Trail Life Mulch and Topsoil Fundraiser

Troop VA-0683 Mulch Fundraiser
Think Spring! Support Trail Life Troop VA-0683
Buy top-quality mulch and topsoil for your yard and garden!
Our Trail Life troop (Troop VA-0683) is pairing with Silverbrook Nursery and Landscaping to sell quality mulch and topsoil as its one and only fundraiser!

Just $4.50 for a 3-cubic-foot bag of double-shredded hardwood mulch.

Just $3.50 for a 1-cubic-foot bag of topsoil.

Pick up your order in the church parking lot March 13th (4–7 pm) or March 14th (8 am–noon)!

This is Troop 0683’s only fundraising activity. Your support will help our young and growing troop buy equipment, advancement and recognition badges, and instructional material.

Part of your purchase price is tax deductible!

Support tomorrow’s leaders today

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Last year we had online payment through paypal, this year we are using Faith Direct.

Click here to order now.
Thank you very mulch!

Questions? Email mulch@straymonds.org.

If you prefer not to order online – print out and mail in order by clicking here.

Volunteers Needed for March For Life Chili Dinner

MFL-POSTER-01_ResizedSupport those that March for Life: Your prayers, mass attendance, adoration time, and, yes! crock pot specialties are all needed to support those who will visibly stand for life in D.C. on Friday, January 24th. We need 25 crock pots to feed the 4 busloads of parishioners attending the event. Please sign up to drop off a labeled pot of chili, soup, or pan of mac & cheese to the parish hall before/after the 10:30 Mass or at 3:00 pm on the date of the march to help welcome home the marchers. Then join them for dinner at 4:30 and hear about their experiences witnessing for life. If you cannot stay, please pick up your crock pot by 7:00 p.m. Rolls, cookies, and fruit are also needed. Remember, you don’t have to march to support the March for Life! Kitchen helpers are needed too! Please sign up with your specialty via easy to use Signup Genius link go to https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090f4aa5ab28a7fe3-march2

or contact Sheri Burns at burnsfamily92@gmail.com to let her know how you can help.

Volunteers Needed for Christ House Dinner

IMG_20190Each Month that contains a fifth Friday, Saint Raymond’s Christ House Committee hosts a dinner. Our next one is January 31st.
Volunteers are needed. To sign up, click here.

Food Drop-off Days & Times / Parish Hall/Kitchen*:

1) Thursday, 30 January (6:20 am – 5:30 pm)
2) Friday, 31 January (6:20 am – 12 noon)

* You may call Maria at 571-259-7379 (c) if you need a time outside this range or email the Committee at ChristHouseCommittee@StRaymonds.org to arrange a separate delivery time.

If you would like to help but don’t have time for “home-made” we will accept a monetary donation at the parish office. When you give a donation, office staff will give you a receipt for your records.

We are looking for a volunteer to help transport meal items on Friday, leaving the parish at 2 pm and volunteer is NOT required to stay. Thank you for helping us serve Jesus in our brothers and sisters in Christ.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

Future 2020 Meal/Service opportunities are scheduled for:

1) May 29th
2) July 31st
3) October 30th

New Volunteers are always welcome!

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Merry Christmas! I hope that your Christmas Day was wonderful and filled with holiness and good cheer, and that you were all able to spend time with your family and friends. And as the Octave of Christmas continues, I wish you all a Blessed, Holy and Merry Christmas.

Thanks. I’d like to say “thanks” all those who worked so hard to make Advent and Christmas so special this year. In particular, Elisabeth Turco and the choir, cantors, and musicians (especially Denise Anezin) for all the beautiful music. All the volunteers, young and not so young, for their work on Breakfast with Santa, Lessons and Carols and the Senior Lunch (particularly the American Heritage Girls and Trail Life boys). The Knights of Columbus for all they did in so many ways. Nena Brennan and her family, and all the other sacristans, for all their work in preparing the sanctuary. Julie Mullen and her family and the rest of the flower committee, for decorating the church so beautifully. To the ushers who helped make everything run so smoothly, especially Patrick O’Brien. To all those who contributed so much in time and treasure to the Giving Tree. To all those who assisted in special ways at the Mass, especially the altar boys, lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. Also thanks to our custodial workers from Spring Cleaning, Luis Tapia and Dania Ochoa, for keeping the church so clean. A special thanks to the rest of our dedicated parish staff, Tom Browne, Mary Butler, Vince Drouillard, Eva Radel, Mary Salmon, Jeanne Sause, and Kirsti Tyson, who all work very hard during Advent. And finally, to my brother priests, Fr. Jordan Willard and Fr. Jerry Daly, as well as Fr. Robert Rippy, for their dedicated service to the parish. I know I’ve left out lots of groups and names; my apologies. Thank you all, and God bless you all.

New Year’s. I look forward seeing all of you on New Year’s Eve or Day, to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (a holy day of obligation). Maybe I’ll see some of you at Midnight Mass: we keep things simple at this Mass, but it’s the perfect way to bring in the New Year. May the Christ Child bless you in the New Year, and may His Blessed Mother keep you in her care. Blessed and Merry Christmas, and Holy and Happy New Year!

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles

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Pope Francis, Homily of Midnight Mass, December 2013
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
1. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1).
This prophecy of Isaiah never ceases to touch us, especially when we hear it proclaimed in the liturgy of Christmas Night. This is not simply an emotional or sentimental matter. It moves us because it states the deep reality of what we are: a people who walk, and all around us – and within us as well – there is darkness and light. In this night, as the spirit of darkness enfolds the world, there takes place anew the event which always amazes and surprises us: the people who walk see a great light. A light which makes us reflect on this mystery: the mystery of walking and seeing.
Walking. This verb makes us reflect on the course of history, that long journey, which is the history of salvation, starting with Abraham, our father in faith, whom the Lord called one day to set out, to go forth from his country towards the land which He would show him. From that time on, our identity as believers has been that of a people making its pilgrim way towards the promised land. This history has always been accompanied by the Lord! He is ever faithful to His covenant and to His promises. Because He is faithful, “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1 Jn 1:5). Yet on the part of the people there are times of both light and darkness, fidelity and infidelity, obedience, and rebellion; times of being a pilgrim people and times of being a people adrift.
In our personal history too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light; but if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us. “Whoever hates his brother – writes the Apostle John – is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 Jn 2:11). A people who walk, but as a pilgrim people who do not want to go astray.
2. On this night, like a burst of brilliant light, there rings out the proclamation of the Apostle: “God’s grace has been revealed, and it has made salvation possible for the whole human race” (Tit 2:11).
The grace which was revealed in our world is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary, true man and true God. He has entered our history; He has shared our journey. He came to free us from darkness and to grant us light. In Him was revealed the grace, the mercy, and the tender love of the Father: Jesus is Love incarnate. He is not simply a teacher of wisdom; He is not an ideal for which we strive while knowing that we are hopelessly distant from it. He is the meaning of life and history, who has pitched his tent in our midst.
3. The shepherds were the first to see this “tent”, to receive the news of Jesus’ birth. They were the first because they were among the last, the outcast. And they were the first because they were awake, keeping watch in the night, guarding their flocks. The pilgrim is bound by duty to keep watch and the shepherds did just that. Together with them, let us pause before the Child, let us pause in silence. Together with them, let us thank the Lord for having given Jesus to us, and with them let us raise from the depths of our hearts the praises of His fidelity: We bless you, Lord God most high, who lowered yourself for our sake. You are immense, and you made yourself small; you are rich, and you made yourself poor; you are all-powerful and you made yourself vulnerable.
On this night let us share the joy of the Gospel: God loves us, He so loves us that He gave us His Son to be our brother, to be light in our darkness. To us the Lord repeats: “Do not be afraid!” (Lk 2:10). As the angels said to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid!”. And I also repeat to all of you: Do not be afraid! Our Father is patient, He loves us, He gives us Jesus to guide us on the way which leads to the promised land. Jesus is the light who brightens the darkness. He is mercy: our Father always forgives us. He is our peace. Amen.

Immaculate Conception

580665_poster_lImmaculate Conception (moved to December 9th) is not a Holy Day of Obligation this year, but we do have additional Masses. Masses will be at 6:30 am, 8 am, Noon and 7 pm. Everyone is encouraged to attend Mass this day.

MODIFIED MASS SCHEDULE Nov. 25th – Nov. 29th

MODIFIED Mass Schedule

 Nov. 25th – Nov. 29th

 St. Raymond’s will be following a Modified Mass Schedule

 Monday, Nov. 25th through Friday, Nov. 29th

 Monday, Nov. 25th – 8am Mass ONLY

Tuesday, Nov. 26th – 6:30am Mass ONLY

Wednesday, Nov. 27th  – 8am Mass and 7pm Mass

Thursday, Nov. 28th – 10:00am Mass ONLY   Thanksgiving Day

 Friday, Nov. 29th – 8am Mass ONLY

Welcome Father Willard

Ordination-2017
Fr. Jordan Willard, born August 15th, 1989, in Lansing, Michigan, grew up in rural Hillsboro, Virginia as the third in a family of twelve brothers and sisters, attending the Parish of St. Francis de Sales in Purcellville. Originally an evangelical in the Episcopal Church, he and the rest of his family converted to Catholicism in December 1, 1996, and began his Catholic, and progressive discernment towards the priesthood, as an altar boy. As a young lad, he also cultivated interests in military services and joined the Civil Air Patrol Cadet program. He attended high school at the Opus Dei institute, the Heights School, in Potomac, Maryland, and graduated in the Spring of 2009.

Thereafter, captivated by his years of service at the Lord’s Altar, and for developing love for the sciences, Fr. Willard pursued interests for a military career in the NROTC program for the Marine Corps at the military school of Virginia Polytechnic Institute while studying chemical engineering. Then, renewed with desire for the call of priestly ministry, he transferred from Virginia Tech into the seminary for the Diocese of Arlington in the fall of 2010.

Fr. Willard was sent to the Pontifical College Josephinum, where he completed his undergraduate studies with a B.A. in Philosophy in the spring 2013. He continued theology studies at the Josephinum, and was ordained by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to the Diaconate, June 4th, 2016. For his diaconate year, Fr. Willard worked at St. Charles Borromeo Parish. The following year, he completed studies at the PCJ seminary with a Masters of Divinity in a class of 19 other priests.

On June 10th, 2017, Fr. Willard was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, and was first assigned as parochial vicar to St. Theresa Parish in Ashburn, Virginia. After two and a half years, November 14, 2019, he has concluded his first assignment and transferred to St. Raymond’s Parish.

Thirty First Sunday In Ordinary Time

Candidate Forum. Our Candidate Forum on October 24 was well attended, with about 125 folks. They tell me this is a lot for an event like this, much larger than most. But frankly, I was really hoping to fill the hall. I’m guessing that some folks didn’t show up when they heard that one of the candidates, incumbent Delegate Kathy Tran, would not attend. I just hope it was not a sign of a lack of interest in this election, which would be a huge mistake, since this is a very important election.
In any case, thanks to candidate Steve Adragna, who did attend and answer questions for 2 hours. And thanks to all who worked so hard to make the evening a success, especially Mychele Brickner who planned and organized everything for us, to Kathy Campbell who managed the evening, to Bob Laird who did an excellent job as master of ceremonies, and to the parish staff for once again making the boss look good.

Elections Adoration. As I said above, this is a very important election. In consideration of that, we will have 24 hours of Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, beginning at 7pm on Monday, November 4, and closing at 7pm on Tuesday, November 5, Election Day. Our prayer intention will be for the Commonwealth of Virginia and to beg the Lord Jesus for Godly elected officials.
As always, we need folks to commit to cover all these hours, especially late-night/early-morning hours. To volunteer please either call the office or go to the sign up page on our website: straymonds.org/ElectionsAdoration/.

Different Forms of Child Abuse. Most of you have heard by now, that a couple of weeks ago the pastor of St. Andrew’s parish was removed from his ministry after confessing to having sexual contact with a minor 25 years ago. It was a sad day for the diocese, especially for many of us who know that pastor well. But the Bishop did the right thing, removing him from ministry. Even though the abuse happened only one time, and so long ago, we need to take this very seriously, not only to see justice done for the past, but to strive to assure that all of our children are always protected. We must protect our children.
It’s strange, though. I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken advocate for strictly punishing priests found guilty of abusing children, as well as the bishops who cover up for those priests. But now a friend of mine has confessed. I never would have dreamt it, having always known him to be such a good man and priest. Yet he confessed it.
So, I will pray for him, and may God have mercy on him, but get him out of ministry and let justice be meted out to him as he deserves.
A hard thing. But necessary. Because we must protect our children, especially from this kind of corruption.
But as I thought about all this over the last few days, it came to me: “if that is the case, and it is, why don’t we protect our children from others in authority who seek to harm them?”
I want you to think about this with me. What greater abuse is there than killing a child? And yet, how many people have willingly voted for men and women who tell us they think it’s a good thing to kill the youngest most innocent of children —babies, before they’re born. How is that not abuse of children!?
And another example. For the last 3 or 4 years we’ve been struggling with folks who instead of helping a boy or girl get over any confusion about their gender, they promote that transgender confusion, and even to go so far as to give them drugs or to mutilate their bodies with surgery that will only change a few outward appearances, but not the fundamental biological life-long reality that boys are boys and girls are girls. And when another child objects to sharing a locker room with a transgender member of the opposite sex, they are told that there is something wrong with them. How is all this not abuse of children!?
And yet, how many Catholics have willingly voted for men and women who support the transgender agenda in our schools?
And another example. What about officials who say parents can’t be trusted to pass on moral values, even how a family should live, not to mention how society should function. And so they develop their own “family life education” that teaches the kids “family values” that run directly contrary to what their own family actually does value, like chastity and traditional morality and marriage.
Now, some may object to me comparing pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQ politicians to people who sexually abuse children. And, honestly, I hesitate to do so. But I don’t know what else to say. What is worse, the sexual abuse of a teen, or the killing of an unborn baby? Or the mutilation of a young body, or the psychological damage done to a child by a LGBTQ activist? It’s all abuse.
Now, I will give these politicians the benefit of the doubt, assuming they are confused, and genuinely think they’re doing the right thing. We cannot not judge their hearts, but we have to protect children from their actions. Because they are STILL WRONG.
And like a bishop who covers up for an abusive priest, voters are the ones who are enabling these politicians to continue their abuse. So when I say that there is almost no way a Catholic can vote for a candidate who is pro-abortion, or pro-transgender, or pro-gay marriage, I understand that these candidates might be otherwise talented people with a lot of good ideas, just like abusive priests might otherwise be very kind and well loved by their parishioners. But FIRST, WE MUST PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.
This week Virginians go to the polls to elect state and local officials, especially our own local state delegates and 4 members of the Fairfax County Public School Board. I can’t tell you the names of people to vote for. So you have to find out before you go into the booth. There are many voter guides out there. Or ask you friends. But find out.
And resolve with me today not to stay home on election day, but to vote. And to vote to protect our children from all who would abuse them.

Wedding Assistants. We are in need of women of the parish to help coordinate weddings at St. Raymond’s. This involves helping brides plan their wedding Mass and attending the rehearsal and wedding to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Please contact Pam Rinn at 703-690-4420 or prinn@verizon.net if you are interested.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles