Pastor’s Letter | Fifth Sunday of Lent

Posted on March 15, 2024 View all Pastor's Letter

Dear Parishioners,

We are celebrating the Fifth Sunday of Lent, the Sunday before the start of Holy Week; I am sure our hearts are more than prepared to celebrate the Easter holidays. We have been preparing during all these weeks with sacrifice, prayer, and penance, and we must continue to do so with a spirit of recollection this last week. Lent is always a particular time to reconnect with God and ourselves, and although we are just a few days away from this spiritual journey ending, it is never too late to reconnect with the grace of His love. Remember to make a good confession, preparing it with great dedication and much faith. A good confession always brings peace to the soul.

Please put the times of the Holy Week activities on your calendars; in the bulletin, you will find a detailed calendar with the schedules of our Holy Week activities, but it is not harmful to remind you how important it is to participate in all the activities that we will have in our parish. On Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we will have an exposition with the Blessed Sacrament and silent prayer; this will help us live this sacred time more intensely.

On Palm Sunday, we will have two processions; the first will begin at 10:00 a.m. in front of the school; there, the palms will be distributed and blessed, and then we will make the procession to the church, where we will celebrate the Holy Mass. Also, we will do the procession and blessing of palms before the Mass in Spanish; this will be at 1:30 p.m. in front of St. Gabriel’s convent, there we will distribute the palms, and then we will walk in a procession singing towards the church to celebrate the Holy Mass at the end of the procession.

This year, we will celebrate the Chrism Mass on Holy Tuesday. That day, all priests will renew our priestly promises with our bishop. Also, in this Eucharist, the bishop consecrates the oils that will be used to anoint the people of God: the oil of the sick, the oil of the catechumens, and the Holy Chrism. For those who wish to participate, the Mass will be at All Saints Parish in Manassas at 11:00 a.m.

On Holy Thursday, we will have the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which will be bilingual and begin at 6:00 p.m. With this celebration, we begin the Holy Easter Triduum and enter into great silence. At the end of the Mass, we will procession with the Blessed Sacrament towards the place of worship at Hannan Hall, where we will remain in worship until midnight; I invite you to participate in this silent prayer.

On Good Friday, a day of penance and reflection, we will have confessions from 9:00 a.m., then the Stations of the Cross in English at noon, and the Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord in English at 3:00 p.m., at 6:00 p.m. we will pray the Stations of the Cross in Spanish and the Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord in Spanish at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday night, we will celebrate the Easter Vigil in English at 8:30 p.m. and in Spanish at 11:30 p.m. Like last year, we will hold two vigils; my goal is for both communities to participate and be able to experience the mysteries that are celebrated fully and so many more can come. I hope many more can join in this beautiful vigil that is the heart of our faith.

God bless you,

Fr. Alex