Published March 2021, Prince William County Catholic Magazine
by Jean Mondoro
Armed with the graces of the Christmas season, the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish family is now looking ahead to Lent and planning how to best serve the parishioners and continue growing in holiness.
“The Year of St. Joseph will be seamlessly woven into the regular flow of the liturgical year,” said Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Melissa Maleski.
Under the inspiration of honoring St. Joseph, the Family Religious Formation program will put their creative talents to work in early February as they write letters and draw pictures to show appreciation for Pastor Fr. Brian Bashista, Parochial Vicar Fr. Dort Bigg and Deacon Rob Warner. The Youth Ministry will also be thanking the clergy with a St. Joseph “Spiritual Fathers” dinner, set to be held in March.
Meanwhile, the men’s program “That Man is You” has begun a nine-week spiritual “Novena to Nazareth” to take them through the Lenten season.
“From this journey,” said Erick Kasisky, a member of the “That Man is You” core team,. “the men of the parish hope to better understand the times in which the Holy Family lived and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit so they can bring that message to the needs of our current culture.”
The Saturday stewardship event, taking place during this year’s Lenten Ember Days on February 27th, will be spent preparing care packages for Bishop Burbidge and all priests and seminarians in the diocese. These gifts, consisting of spiritual bouquets and other treats, will be given as a celebration of current as well as future spiritual fathers. As another Lenten initiative, the Human Concerns Outreach Ministry will host a parish-wide Lenten Giving Mercy Trees fundraiser, which will aid the Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinics in Woodbridge and Manassas. This organization’s mission is to serve both the uninsured and under-insured members of Prince William county with medical needs. All funds which are raised through this campaign will be given as a donation to the clinics to purchase necessary medical supplies.
The St. Elizabeth Ann Seton family is keeping busy as they pull together a calendar filled with events and activities to prepare before and during the Lenten season while also intentionally incorporating the theme of the Year of St. Joseph in their service to others. “As the year goes on,” said Maleski, “our parish will continue to find ways, both big and small, to honor and contemplate the strong and silent witness of Jesus’ foster father.”