January 30 E-Notes

01-30-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry

Correction to Jan 27 E-Note
Super Bowl Testimony
Mass on Thu, Feb 2 for Blessing of Throats


What is the relationship of apologetics to dogma – what do those terms mean, too?

01-29-2017Catholic Church Q and A

This series is a response to the many questions we have on our Catholic faith. In this Winter, I have worked with a parish member who has had some difficulty answering (to non-Catholic Christian Evangelicals) the simple question of “Am I Saved?” I helped him to write the answer to that. It will be in one of my pastor’s blogs, and the parish member is putting it in his own. Here continues our weekly column.


The Gift of Grace

01-29-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

Each week in this Year of Grace we will put a Bible quote in for you to be reminded of this wonder of our faith. There are many times in the Bible when Grace is mentioned. We have plenty to choose from for this whole year up to November’s end.


Reflection on the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time


“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” Here in a nutshell, is the Christian belief about the afterlife. We trust that heaven is open to believers who accept the gift of salvation and follow the way of the Lord, even (or especially) when that way is difficult!


January 27 E-Notes

01-27-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry

Looking Ahead
February Clergy Schedule
and much more!


The Annual Right to Life March and Rally

01-22-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

This is the week of the Annual Right to Life March and Rally. Last year it was the day of an icy blizzard which began to turn for the worse as the Rally-March was gathering. At the Verizon Center, where I heard confession from 7 to 9 am, in the Acela Club, I still had about 40 penitents, as did all the many other clergy. The Rally Mass still had 15,000 to 20,000 youth attend it, even with the weather keeping must local school students and other distant travelers away. Outside on the Washington Mall, over 200,000 persons still braved the cold temperatures for the Rally and the March to the Supreme Court.


Where does the term “Mass” come from?

01-22-2017Catholic Church Q and A

“Mass” is derived from the way the Mass was ended in Latin, with the words "eta, missal est." The Mass is a sending out from a Celebration Encounter of Christ Jesus. We celebrate Christ Jesus, as gathered into Him in the Sacred Liturgy, and then we go out to the world sent forth by Jesus. Holy Mass was begun by Jesus at the Last Supper, as He gathered His followers close into Himself, saying: "This is My Body... This is My Blood, of a New Covenant. Do this in memory of Me." In this Sacred Liturgy, we gather into Christ Jesus-- so to be touched by His Grace to live anew in the world.


Reflection on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time


"He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed Him." The apostles James and John along with Simon and Andrew were going about their usual business--fishing on the Sea of Galilee--when Jesus approached them and said, "Come after Me." And that's just what they did. "At once they left their nets and followed Him." Such a quick response to such a radical request!


As we leave Christmas time, I hear that the Baptism of Our Lord is another “Epiphany” of Jesus – how is that so?

01-15-2017Catholic Church Q and A

Frequently on the Church calendar, we follow the Epiphany (Magi visiting the Infant Lord) with the Baptism of the adult Jesus. Yes, both are manifestation stories. The one last week was of the Savior being shown to the nations, as foreigners are drawn to visit a new born king. The Star Child is born. In this week’s gospel of John 1, we move to Jesus’ adulthood and His official starting of His ministry of revelation as being God’s Son sent among us.


Reflection on the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time


"Now I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God." John the Baptist had an important message to impart. He was called by God to prepare the people of Israel to recognize Jesus' true identity. In a sense, he helped establish credibility for Christ by confirming that He was in fact the Messiah. Jesus didn't just have to claim it on His own; John also "testified" to the fact. We, of course, also benefit from the witness of John the Baptist recorded for us in the Gospels. And we have additional witnesses from the rest of the people throughout the Gospels who knew and recognized Jesus as the Son of God. But we also have the benefit of two thousand years of Church history! We have countless testimonies of saints and believers throughout the centuries who have known Jesus in their own lives and acted accordingly.


Baptism As Our Sign in Him

01-15-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

We have had 47 baptisms of children here in 2016. I try to be welcoming of parents who call us, and to give them a good baptism liturgy (from me or Deacon Barnes). Still, we don’t see the majority of these families stick with us (if so the crying room would need expansion!) and it can disappoint me, since there are promises made in the Sacrament by parents.


January 12 E-Notes

01-12-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry

Fr. Hill will do confessions and Mass this Saturday evening. Fr. Barry will take his slot on Saturday, January 28th.

There will be a Mass this evening, Thursday, at 7:30pm.

Reflection on the Feast of the Epiphany


"And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was." In our day and age, the star of Christmas has become a kind of decorative symbol that adorns manger scenes and Christmas trees. It suggests something good and bright and holy, a visual indicator that the "Light of the world" has appeared. But today, on the feast of the Epiphany, we recall that originally, this star was not just a pretty symbolic ornament. This star was a sign from God that intervened in the operations of the physical universe. The Magi understood that this star was sent from God to indicate where His Son would be born.


It’s Little Christmas with us Roman Catholics

01-08-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

It’s Little Christmas with us Roman Catholics. It’s Big Christmas for the Orthodox, and Church believers of the East side of the world. In the East, Christmas traditions started earlier t6han the West (a lot due to persecution in the West). Yet the celebration focused on the revelation to the Gentiles, which culminated in the Magi’s visit. In this original Epiphany to them, Jesus came to be received as Lord of the Nations.


What does Epiphany mean? How is today’s feast also connected to Christ’ Glorious Mission – as I heard there is that meaning in Scripture?

01-08-2017Catholic Church Q and A

Jesus will be manifested to all the nations. This is Epiphany. In 20 centuries, we have reached many places with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in making Him known. Eventually, the Lord will make Himself known by all peoples of times and places, as He appears gloriously. While the book of Revelation has many references to this, or prophetic verses in Micah, for example – let us just peek at Isaiah 49 in this response today.


January 3 E-Notes

01-03-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry

Updated Clergy Schedule for January


How great is our God? How small is our vision still of Him?

01-01-2017Catholic Church Q and A

Through Advent and Christmas we are treated to many verses from Isaiah. Here is one of the transitional verses in Isaiah going from the prophetic first picture of the First Coming onto the Glorious Arrival and later Fulfillment to come in the Christ figure. It says: I AM the HOLY ONE. Don’t underestimate ME!


Reflection on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God


"And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart." Supernatural communication was nothing new for Mary. The angel Gabriel had already appeared and spoken to her when she agreed to bear God's Son. Her husband Joseph also had a kind of divine intervention in the dream where the angel told him to go ahead and marry her. When she was first pregnant, her cousin Elizabeth had been led by the Holy Spirit to know the secret that Mary was "the mother of my Lord" (Lk 1:43). Now, Jesus has just been born and a crew of earthy shepherds appears at her door with a message from heaven: that the Savior has been born. And Mary believed them. She did not doubt their sincerity or the authenticity of their message. She took the words to heart, and meditated upon the meaning of it all.


Happy 2017!

01-01-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

Happy 2-0-1-7. Looking at the year ahead, we see a late Lent, starting March 1st, Ash Wednesday. Easter is April 16th, and Pentecost is June 4. The Transfiguration falls on a Sunday, August 8th. Mary’s Assumption is Tuesday, August 15th. All Saint’s Day is a Wednesday, November 1st. Daylight Savings pushes back to November 5th. Next Advent gets a real short 4th week as Christmas falls on a Monday, December 25th and the 4th Sunday of Advent is December 24th – so it will be an interesting schedule. New Year’s 2018 is a Monday.

Fr. Barry