Happy Independence Day: July 4th Weekend Rev. William E. Corby, First U.S. Army Chaplain sent by Notre Dame
"Chaplain William Corby was a U.S. Army Chaplain with the 88th Regiment New York Infantry during the Civil War. 160 years ago today, in 1863, Chaplain Corby, along with the Irish Brigade, went into battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Battle of Gettysburg was a monumental event on a number of levels: the largest battle ever fought in North America, the Army of the Potomac’s finest hour, arguably the turning point of the Civil War. Of the 51 Union brigades present at the battle, none was more unique than the famed Irish Brigade of II Corps. Composed of five regiments of Irish-Americans from New York City, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, the brigade also included one of the more famous chaplains of the Civil War. William E. Corby was born in Detroit in 1833, the son of Irish immigrants. He attended Notre Dame, and in 1859 was ordained a priest. He was on the Notre Dame faculty when the Civil War began. That university sent a number of priests to serve as chaplains in the Union Army. Father Corby was the first. Initially assigned to the 88th New York in Brig. Gen. Thomas Meagher's legendary Irish Brigade, he later became the brigade's chaplain. Although Chaplain Corby accompanied his men on many battlefields, giving comfort to the wounded and absolution to the dying, perhaps his greatest moment came at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863. Little more than 500 veterans remained of the brigade’s original 3,000 recruits. They were ordered to the rescue of the crumbling Union flank in a vicious maelstrom that would become known to history as "The Wheatfield." As the brigade prepared to enter the fray, Chaplain Corby donned his stole and mounted a large rock as the men of the brigade knelt, Catholic and Protestant alike. He offered absolution to the brigade, reminding the soldiers of their duties, warning them not to waver and to uphold their honor. "The service was more than impressive," recalled an officer who attended, "it was awe-inspiring." The brigade’s subsequent attack bought precious time for the Union defenses but cost the Irishmen dearly, with more than one third of the brigade becoming casualties in a few moments. In the garden of stone that is Gettysburg National Military Park today, statues are of course a common sight. Veterans of the Irish Brigade placed a statue there in Chaplain Corby’s honor in 1910; it was the first Gettysburg statue to feature an individual who was not a general officer. An identical statue of Chaplain Corby also graces the campus of Notre Dame on the grounds near Corby Hall, which makes William Corby the only Army chaplain of the Civil War to be honored with two statues. "In the presence of death," Chaplain Corby later wrote, "religion gives hope and strength. The soldier realizes that his power comes from the 'God of Battles,' not from man."" Source: U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains
July 30, 2023
Commissioning of the Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist (EMs)
As mandated by the Diocese and upon receiving the Certificate of Commissioning for all the EMs, I will conduct the Rite of Commissioning on the following dates at each Mass:
Saturday, August 26th, 2023 at 5:00PM Mass Sunday, August 27th, 2023 at 9:00AM Mass
The EMs can attend to one of these Masses. Please call the parish office to inform us. God bless on your ministry.
July 2, 2023
New Parish Ministry Leadership Appointments
First of all, I would like to thank Judi McBee for taking the responsibility as coordinator of Bible Study Group and as Liturgical Ministry Scheduler in our parish. Judi's contribution to the parish ministry was of big help and on behalf of the parish, I thank her for such a devout parishioner. Since Judi will now focus more on the Religious Education Program as Coordinator, Susanne Anderson will be the new Coordinator for the Bible Study Group for the parish, while Ann Marie Handwork will take over the role of being the Liturgical Ministry Scheduler. On the other hand, a million thanks to Mike Stanger for being the Coordinator for the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) for 25 years in our parish. Mike did a fantastic job in this ministry and as well as in some other ministries that he is currently leading including some leadership roles in the Knights of Columbus. On behalf of the parish, my sincere thanks to Mike in his leadership. As this EMHC pertains to the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, it is incumbent upon a pastor to coordinate or lead this ministry being the custodian of the Holy Eucharist in the parish. Therefore, the schedules for EMHC should be coordinated or should be done by Gaby Kucharski, the parish secretary, through the guidance of the pastor. Any concerns or issues on this matter must be addressed to the pastor through the parish office.
Parish Point Persons for the Eucharistic Revival
I appoint Dawn Roper and Curtis Perry as our parish point persons for the Eucharistic Revival as directed by the bishop as they would work through the Office of Worship and Sacraments of the Diocese led by Bernadette Kime. The point persons will work with the Diocesan Team and the National Eucharistic Revival Team in relaying or implementing the plans and activities to our parish. Let us pray that the Lord will bless the works of our hands. Thank you all for sharing your gifts and giving others a chance to share their gifts. God bless you and your families. And thank you once again for your service to the parish.
June 28, 2023
Special thanks and blessing to the 23 people who have attended the Symposium on the Sacrament of Reconciliation that revives our Eucharistic Spirit led by the Augustinian speaker and Canon Law student at the Catholic University of America, Rev. Ritchie Mercado, OSA. The topic was profoundly sacramental and eucharistic in nature yet it was deeply rooted in Scriptures and day-to-day spiritual journey.
What made the talk unique was that the theological teaching of St. Augustine on the said sacraments were being emphasized. It is historically known that the great sinner Augustine became the great saint Augustine, for he learned what pride could bring to his soul had he not encountered the mercy of God at both sacraments, namely, the Reconciliation and the Eucharist. It was with the same objective that such a symposium could have reached or touched more hesitant, fearful and prideful hearts and minds. Anyways, at the end of the topic, Fr. Mercado had shared to us some changes in the Code of Canon Law introduced by Pope Francis for the whole Catholic Church. How I wished many more souls were there!
June 7, 2023
My brethren in Christ, the second phase of our Eucharistic Revival Program will begin on Sunday, June 11, 2023, the Solemnity of the Corpus Christi, when the Church focuses on her approach to revive the Eucharistic life of all parishes throughout the world.
In our own little way, what shall we do in our parish at St. Vincent de Paul as part of this universal effort of the Church to bring the people back to the faith if they have wandered off, or to resuscitate their dying spirit into believing the truth of the Holy Eucharist? First and foremost, each baptized must recognize the fact that he or she has already received the faith at the moment of Baptism and has been strengthened by the Holy Spirit at the moment of Confirmation. In short, the baptized person has already the gifts enough to respond to God's invitation to bring His commandments to fruition. For example, when the Devil offers him or her the poisonous food of pride that brings death to the soul, such a person must resist such offer by a counteroffer of sincere and genuine humility so as to keep his or her relationship of unity with God, and this unity is taught in our loving embrace of the Holy Eucharist as the Sacrament of Unity aided by the Sacrament of Reconciliation that unites man to God and the man to his neighbor.
Therefore, to have a renewed understanding and to deepen our Eucharistic spirituality, there will be a symposium on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, at our parish at 6:00PM-7:30PM to be led by Rev. Fr. Ritchie Mercado, OSA, a Friar of the Order of St. Augustine and a Canon Law student of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. The program is entitled as: "Symposium on the Sacrament of Reconciliation: The Sacrament that Revives our Eucharistic Spirit."
I do hope and pray that you will make a serious commitment to attend and avail this gift to our parish that will help us reexamine the spiritual condition of our hearts for the Lord and our neighbors. May God bless you and your family.
May 28, 2023
On this Memorial weekend, we are reminded to be grateful to all servicemen and servicewomen who fought the fight to defend our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and also for those who are actively giving their lives day and night here and abroad to make us safe and sound. To them, we give our honorable and respectful salute!
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteers in different ministries of our parish. As I always monumentally said that without your support and help we would not be as flourishing as a parish community as it is now without your active participation in every front of our ministry. God knows very well who you are and what you have contributed to His Church. I believe many, many of you, if not, all have given your gifts and talents in one way or another. The people of the parish also know who you are, and forgive me if I cannot mention each of your name, or else, I would mention almost everyone. What I can assure you that God sees what you have done, and what you have done in secret will be rewarded in secret. If at times I forget to thank you in public, pardon my human weakness, for we must please God rather than men. Again, thank you for being generous with your gifts by giving them back to God in the service to His Church. Keep believing, keep giving, keep sharing, and you will be alive and kicking. God bless you and your family!
April 28, 2023 Please pray for all the priests of the diocese who will be spending their time together for the annual convocation in Charleston, WV, starting May 2nd and ending on May 5th. This gathering allows them to renew their bond of friendship, reaching out in fraternal fellowship, continuing education, and priestly camaraderie. Prior to this event, members of the presbyteral council will conduct their spring meeting, May 1-2, 2023, at the same place. The Masses during these days in parishes are canceled. Please pray for all the priests. Thank you.
April 20, 2023 No more eulogies at funeral Masses!
Starting May 1, 2023, eulogies at funeral Masses are no longer allowed due to their non-liturgical character, which oftentimes borders "beatifying or canonizing" the deceased at Mass. Although giving a eulogy is not completely banned as far as it gives comfort to the family and friends of the deceased person, it is highly recommended that it should be done at the funeral home during the funeral vigil. In fact, the funeral home is the most appropriate place for an oration like this. Thank you for your compliance!
April 14, 2023 What is the condition of your Eucharistic life?
If your Eucharistic life is lifeless and has not been spiritually energized, then this is the moment to provide it sustenance and to reclaim the divine graces that God has in store for you. You can begin by attending the "National Eucharistic Revival Congress” this coming April 21-22 at St. James Parish in Charles Town, WV. On Friday, April 21, a service of prayer begins at 7:00pm to be followed by a light reception. On Saturday, April 22, the event begins at 9:00am and concludes with Mass at 5:00pm with the bishop presiding. This event offers a lot of exciting and lively opportunities to rediscover your faith; prayer, worship and music will bring you to an intimate encounter with the Lord. A delegation from our parish will be formed to attend this momentous event. If you are interested, please call the parish office for more information and be enlisted for this congress. Thank you!
April 8, 2023 My dear beloved parishioners and friends in the Risen Christ,
Our Lenten observances have come to pass that gave us a renewed spirit and spiritual vigor to face new challenges that are ahead of us. Now, we can confidently say that we are unafraid because the resurrection of Jesus Christ has offered us abundant graces to continue what we have started and to do even more with a vision and mission in our Catholic life that are more focused and productive. What propels us to give more to others and to the Church on top of what we have been given is the divine hope and encouragement that the Risen Christ can open the dark tombs in our lives, and these dark tombs can be turned into tombs full of light that brings us the reality of Easter joy. This is precisely the meaning of Easter-the joy that emanates from the resurrected Body of Christ, which is also given to us in the Holy Eucharist; that is, in our intimate holy communion of His Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity.
May this Easter season become the beginning of your closeness to God and His Church more than ever as the risen Christ longs for us to remember Him always. To remember Him is to receive physically His Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. In a special way, I reach out to those parishioners who have not come back since the pandemic: Now is high time to come back to the table of eternal life. Our Savior and Risen Christ misses you a lot. Please know that as your unworthy pastor, I pray for you. I love you and hope to see you soon!
A blessed and joyful Easter to you all!
March 22, 2023 As we observe the Holy Triduum this coming Holy Week, I'm inviting all parishioners to make an effort to attend the presentation on the "Shroud of Turin" given to us by Mr. Jim Naulty, a parishioner of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Silver Spring, MD. This is a rare gift to our parish and unique opportunity to listen to a man who has studied the Shroud of Turin for almost 30 years. Mr. Naulty was able to study under Bro. Joseph Pounds from the Franciscan monastery in Washington, DC. Bro. Pounds studied the Shroud of Turin at the Vatican in 1978 with STURP. He had studied under the shroud historian, Msgr. Giulio Ricci, at the Vatican where he studied the same since the 1930s. I'm hoping that you will make this presentation as part of your lenten observance and reflection and spiritual revival. See you then on Holy Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at 5:00pm-7:00pm in the parish hall. Light refreshments will be provided or you may bring some foods to share.
March 12, 2023 With sincere appreciation, I'm profoundly grateful to all the wonderful and generous parishioners of Saint Vincent de Paul and friends including my former parishioners who traveled from afar just to attend the wonderful occasion on my installation as pastor of the parish. My special thank you to all the parish volunteers who attended their respective liturgical and pastoral ministries in our church, and those who have contributed for food preparation and the like, A big thank you. In the same manner, your presence and the spirit of pastoral friendship has added meaning to our celebration, especially on this day, March 11th, that I celebrated my birthday together with my mother who passed away three years ago. Again, thank you so much for your love, prayers and support. God bless you all!
March 7, 2023 Our parish is in need of adult altar servers, both men and women who are willing to serve at weekend Masses. If you are willing to learn how to serve, please contact Patrick McBee, our altar server coordinator. Your help and cooperation in this matter would truly add efficiency and solemnity to the Eucharistic celebration. I hope and pray that you consider serving the Lord at the altar of sacrifice.
March 1, 2023 I'm glad to announce that Bishop Mark Brennan has issued a letter reinstating the distribution of the sacred cup containing the Precious Blood of Christ to the faithful who wish to receive It effective April 6, 2023. This falls on Holy Thursday, which is very appropriate when we recall that our Lord Jesus first gave Holy Mother Church this precious gift of His Body and His Blood at the Last Supper. Therefore, I ask all parishioners to receive the Body and Blood of Christ worthily by reconciling first to God through the holy sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. February 21, 2023 Our parish will be hosting a day of reflection and a workshop on "Eucharistic Revival" to be facilitated by Daniel Maul, the Director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, on Saturday, February 25, 2023, from 9:00am until 12noon; food will be provided. Please come to share your experience of the mysteries of the Holy Eucharist and learn more on how to deepen your Eucharistic spirituality. The gift of the Holy Eucharist deserves more than ever our full knowledge and understanding so that we can truly embrace our life of faith as Christians. Without the holy eucharist, we are dead!
February 16, 2023 The Lenten season is around the corner, which will start on Ash Wednesday, February 22, when the celebration of the Mass is at 5:00pm and the ashes are being imposed on our forehead to remind us that we are dust and we shall return there at an appointed time. However, there is a deeper meaning than that, which is a reminder that we must repent from our sins and believe in the Gospel. This holy occasion provides ample time to do acts of penance, to exercise charity in our midst, and to be mindful in leading a life of active faith in God. We all know that there are a lot of opportunities to be holy, especially during the Lenten season. Therefore, let us strive to do them in the spirit of humility and service, for the grace of God abounds the more for those who fear Him.
As a side note, the first Parish Pastoral Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at 5:00pm in the parish hall. All those who hold different parish ministries are part of the PPC, hence, you are expected to attend.
February 10, 2023 On Saturday, March 11, 2023, the Very Rev. Timothy J. Grassi, Vicar Forane of the Martinsburg Vicariate, will canonically install this unworthy servant as the pastor of St. Vincent de Paul parish through the celebration of the Holy Eucharist in accordance with the Rite of Installation of Pastor. The said event will be held at 1:00pm, followed by a light reception in the parish hall. All parishioners are invited.
February 08, 2023
2023 Presbyteral Council of the Diocese
Ex-Officio Members: Most Reverend Mark E. Brennan – President Rev. Msgr. Eugene S. Ostrowski, V.G. Very Rev. Dennis R. Schuelkens, Jr., V.E.
Elected Members: Terms expiring in December 2023 Rev. Msgr. Samuel S. Sacus – (ch) Rev. James Conyers – (bk) Rev. José Manuel Escalante – (ch) Rev. John Rice – (pk) – re-elected -- chairman Rev. Martin Smay – (cl) -- secretary Terms expiring in December 2024 Very Rev. Joseph M. Augustine, J.C.L., J.V. – (wh) Very Rev. Casey B. Mahone, V.F. – (cl) – re-elected Rev. William J. Kuchinsky – (mb)
Terms expiring in December 2025 Rev. Msgr. Frederick P. Annie – (ch) Rev. J. Michael O. Lecias – (mb) Rev. Msgr. Kevin M. Quirk – (pk) Rev. Leonard A. Smith – (bk) – re-elected – vice-chairman
Appointed Members: Terms expiring December 2023 Rev. Msgr. Joseph L. Peterson – (wh) Very Rev. John S. Ledford, V.F. – (wh)
Terms expiring December 2024 Very Rev. Joseph M. Konikattil, Assoc. V.F. – (cl) – reappointed
Terms expiring December 2025 Very Rev. Sebastian E. Devasya, V.F. – (bk) – reappointed Committee Chairmen: Pastoral Concerns: Rev. William J. Kuchinsky Peace, Justice, & Charity: Rev. Martin Smay Priestly Life & Formation: Rev. Leonard A. Smith Vocations Committee: Rev. J. Michael O. Lecias
Executive Committee: Most Reverend Mark E. Brennan Rev. Msgr. Eugene S. Ostrowski, V.G. Very Rev. Dennis R. Schuelkens, Jr., V.E. Chairman – Rev. John Rice Vice-Chairman – Rev. Leonard Smith Secretary – Rev. Martin Smay Rev. William J. Kuchinsky Rev. J. Michael O. Lecias Recording Secretary – Mr. Chad R. Carter
January 10, 2023 I'm glad to announce that we have a new president and vice-president of the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC), Pat Narango and Judi McBee, respectively. They will serve for two years and can be reelected or appointed by the pastor. The PPC serves as the "mother" of all existing parish ministries and replaces the existing Liturgy Committee. The first PPC meeting shall be announced later once the date is determined. Finally, I am thankful to those who submitted themselves for the nomination and the election. Your unceasing support to our parish is greatly appreciated. God bless you and your families.
January 8, 2023 The morning of January 2nd, the Vicar General of the diocese called me to inform this servant of yours that I was elected in late December 2022 as the new member of the Presbyteral Council of the diocese. This senate of priests will help and assist the bishop in his pastoral ministry and will coordinate with the planning and implementation of some diocesan programs and activities that are beneficial for the people in parishes, vicariates, and the diocese as a whole. So, please pray for me as I start another task this year in my pastoral ministry. Thank you!
January 3, 2023 On December 14, 2022, the bishop had canonically and officially appointed me pastor of St. Vincent de Paul parish, the current parish of which I am serving under the title of Administrator. This is in accordance with Canon 522 that a pastor is canonically in possession of the said parish with certain canonical rights and privileges. In light of this canonical appointment, there will be a proper public liturgical ceremony of Installation of Pastor, which will be presided by the Vicar Forane of the Martinsburg Vicariate. The date of the Mass for the installation of pastor shall be held in March 2023. Once the date is determined, I will announce it as soon as possible. Below is the list of the newly appointed pastors:
Father Dominikus Baok, S.V.D., is appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Montgomery, St. Anthony Shrine Mission in Boomer, and Good Shepherd Chapel in East Bank, effective immediately. Father Aloysius Boh is appointed pastor of St. Bernadette parish in Hedgesville, effective immediately.
Father Binu Emmanuel, CST, is appointed pastor of St. Patrick parish in Mannington and St. Peter parish in Farmington, effective immediately. Father J. Michael O. Lecias is appointed pastor of St. Vincent de Paul parish in Berkeley Springs, effective immediately.
Father Shinto Mathew is appointed pastor of St. John Parish in St. Marys, Christ Our Hope Mission in Harrisville (currently operating at St. Joseph Chapel, Pennsboro), and St. Joseph Chapel in Pennsboro, effective immediately. Father Biju Parampil is appointed pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Logan, St. Edmund Chapel in Man, and Sacred Heart Parish in Williamson, effective immediately. Father L.J. Asantha Jude Perera, T.O.R., is appointed pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Follansbee, effective immediately. Father Daniel Price is appointed pastor of Annunciation of Our Lord Parish in Fort Ashby and St. Anthony Parish in Ridgeley, effective immediately. Father S. Kumar Reddimasu is appointed pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Stonewood, effective immediately. Father Thomas A. Sebastian, C.S.T., is appointed pastor of Assumption Parish in Keyser and Our Lady of Grace Parish in Romney, effective immediately. Father Martin Smay is appointed pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Thomas and Our Lady of Mercy Mission in Parsons, effective immediately. Father Edward A. Tetteh, S.V.D., is appointed pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Buckhannon and Sacred Heart Chapel in Pickens, effective immediately. Father Shaji Jacob Thomas is appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Huntington and St. Peter Claver Parish in Huntington, effective immediately. In consultation with Bishop James Thoppil of the Diocese of Kohima, India, Father Sojan Xavier is appointed administrator of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in St. Albans with residence in St. Albans, effective immediately.
SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL CATHOLIC CHURCH a parish of the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Physical Address: 67 Liberty Street, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 | 304.258.1311 | email@example.com Mailing Address: Post Office Box 634, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 "If we are faithful to God, we will lack nothing." - St. Vincent de Paul