March 19 – Solemnity of St. Joseph
Solemnity of St. Joseph
Everyone stop. Today, the Holy Father has called for all Catholics in Italy to say the rosary asking the Lord to relieve the world of the great scourge brought on by the Coronavirus. Such a request is being applied all across the world. The rosary in Rome will take place at 9 PM. That is 4 PM in Virginia. At that time let us all stop in our activities and pray the rosary for all the suffering brought to the world in this pandemic. Let us pray for one another. Blessed Mother, St. Joseph pray for us. https://aleteia.org/2020/03/18/pope-calls-for-9-pm-rosary-for-protection-of-our-families/
Speaking of pandemics. Bishop Burbidge has called all the Arlington seminarians at St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia to come home for the duration of the pandemic. Two seminarians will be assigned to St. Francis De Sales Rectory. They are: John Paul Heisler, nephew to Fr. John Heisler and Caleb Magowan. For the foreseeable future they will continue their studies on line. It seems the ark on the hill, above the church, is filling up. I leave you with a description of our future priests, come home from Philadelphia. https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/vocations/meet-our-seminarians/john-paul-heisler/ and https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/vocations/meet-our-seminarians/caleb-magowan/
The last pandemic to hit America was just over a hundred years ago. It was incorrectly identified as the “Spanish Flu.” Like the current pandemic the origin of the Spanish Flu may well have a Chinese feature to it. It seems, in the time around 1917, some Chinese military officials were visiting Fort Leavenworth, Kansas observing the American troops before their deployment to the European theatre. Before leaving the American shores the troops were overwhelmed by an unknown illness but were still transported to the shores of Spain. Hence the identity of “Spanish Flu.” The virus, which came to be known in America as the “Grip” spread like wild fire. Let us leave it to the war historians to judge the victory of World War I but some consider the Spanish flu as the real cause for the cease fire. More combatants may have died with the flu than those shot by bullets. And when completed the many many suffering troops went home to their native lands… causing the great pandemic.
At that time, in Philadelphia, the rate of people dying was so high there was a shortage of grave diggers. In response to the shortage the seminarians of St. Charles Seminary were pulled from their classrooms and chapels and sent to the cemeteries to assist in digging graves.
Correction Correction Correction. In my previous letter I mentioned that adoration on Friday will continue to start at 8 AM…. Wrongo. Sorry for the error. My mistake. Adoration on Friday will start at 1 PM and continue to Saturday morning at 8 AM.
Correction, Correction, Correction II: In my previous letter I mentioned that the priests will offer morning prayer and evening prayer at 9 AM and 7 PM each day. Wrongo. Evening prayer will be offered at 5 PM. Please stay tuned for more details.
Several folks have contacted me offering to help those in need of assistance. Please let me know if you are need of rides to doctor appointments or to go shopping. My cell phone number is: 703-626-8113.
On the lighter side. I am not sure what is going on with the clergy in Italy but it must be a confusion of wit and wonder. In a time where ten priests have died with the coronavirus across the country and leaving other priests to continue in their parochial duties spreading the virus another priest pasted pictures of the laity on the church pews so he wouldn’t be lonely when saying Mass. Really, who does such things?. https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2020/03/as-coronavirus-empties-churches-italian-priest-fills-pews-with-photos-of-parishioners/
A number of folks have written to me promoting the parish online financial program that might help in the weekly donations that help to keep the lights on. https://saintfrancisparish.org/parish-giving/
Of course, you can mail your donation to the church (37730 St. Francis Court; Purcellville, VA 20132) or slide it under the sacristy door. One lady dropped her envelope when going to Confession last night… I told her I would do her penance for her… Just kidding. Please, please, please I beg your generosity so we can pay the salaries and bills. God bless you, every one. Again, let us pray for one another.
In closing, on this great feast of St. Joseph. If you are interested in a seeing more on the stories on the of St. Joseph you can reach to the internet. I recommend the Visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. https://www.ecatholic2000.com/anne/lom46.shtml
God bless. Fr. G.