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.

  • Last Sunday, the Knights of Columbus started their Lenten food drive for the St. Lucy Food Project of the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington when they handed out blue bags with needed items. They will be collecting those bags and items this week before the Masses.
  • I will be giving the next talk in our Apologetics series this Sunday at 2:00 PM in Hannan Hall. The topic will be "Why is Suffering Part of God's Plan?" All are welcome! A Q&A and the recitation of a Rosary in the church will follow the talk.
  • Bishop Paul Loverde, the Bishop-Emeritus of the Diocese of Arlington, will direct our Lenten Mission from Monday, February 25 until Wednesday, February 27. During these days Eucharistic Adoration will be in the main church following the 9:00 AM Mass and continuing through the evening program. Bishop Loverde's evening talks (and closing Mass homily) will be on the Sacraments. Details can be found on our Lenten Events page.
  • Bishop Burbidge has asked parishioners throughout the Diocese to join him for the Diocesan Day of Unplugging on Friday, March 1, 2024. It is a day to fast from our electronic devices and turn our attention back to Christ. More information can be found on the Diocesan website.
  • Please join our Knights of Columbus parish Men's Lenten Retreat at the Monastery of the Franciscans of the Holy Land on Saturday, March 9. More information and how to register are found on the Knights' page on our website.
  • If you have not pledged to the Bishop's Lenten Appeal, please do so using the envelope from the church or pledge online. Thanks to all who have already given to the BLA.

Fr. Wilton left yesterday for a pilgrimage to Italy. He will be back on Saturday, March 2. Please pray for him as he prays for us at the sacred places of Italy. You also may have noticed that Fr. Nicholas has been away. He left to visit his family in India and will return on March 1. Therefore, I will be on my own for a week or so, but I have help! Msgr. John Cregan will help with Confessions on Saturday afternoon and will celebrate the Vigil Mass, as well as the Mass on Monday at noon. Bishop Loverde will celebrate our 12:30 PM Mass this Sunday. On Friday, March 1, Fr. Bresnahan will join us for the soup supper, Confessions, and evening Mass. Fr. Barkett will help with First Saturday Confessions at 8:00 AM and celebrate the 9:00 AM Mass on March 2. I am so grateful for the generosity of these priests to help us with our sacraments. We are blessed with holy priests in our Diocese.

We have Confessions six days a week during Lent: Monday after the 9:00 AM Mass, Tuesday from 11:45 AM to 12:15 PM, Wednesday from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, Thursday from 11:45 AM to 12:15 PM, Friday after the 6:30 AM Mass and from 6:00 PM to 6:45 PM, and Saturday from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. In addition, this week we are adding Confessions at 8:00 PM on Monday and Tuesday for the parish mission, Confessions after the 9:00 AM Mass on First Friday (March 1), and Confessions from 8:00 AM to 8:45 AM on First Saturday (March 2). That's eleven scheduled times from now until next Saturday morning.

On Saturday, March 2, we will still have our parish Holy Hour and Confessions for First Saturday beginning at 8:00 AM. Fr. Barkett, the pastor of St. Mary of Sorrows, has generously offered to hear Confessions that morning and celebrate the 9:00 AM Mass.

Actually, I won't be completely alone in the rectory this week because Christian Ndodzela will be staying with us while he is on Spring Break from Mt. St. Mary's Seminary. He recently received his Call to Orders from Bishop Burbidge which is the formal acceptance of his petition to be ordained a deacon, and subsequently a priest. A seminarian isn't confident that he has a vocation to the priesthood until he is invited by his Bishop to be ordained, so while Christian is already one of the most joyful people in the world, he's even more joyful with this news. He will be ordained a deacon on Saturday, April 6, at St. Mary of Sorrows. He will be the deacon and preach at the 12:30 PM Mass on April 7 at St. Andrew's, and we will have a reception in his honor after the Mass.

I'm really grateful for Bishop Loverde leading our mission. As you may know, I was his priest secretary for over four years. During that time, I was inspired by his witness of faithfulness, fortitude, and kindness. He was ordained as the Second Vatican Council ended and served as a priest in a tumultuous time concerning ecclesiology, liturgy, and morality. Many priests from his time left the priesthood in the years that followed the Council, but he always remained faithful to Mother Church and has served Her and those under his care for over fifty years. May the Lord bless him for his faithfulness to Jesus, His Church, and those he has shepherded and continues to shepherd as a priest and Bishop.

Spring Training started for the Baltimore Orioles on the first day of Lent. As we get back to the basics of our faith and fine-tune our virtue in preparation for the Easter Triduum, baseball players train for the next baseball season. It kind of puts things in perspective. What we do during Lent is much more important as it leads to our salvation. While I would love it if the Orioles won the World Series, my desire to get to heaven is infinitely greater!

To get a feel for Spring Training, the Orioles released a video of the first week of activities. Unlike our Lent, which we can tend to white-knuckle our way through, Spring Training is very laid back. My favorite parts are the clips of Jackson Holliday, the top prospect in all of baseball. In scenes like this, it's apparent just how young he is. He looks like a teenager! He's not. He turned 20 in December.

I was an immature idiot when I was twenty. It's good to see someone so talented and disciplined that he can compete with the best baseball players in the world and do it so young. May we have that same discipline in pursuing Christ this Lent and always!

God bless you all. Know of my prayers for you. Please pray for me as well.

In Christ,

Fr. Wagner

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