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Dear Friends, I am offering a sort of ‘heads up’ blurb of information to let you know that we are working on planning for our Catholic High Holy Days liturgies:  those of Holy Week & the Sacred Triduum.  I invite you & your family to join us, united in prayer. For the sake of safety, we will suspend the distribution of blest palm branches & braided palms.  Our supply of palms will be blest at our Face Book live-streamed Passion Sunday Mass at 1 pm. on Saturday—please take note this is a private not public Mass & there will be no gathering or assembly.  It will be ...

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Dear Friends, I am offering a sort of ‘heads up’ blurb of information to let you know that we are working on planning for our Catholic High Holy Days liturgies:  those of Holy Week & the Sacred Triduum.  I invite you & your family to join us, united in prayer. For the sake of safety, we will suspend the distribution of blest palm branches & braided palms.  Our supply of palms will be blest at our FaceBook live-streamed Passion Sunday Mass at 1 pm. on Saturday—please take note this is a private not public Mass & there will be no gathering or assembly.  It will be q...

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Holy Week/Triduum Liturgical Update, March 31, 2020 Dear Friends, The evolving situation with the spread of the pandemic requires of us enormous flexibility to shift & pivot as circumstances require.  There is some alarm as to distributing blest palm branches & also food for the Easter meal as they could become a means for the transmission of the virus.  Consequently, we will not distribute any blest palm branches until it is entirely safe for us to do so.  We will store the blest branches in refrigeration so that they may be given out at a later time.  I am canceling the Holy Saturday ble...

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Visitation BVM Family

Posted on March 28, 2020 in: Pastor

Dear Friends, After celebrating & recording Mass for the 5th Sunday of Lent on Friday afternoon, I returned to the rectory which has been closed for some time now, to discover one of our receptionists in the front office, retrieving some needed information. The weather was beautifully sunny, & she walked over with a couple of other women from their homes, a fair distance away.  It was good to see some familiar faces & hear their voices in this time of near isolation & social distancing.  They asked me how I was faring, & I said that I was doing okay—all things considered.  I e...

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Updated Planning for Holy Week/Triduum Liturgies Dear Friends, I am offering a sort of ‘heads up’ blurb of information to let you know that we are working on planning for our Catholic High Holy Days liturgies:  those of Holy Week & the Sacred Triduum.  I invite you & your family to join us, united in prayer. For those of you who braid or pleat palms, you may bring them to the Lower Church (with your name tag affixed) for their inclusion for the blessing of the palms.  Please bring them to the Lower Church on Saturday morning, April 4th. Blest palm branches will be made available ...

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Update 3/23/20

Posted on March 23, 2020 in: Pastor

Dear Friends, We are living in unprecedented times with the potentially life threatening Coronavirus, & I hope that you are taking every precaution possible to keep yourself & your family members healthy & safe!  Please be assured that I am praying for us, asking our dear Lord & His Blessed Mother to spare us further scourge from this invisible enemy.  I invite you to join me as we pray together in such prayer. In order to more easily facilitate opportunity for personal/private prayer, I am moving the daily adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from our perpetual adoration chapel between the ho...

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  Dear Friends, We are living in unprecedented times with the potentially life threatening Coronavirus, & I hope that you are taking every precaution possible to keep yourself & your family members healthy & safe!  Please be assured that I am praying for us, asking our dear Lord & His Blessed Mother to spare us further scourge from this invisible enemy.  I invite you to join me in such prayer. In order to more easily facilitate opportunity for personal/private prayer, I am moving the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament from our perpetual adoration chapel between the hours of 8 am. unt...

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Update from our Archbishop 3/18/20

Posted on March 18, 2020 in: Pastor

Dear Brother Priests and Deacons, The pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve as this public health matter develops. During these uncertain and anxious times, all of us remain committed to fulfilling the mission of the Church through her various ministries and I know much has been asked of you in recent days.   Yesterday afternoon, Archbishop Pérez recorded pastoral messages for the people of the Archdiocese (English and Spanish), for all Church employees, and for the young people in our schools. Links to all of those videos can...

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Update as of 3/17/20

Posted on March 17, 2020 in: Pastor

Dear Friends: Mass and all non-sacramental activities & gatherings within our parish have been suspended indefinitely, per our Archbishop and as is being advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in order to try to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus.  It is very important, especially for those of us older than 60 & with underlying health conditions, to remain vigilant & cautious. Sunday the church doors will remain open from 7:30 am until 12:30 pm for you to come and pray.  Mass will not be celebrated.  I will celebrate Mass Saturday evening and hope to be able to have it telev...

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Dear Friends:   As of today, I am suspending indefinitely all non-sacramental activities & gatherings within our parish, as is being advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in order to try to prevent further spread of the Coronavirus.  It is very important, especially for those of us older than 60 & with underlying health conditions, to remain vigilant & cautious.     Until & unless we are given direction from competent authority to close down entirely, we will continue offering daily & weekend Masses, scheduled confessions, baptisms, funerals, weddings, anoi...

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Some Minor Changes

Posted on March 03, 2020 in: Pastor

St. John Henry Newman, who was canonized last year by Pope Francis, was an English poet & theologian who converted to Catholicism from the Anglican tradition; & who once wisely observed, “To live is to change, & to live long is to have changed oven.” I recently attempted to change my Siamese cat Pasha’s food to upgrade to something better—away from the canned cat food & dry kibble that he loves so much to a more balanced & healthier diet—gently cooked chicken & fish. What I experienced from him during the past month is feline stubbornness that I never imagined him havin...

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DIRECTIVES FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MASS IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA IN RESPONSE TO THE POTENTIONAL SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) The potential spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States and locally at this point requires a pastoral response that impacts the celebration of Mass in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  Effective immediately, the following directives are to be observed:   • HOLY COMMUNION All priests, deacons and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are to wash their hands with soap and water prior to the celebration of Mass.  A hand sanitizer may be u...

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New School Board & Vocations

Posted on January 21, 2020 in: Pastor

NEW VISI SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS TO BE INSTALLED: Next weekend, January 17th at the 10:15 am Mass, the members of the brand-new Visitation BVM School Board will be introduced and installed during the liturgy. At all other Masses next weekend, a board member will be speaking after Communion to share news of the board’s dreams and goals for our parish school. This is a board of specific or limited jurisdiction, meaning that its members share in the governance and oversight of our school along with the pastor—who retains certain areas of oversight that remain his responsibility alone. The school board will work dilig...

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Gratitude, Support & Understanding

Posted on October 26, 2019 in: Pastor

My Gratitude for Your Support & Understanding:   I am edified & thankful with so many of you expressing sympathy at our diminishment in terms of losing our parish vicar.  Please continue to pray that we will receive another priest, or if it becomes apparent that will not happen—we can adapt to a new reality & make the adjustments we need to make & move on with healthy parish life. We get this in the overall, until it impacts convenience. Our decrease may necessitate some rearrangement of our Mass schedules, & I am writing you now about that with a sort of ‘heads up,’ ...

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STRIVE

Posted on September 26, 2019 in: Pastor

A Message from Archbishop Chaput Dear Friends in Christ, We all know that pornography is a silent epidemic, tearing apart countless marriages and families. I’m writing to let you know about a powerful new tool designed to help Catholic men who are struggling in this area.  STRIVE is a 21-day detox from porn by Matt Fradd, and published by Philadelphia-based Cardinal Studios. Thousands of men from around the world have seen a powerful transformation in their lives with this online series. STRIVE is available in both English and Spanish, and is offered at no cost. STRIVE is the most powerful ...

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On Being ‘Home Alone,’ & Fears of Missing the Mark:   The iconic photo of the young boy Kevin McAllister (from the Christmas movie Home Alone) pictures Macaulay Culkin with both hands clasping his cheeks—wide-eyed & mouth agape at discovering bungling burglars trying to access his home; & is an apt visual metaphor for the surprise & shock that I experienced here this past summer.  The transfer of Fr. Brian came with precious little warning & it being followed by the archdiocese assigning Fr. Sean here for only 2 summertime months & then reassigning him without any...

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On Being ‘Home Alone,’ & Fears of Missing the Mark:   The iconic photo of the young boy Kevin McAllister (from the Christmas movie Home Alone) pictures Macaulay Culkin with both hands clasping his cheeks—wide-eyed & mouth agape at discovering bungling burglars trying to access his home; & is an apt visual metaphor for the surprise & shock that I experienced here this past summer.  The transfer of Fr. Brian came with precious little warning & it being followed by the archdiocese assigning Fr. Sean here for only 2 summertime months & then reassigning him without any...

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Mother's Day and Parish Center

Posted on May 10, 2019 in: Pastor

On this blessed Mother’s Day weekend I hope we all take the time to honor our Mothers this day and throughout the course of our daily activities.  Our namesake, the Blessed Virgin Mary, gives us the highest example of grace to live by, and it is through her intervention that we are reminded of the importance of honor and grace in all that we do.   So a happy and joyful Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers in our community! On evening of April 23rd, just following a blessed Easter Weekend, we held our first of several information nights regarding the Parish Center project. This evening was partic...

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A Most Fitting Honor & Celebration:  Our Visitation BVM school community is greatly blest by the dedication & commitment of so many—among whom Mrs. Theresa Conte shines like the Star of Bethlehem!  Mrs. Conte recently received very well-deserved recognition for her 43 years of loyal service as the principal’s secretary at our parish school.  The Foundation for Catholic Education hosted their annual Hall of Fame Gala at Normandy Farms on Thursday evening, November 29th at which Mrs. Conte was among 3 persons awarded for their longstanding & generous contributions to our school in parti...

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PAPA FRANCESCO IS RIGHT (& EXTREME RIGHT-WING CATHOLICS ARE NOT!):  There are multiple & competing narratives raging around the Catholic world as to the etiology of the clergy sexual abuse scandal & its consequent cover-ups.  Some of them are red herring tales (but beloved of the cultural warriors):  it’s because of the all male priesthood with its outdated celibacy requirements that needs to end; it’s because of individual clergy—bishops, priests, & deacons—with a personal sexual orientation that is homosexual; it’s because of the dearth of women & their ...

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Keeping the Faith in Tough Times

Posted on October 24, 2018 in: Pastor

FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK ON KEEPING THE FAITH IN TOUGH TIMES:  As I look around at all of the empty pews each weekend here at Visi, & as I observe the downward spiral of contributions that enable our parish to function, I’m quite aware that a great many of our people are very seriously scandalized & have abandoned the regular practice of their weekend worship & support of the church over the recurring awful news of clergy abuse settlements & cover-ups by powerful leaders.  We have received numerous phone calls, voice mail messages, letters & emails angrily denouncing such atrociti...

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Welcome Seminarians

Posted on October 24, 2018 in: Pastor

FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK Some Good News & Warm Welcome!:  Amid all of the ugly news erupting within our church, I am happy to share with you something good.  St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, which prepares our own seminarians as well as those from several other dioceses & religious orders, now has its largest class since the year 2000—both the undergraduate & graduate theology divisions together this year welcomed 176 young men into the formation programs there.  For the first time in many years, Visitation BVM is assigned 2 seminarians who will come to us each Thursday during the scho...

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From Our Pastor

Posted on September 10, 2018 in: Pastor

Clergy Abuse—Separating Factual Data from Emotional Hysteria:  Please do not think, for a millisecond, that I am speaking defensively about the current crises in our church around clerical abuse & Episcopal cover-ups—for there is absolutely no defending horrific crimes against the young & vulnerable nor their being kept shrouded in secrecy by leaders wanting to protect the church. Such crimes demand our abhorrence & denunciation, as well as our insistence that our church can, must, & will do better—no ‘ifs,’ ‘ands,’ or ‘buts.’  I’m sha...

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From Our Pastor - Aug 19th

Posted on September 09, 2018 in: Pastor

This article was printed in the August 19th bulletin. “It’s like déjà vu all over again!”:  This line is attributed to the late, great Yogi Berra; & it comes to mind upon the recent release of the grand jury report that investigated clergy sexual abuse & its consequent cover-ups within 6 dioceses in the state of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia & Altoona-Johnstown had prior investigations & so are not involved in this current report).  Berra’s quip is humorous, but there is nothing akin to humor & only horror to be found in the scathing, almost 900 pages of documents that ...

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STATEMENT FROM THE ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA REGARDING THE RELEASE OF THE REPORT OF THE 40TH STATEWIDE GRAND JURY The Attorney General’s investigation and subsequent grand jury report involving six Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania has been broad and the content has been difficult to read. The material is painful for everyone, most especially survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. We deeply regret their pain and remain focused on a path toward healing. It is important to note that the Archdiocese was not subject to the grand jury investigation and is not part of this report. However, that fact in no way...

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Visitation BVM is looking to hire a full time Business Manager for our parish and school.   Click here for details.

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Charles Weik, Sr.

Posted on July 18, 2017 in: Pastor

Fr. Terry's father, Charles E. Weik, Sr. passed away Monday evening, July 17th.   Funeral arrangements are as follows: Viewing will be held on Friday, July 21, 2017, 7-9 pm and a second viewing will be held Saturday, July 22nd 9-10:30 am.  The viewing for both Friday and Saturday is at Wade Funeral Home, 1002 Radcliffe Street, Bristol, PA. Saturday, July 22nd, 11am will be the funeral Mass at St. Mark Church, 1025 Radcliffe Street, Bristol.  (the funeral home and church are across the street from each other) In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to St. Mark's church, 1025 Radcliff...

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A Message from the Pastor - Sunday Parking & Timeliness The additon of 24 handicapped marked spaces near the entrance of the Lower Church appears to be working well. These spaces are for anyone who truly needs to use them: either because you use a cane or walker or if you’re bringing someone in your car that cannot walk long distances. This is all on the Honor System, meaning that it depends on people’s good will & compassion—so please do not take advantage of it if you are able bodied & have no difficulty walking. I have observed a continual pattern of many people arriving late for Su...

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Message from the Pastor On Where We Are Going: My recent message of March 12th, outlining where we are heading, is provoking some good questions - a couple of which I want to clarify here. The Pastoral Leadership Plan created by the cohesive Leadership Team is a revisiting of our mission, purpose, goals & values. I am told that we last reviewed these things some years ago, so we are perhaps overdue to do so again. When I arrived here, I stated that I brought no pressing change agenda for my 1st year here, but wanted to experience a full year— learning about the parish culture & the Visi spirit. I also said...

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Message from the Pastor - DISCIPLE MAKER INDEX SURVEY Here is a wonderful opportunity for you to proactively offer your feedback that will eventually combine with others to help shape & form future directions within our parish; & it will only require about 15 minutes of your me & energies! It is truly an extraordinary thing when you are challenged/ encouraged/invited to give your direct input that will form future policies & programs for your faith community. It is perhaps a far easier thing to simply sit back & do nothing; & then prepare to later criticize those future new formations about which...

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Changers and Complainers

Posted on December 11, 2016 in: Pastor

Changes and Complainers - December 11,2016 Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman knew a thing or two about change—his high profile conversion to Catholicism as one of the leading voices of the Oxford Movement caused a great deal of consternation within the Church of England. I paraphrase a wise insight of his when he observed: “To live is to change, & to live long is to change often.” Change can be very stressful, even if it’s desired. The neuroscience of it goes, ‘neurons that fire together, wire together.’ The more we do something, the more it becomes not only habit, but biolo...

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Christmas Bazaar a Huge Success!

Posted on December 11, 2016 in: Pastor

Christmas Bazaar a Huge Success! - December 11, 2016 Many thanks to everyone who came out & made our 60th Annual Christmas Bazaar such an enjoyable affair. It was my first experience of the bazaar here at Visitation, & I am more than quite impressed—so much preparation & coordination, planning, execution & breakdown—all done with great effi- ciency. Congratulations to everyone who played a part, large or small, in making it such a grand success. Special thanks to: Dom & Angela Zampogna, Chairs; John Larcinese; Diane & Nick Kolodinsky; Dan & Vicki Szostek; Ray Frascino; Nancy Sline...

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