Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

Last week I included the link to the Virginia Catholic Conference Action Center. I strongly encourage our parishioners and all Catholics in Virginia to subscribe to this site, which will send email alerts about the issues of the grave moral value in our state. This week was the first week of the Virginia General Assembly, and already three bills have been filed to expand abortion coverage in Virginia .
We must contact our representatives to let them know that we do not want more abortions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Instead, we want to put an end to this crime against innocent children in the womb. We also want to establish and promote ways to support parents who are facing a difficult pregnancy in which they would dare to contemplate such a tragic choice. 

Last evening, it was announced that the annual March for Life has been changed to a virtual event. While this has always been a peaceful protest through the streets of Washington, with the uptick in coronavirus cases and the violence and rancor that have marred protests in our country in the past year, most recently at the Capitol last week, the leaders have chosen not to organize a public gathering. I encourage everyone to support the virtual March for Life. More information can be found here

The United States Conference for Bishops is promoting a novena for life called "9 Days for Life." It runs from Thursday, January 21 until Friday, January 29, the day of the March for Life. I ask that you please join me in praying this novena together as a parish. More information may be found here.

While we will not gather in Washington for the March, we will have the opportunity to gather in prayer around our Eucharistic Lord for the intention of protecting the unborn. On Friday, January 22, we will have a Holy Hour for Life at 7:30 PM here at St. Andrew the Apostle. January 22 is the anniversary of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion in the United States. It is also the day set apart by our Bishops as the National Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. Therefore, on the anniversary of this infamous decision, we should come together to pray before our Lord for the end of abortion in the United States and around the world. 

We are allowed to exceed groups of 10 for prayer services, but I ask that everyone be mindful of others by wearing a mask and remain socially distant at the Holy Hour, and at all parish events. I understand and respect that there are many reasons that people disagree with this requirement. There are some for whom wearing a mask is not an option. For those for whom it is, I ask that we consider the consequences of our actions. I continue to receive comments, letters, and emails from parishioners deterred from attending Mass because of those ignoring the requirement, and I understand and respect their reasons as well, and I ask that they give the same respectful consideration for the reasons of those who may not be wearing masks. We should all strive for respecting and understanding those with viewpoints in opposition to ours. To act otherwise only leads to division and anger, and we already have enough of that in the world.

Know of my prayers, and of my need for your prayers! Let us pray for each other as well.

In Christ,
Fr. Wagner