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From the Pastor

Protecting Life – a moral issue

Protecting Life – a moral issue

These past few weeks our nation has witnessed once again the terrible and tragic mass killings of our fellow citizens, most recently, young children. Some would have us believe that these tragedies are due to the violent acts of individuals who are mentally ill. That response is a “red herring”. The number of individuals with mental illness is no greater in the US than in any other nation. Some would even suggest that there are other nations with more cases of mental illness than here in the...

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Return to In-Person Mass

Return to In-Person Mass

At the end of a long project or journey, we often say that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps that expression is best modified for our pandemic experience with all the waves and surges of COVID variants. One needs to be sure there is no relative motion between the light and the end of the tunnel. It might just be the train headed your way. Our COVID journey is not over, but we are far enough along that we have some assurance there is no train headed our way. And so, we need...

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St. Francis House Receives Major Grant

St. Francis House Receives Major Grant

April 25, 2022:  As we all know, finances have been constrained throughout the parish and community due in no small part to Covid-19. As such, the need for the assistance provided by our Outreach Ministry, St. Francis House, continues to grow. In January, a parishioner forwarded information on a grant opportunity to help with COVID-19 relief. The Human Services Alliance of Greater Prince William County was chosen by the Prince William County government to administer the $10,000,000 of federal...

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Masks

Masks

The news of these last few days has unfortunately, reminded us that COVID is still very much a part of our lives.  As of this week, COVID cases are up by 30% in our area. The diocese has not made mask wearing mandatory, but in light of this recent news it would seem that the prudent response would be to wear a mask when in public places, including while attending Mass. Even if vaccinated you can still get COVID.  Your case may not be as serious, but you can still get pretty sick.  And even if...

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Evening Prayer in Our Deanery

Evening Prayer in Our Deanery

The Arlington Diocese is divided up into seven regions called deaneries. Deanery V includes the parishes of Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park and Fauquier County. Bishop Burbidge has asked that each Deanery celebrate Solemn Evening Prayer (in Latin, Vespers) at a parish in the deanery to mark the beginning of Preparation Year I for the diocesan Jubilee Year in 2024.  Preparation Year I begins with the First Sunday of Advent.  Parishioners from throughout...

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Thanksgiving Blessings

Thanksgiving Blessings

On behalf of the Friars and staff here at St. Francis I wish all of you a blessed Thanksgiving. The feast of Thanksgiving reminds all of us of the importance of moments of gratitude; the value of seeing what is good and right in our world. Let our Thanksgiving be a celebration where we view our world not just in terms of the material things that we have been gifted, but also in the good and meaningful actions that we can do for others, and that have been done for us. May we be aware of God’s...

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Elections 2021 – A Message from Fr. John

Elections 2021 – A Message from Fr. John

A Message from Fr. John Dear parishioners, Very recently we published a message called Faithful Citizenship: Pro-Life. Please take a moment to read this important message as it forms the background to this message. It contains excerpts from the US Bishops document on Faithful Citizenship which goes into more detail as to what issues determine if a person is truly pro-life. As the bishops stated , “ We strongly encourage you to know the candidates and their positions on abortion, Euthanasia....

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COVID Vaccine

I received a number of positive comments on my recent article in the weekly parish newsletter, challenging the thinking of those who refuse to receive a COVID vaccine, based on the argument that “the government cannot tell me what to do with my body”. I also received a response from a parishioner who said he heard that it was wrong (a sin) for a Catholic to receive a COVID vaccine, because the vaccines were tested using cells obtained from aborted fetuses. This is not true and is based on...

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Vaccines and Being Pro-Life

One of the curious arguments for not receiving the COVID vaccine is that no government should tell a person what they can or cannot do with their body. In fact, there are a range of things for which the government and the common good, do just exactly that. Think of the regulations regarding seat belts, smoking in public places, drug usage, and others. Directly and indirectly, for each of these a governmental body tells a person what they can or cannot do with their bodies. In the arena of...

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Out of an abundance of Caution….

After some discussion, at the recent meeting of the Parish Council, it was decided that we would not do the Labor day Picnic or Francis Fest this year. Because of the recent spike in cases of COVID (Delta Variant), the Council felt that there could be some risk in gathering parishioners for these two events. When it is deemed safe to do so, we will plan an alternative social gathering for the parish. It is very unfortunate that at a time when we have an incredibly effective vaccine against the...

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