Sunday, January 27, 2013

Blessed Sacrament School Hosts Scholastic Book Fair During Catholic Schools Week

During this year's celebration of Catholic Schools Week (Jan. 27-Feb. 2), Blessed Sacrament School is hosting a Scholastic Book Fair through Friday, Feb. 1. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Blessed Sacrament School. Visit the school library to browse great book selections for both students and adults. 


Sunday, January 27:
8 am to 6:30 pm
Monday, Jan. 28-Thursday, Jan. 31:
7:45 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday FAMILY NIGHT, Jan. 30:
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Friday, February 1:
7:45 am to Noon

Encourage a lifelong love of reading
with just 15-20 minutes of reading a day!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Life is Very Good

The Diocese of Arlington tomorrow morning, Friday, January 25, will host its "Life is Very Good" Morning Rally at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University before the national March for Life in Washington, D.C., followed by an evening of prayer. A phone number is available to call for tickets:
(including Mass and confessions)
9:00am-12:00pm, doors open at 8:00am
Music: Matt Maher Band
Emcee: Steve Angrisano
Keynote: Elizabeth McClung

Tickets $10 each. Reserved seating in order of payment.

(including Eucharistic Adoration)
7:30pm-10:00pm, doors open at 6:30pm
Concert: Matt Maher Band
Keynote: Chris Stefanick

Tickets: $10 each. Reserved seating in order of payment

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 5 of the Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage

On this 5th day of the Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage, a reminder that Eucharistic adoration is available in our parish today following the 8:30 a.m. Mass, from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon.

Day 5: Intercession: For scientists and pharmaceutical employees who help create and manufacture contraceptive and abortifacient drugs: that the Lord will open their eyes to the moral danger and health risks these drugs pose for women and prompt them to work only on medications that benefit human life.
"Let all be convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny." (CCC 2371)

From the moment of conception, the life of every human being is to be respected in an absolute way because man is the only creature on earth that God has "wished for himself " (16) and the spiritual soul of each man is "immediately created" by God; (17) his whole being bears the image of the Creator. (Donum Vitae, Introduction, 5)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January 22 - Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

"Only with prayer - prayer that storms the heavens for justice and mercy, prayer that cleanses our hearts and souls - will the culture of death that surrounds us today be replaced with a culture of life."
--Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Catholic Bishops

January 22, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary since the January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States.

Each year in the Catholic Church in the United States, the date is observed as a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children:
"In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion. The liturgical celebrations for this day may be the "Mass For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life (no. 48/1 of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions), celebrated with white vestments, or the Mass “For the Preservation of Peace and Justice” (no. 30 of the Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions), celebrated with violet vestments.” (From The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373.)

Visit for amazing facts on human embryonic development.

Mass Collect for January 22 Mass for Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life:
God our Creator, we give thanks to you, who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother's womb; grant, we pray, that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant in safeguarding the dignity of every human life.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Parish and Diocesan Pro-Life Opportunities
Working to build a culture of life requires all of us to give in some way of our time, talent and treasure. Even a small amount can go a long way!

At Blessed Sacrament Parish, the Respect Life group welcomes anyone interested to join their monthly meetings on the first Saturday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the parish meeting room. You may contact the parish office for more details, 703-998-6100, or by following this link to their email address.

The Respect Life group prays a Rosary for Life each Saturday at 9:00 a.m. in the daily chapel following the 8:30 a.m. Mass. On the second Saturday of each month, the group meets at approximately 9:15 a.m. for prayer outside the abortion clinic at 2839 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA, near Bishop Ireton High School.

Through the Diocese of Arlington, many opportunities are available to assist in pro-life efforts. Bishop Paul Loverde leads a Saturday morning Mass and prayer each month as a part of the diocese's pro-life efforts. A schedule of Respect Life Masses is available online, and all are welcome!

Pregnancy assistance is available through the diocese, as well, through Gabriel Project Arlington, and free volunteer training will be provided on Saturday, February 9, from 10am - 12:30pm at Holy Trinity Church, Our Lady's Hall, 8213 Linton Hall Rd., Gainesville, VA 20155. Learn how to assist expectant mothers in your parish.

Help after abortion is available through the diocese's Project Rachel program. Many resources are available online, as well as a confidential toll free help line at 1-888-456-HOPE.

Many Post Abortion Retreats are also available through the diocese. These include days of prayer and healing, as well as weekend retreats. For more information, contact 1-888-456-HOPE or at this email address.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcoming Parish Visitors for March for Life

Photo by Patrick McPartland, Western New York Catholic, Diocese of Buffalo
As we look ahead to the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 legalizing abortion in the United States and the annual March for Life, Blessed Sacrament Parish is preparing to welcome young people from the Archdiocese of Mobile, Alabama and their Archbishop Thomas Rodi, a group from the Archdiocese of New Orleans and their Archbishop Gregory Aymond, as well as the new Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, Bishop James Conley. 

Also visiting Blessed Sacrament this week for the March will be several Sisters of Life and friars from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

If you would like to assist the parish in preparing for and providing services for our guests, please contact Marie in the parish office at this email address or 703-998-6100 x104.

This somber 40th anniversary is an important time for prayer and reflection, and can be a new opportunity for us each to ask how we can help the pro-life efforts of the Church in our parish and diocese.

The U.S. bishops “Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage” Jan. 19-27, 2013 begins today.  Join the Novena for Life by signing up for a daily e-mail or text message with the novena.

The following quote is from the Declaration on Procured Abortion, Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Nov. 18, 1974:
"Divine law and natural reason, therefore, exclude all right to the direct killing of an innocent man. However, if the reasons given to justify an abortion were always manifestly evil and valueless the problem would not be so dramatic. The gravity of the problem comes from the fact that in certain cases, perhaps in quite a considerable number of cases, by denying abortion one endangers important values to which it is normal to attach great value, and which may sometimes even seem to have priority.
We do not deny these very great difficulties. It may be a serious question of health, sometimes of life or death, for the mother; it may be the burden represented by an additional child, especially if there are good reasons to fear that the child will be abnormal or retarded; it may be the importance attributed in different classes of society to considerations of honor or dishonor, of loss of social standing, and so forth.
We proclaim only that none of these reasons can ever objectively confer the right to dispose of another's life, even when that life is only beginning. With regard to the future unhappiness of the child, no one, not even the father or mother, can act as its substitute - even if it is still in the embryonic stage - to choose in the child's name, life or death. The child itself, when grown up, will never have the right to choose suicide; no more may his parents choose death for the child while it is not of an age to decide for itself.
Life is too fundamental a value to be weighed against even very serious disadvantages.[21]"
More information on Catholic Church teaching on abortion can be found at Additional information will be posted this week about local pro-life efforts going on here in our parish of Blessed Sacrament and in the Diocese of Arlington.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Catholic Podcasts

Radio Free Strawberry
Photo courtest of user cogdogblog on Flickr.
 By Danielle Hetzel

Last time I wrote, I mentioned listening to Catholic podcasts.  This is a great way to participate in the Year of Faith and broaden your knowledge of the Catholic Church.  It also helps that it is something I can do without necessarily adding time to my daily routine.  I listen to these while I commute to and from work, while I work out, and even sometimes while I do laundry.

I am no expert on Catholic podcasts.  In fact, when I wanted to start listening to one, I did I search online to find some resources.  The page that helped me the most was the listing of the top five Catholic podcasts.  I didn't listen to each of them, but just read the descriptions and picked which one I wanted to try.  I figured that if it wasn't speaking to me I could always switch to another one.  I chose Discerning Hearts because of their breadth of topics and because it just seemed right.

I have to admit, it can be a little overwhelming at times.  If you don't have as long of a commute, you may want to choose something with a bit less content.  They update multiple times a day and have some long discussions.  They also do multiple segments - Discerning the Will of God, The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, etc.  You could choose a few that you like and not listen to the others.

I recommend that you start where you need to be in your faith journey and life.  This works for me right now.  If I ever decide to stay home instead of working, I may need to change since I won't have that commute time.  Don't feel obligated if one isn't working for you.  You can always try to do another.

Please let me know if you have good experiences with any Catholic podcasts or ways to listen to these podcasts.

God Bless!

Danielle is a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament who previously wrote on her son's Baptism for the blog and about prayer.