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Sacred Heart Church in Manassas

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What’s distinctive about your parish? What is your parish’s charism? Our parish is very loving and welcoming of everyone who enters the door. Our charism is hospitality and service to others. The office staff is also very accessible; parishioners are surprised that they have always gotten someone on the phone.

What’s the one unique thing visitors to your parish should do or see while there? During Christmas, we have parishioners who spend many hours putting up a Nativity in the atrium. The kids love it because it’s awe-inspiring. A few animals are hidden in the Nativity for children and their parents to find every Christmas. They have to search for it and while searching they are seeing all the wonderful things in the Nativity.

What is a new ministry that you have started? Sacred Heart started a new ministry called the India Mission in support of mission churches in India. Prior to starting the mission, we helped India with a water project/water purification system that Sacred Heart and the Knights of Columbus helped raise money for. Sacred Heart helped fund repairs to their cathedral, and just this past year we helped fund a community center in India for children. Our rosary group gave hundreds of rosaries to Father Devaraju Arockiasamy to take back to India with him.

This year we have a Laudato Si Ministry. We have started planting native species that help wildlife in the area. We are starting a seven-year plan following Pope Francis’ vision to make our churches greener and more environmentally friendly. We have installed rain barrels around the church, which will allow us to use less electricity (we use a well) and we will be watering the plants with the captured rainwater.

How are you supporting the faith journey of particular cultures represented in your parish? Our parish consists of many different cultures. For instance, we have a strong Filipino community. They meet every third Friday of the month at our chapel. We have participated in their Christmas tradition of Simbang Gabi.

What would a visitor say about your parish, and how do new parishioners get involved? A few things new parishioners have said about our parish are: “We knew when we walked into your church doors that this would be our church.” “This is our forever home.” “The staff here at Sacred Heart is so friendly.” Visitors have said: “Thank you for being so welcoming.” They have also commented on the wide range of ministries that they can be involved in. 

What’s something we should know about your clergy? Our clergy is very helpful, experienced and wise. There usually is one clergy member who is always available to answer questions and give helpful answers. If they aren’t here, they are a phone call away. Father Michael J. Bazan, pastor, served 17 years at Sacred Heart before being reassigned to pastor of St. Clare of Assisi Church in Clifton. He created most ministries we have now and made many improvements. We welcomed Father Stephen Holmes from Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Winchester June 24. Father Edwin Seh, parochial vicar, is studying for his doctorate in Canon Law. He plays organ and speaks five languages.

Is there a standout or longtime staff member or volunteer you’d like to tell us about? A longtime volunteer is Eddie Henderson who stays all day Wednesday to make sure that adoration is covered, he takes care of our candles, replaces them when empty and sings in our choir. He started the Divine Mercy Prayer Group here on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. When our facilities manager needs an extra hand, Eddie is always there to help.

Would you like to share anything else about your parish? As a welcoming community we are very conscious of assisting people in need and so every Saturday morning we have a food pantry to feed the needy. We have served around 80-100 families during COVID-19 and are still serving approximately that many families.

Quick Facts:

Sacred Heart

12975 Purcell Rd.

Manassas

Shcva.org

703/590-0030

Pastor: Fr. Stephen Holmes

Parochial Vicar: Fr. Edwin Seh

Administration assistant for faith formation: Brenda Cunningham

Youth Minister: Dianne Anderson

Mass schedule:

Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m.

Sunday: 5 p.m. (vigil), 7:45 a.m., 9:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m.

Social media accounts:

Facebook @sacredheartmanassas, Twitter @sacredheartva

Year established: 1984

Total parishioners: 5,600

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021