Pastor’s Reflection , December 09, 2018

Second Sunday of Advent


At every Mass following the Lord’s prayer we say, “Deliver us Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” This is a great Advent prayer!! In this holy season we await the “joyful hope” – the coming of our Savior. But what exactly is the virtue of hope? Fr. John Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary defines hope as,

“The confident desire of obtaining a future good that is difficult to attain. It is therefore a desire, which implies seeking and pursuing; some future good that is not yet possessed but wanted, unlike fear that shrinks from a future evil. This future good draws out a person’s volition. Hope is confident that what is desired will certainly be attained. It is the opposite of despair. Yet it recognizes that the object wanted is not easily obtained and that it requires effort to overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way.”

The two great enemies of Christian hope are despair and presumption. Despair is the anticipation of nonfulfillment. Presumption is a false confidence in self which excludes the need for God’s help and mercy. Despair and presumption steal from our soul the strength and joy that we as God’s children are meant to possess as the fruit of the wonderful virtue of joyful hope. Our battle against the vices of presumption and despair can only be won by perseverance in prayer. When you think about it, true prayer is simply the expression and exercise of the virtue of hope. Humble and confident prayer acknowledges both our need for God and an expectation of fulfillment. Thus, it counters the great enemies of the soul: presumption and despair.

This Advent, I pray we all grow in the virtue of “joyful hope” through our commitment to perseverance in prayer. It’s the perfect time to frequently make simple, prayerful, acts of hope, such as:

“My God, I hope in You, for grace [divine help to overcome all trials] and for glory [eternal happiness], because of Your promises, Your mercy and Your power. Amen.”

We all need to fight against the destructive and crippling vices of despair and presumption which are always lurking nearby. In the face of great temptation to despair, the prophet Isaiah captures the power and beauty of the virtue of hope: “Be comforted, be comforted, my people. . . . But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall take wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Is 40:1,31).

I leave you with the great “Advent prayer” we say at every Mass. This would be a good prayer to commit to memory and repeat often in this holy season: “Deliver us Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Happy Advent!

Your Servant in Christ,

Fr. Staples


Prayer list for our sick and other special Needs

Muriel Ackerman, Leah Adam, Matthew Adam, Nadia Anderson, Taylor Auth, Steve Barberio, Carmen Befumo, Joe Befumo, Paula Befumo, Stephen Bergstrom, Len Besterman, Dinoo Billimoria, Eliza Blazek, Kenny Blazek, Joan Bond, Mark Bond, Mel Bond, Ronnie Bond, CJ Brown, Weston Bye, Logan Cannon, Eve Casella, Nathaniel Capps, John Chebuske, Bruce & Diane Clark, Adam Colvin, Joseph Craft, Ed Cyrus, Mike Daddezio, Leonard Deeds, Caitlyn Dodd, Therese Donofrio, John A. Dormer, Jackie Early, David Edwards, Jennifer Ernst, Jeannie Fedorek, Jack Firiollo, Maureen Flanagan, Chris Fursman, Shane Garner, Amy Gentry, Susan Gray, Vicky Gunnett, Alice Gunning, Elizabeth & Ernest Harbin, Donna & Chester Hart, Theresa Heynoski, Terri Hibbs, Alice Houska, Devin Humes, Alverna Hylton, Carol Johnson, Nora Lloyd, Barbara Lonick, Barry Mangum, Sherry Martin, Brian McHugh, Kim Metzer, Michael Miller, Dana Mosticone, Peggy Newman, Retta Noto, Jackie Olsen, Julie Pais, Barbara Pfeiffer, Bernadette Pontious, Sarah Ponton, Pauline Przybocki, Michael Rebar, Samuel Reeve, Hope Ritz, Jim Roberts, Jackie Rodriguez, Abby Rundle, Oscar Scott, Linda Sorrentino Alex Staples, Mike Staples, Tim Staples, Barbara Strogis, Linda Treakle, Mimi Voissem, Tara Von Kuhn, Margaret Ward, Thad Weaver, Marie Young


….Spread the Christmas cheer! Social Hall….

  Sunday, December 23rd directly following the 8:00AM Mass. Bring 2 dozen of your favorite Christmas goodies. Take home 2 dozen different goodies that someone else made!



Have you been singing Christmas carols since July? This is the moment you have been rehearsing for! All voices are welcome to join the St. Isidore Carolers as we visit parishioner homes & sing carols on Sunday, December 23rd. We will meet in the Social Hall around 9:30 following the Cookie Exchange. More instructions will be given at that time.



Please sign up in the gathering area if you’d like to be visited by the St. Isidore Carolers on Sunday, December 23rd. The Carolers will call you prior to visiting with an estimated time frame of their arrival.

Mass Intentions for Two Weeks

(Dec 8 – Dec 14)            (Dec 15 – Dec 21)

Sat   5:00pm   +Annabelle Massey            +Jimmy Williams

Sun:   8:00am        Betty Woodward                 Parishioners

10:30am        Parishioners                          Eleanor Shedlock

Mon: 8:30am              open                                       Craig Barber

Tue: 8:30am   +Bill & +Adrienne Foshay     +Mary Abeyta

Wed:12:15PM  +Paul Dolenc                           +Charles Arruda

Fri:   12:15pm   +Dorothy C. Parker                       OPEN

Who do you say that I am?”  The One who calls is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.  Are you called to follow Him as a priest, deacon, brother or sister?  Call Fr. Michael Isenberg at (703) 841-2514, or write: m.isenberg@arlingtondiocese

Sunday Offering                           December 2, 2018              

Weekly parish budget requirement = $5,000

Regular: $4851.00                     Building Fund: $965.00

Votive Candles: $27.00                 Poor Box: $846.00

It is A VERY GOOD IDEA to confirm dates with the office after speaking with Father about any Sacrament.

Please contact Fr. Staples if you’d like to personally speak with him regarding abuse within the Church.

           Prayer List for our Loved Ones in the Armed Forces

PFC Jarad Anderson USA                            PFC Taylor Auth USMC

CAPT William Blickle, IV USA                      SGT Marc Bowman USMC

Brian Collins                                                 PO Chad Crawford USN

LT Richard Day, III USA                               A1C Stetsin Fielding USAF

ENSN David Joubert                                     CAPT Thaddeus Larkin USA

COL Jason Loschinskey USAF                       PFC Ryan McWilliams USA

LCPL Zachary Mitchell USMC                     SFC Harrison Newton USA

CAPT Gretchen Pace USA                            MAJ Aaron Pauli USAF

CDR Eric Pauli USN                                     SPC5 Robert Pauli USA

MAJ William Pauli USAF                            E3 Kevin Phillips USN

MSGT Matthew Phillips USAF                    2nd LT Kiara Pontious

CAPT Mitchell Przybocki USAF                    LT Daniel Robey USN

SK1 Angel Semerling USCG                          BM2 Lewis Semerling USCG

PO3 Sabrina Slack USCG                             ET1 Christopher Stone USN

SPC Gregory A. Sublett USA                        SSG John D. Sublett USA

2nd LT Edward Von Kuhn                             CPL Knox Walters USMC

CAPT Evan Weaver USA                             CWO4 John Weaver USA

PVT Daniel Young USA

Our Readers, Eucharistic Ministers Ushers & Altar Servers

Saturday     Readers:     Ray Lonick, Patricia Harbin (EM)

Dec 08         Ushers:      John & John Robert Clemente

5:00PM   Altar Servers: Isaac, Adrian & Vince

Sunday       Readers:     Pete Zahn, Louis Monticello (EM)

Dec 09          Ushers:       Mark Hogan & Gordon Genovese

8:00am   Altar Servers:  John, Jamie, & Shane


Sunday       Readers:     Carolyn Comes, Karen Primeau (EM)                           

Dec 09         Ushers:     Ron Lloyd & David Bowman

10:30am   Altar Servers:  Joseph, Jackson, & Danni

Counters: Chris & Tina Riley, Thomas Allsbury


Saturday     Readers:   Daniel Strogis, Hazel Arruda (EM)

Dec 15         Ushers:      John Phelps & Patricia Harbin

5:00PM    Altar Servers: Eric, Matthews, & Isaac

Sunday       Readers:       Joe Pauli, Cheryl Pauli (EM)

Dec 16          Ushers:       Romie Powell & Scott Johnson

8:00am   Altar Servers:   Jamie, Abby, & Joseph


Sunday       Readers:   Carolyn Comes, Joyce Cyrus (EM)

Dec 16         Ushers:       Craig Lawson & Scott Johnson

10:30am   Altar Servers: Christopher, Peter, & Shane

Counters: John & Carol Keeney, Jesse Evans

Give a Gift for Life this Christmas

Post-Abortion Healing – Project Rachel

Pregnancy Assistance – Gabriel Project

Donate online at:

Mail a check payable to CDA – Gift for Life

Please mail donations to:

Catholic Diocese of Arlington, PO BOX 1960, Merrifield, VA   22116-1960


2 minutes to virtue: Get closer to Jesus through Sunday reflections given by the priests of Arlington. TEXT “2m2v” to 84576 or visit minutes 2 virtue to sign up!

Find out how to make an Advent star, a “Herald angel” and other Christmas ornaments out of old newspapers on our YouTube playlist, ornament. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Catholic Herald YouTube channel for more inspiring and informative videos.



The Paul Stefan Foundation appreciates your kindness & generosity as a volunteer & supporter. Without you we cannot survive!! Please join us for a Christmas Celebration on Friday, December 21st, 12pm – 2pm at the Regional Maternity Housing and Educational Center, 120 Caroline Street, Orange VA 22960. Appetizers, desserts and homemade hot chocolate will be served. Please RSVP by December 19th to: 540-854-2300 or


Tens of thousands of men, women and families are served annually by Catholic Charities. Please support the 2018 Annual Parish Christmas Collection for Catholic Charities this weekend or visit to learn more and make a yearend gift.



Why is this important? This provision allows individuals age 70 ½ or older to make tax-free gifts from an IRA directly to a parish, school or the Diocese. To complete, please contact your IRA provider for exact instructions. Such gifts usually take a few weeks to transact


Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Have you ever wanted to go on a pilgrimage?

Fr. Staples is hosting a pilgrimage to the Holy Land October 7-18, 2019, and a $500 deposit reserves your spot. The height of the trip will be a visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but you will also visit Mt. Nebo, where Moses was laid to rest; the ancient city of Petra, Nazareth, where you will celebrate Mass and visit Mary’s well; Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus; and Cana, the site of Jesus’ first miracle, where married couples will have the opportunity to renew their vows. If you have any questions, please contact Fr. Staples at:

540-672-4933, ext. 5 or

Victim Assistance Program for Those Sexually Abused as Minors

The Catholic Diocese of Arlington provides comprehensive assistance to anyone who as a minor was sexually abused by a priest, deacon, teacher, employee or representative of the diocese.  Parents, guardians, children and survivors of sexual abuse are invited and encouraged to contact the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, who will provide support, consultation, and referrals.  The Catholic Diocese of Arlington is committed to assisting victims/survivors throughout the healing process.
For further information, see or call (703) 841-2530

You will turn to us, O God, and restore our life, and your people shall rejoice in you.                       Ps 85