Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Andrew the Apostle,
As the temperature cools, we look forward to the beauty of the autumn season. Our school year has started, and religious education will be starting soon. Our numbers are down drastically for religious education students, so if you have yet to contact the parish to register, please do soon. Our Lord tells us that we are called to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, so we know the importance of learning about the truths that he has revealed holds a primary place in our lives, no matter our age. This is especially important when we are young so that we have a strong foundation to draw from as we grow more in love with God and the tremendous gifts He has granted us through Divine Revelation and the Church.
This weekend our parish youth groups will also be meeting for the first time since the coronavirus led to the cancellation of our spring and summer events. Our Director of Youth Ministry, Bethany Rogers, has been busy at work planning events that will allow for social distancing and sanitized conditions. I encourage all of the youth of the parish to join her for her kickoff meetings - Friday at 6:30 PM for our middle school youth and Saturday at 6:30 PM for our high school youth. Fr. Bresnahan has been planning with Bethany, and I thank the two of them for helping to guide our youth in the faith while also building up strong Christian friendships to strengthen the youth and the parish. The fruits of their work promise to be enjoyable and enriching!
Fr. Bresnahan will also be participating in the Divine Mercy Virtual Harvest Soiree. Divine Mercy Care supports pregnant women in need at the Tepeyac OB/GYN in Fairfax. It is a worthy, pro-life effort that deserves our full support. The Soiree is usually a fundraising gala, but this year the restrictions of the coronavirus response have led to its being online only. Fr. Bresnahan will be sharing personal stories from his own life that taught him valuable lessons about the dignity of human life. Please register for the event, which begins this weekend. Registration and more information are found here (https://www.divinemercycare.org/).
We are closing in on the dedication of the organ here at St. Andrew's at the special 5:00 PM Mass on Sunday, September 27. Since we have not had a Sunday evening Mass here in the past, there have been some calls to the office asking if this Mass counts as our Sunday obligation. Yes, it certainly does. It will be a glorious event, so I encourage all to attend!
There are two more opportunities to participate in events to learn more information about the organ coming up in October. The first is a dinner on Saturday, October 3, which will be held at 7:00 PM and hosted by generous parishioners. Please contact Mike Hadro (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mike Murphy (MMurphy@cypressintl.com). The following day, Sunday, October 4, there will be a celebration at Paradise Springs Winery from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Again, please contact Mike Murphy and Mike Hadro for more details.
Thank you again for those of you who have been faithful in giving to the parish during this time. Since the time that public Masses were suspended in March, our collection has been down over $90,000 from last year at the same time. This has led to our struggling to make ends meet. I know that many of you are struggling financially as well, and I join my prayers to you. For those who are able, I ask that you continue to support St. Andrew's church and school through leaving your donation in the receptacle on Sunday, by using Faith Direct (https://membership.faithdirect.net/VA310), by mailing your donation to the parish office, or by dropping it in the parish office. For those who use Amazon to purchase items, please add St. Andrew's through their Amazon Smile program by following this link (https://smile.amazon.com/ch/54-1511706). The parish will receive a donation for all of the purchases made from Amazon through this service.
Be assured of my prayers for all of you as we continue to build up the Kingdom of God through our ministry here at St. Andrew the Apostle. While it is a difficult time for all of us, we know that in God's providence he has a plan to lead us to greater holiness and to bring about great things through the struggle.