On Sunday, August 14, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Washington, D.C. celebrated it’s 100th year with a Centennial Mass and luncheon. Bishop Wuerl was in attendance and parishioners from throughout the years came to honor the history and faithfulness of this parish home. Enjoy these images from the event.
Congratulations on your 100th anniversary! I am so happy for you, and proud of you as your spiritual father. When we kicked off our jubilee celebration last August, I wrote to you about the spiritual significance of our anniversary:
It is a year of particular celebration and graces that originated in Sacred Scripture and has been carried through Sacred Tradition: “The notion of a ‘jubilee’ year is rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures that celebrated an outpouring of God’s mercy and forgiveness in a special way every 50 years, as reflected in the Book of Leviticus (25:8-13)…
The notion of a special jubilee year celebrating God’s forgiveness and mercy was taken over by Christians, and history records the first Christian jubilee year in 1300, called by Pope Boniface VIII. Approximately every 50 to 25 years since that time, the Church has celebrated these special ‘Holy Years’ to mark the outpouring of God’s grace and mercy.
God wants to bless us abundantly during our Jubilee year! Through the intercession of our patroness, Our Lady of the Assumption, may we be open as individuals and as a parish to all the graces, indulgences, and blessings of the Lord in this centennial Year of Jubilee.
Through the intercession of our Lady, the Lord has indeed bestowed many special blessings and graces upon us throughout this year (the Year of Mercy, too). We have celebrated monthly Community Sundays, Healing Masses, and Revival Nights, welcomed many inspiring speakers, reinstituted Children’s Masses, offered spiritual nourishment weekly to guests of the Outreach Center in addition to physical nourishment, prepared to evangelize our neighborhood through street evangelization, and provided more consistent and fruitful ministry to the sick, homebound, and bereaved. Phew, God has been busy through us! All of these (and more) are signs of God’s abundant graces during our jubilee. Hopefully, we have honored the memory and inspiring tradition of our parish ancestors, and that that will continue for the next 100 years.
Below is a beautiful poem by Judy Crowe for a church celebrating a significant anniversary. Enjoy this special time in the history of our parish!
May you know the peace of Christ,
“Happiness grows as each year passes And trials test the love that will grow. Pleasures of the heart remain a treasure, Perhaps a memory of some time ago. Yesterday’s joys are your heart’s treasure And love remains to guard the store. Now and then we are reminded, It is love (the key) that unlocks the door. Vivid are the scenes of days gone by, Each thought, a page from the past, Reminding us that God guides our path and Yielding to His will, our love will last.” by Judy Crowe
The secret of life is finding your one thing.
Is your one thing Jesus Christ?
All good personified in Him
Love / sacrifice / Col 1:24
Abraham and Mary get it
100 years / One thing
Others anxious about many things
A parishioner recently told me, “after your installed (as pastor), I hope you get your act
together” when it comes to notifying the parish of important, new matters and events.
This was half-joking, half-serious. We both laughed, but I will take this opportunity
to heed that great advice.
We have a new and improved parish website! Please go to http://assumptiondc.org to
see the clean, fresh look of our parish online. The site contains a current parish
history, bulletins, homilies, and other cool info about the parish and outreach center.
Ryan Hehman’s last day as Director of the Outreach Center was October 30. We are
so grateful for his generous and dedicated service to our guests, staff, and volunteers
the past year and a half. Pray that God sends us a new Director who will continue the
amazing parish tradition of outreach.
Parishioners are happy to hear that healing Masses will be celebrated each month, but
then immediately ask for the schedule of dates. Here they are:
December 12, 2015/ January 9, 2016 / February 6, 2016/ March 5, 2016/
April 2, 2016 May 7, 2016/ June 4, 2016/ July 9, 2016 / August 6, 2016/
September 10, 2016 October 1, 2016/ November 5, 2016 / December 3, 2016
We are also happy to announce that we will offer “Revival Nights” in our parish
monthly (except July and August) in 2016: Here is that schedule:
Jan TBD/ February 15, 2016/ March 3, 2016/ April 18, 2016/ May 23, 2016
June 20, 2016/ September 19, 2016/ October 17, 2016/ November 14, 2016
December 12, 2016
Starting in Advent 2015, we will offer daily Mass (Mon-Fri, Sat) in the church at
12:10 pm. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will begin at 11 am with Benediction
at 12 noon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Our year-long 100th anniversary celebration is kicking into a higher gear.
Community Sundays have been well attended. The pictorial directory will be
available soon. Planning for the celebration on August 14, 2016 with Cardinal Wuerl
is well under way. After that special Mass in the church, we will have a formal,
elegant reception under a tent (with air conditioning!) on the parish grounds.
Many of you have received a card from me which indicates that I offered a Holy Hour
for you (and your family) and your intentions. Since I arrived here in August, I have
been going through the 2011 parish directory and offering my daily Holy Hour for
Assumption parishioners. People have been grateful. But, they have also been
confused about the dates. It just takes me a little while to mail out the cards! I am
happy and honored to pray for you! Please pray for me.
This is nothing new, but I have been visiting the sick and homebound of our parish
every month. What a joy and a privilege to spend time with such holy and faithful
people! Please contact me if you know someone I can visit.
Finally, I have been doing “street evangelization” in the neighborhood the past few
months. I have met many good and friendly people, and invited them to our beautiful
church. My latest gig has been playing basketball with the youngsters on the courts
next to Malcom X School. They have been quite surprised to see that this pastor can
ball! Hopefully, it will help to spread the word about our unique and lively parish.
I rejoice in the goodness of God for each one of you, and for all the good He is
–Sincerely in Christ,
August 2015 begins the year-long Centennial Celebration for Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Southeast DC. Parishioners gathered for a special Mass with Cardinal Wuerl on August 2 to join their prayers in thanksgiving to God and His Blessed Mother for the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Assumption Parish. The parish will host other milestone events throughout the upcoming year. For 100 years, Assumption parishioners have been a beacon of faith and hope in Southeast DC, ministering to an inner city congregation full of life and love. Come join us throughout this year and beyond as we continue the joyful celebration of our history and faith.
One of the oldest Catholic Churches in Washington, The Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1916 in South East, Washington, DC in the Village of Congress Heights. The parish soon became a center for social and recreational activity and to this day remains a vibrant part of the life of Congress Heights/Anacostia.
Fr. Greg Shaffer
3401 Martin Luther King Jr. AVE, SE
Washington, DC 20032
Fr. Greg Cell: 240-463-9960
Outreach Center: 202-561-5941
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