops by planting weeds among his good wheat growing in a field.

And the only way to save the wheat was to let the wheat and weeds grow together until the wheat was ready to harvest, and then, the wheat and weeds would be gathered together and then separated.

In Our Lord’s explanation of the parable of the weeds, He teaches His disciples about the mis sion of His work in the world in spreading good seed . The adversary plots to ruin the good seed, who are the children of God, by planting weeds or bad seeds along with the good seed, and how God allows the good to coexist with the bad for only a limited time. The harvest, at the end of time,the weeds will be collected and discarded.

In all, the parable of the weeds illustrates for us the mystery of God allowing evil to exist with the good in this world; (a world which had been saved through the blood of His only Son), and the eschatological events in which the evildoers and scandalmongers are separated from the innocent and righteous people at the Last Judgment by Our Lord, a just and merciful judge.

Simply put, the unrepentant sinners will suffer eternal punishment in a place of “wailing and grinding of teeth” (totally isolated away from God), and the just and righteous will go to their eternal reward in heaven.

Father Perez

From Father Perez

Dear Parishioners:

I hope this finds you well and in good health.

We have been blessed during the past few weekends, to once again have travelers and visitors from afar join us for Holy Mass.

With the gradual opening up of businesses and other activities, I, too, have traveled to Fairfax and Prince William Counties in the last few days.

Keeping this in mind and given the current situation with CoVID-19, I have personally increased the use of my face coverings while offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as a precaution to keep you safe and healthy; as well as our visitors.

As per diocesan guidelines, the use of a nose and mouth covering is highly encouraged. There are, of course, exceptions for those who are unable to wear masks due to health conditions.

In the meantime, we will continue to pray for those affected by CoVID-19 and maintain the minimum six-foot social distancing. If we exceed capacity meaning the six-foot distancing cannot be main- tained ( the phase 3 limits 250 persons) we will ask people to sit outside.

As a reminder we reiterate here the guidelines from the Arlington Diocese and Bishop Burbidge for the safe and reverent offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

For Those Who Are Vulnerable · If you or those for whom you care are “vulnerable” to infection or the serious effects of coronavirus, please avoid gatherings of the general public. Those who are “vulnerable” are over the age of 65, have existing heart or lung conditions, have diabetes, &/or are otherwise immuno-compromised

Face Coverings · You are highly encouraged to wear a cloth face covering or disposable face mask. Please bring your own.

Social Distancing –

If the number of participants exceeds the limit, the priest or a minister will have to ask individuals to leave. Please avoid putting our beloved priests & ministers in this unfortunate posi- tion. Above all, exercise charity! Social Distancing · The Diocese requires every parish to ensure so- cial distancing with due respect for the reverent enactment of the sacred rites. Kindly follow the direc- tions of ministers, as well as posted signs & markings.

As always, I am grateful for our parish family, and ask God’s continued blessings and grace to you and your families.

Father Perez