Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Andrew the Apostle,

For information about all of the news and events at the parish, please read the bulletin or our parish website. Here are some upcoming events at St. Andrew's:

  • Today is Spring Cleanup Day at the parish. Please join us in the parking lot after the 9:00 AM Saturday Mass to help beautify our campus by weeding, planting, and putting down mulch. Please bring your own tools, gloves and water bottle, and let me thank you in advance for your generous service!
  • Our 8th Grade Confirmation candidates are on retreat this morning as they prepare to be Confirmed by Archbishop Broglio in May. Please pray that they are open to receiving the Holy Spirit with humble and joyful hearts! Pray for our retreat speakers as well!
  • This Sunday, April 14, Deacon Sobczynski will give our next Apologetics talk on Purgatory at 2:00 PM in Hannan Hall. This is the deacon's first apologetics talk and I'm sure it will be great!
  • Our Seniors Group will meet on Monday, April 15, in the Padre Pio room after the 12:00 noon Mass. Please see their flyer for more information.

Thank you to everyone who made Deacon Christian's Mass of Thanksgiving and reception beautiful, including Mike Murphy and the traditional choir and our Called By Name ministry, who did such a wonderful job organizing the reception. Deacon Njodzela was very grateful! He returned to the seminary to finish his Spring semester. Please please pray for him and his classmates as they continue toward their ordination to the priesthood next June.

It is a blessing to be in the season of Easter. Outside of Ordinary Time, it is the longest liturgical season of the year. At fifty days, the Easter season is longer than Lent, Advent, and Christmas. This makes sense because Easter is a celebration of the central mystery of our faith, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this mystery is our hope and joy. It reveals the mercy of God who invites us to share in His glory, and the justice of God, who rewards each according to their faithful actions in the next life. As we learn from the witness of the martyrs, we don't always achieve justice in this world, but for the faithful, it is promised through the resurrection of the body.

As you may have heard, last week the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith of the Vatican Curia issued a declaration on the dignity of human life called "Dignitatis Infinata" (Infinite Dignity). You can read it here. There is nothing new concerning the consistent moral teaching of the Catholic Church, but it is a good summary of the issues of our time by the Vatican office whose task is to uphold the teaching of our faith. The fourth section of the declaration is entitled "Some Grave Violations of Human Dignity" and includes discussions of the following: poverty, war, the suffering of migrants, human trafficking, sexual abuse, violence against women, abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia and assisted suicide, the marginalization of people with disabilities, gender theory and sex change, and digital violence. As you can see, it covers a lot, and includes 116 footnotes, to boot. Bishop Burbidge issued a statement in response to Dignitatis Infinata which you can read here. It is helpful to read documents like this to form our conscience, which can often be misformed by factors such as personal experience and political preferences. We want to think with the mind of the Church established by Christ and led by the Holy Spirit. In her, we find the truth that leads to freedom.

For the third year in a row, the Orioles have the #1 prospect in all of major league baseball, showing the great depth of their minor league system. For the third year in a row, that top prospect is being promoted to the major leagues.

In 2022, top prospect Adley Rutschman made his debut on May 21 as the number one prospect in baseball. At the end of his rookie year, he came in second in the Rookie of the Year voting. Last year, the number one prospect Gunnar Henderson hit a home run in his debut and at the end of the season won the Rookie of the Year and the Silver Slugger Award (the best hitter at his position) in the American League.

This year, Jackson Holliday is the top prospect. He's the 20-year-old son of retired major leaguer Matt Holliday. Jackson Holliday started at second base for the Orioles on Wednesday. He wore #7, which was the number last worn by Cal Ripken, Sr., and Billy Ripken, his son. So the number has that father-son connection. Cal Ripken, Jr., a Hall of Famer who played his whole career with the Orioles, broke Lou Gehrig's record for most consecutive games played, and the son of Cal Sr. and brother of Billy, gave his seal of approval to Jackson wearing his father's number. It was an exciting day all around.

I think the most impressive message of congratulations came from Tony Kemp, the veteran player whom Jackson Holliday replaced on the Orioles' roster when he was promoted. One would assume Kemp would be upset to lose his spot on the major league team, but instead, he was very gracious in his "Go get 'em, kid!" response.

In his First Letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul compares the Church to the body. Thus, we call the Church the mystical body of Christ. He is the head, we are the members. As such, we are united by the Holy Spirit such that St. Paul says, "God has so constructed the body ... so that there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy" (1 Cor 12:24-26). Tony Kemp's response makes me think of this. Even though it came at his expense, he rejoices in Jackson Holliday's success.

Kemp is now one of my favorite players. And after doing a little research, he seems like a great role-model. Hopefully, he catches on with another team where he can be a good influence on their clubhouse.

Happy Easter, everyone! Know of my prayers for you. Please pray for me as well!

And go Orioles!

In Christ,

Fr. Wagner

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Website
St. Andrew the Apostle Weekly Bulletin
Bishop's Lenten Appeal
Upcoming Events at St. Andrew's
Upcoming Diocesan Events
Virginia Catholic Conference