Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Andrew the Apostle,

This Sunday, we will celebrate the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in the universal Church. Pope Francis declared this day to correspond to the memorial of Saints Joachim and Ann, parents of the Blessed Mother and grandparents to our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is a day of thanksgiving for those patriarchs and matriarchs of our families and our Church, the men and women who have guided and protected us in love and faithfulness. The Diocese of Arlington has prepared information about how to celebrate this day as faithful Catholics and included a message from Bishop Burbidge for the occasion. It is a day to mark the contributions of those who have passed on so much to us, both in our families and in our neighborhoods. As such, it is a fitting day to call or visit the elderly in our lives - especially those in need - and share our gratitude for them, let them know how dear they are to us, and offer any support we can for them in their old age. Our Holy Father has also attached indulgences for grandparents, the elderly, and those who minister to them that can be obtained through the normal means of sacramental confession, receiving Holy Communion, and praying for the intentions of the Holy Father for the intention of obtaining the indulgence. Please see this website for more information.
 
In our culture today, which so often emphasizes youth and strength, it is important for us to recognize the dignity of those who may be "past their prime," so to speak, yet whose experience and wisdom are so valuable to our society. May we continue to treasure those men and women who have contributed so much, and continue to contribute, to our lives and our communities. 
 
Saint Joachim and Saint Ann, intercede for our grandparents and elderly neighbors. May our heavenly Father, source of all goodness, protect them and strengthen them, and grant us the grace to be their help in support in their trials.
 
Last Friday, Pope Francis released the moto proprio "Traditionis custodes," which places limits on the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass throughout the world. More information can be found here. There is much that still needs to be discussed and decided with regards to the implementation of this instruction in our diocese, and as of now, Bishop Burbidge is permitting all places where this Mass is celebrated to continue to celebrate it. Here at St. Andrew the Apostle, this document will have no effect on our Masses, since the 10:30 AM Mass on Sunday and the 8:00 PM Mass on Wednesday are in Latin, but are of the novus ordo, or ordinary form, of the liturgy. Let us pray for the Bishops of the world that they may act in wisdom and charity in the care of the faithful as they respond to the Pope's instruction.
 
Much of the response to this moto proprio has shown that there is a deep love of this extraordinary form of the Mass, which follows the 1962 Missal. Many people who never experienced this Mass before the Second Vatican Council have come to appreciate its reverence. In the Pope's letter explaining his decision to restrict this Mass, he notes his sorrow that the ordinary form of the Mass is often celebrated poorly, not portraying the beauty, glory, and solemnity intended. While I am proud of the way in which we celebrate the Mass at St. Andrew's, this is also a time for me to reflect on how we can improve so that through the celebration of our liturgies our minds and hearts may be raised to our heavenly Father and we are made more aware of the holy sacrificial mystery into which we are joined with the angels and saints.
 
Please pray for me as I pray for you. May the Lord sanctify us that we may bring about his Kingdom here at St. Andrew's and beyond!


In Christ,
Fr. Wagner