Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Andrew the Apostle,
Welcome to a special Thursday edition of the weekly newsletter! I'm sending it out early because on Tuesday, the Bishops of the United States asked that the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima, which is tomorrow, be a day of fasting and prayer for the following intentions:
- For our nation, for the integrity of our judicial system, and that all branches of government be dedicated to seeking the common good and protecting the dignity and rights of the human person, from conception to natural death.
- For the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the Supreme Court’s final decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.
- For the conversion of the hearts and minds of those who advocate for abortion.
- For a new commitment to building an America where children are welcomed, cherished, and cared for; where mothers and fathers are encouraged and strengthened; and where marriage and the family are recognized and supported as the true foundations of a healthy and flourishing society.
- For Our Blessed Mother’s intercession and guidance as the Church continues to walk with mothers and families in need, continues to promote alternatives to abortion, and seeks to create a culture of life.
In anticipation of the Dobbs v. Jackson Supreme Court decision, Bishop Burbidge has given the following statement
confirming the consistent Catholic position to respect and protect the unborn. Too many have fallen to the lie that abortion is healthcare or an acceptable choice for a mother or both parents of a child. This position is even held by Catholics, including our current president, even though it is directly opposed to what we believe about the dignity inherent to all human life
, always created in God's image. While we must recognize and address the difficulties that come with problem pregnancies and work to help those mothers and children in need, we cannot allow innocent children to be killed simply because they are not wanted. We pray for this tragedy and this way of thinking to end with the conversion of hearts to the truth.
Since the draft of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision was leaked, there have been some protesting and vandalism
from pro-abortion activists throughout the country. On Mother's Day, threats were made by several small pro-abortion activist groups to protest and disrupt Masses
. I thank the Fairfax County Police for their presence at our parish and other local churches. To my knowledge, nothing was reported by any of the parishes in the Diocese.
Our ushers are also aware that in the possibility of a person or group entering the parish grounds to disrupt our worship, they are to be asked to leave, and if they refuse, the police will be called. This is not the time for violence on our part. If a Mass is interrupted, we will simply stop, pray the rosary, and wait for the disturbance to be dealt with before continuing the Mass again. I do not expect this to happen, especially after Virginia's Attorney General Jason Miyares' statement
to protect the religious freedom of all whose worship is threatened by an outside source. However, I pray that if there is an incident, we will respond with peace, calm, and charity, and not try to match the anger, hatred, and disrespect of those who would interfere with our worship.
So tomorrow let us fast and pray, and in the days to come, let us continue to pray and work for the protection of the unborn, for justice for all in our nation, and for peace among those who vehemently disagree. The Lord is always at work in our time, even when it does not happen in the way or with the timing that we would prefer. May we always cling to Him and give thanks for all He has given us, especially the greatest gift: our life.
Know of my prayers for you, Please pray for me and Fr. Smith.