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:

  • This morning at 11:00 AM, Bishop Burbidge will be the principal celebrant and homilist for a special Mass for our deanery at St. Mark's in Vienna. This is part of the celebration of our Diocese's 50th Anniversary. More information can be found here.
  • Starting Saturday, July 13, our summer seminarian Like Helbling will lead a discussion of From Christendom to Apostolic Mission from St. Mary University. The book addresses how to live our faith and share the Gospel in our current times. The Book Club will meet in Hannan Hall after the Saturday 9:00 Mass on July 13, 20, and 27th. More information here.

Our eastern parking lot and Union Mill entrance have been repaved and striped. The workers put in long hours on hot days to prepare our lot for this weekend's Masses, and it looks great! Work will continue on Tuesday, June 25, when the parking lot on the school and rectory side will be milled and paved. Starting Tuesday the Compton Road entrance will be closed as well as the school lot and driveway that leads to the kitchen and back church entrance. The Compton Road entrance will be closed on Tuesday, Wednesday, and possibly Thursday if there are delays. Thank you for your patience!

Our Religious Education Office is once again asking parishioners who are traveling this summer to take a picture with our St. Andrew's cutout, "Flat Andrew", where you attend Mass while on vacation and mail it to We'll post the pictures in our parish photo directory and participants will get a ticket for a free donut at one of our Sunday morning coffee and donut sales. It's a good reminder to practice our faith every day, even when on vacation. If we are to love God with our whole mind, soul, and strength as we are commanded to, we do so always. That it may take some extra planning to go to Mass or spend time in daily prayer on vacation allows us to witness to ourselves, our families, and those God has placed in our lives how we are true disciples of Jesus, not just when it is easy or routine.

On Tuesday, Hall-of-Fame outfielder Willie Mays passed away at the age of 93. To many, he was considered the greatest living player, if not the greatest player of all time because he combined excellent hitting, fielding, running, and throwing. There was nothing he could not do well on a baseball field.

He was born in 1931 and was old enough to have played in the Negro Major Leagues, which he did in 1948 to 1950 for the Birmingham Black Barons, making his debut at the age of 17. Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947, the year before Mays began his career in the Negro Leagues, so the New York Giants signed Mays in 1950 to play in its minor league system. He debuted for the Giants in 1951 and became one of the first black superstars in baseball. No doubt he faced a lot of hatred because of his race, but he always appeared to be joyful. He loved playing baseball, no matter where it was played. He was known to play stickball with children on the streets outside the Polo Grounds, the New York stadium where the Giants played before moving to San Francisco.

By the year 1966, Mays passed Jimmie Foxx to take over second-place, behind Babe Ruth, in career home runs. When Mays retired with 660 home runs after the 1973, he was third, behind Ruth and Hank Aaron. Fifty-one years after retirement, he's 6th all-time in homers, 7th in runs scored, and 13th in runs batted in.

Yet despite these all-time great batting statistics, he is best known for a play he made in the outfield in the 1954 World Series, catching a long fly ball from Cleveland Indians' Vic Wertz, running at full speed with his back to the infield. He caught the ball over 420 feet from home plate and then fired it back to the infield to prevent the runner on base from scoring. Today, the play is simply known as "The Catch."

When we describe someone like Willie Mays, who is gifted in so many ways, we may call them a "natural." Their God-given talents seem to make everything look easy for them. It all comes naturally. Yet our history is littered with men and women who were immensely gifted but did not live up to their potential for a variety of reasons. To be great, one has to have the talent as well as the determination to always improve their abilities. If they try to get by on talent alone, they fall short. Talent without virtue can only get you so far.

We all have different talents. We all have different spiritual gifts, or charisms. We all have God's grace available to us at all times. Yet we cannot become a great saint with these gifts alone. We must develop them and cooperate with them. We must seek to grow closer to the Holy Trinity through prayer and the sacraments. We must seek to do God's will even when it is difficult. We must fight the temptations that tell us that we are holy enough and instead try to overcome our patterns of habitual sin. We must always be striving to live out our faith, and use the natural and supernatural gifts God gives us to do His will.

We often look at saints and think that they are "naturals" (or "supernaturals" because of the grace they received), that it was easy for them, that they didn't have to work at it or struggle. Nothing could be further from the truth. They became great saints by offering themselves to God each day, not through talent and grace alone.

Through our daily efforts and God's grace, may we become great saints as well.

Please pray for me and be assured of my prayers for you.

In Christ,

Fr. Wagner

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