March 15, 2020Download the Bulletin as a PDF
Well... I have great news, bad news and good news.
The great news is that our parishioner Mauricio Portillo is doing very well. Having completed over the past five years his Bachelor’s in Sacred Theology (equivalent to or perhaps greater than an M.A.) at the Universidad Eclesiástica San Dámaso in Madrid, Spain. As of August 2019, beginning his sixth year of seminary formation for the Diocese of Arlington, he was transferred to my alma mater, the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and has begun a course of studies leading to a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas also known as the “Angelicum”, the nickname coming from St. Thomas Aquinas often being called the “Angelic Doctor”. Mauricio is studying with some of the finest Thomistic scholars in the world. The classes are demanding. The reading load is substantial. His professors have nothing but praise for him. My pastoral visit to Mauricio was long overdue and I really did consider it "essential". I thank Fr. Melmer for taking on the load of parish work in my absence. If you would like to send Mauricio a note of encouragement, he receives mail at:
Pontifical North American College
00120 Vatican City State
Speaking of my absence, with the spread of COVID-19 accelerating in Italy and my last days there requiring me to use my Mass kit and offer the Holy Sacrifice privately since all public Masses have been banned countrywide since March 9, my return has been partial. While I was in Italy, the CDC extended is mandate for a 14 day self-quarantine from those who had visited the North of Italy to all those who have been anywhere in Italy. That sounds like a retreat for me but it sounds like cruel and unusual punishment for Fr. Melmer. I went through many rubber gloves, used lots of Chlorox wipes and have been checking my temperature. So far, so good. But I do not want any of you to be on edge. So I will play it safe and am making my self-quarantine far away from the rectory... so far away that in this part of Virginia there is no cell service. However, in the afternoon hours each day I am in the parking lot of the local Catholic Church to return emails and phone calls. Telecommuting does not work terribly well for pastors but please do not hesitate to reach out by email (fr.pollard [at] StJohnCatholicMcLean.org) or phone (703-929-7612).
The Good Lord does provide. Our rectory oratory will be bustling with private Masses. All of your intentions are going to be honored. A close friend of mine and previous visitor to St. John the Beloved escaped Italy on the 2nd of March and has remained symptom-free. Fr. Anthony Robbie and I were seminary classmates back in the day. He hails from the Archdiocese of Sydney and serves as a Secretary to Cardinal Pell as well as Postulator for the Cause of Eileen O'Connor, co-foundress of Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor.
We also will be home to two seminarians for the Diocese as a result of seminaries shutting down and going digital for the remainder of the semester.
God bless you all!
Fr. Christopher J. Pollard
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb 13,8