Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A few words regarding the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and its status for this year as it falls on Saturday, August 15. Usually, the Solemnity of the Assumption is a holy
day of obligation. but, this year the obligation to attend Holy Mass is lifted as the holy day falls under the Saturday/Monday adaptation of the United States bishops from many years ago.

The life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is forever the Daughter of the Eternal Father, Mother of the Incarnate Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit, exemplifies the gifts and benefits bestowed upon her by the Triune God.

Her whole life proclaims “the greatness of the Lord.” First, in her Immaculate Conception where the Eternal Father spared her from original sin as well as its effects, and because of this gift and special privilege, the Blessed Virgin Mary fully possessed the grace and freedom always to do the will of the Lord, thus preparing her for what was to come later when she was to become the Virgin Mother of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as a young  woman betrothed to Joseph.  The good Lord prepared Our Lady to become the Mother of His only Son through her Immaculate Conception. And when Our Lady’s life was completed here on earth, “the greatness of the Lord” was manifested in her Assumption into heavenly glory.

Our Lady’s Assumption into the glorious Kingdom of Heaven is the dogma of our Christian faith, which has its roots in Sacred Tradition and has been celebrated in the Universal Church’s liturgy throughout the centuries from ancient times even before its solemn definition by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950. Throughout the centuries, devoted and faithful Christians had always believed and understood that Our Lady, after her earthly life, was given a special privilege when she was assumed into heaven. Taken body and soul together so that she would share in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection. Mary’s complete personhood was taken up into the glorious kingdom. And from that moment on, Our Lady shares in her only Son’s victory as the power of Jesus’ Resurrection is immediately played out when her earthly life was completed.

The Lord God spared Mary’s body from corruption and decay when she was assumed into heaven just as He saved her from original sin and its effects at the beginning of her life through her Immaculate Conception. The Most Blessed Virgin Mary is the first recipient of what will be granted to us at the end of time when the dead will be resurrected.

May Jesus and His Blessed Mother bless you abundantly.
Father Perez

Our Eucharist, Our Nourishment

Dear Parishioners,

This Sunday in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we have the subject of nourishment in the scripture passages. As , Catholic Christians, we can always rely on the good and gracious Lord to sustain and nourish us all the days of our life.

The Lord, who gave every one of us the gift of life, always be with us as we journey through this life.

In the Gospel passage from Matthew 14, Our Lord performs his miraculous feeding of 5000.Moved with pity for the crowds in the deserted place and because it was evening, Our Lord gave the people food which satisfied their hunger.

All were able to partake of the miraculous food which came from five loaves of bread and two fish, and, remarkably, there were fragments leftover which were gathered and filled twelve baskets!

What is remarkable is the disciples’ reaction when Our Lord told them to give some food yourselves.

They saw things as they truly were; they saw that five loaves and two fish were all they had, and they knew it was- n’t enough food to feed the vast crowd.

But, the one thing they could not see was that Our Lord was setting up one of his greatest miracles, a miracle which showed his disciples and the multitude that he was the Messiah they all had been waiting for.

Our Lord’s miraculous feeding of the 5000 has strong Eucharistic overtones, and it prefigured what He would do in the Last Supper on the night before He died. It was on that Holy Thursday night when He instituted the Most Holy Eucharist.

Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples.

These words are similar to what He said at the Last Supper when He instituted the Eucharist. His words are uttered at every Mass by the bishop or priest during the Eucharistic Prayer.

The Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon) has similar words to what is written in this Sunday’s Gospel: “He took bread in his holy and venerable hands, and with eyes raised to heaven, to you O God, His almighty Father, giving you thanks, He said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his disciples …” ( The Roman Missal, third edition 2011).

The Eucharist is indeed, our spiritual nourishment; Jesus fills our spiritual needs through the Sacrament of his Body and Blood.

Our Lord recognizes our needs, and that is why He left us his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and through this “sign of the new and eternal covenant,” He gives us food for this journey that we call life.

Father Perez

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Dear Parishioners,

In the Gospel passage for this Sunday, Our Lord presents three parables that illustrate what the Kingdom of heaven is like.

The first two parables show us the great value of the Kingdom of God.

The heavenly Kingdom is so valuable that people would go to great lengths in order to possess it, much like the man who finds the treasure in the field and the merchant who finds the pearl of great price.

They both sell all that they have so that they may acquire their newfound treasures.

Now for us who follow in the way of Christ, we have a treasure waiting for us in eternity. And if you think about it, the heavenly Kingdom is ours for the taking since Our Lord opened it for us through his Passion and Death therefore, the Kingdom is the pearl of great price.

Our eternal life was acquired for us at a very great price… the price being the life of the only Son of God, who laid down His life out of His immense and infinite love for us so that we may be saved and have for our possession the eternal Kingdom.

Through the death of Our Incarnate Lord, heaven was opened for all of us, and it became ours for the taking.

But not everyone will enter into their heavenly inheritance, and this is what the third parable; the Parable of the Net teaches us.

This parable is similar to the Parable of the Weeds in the Field which was the Gospel passage for last Sunday, and both parables illustrate what will happen at the last judgment, the separation of the good from the bad. The good will go into their heavenly reward while the evildoers will suffer eternal punishment where there’ll be wailing and grinding of teeth.

The Parable of the Net presents an accurate image of how all will be gathered together, and then the good and righteous in the sight of God will be separated from the bad and evil.

And so, with these images of the Kingdom in mind (the Kingdom being our precious treasure) we must keep in mind that only the good and righteous will be judged worthy to inherit this precious treasure. We are called to live for Christ and His Kingdom

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

From Father Perez

Dear Parishioners:

I write to you with much gratitude for your generosity over the last few months as we endured the pandemic, and I thank you for your patience, kindness and your understanding as we have been limited in our capacity regarding the use of the main church and the adjoining annex at Sunday Masses.

Now we have some good news to share:

  • Parish activities will resume this month on a limited basis as per diocesan guidelines.
  • We will have to maintain the six foot distancing directive as well as the Commonwealth’s current mandate on face coverings (which include exceptions for health reasons).
  • There is a capacity limit of 50 persons, but our groups fall well under that number
  • At present we will use the annex for our meetings so that we may observe the social distancing required by the diocese.
  • We have resumed the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet after daily Mass and the Our Lady of Perpetual Help prayers after Saturday morning Mass.

May the good Lord bless you and keep you in good health,
Fr. Perez

Solemnity of Peter and Paul

Dear Parishioners:

Through the Grace of God, we will be resuming the First Friday Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Friday, July 3, from 3-8 pm. We need committed Adorers to sign up for each hour.

We have the 6 and 8 o’clock hour filled.
Please call (540-743- 4919) or respond to this email to arrange for your time.

St.John the Baptist

Dear Parishioners:
On Wednesday, June 24, the Universal Church will solemnly celebrate the Nativity of John the Baptist – the last of the Old Testament prophets who was the immediate Precursor to the reign of Our Lord.

Our Lord and Savior Himself is very complimentary towards John the Baptist, as he said, “among those born of women, there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist.”

Something that we have to keep in mind is that John the Baptist was sanctified and consecrated in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, and was born into the world as a herald with a specific mission; a mis- sion in which the objective was to prepare the hearts of people for Christ who was already in the world.

As Prophet of the Most High, John came in the spirit and power of Elijah and called people to repent ance and administered a baptism of repentance. He humbly pointed out the Christ, “the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world, who was to come after him who’ll baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit.”

One of his most memorable sayings is, “He must increase while I must decrease.”

And even though people wondered if John was the Messiah, of course, he said he was not as he definitely knew his place in relationship to Our Lord the Christ. John was the soldier, and Christ is the King.

John the Baptist fulfilled his mission with fidelity and valor even to the point of being imprisoned and eventually giving up his life in martyrdom.

St. John the Baptist, pray for us.
Father Perez

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body

Many thanks to all of you for your patience and your generosity over the last few weeks. It has been a blessing that we have been able to have Masses with a congregation , even though on a limited and restricted basis.

Perhaps you have noticed that the smaller votive candles are restocked as of a week ago, and thank you for your patience as the CoVID-19 pandemic affected shipments of these candles.

This week we have much gratitude to express to the Lord God, as we have two liturgical solemnities in which we are able to pray to the Triune God and give Him thanks.

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ which was transferred from last Thursday. This feast originated in the middle of the 13th century, and was promulgated as a universal feast in the Latin/Roman Church by Pope Urban IV.

Even in the present age, much of the music for this great feast exists and remains in use, emphasizing the reality of the True Presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Most Blessed Eucharist. We thank the good Lord for this gift of the Most Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Love.

This week’s second feast happens on Friday when the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. This feast is built on the centuries of devotion to the Heart of Our Lord and the love of God, and in 1856, Pope Pius IX declared it to be a universal feast in the Church.

In the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we witness divine love for humanity. We can speak forever about the Lord’s love for every one of us, and it will be in Heaven where we will forever dwell in love with God who is Love.
As always I keep

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Every year on the first Sunday after Pentecost, the Universal Church joyfully celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is central to our Christian faith and our Christian life, and this is why Holy Mother Church celebrates this special day in adoration of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the One God in three divine Persons. We entered the life with Christ through the sacrament of baptism in which we were baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, baptized into the life of faith, hope, and love.

Love is one way of approaching the doctrine of the Holy Trinity since each Person of the Trinity is intimately bound to another in love. So great is this love that the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit always remain as One divine nature, “adored in what is proper to each Person, their unity in substance, and their equality in majesty” (The Roman Missal, Third Edition) as is prayed in the Preface for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for today’s solemn day.

The Blessed Trinity is a communion of love, and everything that God does in moved by love. God the Eternal Father, who created heaven and earth and us out of love, sent his only Son into the world out of his great love for us so that we too might share in his love. God desires our love so much that he took the initiative and sent into the world his only Son who assumed our human nature by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Son’s mission in the world was to make the love of God known to all and to reconcile the world back to the Father. Because of man’s sin, it was necessary for the Son to be sent into the world by the Father for the forgiveness of our sins, which was achieved by Christ’s Death and Resurrection. And before obediently offering his life on the cross, Christ promised the gift of the Holy Spirit who’s another Advocate for us as we live out our lives as faithful and grace-filled disciples in this world.

The sending of the Holy Spirit “who proceeds from the Father and the Son” is a gift which emanates from God’s love for us. The Holy Spirit will always guide us into the loving inner communion of the Trinity, and into heaven, where we’ll all share in this eternal and loving communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.