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What is the Catholic Church Anyway – You May Be Surprised

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For the last two years, there has been a “second lung” of the Catholic Church, quietly ministering in Front Royal. Well, maybe not so quiet if you ever heard, the joyful singing at their services. What is this “second lung” as St. John Paul II called it? Why did he call for the Church to breathe with “both lungs?”

What exactly is the Catholic Church, anyway? It is a community of 24 self-governing churches, united under the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. Remember how St. Paul would write to the church in this city or that city?

As those churches developed and still others founded by the Apostles and their successors, they shared the same faith and the same sacraments but the ways of expressing that faith and celebrating the sacred liturgy differed. Thus, the Catholic Church is more that just the Western Roman Church (one lung).

The “second lung” is comprised of the Eastern Catholic Churches. The Ukrainian Catholic Church is the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Do you have to be Ukrainian to attend? No more than you have to be “Roman” to attend a Roman Catholic Church.

Meeting in the chapel of Human Life International, 4 Family Life Lane, Front Royal, VA, an enthusiastic group of families attend Divine Liturgy (Mass) in English, at SS. Joachim and Anna Ukrainian Catholic Church each Saturday at 4:00 pm.

In addition, there will be a Christmas Day Divine Liturgy at 11:30 a.m. This community is a mission of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Two priests serve the community from the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family in Washington, DC. This will be the third Christmas Season for the new faith community, which began in the late summer of 2015.

This Byzantine Liturgy was written by St. John Chrysostom and dates to the 300’s. You will experience the fullness and universality of the Catholic Church. For other Catholics, this Divine Liturgy is the Mass and does fulfill the Sunday obligation. It’s different, it’s ancient, it’s beautiful, it’s fun. Whether you are Catholic or not, check it out. Everyone is welcome!

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