In the Christmas carol (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen), it sings of comfort and joy tidings. Where is comfort and joy in the Bible about Jesus?

12-25-2016Catholic Church Q and A

I think of the great songs of Messiah, like from Handel, who took the words of Isaiah 40 and its comfort and joy prophecy. Take a look: ‘Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for her sins.’


Merry Christmas to All!

12-25-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

We have five celebrations for Christmas Mass today and the vigil. While it may result in the church not being full for most Masses, we did five for your convenience and its variety of Masses. The children’s 4 p.m. will be quite different from our choir 10 p.m. Mass or our 10 a.m. Sunday Christmas Mass. We have fans of the Vigil Masses and fans, rather, of being in church on the actual Christmas day. The teen choir have the 6:30 Mass and I love worshiping to them, remembering the time I first started singing in public with the Tasker Middle School chorus with Mrs. Clarke and traveling around P. G. County and D.C. doing Christmas programs, with such numbers as “The First Noel” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” So I will think of that as I enjoy our youth doing such songs as Night of Silence/Silent Night. Some like the 7:30am Mass on December 25th to start the day in church.


Reflection on the Nativity of the Lord


"And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God." Even the company of angels rejoiced on Christmas Day. The magnificence of the Nativity reverberated in heaven itself with the beautiful hymn we call the Gloria. There in the midst of perfect, celestial bliss, the heavenly host paused to praise God for the birth of His Son. Mary and Joseph and the shepherds surely had cause to rejoice as they beheld the newborn face of their God and their Savior.


December 22 E-Notes

12-22-2016E-NotesFr. John Barry

Complimentary Calendars are in
Funeral on Thursday; other notices
Christmas, New Year’s & Epiphany Sundays / The Octave
In Case of Snow/Ice
News at this end of Advent/ First Notice of Lenten Mission
Clergy Schedule up to Jan 15
Pastor’s Christmas Letter


Reflection on the Fourth Sunday of Advent


"She will bear a Son and you are to name Him Jesus." Joseph heard these prophetic words in a dream. They were words of anticipation, of what was to come. And in a sense, they ushered in a kind of Advent for Joseph. With this divine message, Joseph began a period of holy waiting. He now knew that the Messiah was going to be coming into his own home, and he had just nine months to prepare! We can only imagine how Joseph might have spent these precious days. Most likely he did more than prepare a physical home for his soon-to-be-born Son; he must have also used these days to prepare his heart, mind, and soul for such a tremendous mission.


Isaiah gets mentioned a lot in Advent. Does it really point so much to Jesus’ coming?

12-18-2016Catholic Church Q and A

I think the answer is told best to that question by looking at Isaiah chapter 40. It’s theme is “Behold, Here is your God!” The prophetic book of Isaiah contains so many prophecies of Jesus that He fulfilled, that Matthew’s Gospel follows them as he pens his inspired work. (perhaps 66 references). Some glorious prophecies of the Christ yet await to be fulfilled that are in Isaiah, too.


Twas the Night Before Christmas

12-18-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

I read a self-written version of Twas the Night Before Christmas at my 9:30am and 11:30am Sunday Masses today. It is also posted on my Pastor’s Blog at the parish website. (You’ll like this Catholic version)


Where in the Bible does it say that there are two Advents? I heard something about it mentioned, but I am confused.

12-11-2016Catholic Church Q and A

As one studies the book of Isaiah, one realized that it tells of a suffering Messiah AND of a glorious Messiah. He is one and the same Person. Yet He comes in meekness and then in power, like a Lamb and then as a Lion. Isaiah chapters 7 and 53 would describe the first Coming, as the God/man. Isaiah chapter 25 rather speaks of a fulfillment coming from the effect of the Lord’s ministry on earth already to us. Isaiah 66 speaks of the might of His second coming. Some chapters in the same prophetic book tell of both Advents in the same breath. Isaiah 60 is such an example.


Reflection on the Third Sunday of Advent


"The blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised." Jesus has quite a résumé. When asked whether or not He is the long awaited Messiah, Jesus replies with this list of His credentials as proof of His position. These signs and wonders speak volumes, to be sure. But perhaps the most interesting line on the list is His concluding one, "the poor have the good news proclaimed to them." Why does He count this among His litany of miracles? What is so remarkable about sharing good news?


Advent Brings Times for Confession

12-11-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

Advent brings times for confession. We have tried an Advent Penance service for several times here without support, so we refer you to our Saturday times, or to take note of our four area Advent Penance services with clergy available. (That info is in this bulletin.) I do pray you are going somewhere for the Sacrament. As for the youth in our Religious Education or Catholic School, they are having the Sacrament offered to them by me, Fr. Hill or the school clergy. We usually take care of that.


I don’t get the notion of mortal vs. venial sin. Isn’t all sin equal in offense to God?

12-04-2016Catholic Church Q and A

If you look to the reflection on the left, then you’ll see how John the Baptist has some serious words for the Pharisees and Sadducees, for he sees their sins as seriously grave and mortal. He is concerned that those sinners may be separated from God forever, and cut down and thrown to the fire. Yes—sin can be mortal.


“Nippy, isn’t it?!

12-04-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

While we get a surprisingly mild day here and there in December, we have those chilly, frosted ones too. (See photo.) A term used of the usual weather for December is that “it’s getting nippy.” That’s a funny or silly little phrase, but it gets the idea across. I looked up the definition of nippy and it is used positively of the weather, as “pleasantly cold and invigorating.” I was in the outdoors in the cold for a few times recently, but I bundled up for it enough, and was able to enjoy it.


Reflection on the Second Sunday of Advent


"Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance." John the Baptist does not mince words. He tells it like it is. When the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees show up piously for baptism, John calls them out, saying, "You brood of vipers!" He tells them that being part of the religious club (i.e., children of Abraham) isn't enough. No, "every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." John knows that their hatred and hypocrisy needs their full address of repentance. Then Baptism might be in order for them.


November 30 E-Notes

11-30-2016E-NotesFr. John Barry

Friday concert
Giving tree
Immaculate Mary Holy Day
Advent theme/website plug
December clergy schedule


We Give Thanks to God for All That We Have

11-27-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

We give thanks to God for all that we have. In Bowie, our provisions are much better than in towns in Haiti. I was comparing my situation as a priest with you to the one of Missionhurst Fr. Bavon Marie Mubakanda of Guerbobee. This Haitian town in the mountains of the Nord-East province is home to St. Anne Bois-de-Laurence parish. The people there live in the harsh realities of extreme poverty. Farming for $1 a day, six days a week is the job of his parishioners. His is an isolated place, with little in electricity, water, is what falls from the sky and is collected in streams (if others sources don’t come in supply), so drinking and bathing and cooking with it is in moderation. Fuel for cooking is charcoal.


Reflection on the First Sunday of Advent


"Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come." Jesus doesn't tell us when He will come again; but He does tell us all we need to know. First, He leaves no doubt in our minds that He will in fact return- -this isn't a question we have to debate. And secondly, He tells us what we need to do to be ready: stay awake! As long as we don't doze off while we're waiting, everything will be all right.


Some non-Catholic told me that the first printed Bible was the King James Bible. It that true?

11-20-2016Catholic Church Q and A

No. Even Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, was Catholic and the fact is that the first book ever printed was the Catholic Bible. So, the first paper-printed Bible was Catholic, though Protestants want to falsely claim it was the King James. The King James was a rebellion bible, written to be different than the Catholic one. It was different enough from Catholic Bibles, in that 7 Old Testament books were missing from the traditional list of 73 Bible books. Those missing books remain out up to today for non-Catholic Bibles. The translation of words or verses in Scripture is also flawed in those Bibles.


Sometimes the Way of the Lord is for Us to Initiate Dialoge

11-20-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

The Church worldwide looked for ways to reach a hand out in peace and reconciliation in this Year of Mercy. Just this month, Pope Francis kept up his Jubilee practice (for the Church) with meetings with Lutherans to find a path of more conciliatory practices with Catholics and vice versa. It went very well. The Pope also met with some Pentecostal leaders, initiating a hope that any offenses to Pentecostals (by Catholics) may be forgiven in Jesus’ Mercy. That also went very well.


Why doesn’t the Catholic Church read Daniel and Revelation prophesies of The Bible as to mean that now is the End Time of the world?

11-20-2016Catholic Church Q and A

In Matthew 24:36 Jesus Himself said how He knew not the day nor hour (of The End), nor did any angels but how only the Father in Heaven knows it. Jesus asked us not to speculate on The End, either. He rather asked people to act ready all the time, by simply living the gospel. Matthew the Evangelist then follows that up by writing chapter 25 which is all about what people should be doing with the lives on an everyday basis, so to be found ready on any given day for the Lord’s coming.


November 16 E-Notes

11-16-2016E-NotesFr. John Barry

Thanksgiving Mass and 36 meals effort for helping families
Advent Concert
Advent-Christmas Calendar
National Holy Day--Dec.8 (& Consecration to Mary)
Quick News/Reminders
November Clergy Calendar re-posted


Isn’t it true that the Catholic Church has always been much into health care and medicine?

11-13-2016Catholic Church Q and A

It is true. Our Lord’s teaching was to care for the sick and needy. Many Catholics have responded professionally and in a vocation.


Reflection on the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


"You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of My name." This is not a pleasant prophecy. On the contrary, Jesus' somber words may strike us with a bit of fear and make us wonder if we will ever actually face such a tragic scenario. We are fortunate to live in a country where religious freedom is tolerated, and of course we hope that this continues to be the case. But the sad fact is that right now, there are Christians in other parts of the world who are living out the reality of these prophetic words. For these men, women, and children of faith, the name of Jesus truly is a cause of persecution and martyrdom.


The Jubilee Isn't Over

11-13-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

As the Church year closes this week, I sincerely hope that this Jubilee of Mercy of the past year, announced by Pope Francis, had some personal impact on your lives. I hope an opportunity came for you, once or more times, for an exchange of mercy, either in the giving or receiving, of those estranged or broken off with you. Or that you had a general sense of mercy for others in peace and reconciliation in Jesus’ Heart (and/or opened yourself to others reconciling with you). Or that you gave deeper reflections on the Church’s message on Mercy, either given here in our special speakers on Mercy, our video series, or from a homily or blog on it that I gave over the year. I appreciated the return to the Sacrament of Reconciliation of some persons.


Who can do an emergency baptism for someone?

11-06-2016Catholic Church Q and A

Any Catholic may perform an emergency baptism, such as if a person is in grave danger of death and requests emergency baptism.


My Checklist

11-06-2016Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

√ I made it through last week with the 18 Masses to do (from last Saturday to today). There are times like this when I am grateful for my health and energy to do what I need to do.

√ We have coming upon us the leaf change of colors, some brisk breezes, and darker evenings (sunsets are early), and the season of Fall. We happily have pumpkin pie, apple cider, rockfish, and turkey in this month. We have sweaters, boots, hats and caps, and heavier clothing come out of the closet. We head to a Thanksgiving Day.


Reflection on the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time


"Those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage."