JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, D.C. -- JBAB's St. Michael's Catholic Parish celebrated Mass with continued joy during the third Sunday of Easter. The sanctuary was filled with parishioners to celebrate and unite in religious tradition with the celebrant of the Mass, U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Col.) David Fitz-Patrick. The Mass was concelebrated by a visiting priest from Ramstein, Germany, Father Helmut Pflanz.
The third Sunday of Easter is a special occasion for the Catholic community and the JBAB chapel. During kickoff activities held in the summer of 2011, the Pastoral Council, the parish, and the Knights of Columbus embarked on a spiritual journey.
This journey began with a dedication to the New Evangelism, a revision to the third edition of the Roman Missal, focus on communal outreach and practical spirituality.
According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and the church, and calls for members of the church to support their communities.
The JBAB Chapel staff reaches out to support military personnel and the surrounding community. The synergy of the New Evangelization and the update to the Third Edition of the Roman Missal are essential elements of the changes that lead to outreach.
These efforts directly supported JBAB Commander, Capt. Anthony T. Calandra's desire to be present in the local community and to support the Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen aboard JBAB.
In addition to supporting service personnel, the Catholic Community reached beyond the gates of JBAB, providing over $5,000 in assistance.
St. Michael's parish has built relationships over the years with the local community. Representatives of the community came to say thank you on the third Sunday of April for their support and donations. Mother Immaculate Conception and Sister Theotokos from the Servants of Our Lord; Vice Principal Lorraine Lee from St. Augustine Catholic School, Washington; and Brother Gabriel, a seminarian, from the Dominican House of Studies, and Priory of the Immaculate Conception, located at Catholic University in Washington were all in attendance and giving thanks.
The Sisters of the servants of the Lord operate a Novitiate House in Northwest, D.C. They support Catholic communities and local shelters. The base community provided the Servants of the Lord $1000 to assist in the repair of a deck at the novitiate house.
The Sisters have offered to assist the JBAB community with confirmation classes and other religious education. With the help and support of the Sisters of Charity and the Servants of the Lord, we are helping some of the people who need help the most.
The military has a shortage of Catholic priests, so the JBAB chapel contributed over $1,000 in support of Brother Gabriel's seminary school costs. Brother Gabriel is considering military service. His attendance at the mass let him get a first-hand experience with the military religious community.
The St. Augustine Catholic School provides an education for children in the local community. Last year, a member of the JBAB Boy Scout Troop improved the playground at the school for his Eagle Scout project. The JBAB community has donated $2,000 that will enable the school to make infrastructure updates to their building.
The Pastoral Council President, U.S. Marine Corps Col. Edward Mays, noted that this would not have been possible without the exceptional faith and leadership of Father David Fitz-Patrick and the JBAB Chapel staff, especially Catholic Religious Education Coordinator, Mrs. Lynn Wolfkill and the Catholic Parish Coordinator, Mrs. Frances Martinez.
The JBAB community, donations and support are a true example of The New Evangelism -- offering hope in the form of practical spirituality.