Dear Parishioners,

This “semester’s” adult faith formation series is titled “Marriage Boot Camp.”  Since marriage and the family are the fundamental units of human society and of the Church, “the future of humanity passes through the family.”  (Pope St. John Paul II)  Because of the many pastoral challenges facing the family, Pope Francis will attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia in September, then preside over the Fall Ordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome on the subject of the family.  We too, then, are offering talks on this topic of interest to all–and all are welcome to attend:  single, married…anyone interested in the subject of marriage!  The series continues this Monday, January 26, at 7:30 P.M. in Benedict Hall with the first of three talks by Prof. Mary Stanford of Christendom College on “The Theology of the Body.”  (Prof. Stanford, a married mother of six, is an engaging speaker with a Master’s Degree from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.)  I encourage you to join us for this timely and informative series.

Join me next Saturday, January 31, for a guided tour of the sublime exhibit “Picturing Mary:  Woman, Mother, Idea” at the National Gallery of Women in the Arts, featuring over 100 images of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We will gather following the 9:00 A.M. Mass and take the Metro to the museum.  Come learn how great artists beautifully portray the fundamental truths of our faith and, so, inspire heartfelt devotion.  I remain,

Your servant in Christ Jesus,

Father Don



The introduction to the Missal (the Church’s ritual book for the celebration of the Mass) states:

The Mass is made up, as it were, of two parts: the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. These, however, are so closely interconnected that they form but one single act of worship.  For in the Mass the table both of God's word and of Christ's Body is prepared, from which the faithful may be instructed and refreshed.  (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 28)

Thus the liturgical action of the Mass focuses on the ambo (the table of the word) and on the altar (the table of the Sacrament).  The ambo is a sacred furnishing reserved for the proclamation of the Word of God and for the Prayer of the Faithful–which is why we do not give announcements from the ambo.  The altar is no ordinary table but a sacred furnishing consecrated at its dedication by the bishop with the sacred oil of chrism.  Since the altar is blessed, and is the focal point of the church, representing Christ, we should show reverence to the altar by making a profound bow to it (as the priest does) every time we enter or leave our place in church or cross in front of it.


St. Charles Parish follows Arlington Public Schools (APS) for delays, closures and cancellations: • Delays: the Parish Office and Preschool open at the delayed time, and any activities scheduled before that time are cancelled. • Closures: the Parish Office and Preschool are closed, and all activities at the parish are cancelled. • Cancellations: when APS close early and/or cancel evening activities, the Parish Office and Preschool will close early and all evening activities at the parish are cancelled. Masses and Confessions are never cancelled but always take place as scheduled.

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