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C O N T R I B U TO R S

M r s . L i s a H i l l - S u t t o n , O. P. w w w. l i s a j u l i a p h o t o g r a p h y. c o m Our Lady of Angels P h o t o g r a p h e r / Wr i t e r / P u bl i s h e r M e l i s s a C h av e s Our Lady of Angels Wr i t e r / C o p y E d i t o r Malissa Coy Our Lady of Angels Copy Editor

Sophie Wheeler Our Lady of Angels Layout Designer Fr. Ke v i n O ’ Ke e f e Pa s t o r - O u r L a d y o f A n g e l s Spiritual Direction Fr. T h o m a s C av a n a u g h Pa r r o c h i a l V i c a r O u r L a d y o f A n g e l s Spiritual Direction

Jo s e p h S u t t o n Our Lady of Angels Copy Editor Pe g g y L i u z z o St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Wr i t e r

C O N TAC T U S

To c o n t a c t u s r e g a r d i n g c o n t e n t s u b m i s s i o n s and/or ho w you can support our ministr y email pwccatholic@gmail.com or visit us at: w w w. p r i n c e w i l l i a m c o u n t y c a t h o l i c. c o m T his magazine was printed by Wo o d b r i d g e P r i n t i n g C o m p a n y


P R I N C E W I L L I A M C O U N T Y C AT H O L I C I S A L A B O R O F LOV E W I T H T H E I N T E N T I O N O F D R AW I N G C LO S E R TO G E T H E R O U R LO C A L P R I N C E W I L L I A M C AT H O L I C C O M M U N I T Y. W E B E L I E V E T H AT B R I N G I N G AT T E N T I O N TO O U R N E I G H B O R S I N T H E P E W S , W H O M W E M AY N OT Y E T K N OW O N A P E R S O N A L L E V E L , WILL GIVE OUR READERS AN O P P O RT U N I T Y TO S E E T H E G O O D WO R K S T H AT LO C A L C AT H O L I C S A R E D O I N G I N T H E N A M E O F C H R I S T. W E S E E K TO D E E P E N O U R P R AY E R L I F E , A N D G ROW I N T H E LOV E A N D K N OW L E D G E O F O U R C AT H O L I C FA I T H S O I N T U R N W E C A N B E T T E R S H A R E T H AT LOV E , K N OW L E D G E A N D S U P P O RT W I T H O U R C O M M U N I T Y AT L A R G E .


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Prince William County Catholic


Prince William County Catholic

TA B L E O F CONTENTS 6

Pa s t o r P r o f i l e : Fr. J. Ke v i n O ’ Ke e f e

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To P r a i s e, To B l e s s , To P r e a c h .

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“ To S i n g I s t o P r a i s e w i t h G l a d n e s s ”

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A d v e n t Re c i p e : S t . L u c y ’s “ E ye b a l l s ”

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Pa r i s h D i r e c t o r y

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Prince William County Catholic

PASTOR PROFILE: FATHER J. KEVIN

O’KEEFE by Mr s . L i s a Hi l l - S u t t o n , O. P. a n d Melissa Chaves

Prince William County Catholic is featuring a series of interviews with some of the priests serving the seven parishes of Prince William County. We hope to give the Catholic community a small window into the lives of these dedicated men who nurture and care for our spiritual well-being and, more importantly, administer the life-giving Sacraments of our Catholic Faith. The first piece in our series is with Father J. Kevin O’Keefe, who currently is serving as Pastor of Our Lady of Angels Church in Woodbridge, VA. We hope our readers enjoy his candor and wry sense of humor.

Hometown:

Hobbies:

Butler, NJ

History Collecting miniatures Wargaming

Alma Mater: Merchant Marine Academy Favorite Books: “Story of a Soul,” St Therese of Lisieux Seminary:

“Introduction to the Devout Life,” St Francis de Sales

St Charles Borromeo

“Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit,” JRR Tolkien and just about any Science Fiction


Prince William County Catholic

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Prince William County Catholic

VOCATION STORY Fr. O’Keefe was raised in a Catholic family, but like many of us as young adults, attended Mass sporadically. After college his Uncle James found him a good job in Virginia. Uncle James had served in the Navy for thirty years and was then working as a defense contractor. He was able to get his nephew on that same path. Perhaps even more importantly, Uncle James had a great devotion to the Little Flower and the Sacred Heart. He prayed the Rosary and recommended books to his nephew, who was by then reading 5-7 books a week. “He kept feeding me books, one of which was Story of a Soul”. When Fr. O’Keefe was able to buy a condo in Occoquan, he registered at Our Lady of Angels parish and began speaking with the pastor. He found himself hearing a call, but the comfort of having a good

job and a nice place to live tempted him to ignore it. “I was nice and settled. I was a GS-13, and it’s like, ‘Go away.’ Knock- knock. ‘Go away, I’m not listening.’” Nonetheless, he began attending retreats. At one of them, an Augustinian Friar finally asked the question he’d been trying to avoid: “Have you thought about the priesthood?” He laughed thinking of all the Saturday nights with friends that question had already interfered with; how he’d suddenly ask for a coffee instead of a beer, or decide to go home a little earlier than he otherwise would have. After a vocation retreat, he found himself registering for Seminary in the fall of 1990. He was ordained on May 20th, 1995 and now serves as Pastor of the parish where he’d first discovered his vocation.

I WAS NICE AND SETTLED. I WAS A GS-13, AND IT’S LIKE,

‘GO AWAY.’ KNOCK- KNOCK.

‘GO AWAY, I’M NOT LISTEN-ING.


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Prince William County Catholic

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A DAY IN THE LIFE Fr. O’Keefe says there’s really no such thing as a typical day as the pastor of a busy parish. There is always a mix of meetings, administrative work, Mass, confessions, and emergency calls. “Sometimes there [are] no calls; but one week we had 13 or 14 calls.” OLA covers Sentara hospital, Inova Lorton Trauma Center, and three nursing homes. It’s also one of the parishes which sponsors St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School. And, since the school is on parish grounds, their Masses are held at OLA. He also sometimes works on maintenance projects himself, which can confuse hired contractors unused to meeting a priest with engineering experience. For RCIA or other instruction, a person’s schedule might not fit the classes, so he’ll try to work with them individually so that they can continue learning and having their questions answered. “I don’t ask people to take time off from work, like those coming for marriage prep. I ask them what time they’re getting off work. 7:30pm is not late for me - I’m a night owl! So, it works.” In fact, he points out that every year since coming to OLA as pastor, he’s had the privilege of welcoming new people into the Church at the Easter Vigil. Being able to see people embrace our Lord’s forgiveness and mercy; or watching as children grow up to take ownership of their own faith, has been

a very rewarding aspect of the priesthood. While the priestly life has many positive and rewarding aspects to it, there are also many significant challenges involved. ”What’s challenging? Challenging can be dealing with people. Different personalities, different styles, and different agendas. All those differences lead to different needs. That’s why there is no typical day.” ON PRAYER Half-jokingly, Fr. O’Keefe claims as his go-to prayer the first line of Psalm 64, “Hear my voice, oh God, as I complain.” But only a grounding in the Liturgy of the Hours can really make the Psalms that personal. And, Father credits the Hours with setting the rhythm of his days. In many of his homilies, you will find encouragement to take something from the day’s Gospel to your personal prayer. In our interview, he further recommended reading the Gospels and spiritual books as sources for prayer. He encourages making time for prayer throughout the day; on your commute, after work, and during leisure time. “There’s plenty of time for prayer. Just start with the basics and then add to it - one or two mysteries of the Rosary, an examination of conscience, balanced out with a gratitude list, at night.” At the Mass, we can ask ourselves “how we’re praying it, what do I lay down at the altar - blessings, thanksgivings, struggles? What do I need to let go of?”


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CONFESSION “Everything really struck me [about] the power of ordination and the gift that Christ has given the first time I heard confessions. It was Jeremiah! ‘You duped me lord and I allowed myself to be duped’. Because, sitting there with the screen and the open chair and hearing that voice say ‘bless me Father for, I have sinned’ made me realize that I had that person’s relationship with God right there in the palm of my hand. The sacrament of confession is one of the most powerful healing gifts that the Lord has given to his Church. So when I’m hearing confessions it always begins in prayer. I ask for that ability to be an ear and [to remember] that it’s not me, but our Lord that they have sinned against; and I am to be his instrument of healing.”

VISION FOR OUR LADY OF ANGELS PARISH At OLA, he’d like to build on the great variety of expressions of faith found in the parish, which is home to 60 nationalities. Under that umbrella, there are many parishioners ministering to married couples, or to the poor through St. Vincent de Paul or teaching English as a second language. There is CCD and the OLA Feast day celebration on Aug 2nd every year. Father says he hopes that the Rosary procession, which is an integral part of that day, will include other languages besides Spanish and English. All this reminds him of the musings of GK Chesterton in his work Orthodoxy: “[In it, he] describes the Church as a kind of circus. So I’m under one tent. There are the acrobats, the clowns, the wild animals, the trapeze artists, etc. But it’s still one tent” There’s a little of everything, but all of it in this one parish, all together.

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Prince William County Catholic


Prince William County Catholic

HOBBIES Father begins sharing one of his most interesting and, to some, most surprising hobby: His collection of miniatures. He was asked to elaborate for those of us not in the loop. “I talk about wargaming and most people think computers. The only thing I do on a computer is type with a word processor, access some blogs, and do some investigation with the hobby. Wargaming is [done with] tabletop miniatures. I have 10-millimeter fantasy. I have 15-millimeter historical figures - ancient Medieval and World War II and World War III to theorize the aspect of ‘what if ’. I have plenty of 8-millimeter fantasy, futuristic 28-millimeter ancients, Dark Ages and World War II.” He gestures to a nearby table. “There’s a mix of 15- and 28-millimeter figures. The tanks are 15-millimeter. That’s for World War II. There are Romans in there for a new game we just started. There’s a German armored car in

28-millimeter, a German anti-tank ‘Yag Panther’ in 28-millimeter, and a shipping game called ‘Cruel Seas.’ It has patrol boats, and S boats. The largest ship out there would be a Destroyer. So, it’s about a foot, foot-and-a-half in length on the table. There are rules, there’s dice. So for each unit, you have a command dice. Six-sided with six different commands on it. You can run, advance, fire, hunker down, whatever, and they get pulled out one by one from the back. So, if the Germans have 11 and the Americans have 12 there should be 11 German dice and 12 American dice in the bag. Somebody pulls out of the bag. That’s who goes. So it’s not exactly you go, I go. It could be three, four, five American turns before the German. You move one unit at a time. You can run with it, you can advance with it, you can fire. I find gaming to be relaxing and while I’ve got music going on in the CD player, I get some stuff done or painted up on the figures. So, yeah, my miniature hobby is my guilty pleasure!”

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Prince William County Catholic

TO PRAISE, TO BLESS, TO PREACH. by Mrs. Lisa Hill-Sutton, O.P.

Every second Saturday of the month, a small but growing group of Catholic adults gathers at Sacred Heart parish in Manassas. They are members of the Lay Fraternities of Saint Dominic, also known as ‘Lay Dominicans’, and part of the Order of Preachers in the Province of St. Joseph. The Sacred Heart Chapter started on the Feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, November 27, 2004. The present group is quite diverse with members who belong to several different parishes within Prince William County. Lay Dominicans share in all the benefits and prayers of the entire Dominican Order, which was founded by St. Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on December 22nd, 1216. Lay Dominicans seek to live and share their Catholic Faith in the Dominican Tradition: ‘To Praise, to Bless, to Preach’. Tony and Mary Catubui are long-time members, with Tony and Mary serving as President and Secretary respectively for many years. Mary first encountered the Dominican Order in her teens and spent eight years as a Dominican Sister, but discerned before final vows that her vocation lay elsewhere. In time, she met

and married Tony, a native of the Philippines, and went to work in elementary and middle school, and had two children. “Life moved on,” said Mary. “Years went by when a Dominican sister from the Philippines came to [the DC area] to study Canon Law. She asked me and my husband if we would be interested in the Lay Dominicans.” Tony and Mary have been part of the Sacred Heart Chapter since 2006 and “are still learning, praying, and studying,” and involved in the “Dominican Apostolate of teaching the Holy Rosary to people who are interested.” They both enjoy being part of the Dominican Community here in Manassas. “Every day is a new day!,” exclaimed Mary. Joseph Pellegrino recently professed temporary promises after several years in formation. “I decided to look at the Lay Fraternities of St. Dominic because a fellow parishioner recommended it. We had been discussing the New Evangelization and I was looking to do more with my Catholic faith. I wanted to share the Truth of the faith with others but I also wanted to continue my own formation and knowledge.

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There was a Third Order group that met monthly and I showed up to several meetings to learn about the community. The meetings are a great place for people who want to discuss the faith using [materials] from some of the great Catholic teachers. The Dominicans were founded to combat heresy and their goals have not changed. To join them in this mission you need to know the faith, so “Study” is [one of four] Pillars of the Order.” (The other Pillars are Prayer, Apostolate, and Community.) “After a 6-month period as a postulant, I became a novice for 18 months,” related Joseph, “and recently made temporary promises – a 3-year period to reflect and discern my desire to live my life as a Lay Dominican. What is wonderful about this process is having a Formation Director. Each month’s meeting is preceded by a 1-hour formation class that reviews assigned modules.” The study modules offer instruction about the various facets of Do-

minican Life. “It was especially good,” said Joseph, “when the rest of the community showed up to share in the formation – I have expanded my knowledge of Catholic doctrine and what the Church teaches and I have also developed remarkable friendships with incredible Catholics who want to share their faith in active ways. It has been truly enriching and I hope all the parishes will advertise this great opportunity.” A lay Dominican vocation is a special calling. Sometimes the call comes early in life and other times much later. Discerning whether one has a vocation to the Order comes with much prayer and reflection. If you feel the Lord may be leading you to grow deeper in your Catholic faith and you would like to learn more, you are invited to visit the Lay Dominican website for our area at www.laydominicans.org and contact Mrs. Lisa Hill-Sutton, O.P. of the Sacred Heart Chapter at lisajulia@verizon.net .


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“TO SING IS TO PRAISE WITH GLADNESS.” ~ST. AUGUSTINE by Peggy Liuzzo

The Music Ministry at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Lake Ridge takes to heart this uplifting quote from St. Augustine as they prepare for the liturgical celebrations welcoming our Newborn King! There are three different types of choirs at the parish. The Traditional Choir sings at 10:45 a.m. on Sundays, and is headed by John Maher. They will also be singing for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

Schola Choir sings at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, and is led by Allison Black. The Contemporary Choir sings at the 9:00 a.m. Sunday Mass, and is led by Nicole Velazquez. I’ve always enjoyed singing. I’ve been told I have a beautiful voice and whenever I’m at Mass I have always enjoyed singing along with all the hymns and responses. I’m not a pro at reading music--I can do the basics but it takes me awhile to get it sometimes.


Prince William County Catholic

This last year, I decided to try cantoring when the opportunity became available. It really took me outside my comfort zone, especially when you are standing up there all by yourself and then you start thinking of all the things that can possibly go wrong: What if my voice cracks? What if I read the wrong line of the lyrics? I even mentioned cantoring in my Christmas letter this year and said, “If you ever want to look fear in the face, go ahead and agree to sing solo for the whole Mass in front of the entire church.” I just offer it all to God and do my best. It’s been very rewarding and it also gives me a new appreciation of what is really involved in music ministry. It means practicing for an hour-and-a-half on a Thursday night; now 2 hours since we are in Advent. And arriving at church at 10:10 in the morning to practice when Mass starts at 10:45, so there is a lot of behind the scenes work going on. I also practice a lot at home on my own. I love to pray to the Holy Spirit to help me get it right. Nicole Velazquez also is the Director of Liturgy and Music at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and shared with us what the ministry means to her and how they are preparing for the multiple Christmas Mass celebrations. “Preparation for Christmas Masses is always multifaceted. The basic movement of the liturgical year, and most especially Advent, helps us prepare for Christmas; for even as we practice Christmas songs, we are singing about the coming of Christ and discussing in rehearsal the purpose of the song se-

lections. Individual and group prayer is also important. As the group I direct sings contemporary Christian music, our genre in general brings something special to the music. For Christmas, I strive to have a nice combination of contemporary sounds with the traditional hymns and carols that everyone knows and loves at Christmastime. At times, this means blending songs together.” Nicole also shared why she believes music ministry is vital for a parish community. “I think the music ministry is important because the Mass itself is largely sung. Having choirs, cantors, and musicians helps the rest of the laity understand how they can participate in the singing.” Becky Jennings is a member of the Contemporary Choir.“I started participating in the Contemporary Choir late last spring. Before that, it had been almost 20 years since I’d been in a choir. Choir practices have become the highlight of my week. I love the camaraderie of the choir and how much fun we have together. I also enjoy the experience of singing at Mass. For many years, I ‘just sat’ through Mass in a pew. This form of ‘laidback’ participation can be active in its own right if one keeps one’s mind turned attentively to Mass. However, since I am someone who benefits from assistance staying engaged, it’s been helpful to me to participate in Mass in a more ‘stand-up’ way, to have a music ministerial role. Participating in [St. Elizabeth Ann Seton] choir has brought so much joy to my life. I hope to participate for years to come!”

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Giulia Michonski, member of the Contemporary Choir, really enjoys being part of music ministry. “It’s like being part of another family. I love music and my faith and relationship with God has grown so much. Being able to worship and praise God through music allows me to express myself when sometimes I struggle to find the right words. Scriptures are reflected in the songs. My hope is that others who hear our music will also feel God’s presence and want to know him more.” Gerri Mullen of the Contemporary Choir shares “Every time I sing our music, it nurtures my soul. and brings so much joy and happiness to me.” Several members of the Von Tersch family also participate, including siblings Christina, Richard, and Jacqui, along with their mother Susan. All sing in the Traditional Choir, while Christina and Richard are also cantors. Christina began participating in music ministry in 1st grade when she joined the children’s choir at St. William of York Catholic Church in Stafford with her older sister, Kathryn. From then on, she joined choirs whenever she had the chance, “singing in school choirs from middle school all the way through college. Singing in Choirs is just something my family does. It goes back generations on my mom’s side. My grandma was the head of the folk choir when my mom was a little girl, and my mom was in church choir during the entirety of my and my siblings’ childhood. In fact, I was always told I was the baby in the bounc-

er in the soprano section. When we (my family) eventually joined St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, we, of course, joined the Choir, that is just what we do. I feel called to the music ministry because this is how I was raised. Music ministry is an important way my family prays.” Christina’s brother, Richard, who is a student at Saint John Paul the Great High School, echoes his sister’s statements, stating that he has “always felt a connection in music. It is in singing that one explores beauty in one of the closest ways I know and thereby explores a fragment of God’s own beauty. What is more, is that music is not just another way to glorify God, but can be added to prayer or service, as music not only gives to the one who sings but to the one who listens. St. Augustine wrote that ‘singing belongs to one who loves.’ Who loves more than God? So if I had to say why I felt called to music ministry, I would have to say that it is just another way in which I try to follow Christ’s example. It is how I show love.” John Maher, Director of the Traditional Choir, currently is preparing the group for Christmas by adding an extra half hour to Thursday night practices, “to cover both our Sundays in Advent and our Christmas music. We sing 1/2 hour before the start of Midnight Mass, as well as during the Mass itself. In addition to singing standard Christmas carols, we are also preparing Caccini’s ‘Ave Maria’, the Catalonian carol ‘Fum Fum Fum’ and an Irish carol called ‘The Wexford Carol.’ The singing, hopefully, helps to facilitate the worship of those who rejoice in doing it, and those who rejoice in hearing it.”


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Both Nicole and John and their respective choirs encourage and welcome new members. “We are always looking for new members,” says Nicole. “Sopranos, Altos, Tenors and Basses who can commit to attending Thursday practices from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., and at Sunday 10:10 a.m. practice, then singing at the 10:45 a.m. Mass, are more than welcome to join!” She adds, “‘Teens to adults who can com-

mit to attending Tuesday rehearsals from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 8:00 a.m. practice, then singing at the 9:00 a.m. Mass, are more than welcome to join!” Beginning in January, she is having “open rehearsals” all month. This means that anyone is welcome to come to rehearsals and give choir a try without the commitment of singing on Sundays or joining long-term.

For more information contact: Nicole Velazquez Director of Liturgy and Music St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church n.velazquez@setonlakeridge.org 703-494-4008. ext 123

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Prince William County Catholic

ADVENT

RECIPE by Colleen Rooney


Prince William County Catholic

ST. LUCY’S

“EYEBALLS” LEVEL Easy ST. LUCY EYEBALLS: What little baker wouldn’t find this tasty treat fun to make and delightfully mischievous to offer to friends? PREP 2 minutes YIELD Many eyeballs!

INGREDIENTS Wagon-wheel-shaped pretzels or Gluten-free pretzel chips Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses® Chocolate M & M’s® of your favorite eye color: blue, green or brown MICROWAVE 15 second intervals EQUIPMENT Dessert-size paper plates Microwave DIRECTIONS 1. Place a number of wagon wheel-shaped pretzels on dessert-size paper plate. On top of each pretzel place a Hershey’s Candy Cane Kiss®. Microwave in 15-second intervals until the kiss is soft but not runny. 2. Remove from microwave. Place one colored blue, green or brown M & M® in the center of the soft kiss. Let cool and harden. Share with family and friends.

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COUNTY PARISH DIRECTORY

OUR LADY OF ANGELS 13752 Marys Way, Woodbridge, VA 22191 (703) 494-2444

ST. FRANCIS 18825 Fuller Heights Rd, Triangle, VA 22172 (703) 221-4044

SACRED HEART 12975 Purcell Rd, Manassas, VA 20112 (703) 590-0030

HOLY FAMILY 14160 Ferndale Rd, Woodbridge, VA 22193 (703) 670-8161

ST. ELIZABETH ANN SETON 12805 Valleywood Dr, Lake Ridge, VA 22192 (703) 494-4008

HOLY TRINITY 8213 Linton Hall Rd, Gainesville, VA 20155 (703) 753-6700

ALL SAINTS 9300 Stonewall Rd, Manassas, VA 20110 (703) 368-4500


This issue brought to you by the generosity of I l l i g E n t e r p r i s e s ( w w w. o r g a n i z e y o u i n s i d e a n d o u t . c o m )

Profile for Prince William County Catholic

Prince William County Catholic Magazine December 2019 Issue No. 3