Reflection on the Third Sunday of Easter


"Jesus Himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him." The disciples on the road to Emmaus had already heard reports about Jesus' resurrection. It was at the forefront of their minds, but in spite of this, they did not recognize Jesus when He stood right before them.

Why not? Perhaps because they weren't looking for Him. Maybe they didn't really believe that He was alive. Or it could be that His appearance was not the same as it had been before. Whatever the case, it's very interesting to learn that it was actually while celebrating the Eucharist that these men finally realized who was right there with them! "He was made known to them in the breaking of bread."


The Third Week of Easter

04-30-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

The third week of Easter brings us to the time of Confirmations and Holy Communions for our youth and children. We are glad for our teens and boys and girls who have prepared for this joyous time, in a Sacrament of Initiation. I have seen many of the Confirmands back to their time of First Eucharist, and I have seen many of the First Communicants back to the time of their Baptism. It is nice to be there for the next stage on their journey.

We welcome Bishop Higgins to our parish Monday night for the Confirmation. He visits us from the Archdiocese of the Military, whose headquarters are in D.C., right between where the Franciscan Monastery and Basilica Shrine of Mary is located. He will confer the Confirmation, and I and Deacon Barnes will be in the sanctuary, too. While we have some saved seating at the Confirmation Mass on Monday night (7 p.m.), there is room for many more to attend and enjoy this Mass. You are welcome to come. The same goes for the First Holy Communion Mass. It will be prayed at 11 a.m. on Saturday.


We are celebrating in Grace and in Faith

04-23-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

Our Easter season continues. We are in its Second Week. We are celebrating in Grace and in Faith.

Could you imagine how the original one was like back in Galilee? You and more than 500 believers would have seen The Risen Lord! You would have been a disciple of His in the pre-Cross ministry times, and now you would have seen the realization of your hope! To have seen the Resurrected Jesus must have been a remarkable experience! To see and touch Him…and to converse with Him…and to be taught more by Him… and to have a meal with Him… and to witness His victorious state! It had to be so startling and so real! Yet, I’d like you to appreciate the New Covenant Easter time you and I are in.


April 18 E-Notes

04-18-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry

A reminder about our parish social. It is coming up this Saturday evening at 6:30pm over at the K of C Boswell Hall on Rt. 3 north, 1 mile north of Rt. 50. We need all guests to RSVP, as we have to order the food. It is $5 for those over 12 years old, and $20 max for a family. It is simply a time out for a little socializing between member of the parish and friends. At this Easter Monday count, the number was a bit low, as our promo of the event in the past two weeks had to give way to the big Palm Sunday and Holy Week and Easter Sunday celebrations. Yet we have told about this event from months ago, even giving out a magnet reminder, as we’d like to have the social be a success.

If you wanted to go, then give the office a call at 301-249-9199.

Happy Easter!

04-16-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

Happy Easter! I’ll try to write a real solid message here for you. “Why do you seek the living one among the dead?” ((Lk. 24:5). That is the question the angel asks the women at the tomb on Easter morning in St. Luke’s account of the Resurrection. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th century Cistercian saint and Doctor of the Church, paraphrased it this way: “Why do you seek the living Word among dead words…?” Let’s let St. Bernard’s version move us. 


Have a Blessed Holy Week

04-09-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

I will keep this message to one paragraph as I have written much elsewhere, in the insert, and in the Q and A of the Spirituality Page. I hope for you a blessed Holy Week. We have done the preparing on our part as your staff and liturgy volunteers, now I hope a good number of worshippers come to our liturgies. A reminder for Saturday Mass goers – remember that the vigil is 8:00pm next weekend.

Try to make it this week to Holy Thursday Mass. It may be hard on some (elderly, big families with tiny tots, people who work late) but I think the church should be nearly full every Holy Thursday night Mass with many others. The Holy Triduum (Thursday through Easter
start) is very Holy! Amen. Families with children over 7—these liturgies are blessed family times.

Fr. Barry

P.S. Take note—buy your Spring Dinner tickets now. It is happening on the Saturday night after Easter.

Reflection on the Palm Sunday Passion of the Lord


The Passion Sunday Gospel today, as well as the Good Friday one are proclaimed as dramatic ones – with people’s parts and all. It reminds us just how real and dramatic the events we proclaim are! The Lord’s Supper Mass ends in a bit of drama, too, as we journey from church to an altar of reposition, recalling the Garden of Gethsemane event after the 1st Mass. Today’s procession of palms from outside and into church weather permitting) is dramatic, as we re-enact the procession of people going up with Jesus to Jerusalem.

“What is the Passover Lamb? How is Jesus our Passover Lamb?”

04-09-2017Catholic Church Q and A

First, it was the memorial of the Exodus, Second, in Jesus, it is Him as Sacrifice, Eucharist, Salvation for us. The Passover lamb was the animal God directed the Israelites to use as a sacrifice in Egypt on the night God struck down the firstborn sons of every household (Exodus 12:29). This was the final plague God issued against Pharaoh, and it led to Pharaoh releasing the Israelites from slavery (Exodus 11:1). After that fateful night, God instructed the Israelites to observe the Passover Feast as a lasting memorial (Exodus 12:14).


April 6 E-Notes

04-06-2017E-NotesFr. John Barry
  • Palm Sunday Weekend Procession
  • Information for Fr. Kehoe's Funeral

In the Old Testament, it refers to Saturday as being the Sabbath, and in the New Testament Gospels it shows Jesus and His disciples observing the Sabbath, although they change it in some ways (i.e. Jesus ‘works’ miracles on it). Yet, as the Church is begun, at Pentecost, they go to Sundays as the day of rest or “Sabbath.” Why so? Is Saturday not the holy day anymore?

04-02-2017Catholic Church Q and A

Part 3 of 3 answers

The early Church did not move the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. Instead “The Sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced or, maybe better said, renewed by Sunday. The Sunday Lord’s Day recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ” (CCC 2190). Sunday is the day Catholics are bound to keep, with vigil included.


Reflection on the Fifth Sunday of Lent


"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, will live." Today's Gospel shares the story of a dead man who came to life again by the power of Jesus. Lazarus, who had been lying lifeless in a tomb for four days, "came out" of the tomb, burial cloths draped around his body, in a moment that must have been absolutely astonishing! This miracle could not have been explained by anything other than divine power over life and death. It would signal the Great Event about to unfold in Jesus’ power over death— at the First Easter.


Holy Hour

04-02-2017Pastor's MessageFr. John Barry

Come to a Holy Hour this Monday night if you need confession, then there will be 3 priests there. A Christian’s need for Reconciliation with God is emphasized in Scripture.

In John’s writings, he implores churches in Asia Minor to repentance (Rev. 1-4), as they were not living up to their call in Christ. He tells people that an if/then relationship exists with the believer to God, saying: “If you confess your sins, then God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1st John).” This implies that Christians sin and need restoration. Somehow, some people today think that repentance is a big, one-time thing only, or that our baptism covers everything – yet that is the beginning of Mercy, to end our separation with God – so to put us in the new life. The new life is Grace, as John (again) says, “Little children, do not sin.” This implies we have the life within us in the Spirit to resist sin, yet if we fall to sin, John’s epistle adds….”but if we do sin, we have an Advocate able to cleanse us.” Jesus instituted the Confession Sacrament for good reason for us. Use it.

Fr. Barry