Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Andrew the Apostle,

On Sunday, I will be attending the Rite of Election with some of the catechumens who will be entering the Church at St. Andrew the Apostle this Easter. Bishop Burbidge will be leading the rite and I will be accompanied by our Director of Religious Education, Patty Laing. Please pray for our catechumens and all who will come into the Catholic faith this year. We are anxious to welcome them fully into the Church!

Also this Sunday, we will begin our Parish Lenten Mission. It will take place over four evenings, beginning with Exposition of the Holy Eucharist at 7:00 PM, followed by the rosary, a reflection by Fr. Bresnahan or me, and a Litany of St. Joseph. Then, at 8:00 PM, Confession will be available. We will have Benediction and reposition of the Eucharist ending at 9:00 PM. The topics of the reflections of the mission are all related to Lent: Repentance, Fasting, Prayer, and Almsgiving. Please join us in these evenings to strengthen yourself and our parish through prayer before our Lord. It will truly be a blessing. 

Today, Bishop Burbidge published an FAQ about the COVID vaccines. I referenced previously the USCCB statement on the morality of receiving the vaccine and the CDF document under Pope Benedict XVI that also addressed the issue of vaccines that were created using morally compromised material. As you may know, each of the COVID19 vaccines available has had some connection with fetal tissue obtained from an aborted child. This document speaks to the moral implications of the vaccine in a likely clearer manner than I did in a previous newsletter. I encourage you to read it. 

Included in this FAQ is a link to send a letter of opposition to the companies producing these vaccines. The letter itself does not include the contact information for the companies. They can be found at the bottom of this link. I encourage all of us to write to these companies to demand that they no longer use cell lines begun with tissue from aborted children and use other means and resources to develop their medicines. 

If you happen to be looking for an even more lengthy and detailed FAQ, read this one from the Pillar Catholic website.

I have been including the link to the Virginia Catholic Conference's Action Center at the bottom of my newsletters so that you can stay alert regarding the issues that our representatives are voting for that directly affect our Catholic faith. Usually, these issues pertain to our commonwealth, but this past week they covered two national issues: the Equality Act, which would "discriminate against people of faith, punish faith-based organizations and even risk mandating taxpayers to fund abortions;" and the latest COVID relief bill, which includes language that does not protect billions of taxpayer dollars from being used to support abortions. More information about the danger of the Equality Act can be found in this letter from the chairmen of the USCCB committees on Religious Liberty, ProLife, Marriage, Catholic Education, and Domestic Justice. Please join me in contacting your representatives to object to these dangerous bills. 

We want our voice to be heard, the voice that echos the truth of God about the dignity of human life, sexuality, and the natural and distinct gifts our Maker bestows upon us being created as men and women. May we always defend our faith and God's truth, all the while trusting in his divine providence that he leads and guides all things towards our salvation. Let us have peace amidst the stormy seas, knowing that Our Lord is resting near us, with all things under his command. 

Be assured of my prayers for you and your families. May the Lord bless us all this Lenten season, and draw us closer to himself. 

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Wagner