Give through Faith Direct

Support SKD through Faith Direct

St. Katharine Drexel needs your support now more than ever! Join the parishioners who are using Faith Direct for automated giving to St. Katharine Drexel Faith Direct offers a safe and secure way to donate to our parish in this time of uncertainty. There is no cost to you, and the program provides a great benefit to our parish.

Visit www.faithdirect.net

Use St. Katharine code: VA 786

Thank you for your continued support of our parish family.

Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Murphy

Please remember if you are using a third party provider to make your donation that your name is noted somewhere on the check.

Jesus is the Lamb of God.

Support the Diocese of Obala, Cameroon

On September 20th  our second collection will support the Diocese of Obala, Cameroon.  Please go to https://arlingtonmissions.org/diocese-of-obala-2/ to find out more about their ministry. If you would like to donate to their efforts click the link at the bottom on the page.  Your gifts and prayers will be a blessing to families who benefit from this loving outreach in mission countries!

Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus Sub Sale

The Father Jon O’Brien Council of the Knights of Columbus will be sponsoring a Sub-Sale on Sunday, September 13th after 9:00 AM Mass at Four Hills Farm as a kickoff to the NFL season. The sandwiches are on a hoagie roll and include ham, salami, bologna and provolone cheese.

Due to COVID-19, all sandwiches must be pre-ordered and paid in advance at the following website. The price is $6.00 per sandwich and the deadline to order is Sunday, September 6th at 7:00 PM.

https://fjobkofc.org/sub-sandwich-sale/

Sub Sale Flyer

Pastor’s Piece – August 29

Today’s Pastor’s Piece is a letter from Bishop Burbidge regarding a day of prayer and fasting for peace in our communities on Wednesday, September 9, 2020.

Letter from Bishop Burbidge

Pastor’s Piece – August 22

Last Friday and Saturday ten people in our parish completed their Sacraments of Initiation and were confirmed in the faith. I wish to
congratulate:

• Christian “José Sanchez” Arellano
• Anna “Rita of Cascia” Ferraro
• Eric “Joseph of Cupertino” Montalvo
• Zackery “Sebastian” Montalvo
• Giannina “Fatima” Obando
• Madeline “Augustine” Peters
• César Uriel Cortés-Cortés
• Mayra Graciela Vera-Ramos
• Anthoni Yanel Flores-Arellano
• Candace “Bernadette” Cooper

They have all participated in our parish program over the course of the past year and endured with patience and understanding all of the irregularities
that that entailed. While all of them have pledged to support and promote the faith with the newly received gifts of the Holy Spirit, Candace has taken the extra bold step of converting to the Catholic faith and making us her new family in Christ. It is always a pleasant reminder of the great treasure
that so often we take for granted in the Catholic Church.

Next year’s faith formation is already in the works. We have been reminding parents of the need to register their children for the new year, but I am also considering the need to plan RCIA again in English and Spanish. So far, I have six adults interested in English and one in Spanish. When I say RCIA, this can be convert-class, Catholics adults who need sacraments class or adult members of the parish who just want a refresher course. Please, call the parish office to notify us of your interest or the interest of an associate, and I’ll start planning when and where. The most likely start date is after Columbus Day.

This means that I’ve got to get some vacation time in between now and then. So, you won’t see me this week. As I hope that you are aware, our parish never really “shutdown” during the pandemic, Masses were available  even if they were not scheduled. Nevertheless, it has thrown everybodies’ schedules off and it has finally caught up with us. We’re finally shutting the Masses down. This week Monday – Saturday morning we won’t have Mass. The church will be open during business hours when there is staff to manage it. With all the irregularities, I can’t find a substitute priest to cover for my family’s trip to Virginia Beach this week. As Our Lord responded to His blessed mother’s request to attend a wedding feast, so Mrs. Murphy wouldn’t be too understanding if I was a “no-show” for the family’s vacation.  You’ll be in my prayers as I take the Mass on the road.

Christ’s Peace,

Fr. Murphy

Pastor’s Piece – August 1

St. Alphonsus Liguori – August 1, 2020

Although the Easter Vigil was canceled that doesn’t mean that the Lord’s work of sharing the faith was suspended. We still had souls preparing to join the Catholic Church and adult Catholics seeking full initiation into Christ’s Church. As unique as shutting down the Easter Vigil is to Church history, so we find a unique opportunity in our faith this August.

We celebrate each year the Assumption of the Virgin Mary on August 15 with a Holy Day of Obligation. This year with Holy Day and Sunday obligations lacking, we have the opportunity to have Mass Saturday night in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Sunday as the XX Sunday of Ordinary Time. I desire to use our weekend feast day to mark the significance of welcoming at least six members of our community into full communion with Christ and his Church. So, on Friday, August 14, we will have the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion ministered in Spanish at the 6:00 PM Mass, and on Saturday, August 15, we will repeat in English.

This is a very hope filled time to celebrate God’s blessings shining through some dark clouds. Nevertheless, if you have adopted Saturday evening Mass to experience a Sunday Liturgy, please note that this year it will be the Mass for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Additionally, if you attend a Saturday evening Mass assuming that the vast majority of the congregation will be wearing masks, this may not be your hoped for circumstance.

Sunday Mass at Four Hills Farm

We are pleased to share that a parish family has graciously offered their family barn as a temporary home for us to celebrate Mass!  We have been working out the details and are overwhelmingly thankful for this opportunity.  As you know, PWC intends to keep schools closed for awhile making it obvious we are without a Spiritual Home.  It is so sad that we have had no place to worship.

Thankfully, we now have a new temporary home! The joy of again seeing the families of SKD while praising our Lord, will be wonderful.  We have truly missed you!

 So, here are the important details:

Time:  9:00AM
Four Hills Farm
4610 Sudley Road
Catharpin, VA 20143

  • Please stay home , if you feel sick, have a fever, sniffles, or cough.
  • Parking – for most will be down the hill and to the left after passing through the entry gates.  For those who require assistance, drive up the hill and park near the barn entrance.  A ramp is located on the left side of the barn.
  • Wearing a mask.  Bishop Burbidge expects it.  Governor Northam wants it worn but makes allowances for health (mental or physical).  And,  Fr. Murphy will don one for the distribution of Holy Communion.
  • Hand Sanitizer is located at both entrances for your use upon arrival and departure from Mass.
  • Seating – We will do our best to keep everyone seated  6’-0” apart.  Families can be seated in close proximity.  Our Ushers will help shift chairs as needed.
  • Seating – inside will be limited.  Please consider the reduced occupancy when planning your arrival. We encourage you to pack up your lightweight spectator chairs so you can take advantage of sitting outside when necessary.
  • Restrooms are available-wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Collection baskets – will be at each entry to prevent contact as baskets passed around.
  • No Air Conditioning – The barn has ceiling fans that keep the space comfortable during the morning hours.
  • Exiting the Farm – Please exit to the right, toward Manassas.  Visibility is reduced as the road curves just before the driveway.  This will also allow for a smoother departure.  You can turn around at the Alvey Store/ gas station on your left or take a right on Pageland and follow it to Rt. 29 / Gainesville.Father Jon O’Brien Knights Knights of Columbus Council are vigilant about set up and sanitizing all chairs. Indoor seating is set up as follows: single chairs, pairs of 2 and family group of 4, all properly distanced. For outdoor seating, the Knights are setting up a tent. Parishioners may bring lawn chairs and attend Mass outside near the barn. The sound system is excellent.  You may also contact Jeff Carnicelli, Grand Knight, Father Jon O’Brien Knights of Columbus with questions at (703)407-0979.

Pastor’s Piece – July 25

St. James the Greater, Apostle, July 25, 2020

I’m happy to announce that SSM is safer than ever. Our 5pm Saturday Mass, where there is an extra emphasis on wearing the mask, was met with a positive response. To give you a sense of what you might expect. We had less than thirty in the congregation. In addition, I have spared no expense to equip our air-conditioning system with antimicrobial filters. Of course, there are always the options to take in Mass in the great outdoors (on the patio), in the parish hall with a television monitor (not available Saturday nights), and starting Sunday August 2, for those at SKD, in a barn at the Fall Festival venue Four Hills Farm (4610 Sudley Rd, Catharpin) at 9:00 am.

Regardless of what the school year will look like, it’s time to register your children for Religious Education. We still have lots of questions without answers. We still don’t know of if Loudoun and Prince William Counties will let us use their facilities. Regardless, we will offer on-line options, but also, I would like to have the in-person classroom option. Possibly we will be using the SKD Mission Office
and or the SSM Parish Hall. These venues would require us to coordinate classes in the afternoons during the week for various grades. Overall, I image that our in-person classroom with catechist could also be telecast via a Zoom meeting. I hope that I’m communicating that there are a lot of variables and this doesn’t begin to consider the volunteers needed to actualize these plans. We will need some new volunteers to fill in those who will not be able to assist us during the week or because of current concerns about health for their particular circumstance. So, it is imperative that we know for what, who and how many we have to prepare. Please, register now. There will be an extra fee for registration after August 16.


The following article by Msgr. Charles Pope is outstanding and reflects my unexpressed sentiments very well.
(https://www.ncregister.com/blog/msgr-pope/be-not-afraid)

“I write this from my perspective as a priest responsible for the care of souls; I do not claim to be a medical expert. My pastoral concern is that we as a nation and as a Church have succumbed to excessive fear, which bespeaks a spiritual problem. The medical concerns arising from the pandemic are not without merit, but they are not unprecedented. What is unique today is the collective paralysis brought on by this fear. I write to express my concern and to reiterate the constant biblical cry, “Do not be afraid!”

“Some weeks ago, I wrote here at the Register about the crippling fear that seems to have seized the whole world, calling all to ponder that Jesus came to destroy him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

“I cannot avoid concluding that many people indeed are “in slavery through their fear of death.” There seems to be no end in sight for the fear they feel — no solution other than a cure for COVID-19. Watching the news only exacerbates the anxiety, as the media naturally focuses on the areas where things are not going well in our fight against the virus. It has now become politicized and commercialized, because fear is recognized as one of the best ways to control people, to attract viewers, and to sell products.

“What will it take to help people get their courage back? What is the endgame that public officials have in mind? Will there ever be a day when we say, “Let’s all get back to normal?” Will we always have to wear masks? Will we ever be allowed to sing, shout or cheer in public again? Will crowds ever be allowed to gather in common areas and convention centers? Will those who go about living life normally always be shamed and called selfish and irresponsible?

“Let’s get into our time machine and travel back just one year. Crowds gathered freely; airports were hives of activity; planes were packed with travelers and concert halls were packed with eager listeners. Restaurants were full of diners and churches with the faithful. People shook hands and hugged, their beautiful faces uncovered for all to see. People laughed out loud, choirs sang joyfully and stadiums erupted with cheers after a score.

“That was a year ago. Now so many are cowering in fear. They view every human being they encounter as a potential source of grave illness or even death: “He looks healthy, but I’d better stay far away because he may be carrying COVID-19!” Never mind a calculation of relative risks; every human contact might pose an existential threat. As a priest, I cannot imagine anything more demonic than this sort of fear. Satan wants us to fear and even detest one another. Our communion with one another is devasted by this extreme wariness.

“But Father! This is a very different virus. It’s extremely potent. We have to do this!” Again, I am neither a doctor nor a scientist. But I am a priest, and as such I think we must count the other costs. There is more to life than just not getting sick and not dying. People have lost their jobs; food production has dropped, and famine is just around the corner in some parts of the world. Routine medical care has been largely suspended. Important human events like weddings, funerals, the sacraments and enriching cultural events have been curtailed if not prohibited. Schools have closed and few have been permitted or have had the courage to reopen. There is a cost to these losses as well.

“We have been through tough flu seasons before without shutting down the country. I remember in 1968 — a terrible year for many reasons — the Hong Kong Flu was raging; 100,000 Americans died from the flu that year. My grandfather was a doctor and warned us about it, but neither the country nor the world shut down. The sick were isolated; the vulnerable were given heightened protection. I remember seeing “Quarantine” signs on the doors of some of the houses in my neighborhood. If someone had the flu, the entire household was ordered to stay inside for two weeks, and that very visible sign was placed on the front door. Meanwhile, the healthy went about their work, and life continued. Yes, the death toll was high, but everyone understood that life had to go on. Years ago, there were so many dangerous illnesses to be afraid of — cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis, polio. It takes courage to live, and people of the time had that courage.

“In the current pandemic, which is admittedly severe, we have quarantined the healthy along with the sick, the resilient along with the vulnerable. Crippling fear has seized so many people, and at some point, fear begins to feed on itself. We have shut down our economy, depriving many of their livelihoods and of the dignity that comes from working, from using their talents and from providing for their families.

“In the Church, collectively speaking, we too have cowered and capitulated. We have not summoned people to trust and faith. We have hidden our teachings on the role of suffering in bringing forth holiness and future glory. We have not presented the theology of death and dying at a time when it is so needed.

“We have limited and even denied the sacraments to the faithful, conveying the silent message that physical health is more important than spiritual health. In some dioceses, churches were locked, confessions forbidden, and Holy Communion inaccessible. Some priests who tried to supply Holy Communion to the faithful in a creative manner were criticized by liturgists and bishops. Some tried offering outdoor or “drive-in” Masses and were met with rebuke. In some cases, Mass was forbidden by local authorities, and many backed down in the face of this external pressure. While we could not recklessly disregard civil ordinances, too many of us were content to hunker down and forego public Mass. We
would not utter the biblical cry, “Do not be afraid,” out of fear of being called insensitive or
irresponsible.

“This situation is unprecedented in our lifetime, so it is understandable that we struggled at first with what to do prudentially. But now we must reflect on all that has happened and resolve to never again allow a governor or mayor dictate whether, when or how we may give the sacraments. Even if government officials can forbid large gatherings, it does not follow that the sacraments cannot be provided at all, via other means. I never refused Holy Communion to anyone who asked me during this time; I merely gave them Holy Communion outside of public Mass. I also continued to hear confessions in the church throughout the period, grateful that my bishop never forbade it or demanded that I lock the church.

“What then is to be our role as we go forward? Some universities and public schools have announced that will not reopen for normal, in-person instruction in the fall. Will we simply follow along and refuse to reopen our Catholic schools? Or will we say to our faithful that it is time to go forth into a world that has never been and will never be risk-free, balancing the needs of all against our fear of death? How long will we continue to offer public Masses in the current limited fashion? Masks hide the beauty of the human visage and the subtleties of our expressions; will we return to seeing one another smile, frown, laugh, and cry? Will we go back to shaking hands, hugging, and touching one another? Will I be able to offer Mass without retreating immediately back into the sacristy? Will parishioners be able to mingle and chat after Mass rather than running straight to their cars?

“What is our end game? Prudence has its place, but my concern as a pastor and physician of souls is that we are allowing unrelenting fear to drive our response. Until we as the Church confronting the situation and “man up” as Christians should, fear will masquerade as prudence, and folks like me who question whether we’ve gone too far will be called irresponsible and even reprehensible.

“For the time being, follow the recommended precautions, but ask yourself, “When will this end, and who will get to decide that?” The Church, and each one of us, has a role to play in ending the fear that this pandemic has set loose. COVID-19 can undoubtedly be a serious illness, but contracting it is far from an automatic death sentence. However, getting sick and even eventually dying is a part of living in this world. Some will call me insensitive for even mentioning this truth, but our parents, grandparents, and more distant ancestors went forth daily into a world that was far more dangerous than anything we have experienced. They lived life, accepting both its blows and its blessings. What about us today? Is God no longer with us? Are sickness and death the worst fate or is crippling fear a far more painful and dehumanizing sentence? Isn’t there more to living than just not dying or not getting sick? Will we as a Church be part of this conversation or will we remain fearfully silent? Will we simply reflect the beliefs and opinions of the current culture, or will we influence it with a theology that insists that suffering and death have meaning and an important role in our lives?

“No doubt some readers will think me imprudent, irresponsible, and insensitive. I accept that. But my take is that fear is a far more serious ailment than COVID-19. Life is risky, but there is greater ruin for us if we do not accept it and live anyway. At some point we have to break out of the huddle and run the play. God will be with us.”

 

Christ’s Peace,
Fr. Murphy

Pastor’s Piece – July 18

Excerpts from From Married Love and the Gift of Life.

Men and women considering marriage yearn for certain things. They want to be accepted unconditionally by each other. They want their marriage to be filled with love and happiness. They want a family. In short, they want their marriage to be a source of joy and fulfillment their whole life long. God’s plan for marriage, from the time he first created human beings as male and female, has always included all this and more.

Read more from Married Love and the Gift of Live

Pastor’s Piece – July 11

St. Benedict, July 11, 2020
(Mensaje para los que hablan español está abajo.)

The results of the parochial survey are in in. The most important life altering responses are that 118 of you registered families from SKD would bring your family to a Mass at a farm, if I offered it. The second big change indicator is that 46 families from SSM said that they would attend an exclusive mask only Mass, if I offered it.

So, I’ll get to work to make it happen. Possibly by July 26 we could have Mass at the Fall Festival venue for you at SKD. You indicated that I could expect 275 to attend. If this number is accurate, we would need two Masses to accommodate everybody with recommended social distancing. I think it prudent to set our sights to lower expectations and we’ll plan for one Mass. I wish to accommodate as many as possible before things get too hot, so we’ll have Mass at 9:00am. If it is a success, then we can adjust for an additional Mass. Please, keep in mind that we can accommodate 75 in the enclosure (the barn) with social distancing. There are those who will have to be ready sit outdoors.

The mask-only Mass at SSM didn’t make the top of the life-altering list because I can start up the 5:00pm Mass. I’m still hearing Confessions at 3:45pm and frankly, it feels weird not to offer Mass afterwards. So, starting Saturday, July 18, we’ll have the 5:00pm Sunday Mass of Anticipation (“Vigil Mass”) at SSM as our exclusive mask-only Mass. We won’t turn anybody away who doesn’t don a mask, but I’ll do my best to promote it as such.

Todavía no se el sitio con el año escolar con los condados de Loudoun y Fauquier. Loudoun está hablando de asistir clases por medio del internet. Si que tu casa no tiene una conexión de internet suficiente tal vez podemos hablar de usar la conexión parroquial en el salón. Háblate conmigo, si que estás interesado.

Christ’s Peace,

Fr. Murphy