Dolores Hart in St. Francis parish film this weekend

Hart 1We are showing another film in our Doctors & Saints of the Church series. This Sunday at 6 p.m. in the pastor’s residence it is “St. Francis” starring Bradford Dillman as St. Francis and Dolores Hart (photo) as St. Clare. We are showing the 1961 film version in honor of Hart being in it, and that she is in the news this month over a book about her life in leaving Hollywood 50 years ago (after this film) and joining Catholic religious life.

Dolores went from being a famous actress to joining a convent for a religious life. She is in Washington on a book signing day this month to talk about “Ears of the Heart” a book she wrote of her whole experience so far of being a woman religious. It is probably an interesting read. Dolores was a pretty big star when she answered a vocation from God to leave Hollywood. She had been in the Paramount film Loving You with Elvis Presley in 1957. She acted in nine more movies with other big stars such as Montgomery Clift, Anthony Quinn and Myrna Loy. She also gave a Tony-nominated performance in the Broadway play The Pleasure of His Company and appeared in television shows, including The Virginian and Playhouse 90. Yet an important chapter in her life occurred while playing Saint Clare in the movie Francis of Assisi, which was filmed on location in Italy. She longed in real life for the very role she was playing.
Mother Dolores, as she is known now, entered the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut, at the peak of her career, to answer a mysterious call she heard with the “ear of the heart”. While contracted for another film and engaged to be married, she abandoned everything to become a bride of Christ.
She entered the convent, and began a new life as a cloistered sister, which continues to today. Her 2013 book by Ignatius Press answers some curious questions as to what has happened to her over that time. The book will be on sale at the National Shrine Basilica of Mary in D.C., among other places.
When Mother Dolores was asked to compare her experience of working with Elvis and working in a cloister, she amusingly said: “God is bigger than Elvis.” As for her relationship with Hollywood today, she commented: “As a former actress, I remain a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, though now prioress of an abbey.  Assisi in Italy is shown in the photo below, where Francis and Clare lived their saintly faith.


St. Edward the Confessor parish is showing films all through this Year of Faith. We are featuring saints that became Doctors of the Church. This motion picture aims to tell the story of Francis of Assisi. We hope it sheds a little light on him for our movie goers.

Bride has wedding back in the church of her youth

She grew up in the parish of St. Edward’s. Jacqueline wanted to come back and be married here. Though her parents had moved from Bowie, many close ties and friendships were made here, and were still going along. Jacqueline asked her engaged fiance if it would be fine with him that they request St. Edward’s parish to host their wedding. Joshua agreed to it. They called here and I (the pastor) consented and we had a convenient weekend available in Spring 2013 in the church. All was arranged for an April wedding. The couple began Pre-Marriage Counsel/ Classes and completed them. They spiritually prepared for their promise and union before God. A special priest friend of the family was asked to do the vows. He was one of the men from Bowie who had become a priest for the Archdiocese in recent times; and he was free to witness their vows, and said “he would love to come back to hometown Bowie to be the wedding priest. ” I, the pastor, set up and accommodated the wedding of the so many coming home to Bowie to celebrate this Sacrament of Matrimony.
It took place On April 27th, on a pretty Saturday afternoon. All went splendidly. There were many smiles on faces. Our parish music ministers played and sang at the wedding, and it was beautiful.

It should always go so smoothly and well for former parishioners coming home to where they practiced faith for so long. We ARE one Catholic Church. If some person’s journey involves a few parish stops or changes, then they should be welcomed home anytime they wish to return back to a parish– Like Jackie did with St. Edward’s, and with her parents Mark and Pamela, and the “from-Bowie priest” Fr. Rob.

A few years ago, I came back to Bowie myself, to have a first Mass. Though I had been gone from the parish (which was St. Pius X Bowie) for years, and my parents had moved out of St. Pius X (to come to St. Edwards in 1986), I still was welcomed with open arms for my First Mass at St. Pius on May 22, 1988. The pastor gave me full choice with the church and the Mass and music and time. It was Fr. Paul. His example to me taught me how to respond to people coming back to a parish– say: “Welcome home!”

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus move in us and bless the world with acts of love as deeply inspired by Him.

!cid_3D7E6060EC804FBD9390C2A4743F086A@IBMA8CFDB28EA7Funny thing–the next day at Sunday Mass another couple was there in church with us at St. Edward–and I didn’t recognize them, but they seemed to act like they were at home here. I took time to say hello to them after Mass. It turns out, they were former parishioners, even who had come through the R.C.I.A. They felt great being back here. They said that their starting experience in the Catholic Faith here spurred them on to service and involvement in their present out-of-state parish. They were quite active in that new parish. I said: “Great. You have been sent forth to help in other pastures, but we’re glad how the love of God in this community has spread in you to another.”
All in another weekend at St. Edward……….. Fr. Barry

Silver, Ruby, Gold and Diamond Priests

I gathered in Washington, D.C. for a Priest Jubilee Celebration.  It was for priests of the Archdiocese of Washington who had a special anniversary.  I was one of them, along with Fr. Jeff DeFayette, who were the silver jubilarians (who had served 25 years of priesthood for the Archdiocese).  Eleven other men were honored with us, and they came with the much longer years of service, with ruby and gold and diamond jubilees.  The Silver Jubilarians were asked to preach and speak to the gathered presbyterate.  We did so in a Mass of celebration and then in a dinner-banquet.    Fr. Jeff and I decided to center our remarks around “the added apostle” of Matthias.   Fr. Jeff spoke of this 13th apostle being a patron of unfinished business.   I spoke of Matthias of being the first new priest to continue the line of Holy Orders for Jesus’ specific Priestly Work on earth, and that all of the jubilarians being honored were priests called by the Lord to keep His Church going.  I tried, in my remarks, to share some humorous remarks and stories about priests I was asked to replace, and how, in seven assignments so far, I have had seven fellow clergy to follow (replace).  It is not easy to just step in and be the “new priest” and continue the priesthood for a parish.  I had some funny (at least to me) reflections on stepping in as the new guy in the collar.

On a more serious look, I shared that, from Scriptures about Matthias, it speaks of “allotment” as how he was chosen as the next apostle/ priest.  The Bible word means an allotted portion, like land territory, but yet more pointedly of a life to be lived, with the land or pathway ahead of you marked out as one’s portion for priestly service or vocation to Christ Jesus, the High Priest.   God had given Matthias a life, or lot, of serving Him in a certain way (vocation) as priest, and it was Matthias to accept as his portion into the first priesthood of Christianity.   He did. The apostles approved him and laid hands on him for consecration. He became priest #13.  He made 13 quite a good number.

Coincidentally, it was 13 jubilarian ADW priests who were gathered at this Clergy Mass and Anniversary Dinner Celebration, hosted by Cardinal Wuerl of Washington and attended by many of his priests.  The 13 in jubilee were:  Msgr. Tom Duffy (Diamond), Msgr. Dick Burton and Fr. Arnie DePorter (Gold), and Monsignors Lorenzo Albacete, John Enzler, Don Essex, and Fathers David Bava, Mike Blackwell, Joe Kennedy, Valentine Keveny, and John McKay (Ruby).  Jeff DeFayette and I brought in the silver.  Together we thirteen had ‘tallied’ available service to Jesus for His priestly work in a total of 530 years.  I, being the young jubilarian, still had 13,000 Masses so far in my own service to Jesus, along with all the other kinds of priestly activity over the years.  I am glad for the time that the Lord reached down and chose me for this set ministry of His, even by some surprise to me that it was his portion for me.  Matthias might have been surprised, too, when his name was called (from all the disciples who had followed Jesus around in ministry) to be the new priest.    Praise God.

Fr. John Barry     Ordained May 21, 1988   St. Matthew’s Cathedral, Washington, D.C.


My Pentecost Poem

Pentecost Poem:    Wondering about speaking to God
(Can words say what I really want to say to God?)

God: You’re just too marvelous for words, too marvelous for words
Like “glorious”, “victorious” and surely “meritorious”
They can’t describe how You are
but it’s, at least, a start
You’re fantabulous, razzmatazzbulous–How Great Thou Art!

You’re all too wonderful, I’ll-never-find-the-words-that-will-do-it
That say enough, and tell enough, and altogether gell enough!
To whatever I say:  add “very, very ”
to superlatives I pull from-the-Dictionary.
but You’re too marvelous for words, indescribable in a word:
In case You haven’t heard,

Could I call You “awesome,” “fantastic,” or “majestic?”
How about Disney’s “supercalafragalistic?”
What phrase does one say
to properly convey
that You’re wonderful, incredible,
O God so Infallible!

My words seem so insufficient
when speaking to One Who’s Omniscient
I’d have to come up with a phrase so stupendous
To give tribute to He Who is Endless
A million words could I throw together?
to honor the Lord Who lives forever?!?
But my vocabulary’s not swell enough
to ever come near to tell enough
of Your treasure
What do I say?  It’s so absurd!
To bless You with any given word?!
One enters the delirious
to go bless the Mysterious,
to approach it how can I be serious?
“Naphtali is a doe set free
He gives beautiful words”
Yet new in covenant
to you, Heaven-sent sent
I will give you words,
with new life, as Sacrament

You give me Words of Scripture
You give me Bread of Life
You put within me Your own\Spirit
That when I speak
My unworthiness you tweak
to make it so You can hear it.

When I go to words of praise
By Jesus’ Spirit  they are raised
–On high that You are pleased
in this Communion of The High Priest!

In the Mass I give exultation
By Jesus’ Dying/Rising celebration
We join in The Incarnation
of You mediating new birth
on the Earth

And humbly partake of Life in Christ
— united with His Sacrifice
We know that we’re not worthy but only say the Word
Send down the Spirit and like a winged bird–

Alight on our gifts   on our lives
and make them blessed
Because the Word is made flesh
we have hope and hesed*

We’ll be faithful to The Living Word
Like Napthali rejoice in what we’ve heard
The Call of Freedom to dance on the earth
we’re celebrating New Birth

His Good News to our hearts
to the world we share imparts
His Message/ His Story all worth telling
Jesus to the Church indwelling

So to a Liturgy I come to share
in prayers and action with Jesus I dare
To approach You, Mighty One, with offerings and love*

Because Jesus The Son reigns from Above
Sent Love to alight on us by The Dove
When we meet in Christ, you hear us when we pray*
So Come Lord Jesus, be here with us today.


I am Peace for you
Beginning and the End
I am Lamb for you
Savior and your friend

Gather Father,
speak words of  consecration
under the steeple, say your Great Amen

Speak    of your freedom
sing out Alleluias
Welcome me there in sweet Hosannas


Oh I love and appreciate You
and I’m honored to even celebrate You
And in prayer I want to meet You
to talk to You and beseech You

So with words I’ve tried to greet You,
but I think that I’ll repeat You
You’re Too Marvelous for Words.
You understand I’m just a poor sinner

+ +

You’re Too Marvelous for Words.
Yet with heavenly chorus      and saints
and Church on earth
And led in The Saviour
we speak forth     in our New Birth


HESED (a Hebrew word): a good, working definition of hesed is: the consistent, ever-faithful, relentless, constantly-pursuing, lavish, extravagant, unrestrained, furious love of our Father God!   It is this love, demonstrated through the life and death of our Savior Jesus Christ, which has shaped our lives and made us who we are today — a people filled with joy and confidence who know the source of life, who are living the way life was meant to be lived.

NAPTHALI (a Jewish Tribe):  Of the north, near Galilee region.  Genesis 49: 21.
The blessing to Naphtali popped out at me: “Naphtali is a deer let loose; he uses beautiful words.”  In the many Masses I’ve prayed, I realize that each liturgy has been conversing with Heaven in Jesus, and receiving from Heaven, Living Bread.  In Mass prayers, God looks to engage us in Kingdom living, and speaking, to have us be loosened from the many things that are idolic and in the selfish-temporal.   We can be freed into the eternal, to use beautiful words and to drink from the Stream of the Spirit.   How have I used my tongue in ways of blessing and good this week?  In Mass, we start to speak in beauty.
Mere words would not be enough.   We participate in Christ, therefore they are Sacrament, graced in power.   “I love you” means something when you can also show it as you say it, to engage in the manner of loving. Then the words have power.  Mass provides this.

Horse With No Name

Equestrian Sport Emblem   Blac...  I had been rooting for “Black Onyx, the #1 horse in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.  Not for any reason, but that I liked the name, and his rail position.  The race was last Saturday.  I had not heard any news or watched the lead-up to the race, as when I watched it in my house when I got there right at the 6:40 race time, last Saturday eve.  I began viewing just at the part when they had finished loading the race horses and jockeys into their gates, and were ready to release them.  A gate ringing sounded out, and the track announcer exclaimed: “They’re off!”    Only, no-one came out of Gate 1! ( Hey–Where’s my pick?!  ‘Afraid to come out of the gate?! ‘Too shy?!)   ‘Turns out, Black Onyx had been scratched from the race, due to an ailment to the thoroughbred.  I hadn’t known that.  So, when I saw the #19 horse get off to a bad Derby start, I decided to just spontaneously root for him (to take the place of my earlier pick).  For me–he was my “Horse with No Name.”  Just #19, at the back of the pack.  Maybe somehow he could pull off an exciting worst-to-first  finish.  It didn’t happen. “Java’s Revenge,” that #19  horse, finished in thirteenth place. “Orb” was the name of the winning Horse of the Roses.

Horses In Giza Desert“A Horse with No Name”   Three times I heard references to this song this past week.  I thought I was one of the only ones to recall that 1970’s song hit of the group called America.  Yet, apparently, it is not so forgotten.  Here below are its odd lyrics, and then a few fans’ take on what they think they song was saying:

On the first part of the journey,I was looking at all the life.There were plants and birds. and rocks and things,There was sand and hills and rings.The first thing I met, was a fly with a buzz,And the sky, with no clouds.The heat was hot, and the ground was dry,But the air was full of sound.    * I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name, It felt good to be out of the rain. In the desert you can remember your name, ‘Cause there ain’t no one for to give you no pain. La, la, la… After two days, in the desert sun, My skin began to turn red. After three days, in the desert fun, I was looking at a river bed. And the story it told, of a river that flowed,Made me sad to think it was dead. You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name (chorus*)  After nine days, I let the horse run free,’Cause the desert had turned to sea. There were plants and birds, and rocks and things, There was sand and hills and rings.The ocean is a desert, with it’s life underground, And a perfect disguise above. Under the cities lies, a heart made of ground, But the humans will give no love.  You see I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name (chorus*)  la la la la la la                                     

Now–the interpretations!

Fan A:  The song is about a kind of vision quest in the desert…or else a mundane trip that (due to a little too much sunlight or too little water) became a visionary experience to the traveler, and caused a spiritual awakening.   Fan B:   The song is about drugs: what else in the 70’s?! They were high on the mirage and escape.   Fan C:  For me this song is about soul searching, and the anxiety and loneliness that comes with it.  Hear the words “On the first part of the journey I was looking at all the life” This refers to the part of life before finding out who you really are. You just assume things are as the are (including yourself). The horse with no name refers to a person going his own way, perhaps against the stream, not accepting the label of identity that has been stamped on him by others (society/friends). It’s about forgetting everything you know about yourself and going into the ‘desert’ not knowing who you are.  “And the story it told of a river that flowed Made me sad to think it was dead”  Here a reference is made to a person looking back at his old life, amongst the people, and realizing how far this life was removed from who he/she actually is and what he/she really wanted.“The ocean is a desert with it’s life underground And a perfect disguise above” Meaning:  Eventually one comes to accept the ‘fake’ world as it is, and starts living a kind of a double life. One in the true world (the desert), and one where society lives (the ocean)   Fan D Well, until the writer steps forward and tells us exactly what he meant –then we will never know. All we can do is guess and then laugh later. I think that maybe, just maybe, the desert is the new lifestyle that the singer is experiencing, a lifestyle involving money, fame….Possibly the horse is his old self, when he didn’t have a name or any fame. Now he’s on the horse, (his own self-identity), and in his new identity of fame he’s riding through the desert, a desert where no one really cares about who you really are, they just love you cause your rich, famous, and have a band. At first the desert felt good cause prior to the desert he was in the rain, probably back home somewhere. No one knew him; he wanted fame; it was dark and gloomy because he didn’t ever imagine that he would get there. He steps into the desert and at first it feels good to be out of the rain. In the desert they don’t remember your name, as in they don’t give a darn about who you really are, your self-identity, “Just give us more good music”. Then he goes on to say that there ain’t no one for to give you no pain. At this point the fame has led to callousness and he could care less about his fans and the money.

PapaJohn’s final thoughts—– Interesting!!   I thought everybody forgot about this song but me.   I had the America album way back when with this song on it.  The group had some Native American themes now and then in their songs–  The lead singer still tours with “America”  and says that the horse in the song was about some strange horse image in a M.C. Escher drawing.     Another singer in the group, Dan Peek, became a born-again Christian, and he says that in another hit song of America, the lines “don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup” came to mean for him The Blood of Christ, and his dry, needy life being quenched by Jesus.


Cup of Gold Vine, Chalice Vine (Solandra  maxima)


1976 Confirmation in St. Edward’s Church

As we celebrate our 40th year as a parish, we took a look to see who was confirmed in 1972, 73, 74 & 75–in our pre-church days.  Msgr. Gatta received just Adult and RCIA candidates for Confirmation in that time, but in 1976, with our church built up, we had our first “class” of confirmands.   Here is the list, plus the names of their patron saint is in the middle.  I notice that Edward was chosen twice by boys in that class of the church being ‘christened.’             +

Donna Marie Bridget Amaral

Pamela Mara Baron

Patrice Marette Baron

Paul Anthony Michael Crisci

Karen Ann Cunningham

Catherine Louise Marie Daubel

JoAnn Christina DePacel

William James John Eaton

Tony Patrick Eiser

Sheila Mary Flynn

Dion Arthur Edward Frye

Victor Kenneth Paul Gonzales

Joseph Patrick Hufnell

Joanne M. Kathryn Johnson

Lisa M. Ann Johnson

Sara Ann Elizabeth Seton Johnson

Sophie S. Joanna Klinitski

Elzabeth A. Catherine Kowalski

Glen S. John Kowalski

Bernard Paul Mulhern

John Raymond John Polchin

Lisa Mary Polka

Charles Blaine John Proctor

Ann Charlotte Marie Radley

Theodore Edward Edward Rushin

Martino Peter Seppi

Valerie Diane Seppi

David Bruce David Stevens

Donna Leigh Anastasia Stevens

Kathy Carol Yvette Sweet

Lisa Carol Christine Sword

Randall Robert Randall Sword

Marie Ann Taubert

Sue Ellen Marie Thiess

Jess Andrew Trias

Do you notice any family names you know/knew of back then?   The saint’s list is a little different for 1976.  This list also contains some middle names on it.   John, Ann and Marie were popular saints then.

Parish Confirmation reminds us of our saintly connections

In the May blogs will be a photo of our 2013 Confirmation Class of St. Edward the Confessor parish.   They are a good looking holy bunch.

When we have our Confirmations each Spring in the parish, it is interesting to see which patron saint each candidate will choose.      I have printed the teen candidates’ names, with their saint’s name in the middle.          (I’ll add more comments after the list…)


Kayle Michael Balbuena

Anthony John Caliando

Saul Pedro Calungsod Cervantes

Alex Sebastian Cordon

Tatiana Elizabeth Ann Seton Crawl

Vincent Lorenzo Ruiz Duhig

Kashiana Francis of Assisi Duran

Stephen Isador the Farmer Dziwura

Nicholas Maximilian Kolbe Ferony

Jenna Margaret Seraphina Haefeli

Tyler Peter Hamilton

Jordan Joseph John

Megan Cecilia Keister

Cynthia Cecelia King

Gabriel John Paul Marino

Kathleen Cecilia Martin

Bailey Michael Meehan

Nicholas Michael Mendez

Milan Gertrude Miller

Chukwukamso Anthony Onwumechili

Franklin Luke Parks

Raphael Sebastian Roman

Simon Anthony Snellings

Jamie Marie-Rose Durocher Sullivan

Langston Jerome Wooten

Angela Benedicta Yang

One can see that the Archangels (Michael) are popular for their patron call for support, as well as the patrons of music (Cecelia), and of sports (Sebastian).  Anthony also was chosen more than once.  The recent pope (Blessed John Paul) was picked by a candidate for his patron, two Filipino saints made the list, including the very recently named one (Pedro), and the patron of the internet was chosen by someone (Isadore).   Overall, it is an interesting and enlightening exercise to see how relevant these saints are to our Youth.   Do you know all the above saints of the Church?   

As each confirmand came forward on Monday’s (April 29) Confirmation, they offered their saint’s name, prayed, received the anointing, and exchanged peace with their modern apostle of the Church of Washington, Bishop Martin Holley.

from Fr. Barry