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Updated 4/07/21

ALTAR BOY REGISTRATION --  Parents, register your altar boys so that we can contact them through you.  Press here for the link (see "quantity" on the lower right portion of the page that pops up).

 
A Program for Bolstering Faith (04.05.21) -- The bodily resurrection of Jesus is the crown jewel of our faith and defines our existence for eternity. Jesus forever breaks the power of sin, suffering, and death. The gates of heaven are now open to receive us if we follow Him. But without constantly recurring to the fact of the Resurrection, our faith degrades and fragments, and we risk our salvation. [Continue reading]

Jesus is Not a Dictator (04.01.21) -- Holy Thursday and the Last Supper provide us with a tender and complicated scene of personal relationships: an admixture of joy, melancholy, and disturbing prospects of denial and betrayal. The Sacred three days—the Triduum—conclude with the glorious Resurrection. The grand finale of the Easter Season includes the Ascension and Pentecost. But we may wonder why the Ascension of Jesus—His departure from the friends He loves and His return to the Father—is a glorious mystery of the Rosary rather than one of the most sorrowful mysteries. [Continue reading]

The Ten Commandments and Systemic Clericalism (03.22.21) -- The Ten Commandments represent God’s immutable laws. Obedience to Jesus and His name brings salvation: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (Jn. 3:18) The Commandments, fulfilled in Jesus, form the “skeletal structure” of Christian morality. Our virtuous response forms the muscles, sinews, and flesh. But we remain in conflict with ourselves because of our sinful inclinations, while the Commandments provoke conflict with the world—and within the Church. [Continue reading] 

A Supernatural People (03.14.21) -- Somewhere in his voluminous works, Hilaire Belloc explains how natural attending Mass was for him. Before he entered one church, he placed his glowing cigar on a fencepost and continued the smoke after Mass. There is a profound nugget of spiritual soundness in his habit. The more we understand the relationship between faith and reason – matter and spirit, heaven and earth, God and man – the more likely we will live normal, integrated, and (relatively) serene lives. [Continue reading] 
 
Jesus on Valium (03.10.21) -- Valium can be a very useful prescription drug when it is necessary. It temporarily reduces anxiety before a medical procedure, and under a doctor’s care, calms unruly emotions. But we sometimes have the mistaken view that the pinnacle of the spiritual life is like a Valium high. [Continue reading]
 
 
 Metaphors for the Church (03.06.21) -- Our faith is in Jesus Christ, the “…the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by [Him].” (Jn. 14:6) The Church proclaims Jesus Christ and administers the Sacraments that are the rivers of God’s grace for the salvation of souls. The Church is one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic – with Mary as the sinless model of the Church. So we should never criticize Holy Mother Church because she is the indispensable instrument of our salvation. [Continue reading]

In Gratitude for Joe Biden (02.26.21) -- Sacraments, according to the Baltimore Catechism, are outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace. The Sacraments define and direct our lives. Our choices form us. When we choose to live a sacramental life, in a sense we become sacraments reflecting the Lord. But the contrary is also true.[Continue Reading] 

Make a pledge to the BLA: For your convenience, you may use this site to make your pledge to the Bishop's Lenten Appeal. (Click here.)  (When the page comes up, put "1" in the "quantity" field on the lower right to proceed.) The Parish staff will handle the paperwork for you.  You will receive pledge reminders from the Chancery's Development Office. If you prefer, you can use the BLA hard-copy envelopes in the pews or available from the rectory office. Thank you for your financial support of the BLA. "Encourage One Another by Word and Deed".

We are about to start gathering the paperwork for First Holy Communion and Confirmations, so it is very important for any homeschool or Catholic School parishioners to have their kids registered in the CCD program.  This is the only way we can effectively communicate with you and avoid a paper chase as we get close to the FHC and Confirmation dates.  Here’s the good news.  If you fail to meet the deadlines this year, you will have the opportunity to meet the deadlines next year.  If your children are in Catholic grade school, or you homeschool them and you are not registered in the CCD program, please register today. Check the Parish CCD website for the link or type in: https://membership.faithdirect.net/events/details/5141

Weekday Masses are reinstated!  But please check this site for updates, or click here for email notifications on the Mass schedule. Although the regular weekday Mass schedule is solidly in place, since this is a one-priest parish, there may be times when Mass cancellations are necessary.  Please register here if you attend weekday Masses and want to receive cancellation notifications.  We will not abuse your contact information.  When the weather is questionable, you're in doubt, and you haven't received an email, your computer may have directed an email from us to spam.

Defining Racism (02.17.21) Since the definition of “racism” is elusive, some suggest that using the traditional vocabulary of sin is the better path. But there are too many racist examples to ignore (e.g., the burning of crosses by the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi “Master Race” ideology). We need an accurate and just definition to help us ensure that proposed solutions do not wreak greater havoc.[continue reading]

 
Political “Unity” vs. Christian Unity (02.03.21) Divisive politics seems to poison every aspect of contemporary life. So there is an urgent need to reconsider what it would mean if what we were to seek is not an illusory political “unity,” but what true public harmony depends upon: Christian brotherhood. [continue reading]
 
The Holy Vigilance of Editors (01.31.21) Scribes, like the monks during medieval times, copied and preserved biblical manuscripts and other texts. Their work saved the spiritual and intellectual heritage of ancient civilizations. There is little need for scribes today [continue reading]

Happy Warriors (01.18.21) --With fighting words, our nation’s new political leaders have promised to initiate and accelerate the institutional violation of the Ten Commandments. So let us have an honest conversation about the uncertainties and anxieties they have caused believing Catholics, and let us consider a few timeless Gospel responses. [Continue reading] 

 

No Sympathy for the Devil -- Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate. As we advance in years, this joke becomes more amusing. Jesus teaches us to love our enemies. Good parents teach their kids never to hate people and to use the word with precision. Hate is a dangerous sentiment and can risk one’s salvation. But we are not sentimentalists. As we love the sinner, our religion teaches us to hate sin. That is a healthy distinction. The only being God permits us—even encourages us—to hate is the Devil. [Continue Reading]

 
On the feast of the Holy Family, it seemed appropriate to identify a few Church policies on marriage and family. At this point, the Church’s policy is that marriage is between one man and one woman. Church’s policy requires that husband and wife should be faithful in marriage in an exclusive union, open to children, until the parting of death. The Church also forbids the marriage of people of the same sex. Current Church policy does not permit contraception and homosexual behavior. Church policy has rules against divorce and remarriage. We don’t know what the policies will be in ten years.The Church also has scientific policies. There are traditional policies that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The Church also holds that gravity is not only a good idea. It is the law. These are the policy positions at present. We don’t know if those policies will change in the future. [Continue reading]

Taking Pride in Our Humility -- The testimony of John the Baptist allows us to consider the virtue of humility. Jesus identifies John as the greatest man born of women. But his greatness, ironically, is his humility. He is not the Christ; he is not Elijah, nor the Prophet. He is: “…the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord.’” For “…he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie” (Jn. 1:27). John is humble. Humility is a virtue that recognizes reality and our relationship to reality. [Continue reading]

Virtual Indulgences? Up until the Covid-19 pandemic, we went to Mass, celebrated the sacraments, supported the Church with our contributions, and hoped to go to heaven when we died. After the shutdown of the Masses, we entered into the bizarre virtual reality of the internet. Today we have virtual Masses livestreamed on the web, virtual sacraments, and perhaps, one speculates, a virtual heaven. Alas, the Vatican is finding it difficult to reconcile the new virtual reality with the sacramental life of the Church.[Continue reading]

In 1943, there was an uprising against the Nazi occupiers in the Jewish ghetto in Częstochowa, Poland, which the SS quickly crushed, killing many Jews. Many more were sent to death camps. Those who remained in Częstochowa worked on as slave laborers, until the Red Army liberated the city, by which time it was, as the Nazis would have proudly proclaimed, almost completely Judenfrei. [Continue reading]

Spiritual Strategic Planning -- There is clarity in brevity. Isaiah’s prophecy is clear and punchy: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” General Grant won the Civil War using simple directives. We see the precision and brevity of his masterful command in his famous order: “Lee’s army will be your objective point. Wherever Lee goes, there you will go also.” Despite their defeat in the Wilderness in 1864, his soldiers cheered when they turned south and continued their pursuit of the Confederates. Military and business schools study, repackage, and teach the proven management techniques of great leaders. Perhaps we could apply to the spiritual life the practical wisdom of their best practices. [Continue reading]

Glorifying God in Your Body -- The season of Advent is a season of spiritual preparation to meet Jesus. We will meet Him in the manger on Christmas Day; we will meet him in Holy Communion at Mass; we will meet Him when we enter eternity. We need to prepare ourselves spiritually, acknowledging our sins with a good Confession during these days. But caring for our bodies also binds in conscience: “You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19) [Continue reading]
 

The Continuing Scandal of the McCarrick Doctrine -- Students of Catholic moral teaching discover what the most simple of faithful Catholics intuitively know. There is an impressive, coherent, logical unity to God’s law as we know it through Church teaching. Failures of vigilance and strict adherence to principle quickly shatter that unity. The scandal of Theodore McCarrick’s fall extends beyond his sexual crimes. It continues with an immoral policy legacy that continues to influence the hierarchy. [Continue reading]

 

The Communist-Diabolical Conspiracy -- Standing before Pilate, Jesus reveals: “My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” (Jn. 18:36) So we have the freedom, in this life, to enthrone the kings who will rule us. But what kind of monarch will we crown?In the early 1980s, a Soviet defector earnestly warned an American audience of Communist “agitprop” revolutionary techniques. Based on his experience in the KGB, Yuri Bezmenov described the Soviet conspiracy to undermine and conquer the United States and the world. There is no mistaking the diabolical parallels of the assault. Call it “the Communist-Diabolical Complex.” [Continue reading]

Giving a damn (about work, life, and faith) -- Remove modern cultural sentimental accretions from the Catholic faith, and a muscular Church Militant emerges from the Catholic tradition. We are in an epic, life-long battle for the salvation of souls. Hence, military metaphors are particularly useful in helping us understand the interrelationship of faith and life. Not long ago, I celebrated a funeral Mass for Major General Victor Hugo, Jr., the great-grandson of the celebrated French author. General Hugo was a legendary U.S. Army soldier, a leader of men. As he trained his Special Forces, his operating catchphrase was “Think, work, and give a HOOT” [expletive deleted]. Whether he knew it or not, the motivational slogan applies to every life, including our life of faith.[Continue reading]

No Exit is a French play by the French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre. A mysterious valet escorts three damned souls to a room in Hell and locks them inside. Instead of implements of eternal torment, they find an unadorned furnished room. Their conversations evade the reasons for their damnation, prompting one to demand that they confess to their moral crimes.[Continue reading] 
 
The End is Near, Maybe -- Some suggest we live in the end times as prophesized in the Book of Apocalypse. Way back in 1978, Pope John Paul II famously suggested:“We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel versus the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine Providence; it is a trial which the whole Church, and the Polish Church, in particular, must take up. It is a trial of not only our nation and the Church, but, in a sense, a test of 2,000 years of culture and Christian civilization with all of its consequences for human dignity, individual rights, human rights, and the rights of nations.But the signs tease us and seem to come and go. Happily, the Soviet empire collapsed, Poland and other captive nations were liberated, and we expected to live happily ever after. Apocalypse averted.” Not so fast. [Continue reading]
 
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Here's a really quite beautiful link, proving the existence of God, methinks.  Click here.
 
Here is the story of Albert Gallatin Willis, the Confederate soldier who gave up his life for his friends.  An interesting and quick read.
 
We live in a culture with a high ideological “hate quotient”—a noxious mix of contempt, unjust accusations, and volatile emotional reactions. But as Christians, we cannot give in to hatred and contempt, lest we place our souls at risk. “Every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” (Mt. 5:22) How, with God’s grace, do we maintain Christian charity without slipping into the escapism of indifference and sentimentality? [Continue reading]
 
A Prayer for Victory in the Upcoming Election: “Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain the confusion and lies with which we have had to contend. Grant us clarity of thought and courage of conviction. Graciously hearken to us as citizens who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from electoral victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our anti-religion, anti-family, pro-abortion, and lawless enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
 
[This prayer is based on the one composed by Father James Hugh O'Neill of Chicago during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944.  The armies faced heavy snowstorms and General Patton asked the Catholic chaplain to compose a prayer for victory: “Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.”]
 
 
 
Adults (Catholic or Non-Catholic), are you interested in enriching your Faith, in a group meeting with Father Pokorsky? (Still working out the details.)  Please let him know by clicking here and following the prompts.
 
 

Most regular visitors to this site would probably agree that our culture is broken. When did it break? Maybe we lost the culture in 1973 when the Supreme Court presumed to make the “right to abortion” the law of the land. Perhaps the sexual revolution of the 1960s marked the beginning of the end. But our cultural decline may have begun as far back as 75 years ago, in the skies over Hiroshima when the Americans dropped history’s first atomic bomb on that city. Continue reading.

 
In this “Age of Discouragement” (to coin a phrase) the study of economics can be depressing. It’s commonly called “The dismal science.” As the old joke has it, “Economists have predicted ten of the last five recessions.” Capitalists and communists fight each other. Some companies lay waste to the environment and ruin the reputation of honest entrepreneurs. But the machinery of the economy helps us not only to understand human nature but to explain our relationship with God’s creation. Continue reading.  Continue reading.
 

From "David Brinkley: A Memoir," pp. 177-178: "And a story Johnson [LBJ] liked so much he told it to me at least three times: When he ran for the Senate for the first time he gathered a group of friends one night and led them all into a graveyard to take names off the tombstones and to enter them on the voting rolls and, on election night, show them as having voted for Johnson. They moved down the rows of the tombstones copying off the names until they came to a stone so old and overgrown with moss it was difficult to read. A member of the group said to Johnson, 'This one is hard to read. I'm going to skip it.' Johnson responded, 'You will not skip it. He's got as much right to vote as anybody in this cemetery.'"

 
"It is important to keep Catholic principles such as these in mind when considering the societal response to a pandemic or, for that matter, to any threat to human life." Click here to read Bishop Paprocki's excellent analysis.

Invoking the Ten Commandments:  "God gave Moses the Ten Commandments He engraved on two stone tablets, setting forth the basic principles governing the lives of the Israelites. We cannot repent of our sins unless we know when and how we violate God’s law. We cannot begin to transform the culture without the moral clarity of the Commandments. Good Christians know the Ten Commandments by heart: There is one God, do not abuse His name, go to church on Sunday, obey your parents, and don’t murder, commit adultery, steal, lie, lust, or covet...." Continued: https://cnsnews.com/commentary/father-jerry-pokorsky/time-start-invoking-ten-commandments-political-debate

 

Sacramental Schedule

The Church typically opens by 7:30 a.m. and closes around 7 p.m.  But times may vary because of variations in the Pastor's schedule and the occasional inability to obtain help in locking the church at night.

The Confession Schedule continues

Sacrament of Penance:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 7:45 am – 8:15 am (No Confessions on Holy Days and civil holidays)
Saturday afternoon: 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm
Expanded schedule for Advent and Lent
 
All Day Eucharistic Adoration
Every Wednesday: 1 pm through Thursday morning, 8:30 am
Every First Friday: 9 am through Saturday morning, 8:30 am

Mass Schedule:
Sunday:
8 am 10 am 12 Noon*
*Novus Ordo Latin Mass

Saturday: 8:30 am & 5:30 pm Vigil Mass

Weekdays: 8:30 am, (Wednesdays: 12:15 pm)

Holydays (except Christmas):
8:30 am & 7 pm

Although the regular weekday Mass schedule is solidly in place, since this is a one-priest parish, there may be times when Mass cancellations are necessary.  Please register here if you attend weekday Masses and want to receive cancellation notifications and other updates as opportune.  We will not abuse your contact information.  Click here

 (Note: After clicking the weekday Mass registration link above, please scroll to the bottom right of the page and replace the "0" with a "1" to proceed.)

Contact Us

Pastor
Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky
Direct Line to Pastor 703.759.3520 or click here to email
No text messages please; contact the office for administrative questions.

Office Hours
Monday - Friday: 9:30 am to 1:30 pm 
Closed on Federal Holidays

Saint Catherine of Siena Church
1020 Springvale Road
Great Falls, VA 22066
Have a question? Have a comment? Please contact us!
Phone: 703.759.4350
Fax: 703.759.3753

 Email:

office@saintcatherineschurch.org

 Parish Registration Application  Click here.  

(Note: After clicking the application link above, please scroll to the bottom right of the page and replace the "0" with a "1" to proceed.)

Interested in Catholic Inquiry Classes (for non-Catholics or Catholics interested in deepening their understanding of the Faith)?  Click here.

 

 


St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

1020 Springvale Rd., Great Falls, VA 22066

Parish Office: 703.759.4350
Fax: 703.759.3753
Religious Education: 703.759.3530
Siena Academy: 703.759.4129