Message from the Pastor

Bulletin Issue: March 26, 2017

During the first week of spring and the third week of Lent, one easily gets a sense of observing and even engaging in the historical happenings in our church, in our world and in our nation. These impressions were made especially acute through two events at Georgetown University and one here at Holy Trinity.

This past Monday evening, Georgetown hosted a panel discussion titled, “Refugees and Immigrants: Welcoming the Stranger in Tough Times.” Sponsored by Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the panelists addressed the moral and political issues surrounding immigration.  I noticed that more than a dozen of our parishioners attended the program with several asking insightful questions. One takeaway from the program was that the issues surrounding immigration, whether from the Middle East or along the Mexican border, represents a complex matrix of moral, political and socioeconomic factors. In other words, there are no simple solutions. As I listened I kept thinking of how our parish is compassionately and competently engaged with some of the issues, most notably by supporting a Syrian refugee family. That very day, four of the Cheikho children began attending a public school in Alexandria, Virginia. The fact that in less than two months these children were able to go from a Syrian refugee camp to an American public school is indeed a historical and salvific event.  

A sense of historical engagement occurred at the 5:30 Mass on Friday evening, March 24, when the parish hosted Cardinal Claudio Hummes. This leading Brazilian prelate was in town to speak to the issues surrounding environmental justice in his homeland and throughout South America. His concelebrating the Mass with us was a way of  commemorating the 37th anniversary of  the assassination of his Salvadoran friend, Archbishop Romero. I should note that four years ago, immediately after his friend Jorge Bergoglio was elected pope, it was Cardinal Hummes, a Franciscan, who whispered into  the new pope’s ears the words, “Don't forget the poor people." Upon hearing these words, the Pope later related that he immediately remembered St. Francis of Assisi and "the name Francis came into my heart.”

Speaking of Pope Francis, Georgetown University is hosting another panel titled, “The Francis Factor after Four Years: A Dialogue on Pope Francis’ Message for the US.” The panel members include  Archbishop Christopher Pierre, the Papal Nuncio to the United States. Sponsored by the University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, this important program will take place on Monday, March 27 at 6:30pm in the Intercultural Center (ICC) Auditorium. All are welcome to attend to what promises to be another way of reflecting upon the historical changes surrounding us. You might say it is another way of observing the ongoing salvation history revealed through our Lenten journey with Jesus the Christ.