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The Pastor’s Corner


Divine Mercy              


            We have all heard about the Divine Mercy devotion that was given great emphasis by Saint John Paul II. The Sunday after Easter Sunday has been called and celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. But what about the rest of the year?

            Many parishes have started Divine Mercy Cenacles where a group of people gather to pray and reflect on God’s mercy through a sustained reading of the diary of Sister Faustina Kowalska, a Polish sister to whom the Lord revealed the Divine Mercy devotion.

            We have started at Sacred Heart a Divine Mercy Cenacle whose members gather weekly not only to pray and reflect but to extend Christ’s mercy to others. They are called the Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy. They are a lay outreach ministry that not only promotes Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration but also extends that mercy to the homebound and dying.

            If you have someone who is homebound or in his or her last days on this earth, members of the Divine Mercy Cenacle are willing to come by and to pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet with and for that person. They can be a source of great comfort and peace to those who are seriously ill. It also shows them that they are not alone in this difficult


            If you have someone at home who would like a visit from a team of our Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, please call the rectory and we will give the name to the Divine Mercy Cenacle. After I receive permission from the members of the Cenacle, we will post their phone numbers in the bulletin. Visiting the sick and praying for the dying are wonderful works of mercy.

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            As of this writing (August 25th) we have received no information on tickets for the Holy Father’s Mass. When and if we receive information, we will pass it on to you.

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            This year, Bishop Loverde celebrates his 50th anniversary as a priest. There will be a special Mass (ticketed) and a special dinner. More information will follow.


                                                In Our Lord     

                                                Father Stan Krempa


Meet Rev. Eric Shafer

My name is Father Eric Shafer and I am the new Parochial Vicar here in Winchester.  It would be very hard for me to sum up my life in this short paragraph, but I will certainly do my best to give you an idea of who I am.

Fr.Eric Shafer

I am a native Virginian and have very deep roots in the Fauquier County area.  I grew up in Orlean, VA, but then moved to Warrenton when I was about 8 years old.  I graduated from Fauquier High School in 2000.  I was not raised Catholic but converted in 2003.  I also enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2003 and was stationed at Fort Drum, NY.  I attended Mass at a parish in the nearby town of Watertown, NY.  While there I became very close to the pastor at that parish and through his mentorship and being very influenced by St. John Paul II, I began discerning a vocation to the priesthood.  After much prayer and speaking on several occasions with Fr. Bashista, Vocations Director, I decided to apply to seminary.  Bishop Loverde accepted my application in 2006.  I did college seminary at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio from 2006-2009.  Then I went to Theological College at Catholic University for theology from 2009-2013.  I was ordained a deacon in June 2012.  I was assigned at All Saints Catholic Church in Manassas, Va.  I was ordained to the priesthood on June 8th, 2013 and assigned to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA.

I can honestly say that I love being a priest.  I have a great devotion to the Blessed Mother.  The Legion of Mary was pivotal to my discernment to the priesthood.  I still keep in touch with the Legion in Watertown, NY which was very supportive during my vocational discernment.  I also have a great love and devotion for St. Philip Neri.   He is a model of holiness and joy, and I am always inspired by the many things that he did in his life which have had such a profound impact on the Church, even today.

As for recreation, I am absolutely obsessed with ice hockey.  I love to play and watch it.  I follow the Washington Capitals very closely and have since I was around 12 years old.  I play on two leagues at the moment.  I also love any history associated with the War Between the States.  I also enjoy most sports (playing and watching), bee keeping, fishing, shooting, camping, and most outdoor activities.  I like the simple/laidback life of rural Virginia, so I am very happy to be here in Winchester.  I look forward to many years here at this parish.


What can Catholics do about the recent ruling on same-sex marriage?

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage, a not inconsiderable number of Catholics feel beleaguered and more than a little afraid. So what do we do?

Fr. Robert Barron