January 31, 2021

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31 January
4th Sunday of Ordinary Time / Septuagesima Sunday

Last week you might have seen the sad footage of pro-abortion protestors interrupting Holy Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Columbus, Ohio, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Our ushers certainly noticed it.

Over the course of the last few years, with the encourage-ment of the Diocese of Arlington, the usher crews have been paying attention to more and more aspects of parishioner safety. In the ushers room is a First Aid Kit, an AED (Automated Electronic Defibrillator) as well as masks and gloves. Fainting is the most common incident that happens in church. Our ushers have always been good at summoning medical help, both by calling 911 and in facilitating the as-sistance that can be rendered by nurses and doctors already on the scene.

Back in 2018 I stood up a Security Committee which is headed by a retired federal agent. On many occasions we have welcomed the Fairfax County Police Department to tour our facilities and offer security recommendations.

One of the first changes you may have noticed long ago was the application of security film on most of the church doors and windows. That permits us inside to see out but prevents people from peeking inside during daylight. We also re-moved the shrubs near the church entrances that were pre-venting us from seeing well beyond the church sidewalk.

As we are asking our ushers to be alert to anyone and any-thing that seems out of the ordinary, we are going to keep the vestibule as the only way to enter the church even after the pandemic subsides. Having many exits but only one en-try point makes for a very safe space. Even the sacristy door has been secured to limit access.

Over the course of last summer we installed thirty five (35) security cameras over every entrance to each building and also inside every hallway. Inside the church there are two security cameras.

A few more security upgrades are in the works. In the mean-time I am every grateful for our ushers. If you would like to join their ranks, please speak with them.

God bless you.

Rev. Christopher J. Pollard