Padre's Page - December 31

Dear Friends,

Our pastoral team here at St. Charles joins me in wishing you a New Year filled with the joy and peace of Jesus! 

After New Year’s Day, most people take their decorations down and forget about Christmas–but we know that Christmas is not just a day but a season–and that it continues!  Indeed, today we celebrate the Holy Family of Nazareth; on Monday we celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God; next Sunday we observe the Epiphany of Our Lord (the revelation that he came to be the Savior of all peoples); and, the season concludes with the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord (the beginning of his public ministry) on Monday, January 8–so keep celebrating!  Ordinary Time doesn’t start again until Tuesday, January 9…

Throughout the coming year, our parish will continue to offer a rich variety of programs for formation in the faith for parishioners of all ages, of beautiful celebrations of the sacred liturgy and of the sacraments, and of occasions to encounter one another and the needy in love.  It is a blessing for our parish to serve, to be a spiritual home for, people living in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor and in the surrounding neighborhoods.  I hope you and your neighbors will take advantage of our many good activities!

Please note that the parish offices will be closed January 1.  I remain,

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Father Don

Padre's Page - Christmas

I bring you good news of a great joy,
for to you is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!

-Lk 2:10-11
                                                                                                                                        Christmas 2017

Dear Friends,                                                                     
           
Welcome to St. Charles Parish! Whether you attend here regularly, attend church regularly elsewhere and are visiting for the holidays, or rarely attend church, we are glad you joined us for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.
            He was born for us because he loves us and wants to have a relationship with us, so we can experience his forgiveness of our sins, his healing of our wounds, his offer of deep peace and happiness – his salvation. I invite you to open your hearts to encounter him and the more abundant life of love he offers us:

  • Encounter Jesus’ merciful forgiveness frequently in the Sacrament of Confession.
  • Receive him in the gift of the Eucharist weekly at Sunday Mass.
  • Listen to him as he speaks to your heart through the Sacred Scriptures!
  • Meet him in the heart-to-heart conversation of daily prayer.
  • See him in the faces of the need you serve.
  • Fall more in love with him as you learn more about him by studying the faith!

            The Catholic Church everywhere – including at St. Charles Parish – is ready to help you encounter Jesus in those many ways. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us in the new year so that we may assist you in growing in the love of Jesus – in the lasting peace and joy that only he gives.  
            Our parish staff joins me in wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and New Year for I am,

                                                                                                Your servant in Christ,
                                                                                                Father Don Planty
                                                                                                Pastor

Padre's Page - December 17

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

ANNIVERSARY We congratulate Fr. Dyer on the 6th anniversary of his ordination on December 27th. Please join me in praying for him.

CATHOLIC CHARITIES CHRISTMAS COLLECTION You can still give to the annual diocesan Christmas second collection for Catholic Charities, which serves thousands of needy families with a variety of services throughout Northern Virginia.  You can give easily, electronically, through FAITH DIRECT, for which you’ll find a link on our website. 

ANNUAL GIVING TREE Thank you to all who donated gifts and time to the Giving Tree this year.  St. Charles provided 1,000 gifts to 300 children from 124 families.  Know that your generosity has brightened the lives of children this Christmas.  

ADVENT Our parish is offering many activities to help everyone prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ:  The full list of events and resources is available on our website:  stcharleschurch.org

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE Please note that, this year, Christmas falls on a Monday, the day after the Fourth Sunday of Advent, so faithful Catholics should attend Mass twice in those days:  once to observe Sunday (on Saturday evening, Dec. 23, or on Sunday morning, Dec. 24), and once to observe Christmas, which is a Holy Day of Obligation (on Sunday evening, Dec. 24, or on Monday morning).  Attending once on Christmas Eve (Sunday) does not satisfy both obligations.  Please plan ahead accordingly!  Again, the full schedule is available on our website:  stcharleschurch.org

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Father Don

Padre's Page - December 10

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

CATHOLIC CHARITIES CHRISTMAS COLLECTION Please be sure to give generously to the annual diocesan Christmas second collection for Catholic Charities, which serves thousands of needy families with a variety of services throughout Northern Virginia.  You can give easily, electronically, through FAITH DIRECT, for which you’ll find a link on our website.  For more information about all the good Catholic Charities does, check out this week’s bulletin insert.

FORUM CHRISTMAS CONCERT Join us for our annual Christmas Concert this Friday, December 15!  Happy hour begins at 7:30 P.M., and the concert at 8:00 P.M.  The full schedule is available at forumarlington.org or at the FORUM Facebook page.

ADVENT Our parish is offering many activities to help everyone prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ:  The full list of events and resources is available on our website:  stcharleschurch.org

SPECIAL CHRISTMAS MASS SCHEDULE Please note that, this year, Christmas falls on a Monday, the day after the Fourth Sunday of Advent, so faithful Catholics should attend Mass twice in those days:  once to observe Sunday (on Saturday evening, Dec. 23, or on Sunday morning, Dec. 24), and once to observe Christmas, which is a Holy Day of Obligation (on Sunday evening, Dec. 24, or on Monday morning).  Attending once on Christmas Eve (Sunday) does not satisfy both obligations.  Please plan ahead accordingly!  Again, the full schedule is available on our website:  stcharleschurch.org

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Father Don

Padre's Page - November 19

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

PARISH REDEVELOPMENT.   Bishop Burbidge has approved the beginning of a consultative process regarding the potential redevelopment of the St. Charles Borromeo parish site.  For information about this excititing possibility, check out our website at:  www.stcharleschurch.org/parish-redevelopment

THANKSGIVING

I wish everyone a safe, happy–and a delicious!–Thanksgiving, while I encourage everyone to recall the truly religious nature of this national holiday.  Let us enjoy the festivities–but let us not forget the reason for this national feast, so beautifully explained by President Abraham Lincoln in the first Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1863:

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God....  No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God....  It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

Let us then truly take time this Thanksgiving to count our blessings and to thank our generous God in prayer for all the good things he has given us–and let us not forget the poor and the lonely in our prayers, meals and contributions.

This Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, we will have a bilingual Mass of Thanksgiving at 9:00 A.M. which I urge everyone to attend.  Indeed, the word “Eucharist” is a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving,” since especially in the Mass we offer thanks to the Father in the Spirit for the gift of salvation in His Son.  Please note that our parish offices are closed this Thursday and Friday, with Mass on Friday at 9:00 A.M. only.  I remain,

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Father Don

Padre's Page - November 12

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

ST CHARLES CHALLENGE.   Have you undertaken the challenge to commit to Pray, to Celebrate, to Learn and to Share in particular ways so as to deepen your relationship with Jesus?

  • This week we continue to focus on encountering Jesus through the heart-to-heart conversation that is mental prayer.  You can find practical pointers:
  • on our website at stcharleschurch.org/challenge;
  • at our How to Pray Workshop this Monday, November 13, at 8:00 P.M. in Benedict Hall.

We believe that those who accept the St. Charles Challenge will grow in faith, in hope and in love, and experience a deep peace and joy.  Please join us!

PARISH REDEVELOPMENT CONSULTATIONS.   Following a request from me, Bishop Burbidge has approved the beginning of a consultative process regarding the possible redevelopment of the St. Charles Borromeo parish site.  If you are interested in joining a focus group to help us brainstorm about a potential redevelopment, please sign up on our website at:  www.stcharleschurch.org/parish-redevelopment

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Father Don

Padre's Page - November 5

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

ST CHARLES CHALLENGE.   Have you undertaken the challenge to commit to Pray, to Celebrate, to Learn and to Share in particular ways so as to deepen your relationship with Jesus?

  • This week we are focusing on encountering Jesus through the heart-to-heart conversation that is mental prayer.  You can find practical pointers:
  • on our website at stcharleschurch.org/challenge;
  • at our How to Pray Workshop this Monday, November 6, at 8:00 P.M. in Benedict Hall.

We believe that those who accept the St. Charles Challenge will grow in faith, in hope and in love, and experience a deep peace and joy.  Please join us!

PARISH REDEVELOPMENT CONSULTATIONS.   Following a request from me, Bishop Burbidge has approved the beginning of a consultative process regarding the possible redevelopment of the St. Charles Borromeo parish site.  If you are interested in joining a focus group to help us brainstorm about a potential redevelopment, please sign up on our website at:  www.stcharleschurch.org/parish-redevelopment

40 HOURS DEVOTION AND ST. CHARLES CELEBRATION.   It was inspiring to see so many people visiting our Eucharistic Lord during our Forty Hours of continuous Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as celebrating our solemn Mass in honor of St. Charles and our party afterwards.  May St. Charles continue to pray for all our parishioners!

VETERANS DAY.   Our parish office will be closed Friday (Nov. 10) in observance of Veterans Day.  Please keep all of our active duty and retired military veterans in your prayers especially on this day.  May God keep them safe and well! 

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Father Don

Padre's Page - October 29

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

Wednesday, November 1st is a Holy Day of Obligation for the Solemnity of All Saints.

ST CHARLES CHALLENGE.  We invite every parishioner to undertake the challenge:  to deepen your relationship with Jesus by committing to Pray, to Celebrate, to Learn and to Share in particular ways.

  • This week we are focusing on the need to Share through Evangelization
  • You can find practical pointers:
  • on our website at stcharleschurch.org/challenge
  • at our Share: Evangelization, Monday, Oct 30, at 8:00 P.M. in Benedict Hall.

We believe that those who accept the St. Charles Challenge will grow in faith, in hope and in love, and experience a deep peace and joy.  Please join us!

PARISH REDEVELOPMENT.   Following a request from me, Bishop Burbidge has approved the beginning of a consultative process regarding the possible redevelopment of the St. Charles Borromeo parish site.  The consultation seeks to address several challenges:  an aging parish infrastructure;  the projected growth in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor; and, the need for facilities which better support the parish mission now and in the future.  Bishop Burbidge and I agreed on the need for thorough consultation with all appropriate stakeholders.  Soon you will be given a chance to join a focus group to help us brainstorm about redevelopment!...

40 HOURS DEVOTION AND ST. CHARLES CELEBRATION

Two weeks from now, on November 4, we will celebrate the solemn feast day of our patron Saint, Charles Borromeo, in grand style:

  • We will precede our celebration with a devotion begun by St. Charles:  Forty Hours of continuous Eucharistic Adoration.
  • Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament begins on Thursday, November 2, following at 7:30 P.M. Mass for the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)
  • Adoration continues for two days and nights, during which individuals, families, roommates, and parish groups are encouraged to commit to a holy hour:  sign up on our website at:  stcharleschurch.org under “News & Events”
  • Adoration concludes on Saturday, November 4, with 5:00 P.M. Mass in honor of St. Charles
  • Our celebration continues in the gym at 6:00 P.M. with happy hour, dinner, and live music.

Join us for a faithful and joyful commemoration of our great heavenly friend, St. Charles!

FOLLOW-UP COMMITMENT WEEKEND.   I hope you came ready this weekend to commit to sharing your time and talents, as well as your financial gifts, to support the mission of our parish.  Our ability to proclaim, to celebrate and to live the Gospel through all the good works of our parish is directly affected by what you do and give.  Our parish thus counts on your generous, sacrificial time commitments and financial gifts to fulfill our mission.  Working together, as generous volunteers and donors, we will keep witnessing to the Good News of the Gospel here in the heart of Arlington.  Thank you for your continued support of our parish and of its mission.  May God bless you for your generosity. 

Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Father Don

Padre's Page - October 22

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

ST CHARLES CHALLENGE.  We invite every parishioner to undertake the challenge:  to deepen your relationship with Jesus by committing to Pray, to Celebrate, to Learn and to Share in particular ways.

  • This week we are focusing on the need to Share through Giving, supporting the Church’s mission with your generous financial donations.  You can find practical pointers:
  • on our website at stcharleschurch.org/challenge;
  • at our Share through Giving Workshop, Monday, Oct 23, at 8:00 P.M. in Benedict Hall.

We believe that those who accept the St. Charles Challenge will grow in faith, in hope and in love, and experience a deep peace and joy.  Please join us!
 

PARISH REDEVELOPMENT.   Following a request from me, Bishop Burbidge has approved the beginning of a consultative process regarding the possible redevelopment of the St. Charles Borromeo parish site.  The consultation seeks to address several challenges:  an aging parish infrastructure;  the projected growth in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor; and, the need for facilities which better support the parish mission now and in the future.  Bishop Burbidge and I agreed on the need for thorough consultation with all appropriate stakeholders.  Soon you will be given a chance to join a focus group to help us brainstorm about redevelopment!...

 

40 HOURS DEVOTION AND ST. CHARLES CELEBRATION

Two weeks from now, on November 4, we will celebrate the solemn feast day of our patron Saint, Charles Borromeo, in grand style:

  • We will precede our celebration with a devotion begun by St. Charles:  Forty Hours of continuous Eucharistic Adoration
  • Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament begins on Thursday, November 2, following at 7:30 P.M. Mass for the Faithful Departed (All Souls Day)
  • Adoration continues for two days and nights, during which individuals, families, roommates, and parish groups are encouraged to commit to a holy hour:  sign up on our website at:  stcharleschurch.org under “News & Events”
  • Adoration concludes on Saturday, November 4, with 5:00 P.M. Mass in honor of St. Charles
  • Our celebration continues in the gym at 6:00 P.M. with happy hour, dinner, and live music.

Join us for a faithful and joyful commemoration of our great heavenly friend, St. Charles!

COMMITMENT WEEKEND.   I hope you came ready this weekend to commit to sharing your time and talents, as well as your financial gifts, to support the mission of our parish.  Our ability to proclaim, to celebrate and to live the Gospel through all the good works of our parish is directly affected by what you do and give.  Our parish thus counts on your generous, sacrificial time commitments and financial gifts to fulfill our mission.  Working together, as generous volunteers and donors, we will keep witnessing to the Good News of the Gospel here in the heart of Arlington.  Thank you for your continued support of our parish and of its mission.  May God bless you for your generosity. 

Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Father Don

Padre's Page - October 15

Dear Friends, here’s what’s up this week:

ST CHARLES CHALLENGE.  We invite every parishioner to undertake the challenge:  to deepen your relationship with Jesus by committing to Pray, to Celebrate, to Learn and to Share in particular ways.

  • This week we are focusing on the need to Serve by giving of your time and talents to help our parish and the needy.  You can find practical pointers:
  • on our website at stcharleschurch.org/challenge;
  • at our Serve Workshop this Monday, Oct 16, at 8:00 P.M. in Benedict Hall.

We believe that those who accept the St. Charles Challenge will grow in faith, in hope and in love, and experience a deep peace and joy.  Please join us!

REDEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCEMENT.   Following a request from me, Bishop Burbidge has approved the beginning of a consultative process regarding the possible redevelopment of the St. Charles Borromeo parish site.  The consultation seeks to address several challenges:  an aging parish infrastructure;  the projected growth in the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor; the need for facilities which better support the parish mission now and in the future.  Bishop Burbidge and I agreed on the need for thorough consultation with all appropriate stakeholders.  All parishioners will be given an opportunity to provide ideas and feedback on the potential project.  Details regarding the nature and timing of the consultation will be communicated in the next few weeks.  Bishop Burbidge and I are excited about this critical phase of discussion and dialogue around the needs of the parish and how to best meet those needs. With the support of all stakeholders, it is our hope to move this potential and promising project forward in a timely manner.  More to come soon!...

FALL APPEAL.   I am keeping true to my promise to speak to you about money only twice a year.  In the Spring I promoted the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal which funds the good works of our Diocese, and you responded enthusiastically by helping us meet 122% of our diocesan goal–thanks again!  Now that Fall is here, I appeal to you please to support our parish’s mission by serving as a volunteer and by giving to our parish offertory.  (I also offer you an Annual Financial Report.)  To prepare for next weekend’s Commitment Sunday, I ask you please prayerfully to consider the following questions:

  • Do I understand that all Catholics are called to support their parish with volunteer time and with financial contributions?
  • Do I regularly volunteer, or do I expect others to take care of things?  How does my volunteer time at the parish compare to my other free time activities? 
  • Do I commit to give a regular, fixed, sacrificial financial gift?  How do my financial donations to the parish compare to the other ways I spend my money?
  • Do I save the parish time and money by giving my financial gift electronically?
  • How will I commit to serve my parish as a volunteer in the coming year? 
  • How much money will I commit to give to the parish each week during the coming year?

Our ability to proclaim, to celebrate and to live the Gospel through all the good works of our parish is directly affected by what you do and give.  Our parish thus counts on your generous, sacrificial time commitments and financial gifts to fulfill our mission.  Working together, as generous volunteers and donors, we will keep witnessing to the Good News of the Gospel here in the heart of Arlington.  Thank you for your continued support of our parish and of its mission.  May God bless you for your generosity.  . 

Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Father Don