Each year, Catholics around the world celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi (Latin for “Body of Christ”), symbolizing their belief in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
Traditionally the feast of Corpus Christi is held on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Thursday is the day that Jesus instituted the Most Holy Eucharist, the first Mass, at the Last Supper before his atoning sacrifice on the cross on Good Friday. In the United States, the celebration of Corpus Christi has been transferred to the Sunday after Trinity Sunday.
This annual celebration occurs two weeks after Pentecost toward the beginning of summer in the return to Ordinary Time following the Great Easter 50-Days. This is a time when Catholics can demonstrate their love for Christ in the Real Presence by honoring Him in a very public way. It is also a wonderful approach in which Catholics can also display a love for their neighbors by bringing Our Lord and Savior closer to the community.
In honor of this occasion, Saint John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in Front Royal held its 23rd annual Eucharistic Procession on Sunday, June 19 at 6:00 pm. Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament was carried from the church following the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The congregation lined Main Street and joined in the procession after Our Lord (Eucharist in a gold vessel called a Monstrance) passed through. The monstrance itself is protected by a decorated canopy.
The procession was led by the United States Flag and the Papal Flag, followed by four additional priests and a deacon, First Communicants, Knights of Columbus in their 4th-degree regalia, altar servers in their cassocks, members of all parish ministries and lay people and their families. Church leaders estimated that 800 men, women, and children were gathered at the Town Gazebo to give public witness to their belief in the sacrament of the eucharist and to their devotion.
The congregation sang hymns and recited prayers as they walked down Main Street to the Town Gazebo. The Blessed Sacrament was placed on the altar in the Gazebo for a brief recitation of the Fatima Eucharistic Prayers and Benediction. Tantum Ergo was sung from the Eucharistic Hymn (Pange Lingua) composed by St. Thomas Aquinas in the mid-1200s, nearly 800 years ago. On the return procession to the church, the congregation prayed and sang various hymns (such as Anima Christi) that express belief in the True Presence of Jesus—body, blood, soul, and divinity–in the Most Holy Eucharist.
In procession with the Lord and with continuous songs of praise, the faithful returned to the church for the Concluding Benediction where the Blessed Sacrament was then reposed in the Tabernacle. The procession took approximately 45 minutes. Volunteers were positioned on every block to offer assistance, where necessary. Front Royal police officers were on hand to manage traffic control around Main Street and provide oversight.
An Ice Cream Social took place after the procession in the church basement as well as in the adjacent park. St John the Baptist Church thanks Garber Ice Cream Company of Winchester for providing a discount on their delicious ice cream.
The tradition of bringing the Eucharistic Procession out into the Front Royal streets began in 2000. That year was declared a Jubilee Year by Pope (now Saint) John Paul ll. Key members of the Knights of Columbus were motivated to express the Church’s belief in the Real presence of the Front Royal community and take Jesus into the streets to bless the town and all the souls that live in and around it.
“Over the last 23 years, St John the Baptist Catholic Church, led and organized by members of the Knights of Columbus, has faithfully held an annual procession with crowds from 400 to 500 to more than 1,000, depending on various factors such as time of day, weather, or COVID restrictions,” said Vince Criste, Past Grand Knight of Knights Council #7771.
“Since St. John’s sits on West Main Street and the town gazebo sits at the far end of East Main Street, it made sense to take the Blessed Sacrament straight down the center of town with a police escort to the town gazebo, a natural gathering place, which makes for a suitable altar for such a Divine guest,“ said Criste.
According to Criste, the town has always been cooperative and the police support over these many years has been fantastic.
One of the great privileges of liberty in this country is our ability to publicly practice our faith. St. John the Baptist is delighted to honor Our Lord in this way and to bring his love and blessing out into the streets.
“The Eucharist is one of the great mysteries of our Faith. We accept that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ because Jesus himself instituted this great sacrament. As God, He is Truth itself. He can neither deceive nor be deceived. So, we don’t need ‘science’ … just faith and trust in Jesus said, Criste. “In his mercy and to sustain our Faith, Our Lord has confirmed this mystery by allowing amazing Eucharistic miracles in various parts of the world.” (To learn more about Eucharistic Miracles, please go to https://www.ncregister.com/blog/five-eucharistic-miracles).
Saint John the Baptist is located at 120 West Main Street, Front Royal, VA. The Church (currently a congregation of 6,000) was dedicated on September 7, 1884, by Rt. Rev. John J. Keane, Bishop of Richmond, who was assisted by Rev. O’Connell; the Rev. D. Roley of Baltimore was the Celebrant of the High Mass, with Rev. O’Reilly assisting.
About the Feast:
The Feast of Corpus Christi originated in 1246 when Robert de Torote, Bishop of Liege, ordered the festival celebrated in his diocese. He was persuaded to initiate the feast by St. Juliana, prioress of Mont Cornillon near Liège (1222–58), who had experienced a vision. It did not spread until 1261, when Jacques Pantaléon, formerly Archdeacon of Liège, became pope as Urban IV. In 1264 he ordered the whole Church to observe the feast. Urban’s order was confirmed by Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne in 1311–12. By the mid-14th century, the festival picked up momentum and in the 15th century, it became one of the principal feasts of the Church.
Celebrate smart, safe & sober this July 4 holiday weekend
Independence Day traditions include backyard barbecues, festivals, family gatherings and fireworks. To keep all those living, working, visiting and traveling through Virginia safe during the extended holiday weekend, the Virginia State Police is encouraging Virginians to play it smart and plan ahead to ensure everyone on the road is safe and sober.
“Summer days are filled with celebrations, vacations, outdoor festivals and backyard cookouts, but no matter where your plans take you, please make safety your priority,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “With fatal traffic crashes on pace this year to mimic last year’s record number, I urge all Virginians to buckle up, eliminate distractions and never drive buzzed, drunk or under the influence. Together we can make this Independence Day the safest on record!”
If planning to drink alcohol at a July 4 function, plan ahead and arrange a designated driver, use a rideshare service or taxi, or utilize public transportation to be certain you get home safely. Party hosts are encouraged to serve non-alcoholic beverage options, and to help prevent any guests from drinking and driving home from their event.
As part of its ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce traffic fatalities on Virginia’s highways during the coming holiday weekend, Virginia State Police will increase patrols from 12:01 a.m. Friday (July 1, 2022) through midnight Monday (July 4, 2022) as part of the Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.). Operation C.A.R.E. is a state-sponsored, national program intended to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries due to impaired driving, speed and failing to wear a seat belt.
During last year’s four-day Independence Day Operation C.A.R.E initiative, there were 12 traffic deaths on Virginia highways. Virginia troopers arrested 61 drivers operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, cited 4,025 speeders and 1,434 reckless drivers, and issued 510 citations to individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up. Troopers also assisted 1,550 disabled/stranded motorists.
With increased holiday patrols, Virginia State Police also reminds drivers of Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires motorists to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped alongside the road. If unable to move over, then drivers are required to cautiously pass the emergency vehicle. The law also applies to workers in vehicles equipped with amber lights.
Stephens City Lions Club Installation of Officers and Awards Banquet
Stephens City Lions Club, established in 1946, held their 2021-2022 Installation of Officers and Awards Banquet on June 28 at the West Oaks Farm Market Reception Hall in Winchester.
The Awards Banquet was highlighted by 28 year club member William Dickie Clark receiving the Melvin Jones Award. This Fellowship Award is the Lion’s highest form of recognition and is given to members who continuously provide dedicated humanitarian services.
Sherando High School faculty member Garland Williams received the Outstanding Service Award for Leo Club Advisor. Garland implemented an on-going student leadership program, motivated Leo club members to be service-minded and fostered strong communication between the Leo’s and the Stephens City Lions club.
Sherando High School Leo club seniors Lea Blevins and Ashleigh Morgan received $1,000 Outstanding Service scholarships. Lea and Morgan will be attending the University of Virginia and Mary Baldwin University respectively.
Lion Dudley Rinker received President’s Award.
Betty Wymer and Tootie Rinker received Citizen of the Year Award.
Bill Miller received Lion of the Year Award.
Lion president Angel Huyett presented Bruce Ryker the gavel as the new president of the club for 2022-2023.
Note: Stephens City Lions Club makes great effort to maintain an ongoing relationship with Sherando High School to foster an effective Leo (Leadership, Experience, Opportunity) club. Michael Morrison acts as the Lion’s liaison, communicating activities and requirements to Leo Advisor and faculty member Garland Williams. Williams supervises the Leo students community service work which includes assisting raising money for cancer research, mentoring grade school children, adopting a needy family for Christmas, volunteering at church and civic organization events and various Lion’s club fundraiser’s.
Laurel Ridge Medical Laboratory Technology program receives national accreditation
Laurel Ridge Community College’s medical laboratory technology (MLT) program is now nationally accredited. The program received accreditation for five years – the maximum possible – from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website notes that 70 percent of medical decisions rely on lab test results, and 14 billion lab tests are ordered every year.
“While the pandemic hasn’t made the work MLTs do more important, it has brought it more to light,” said Kate Gochenour, Laurel Ridge’s MLT program director. “We are 100 percent behind the scenes, so the general public doesn’t think about the lab all that often. Almost every doctor’s visit involves some sort of lab test, whether that is urinalysis, a blood draw, or a throat swab.”
Standards that accredited MLT programs must meet include faculty requirements regarding certifications and professional development, the proper sequencing of courses to allow students to develop entry-level competency in each core area, and having an advisory committee comprised of individuals knowledgeable about clinical laboratory science education to ensure the program remains relevant, according to Gochenour.
The accreditation also means students are eligible for the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification exam, passage of which most employers require within six months to a year of being hired.
In addition to classes such as anatomy and physiology, chemistry, phlebotomy, immunology and serology, psychology, and ethics, MLT students have clinicals in blood bank, clinical chemistry, clinical hematology, and clinical microbiology. Because MLT is a field that is in high demand, students may qualify for G3 funding, which covers any remaining tuition not paid with financial aid.
Laurel Ridge’s first MLT class graduated with their associate of applied science degrees in May 2021. The program has had a 100-percent employment rate, with the majority of students offered a job while still in externships.
The median salary for MLTs and clinical laboratory technologists is $56,817, according to Career Coach powered by Lightcast. Learn more about the program at laurelridge.edu/mlt.
Shenandoah University announces over 1,200 graduates
Shenandoah University is pleased to announce the 1,204 graduates who received their degrees or certificates during the 2021-22 academic year. These included 236 August 2021 graduates, 332 December 2021 graduates, and 636 May 2022 graduates. Shenandoah’s 2022 University Commencement took place on May 21.
The following local students were among those who graduated from Shenandoah during the 2021-22 academic year:
Hanna Brzezinski, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Sociology.
Sarah Downs, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.
Daniel Guizar, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, an undergraduate certificate in Health and Physical Education, and an undergraduate certificate in Kinesiology.
Kathryn Simpson, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Andrea Zanelotti, of Front Royal, VA, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Jenna King, of Linden, VA, with a doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Kadie Madison, of Front Royal, VA, with a doctorate in Nursing Practice.
Jeeson Park, of Lake Frederick, VA, with a Master of Science in Nursing.
Robert Presley, of Front Royal, VA, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Sarah Solomon, of Front Royal, VA, with a master’s degree in Music Education.
Elizabeth Woodward, of Front Royal, VA, with a Master of Business Administration and a graduate certificate in Health Systems/Care Management.
Ciarra Berry, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communication.
Kevin Alexander Clark, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Music in Performance.
Anthony Crescienzi, of Front Royal, VA, with a Master of Science in Athletic Training.
K C Jaques, of Linden, VA, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Mary Kuehl, of Linden, VA, with a Master of Science in Education.
Sam Martin, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.
Bridgett Murphy, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Mackenzie Oakes, of Front Royal, VA, with a doctorate in Pharmacy and a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine.
Marian Rogers, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Helen Snyder, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Ashton Steele, of Front Royal, VA, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
About Shenandoah University
Shenandoah University was established in 1875 and is headquartered in Winchester, Virginia, with additional educational sites in Clarke, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties. Shenandoah is a private, nationally recognized university that blends professional career experiences with liberal education. With approximately 4,000 students in more than 200 areas of study in six different schools, Shenandoah promotes a close-knit community rich in creative energy and intellectual challenge. Shenandoah students collaborate with accomplished professors who provide focused, individual attention, all the while leading several programs to be highly nationally ranked. Through innovative partnerships and programs at both the local and global level, there are exceptional opportunities for students to learn in and out of the classroom. Shenandoah empowers its students to improve the human condition and to be principled professionals and leaders wherever they go. For more information, visit su.edu.
Jennifer McDonald’s case deemed ‘complex’, criminal trial pushed back to May 2023
Former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer Rae McDonald’s criminal trial will not commence on Oct. 11, as previously scheduled.
A U.S. District Court in the Western District of Virginia judge has put off Jennifer R. McDonald’s trial on fraud, money laundering, and identity theft charges until May 2023.
McDonald is accused of embezzling money from the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority while serving as its executive director and using the money to buy real estate and conduct other personal business.
The federal trial was scheduled to begin October 11, which had been pushed from an earlier date after McDonald’s defense attorney, Assistant Federal Public Defender Andrea Harris, requested more time given the voluminous amount of evidence she received from the prosecutor’s office as well as the additional electronic discovery that includes forensic examinations of multiple key electronic devices.
A June 23 motion filed in federal court by Harris stated that the “additional discovery is contained on a hard drive and takes up 356 gigabytes of space. One of the devices alone contains more than 45,000 emails and almost 10,000 documents.
“These particular electronic devices are likely to be critically important to further investigation of this case, and there will likely be the need for additional independent forensic analysis of one or more of these devices.”
Harris and U.S. Attorney Christopher Cavanaugh on June 21 filed a joint motion asking the court to designate the case as complex, to exclude time from the speedy trial requirements, and the defendant’s unopposed motion to put off the trial date. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth K. Dillon granted the motions on Monday, June 27.
Dillon rescheduled the trial to begin in mid-May 2023 and designated the case as complex under federal rules and ordered that the court exclude the time period of June 21, 2022-May 15, 2023, from the Speedy Trial Act deadline calculation.
Per law, a defendant’s trial date must begin within 70 days of the indictment filing date or the defendant’s initial court appearance. A judge can set a new date without violating a person’s rights under the act if failing to grant such a request would deny either party time needed to prepare their cases.
On August 25, 2021, a Grand Jury returned an indictment charging McDonald with 34 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft, with some allegations dating back to 2014.
The indictment came following a complex and lengthy state and federal investigation conducted by a state special grand jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. (FBI) The investigation began in 2018, continued through Ms. McDonald’s indictment almost three years later, and continues today.
The motion states that the Federal Defender’s Office currently has two attorneys, an investigator, and two paralegals working on the case due to the volume of discovery and number of witnesses.
McDonald made her first appearance in the court on Aug. 31, 2021, with private counsel. The court then appointed a federal defender to represent McDonald. She was arraigned on September 3 and initially scheduled a one-day trial for November 3.
The defense filed a motion to continue on October 26, which the court granted; a six-week trial was scheduled to begin October 11, 2022.
A civil lawsuit filed in the Warren County Circuit Court by the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority claims defendants including McDonald participated in schemes using EDA money without permission to conduct real estate transactions and other personal business. McDonald and several co-defendants have since been dismissed as parties to the lawsuit through partial summary judgments.
The civil trials in the case are scheduled to begin in early July and will likely lead to further investigation Harris said and would involve overlapping issues and witnesses and are also relevant to effective preparation in McDonald’s criminal trial.
With over one million pages of discovery documents and the judge declaring the criminal case a complex one, it’s anyone’s guess when we’ll see McDonald in the courtroom.
Rotary Club of Warren County donates baskets to help homeless transition into independent living
The Rotary Club of Warren County is pleased to award a $500 service project grant to the House of Hope – Front Royal, VA, for 5 graduation baskets. These baskets will include air beds, sheets, pillows and several inspirational cards ready for the gentleman in hopes to make the transition into independent living a little easier.
The inspirational cards will have gift certificates/gifts enclosed from a variety of local businesses including: 1 free scoop of ice cream from C & C Frozen Treats, 2 movie passes from Royal Cinemas, 1 free cup of coffee from Main Street Daily Grind CAFÉ, 1 bracelet “We’re In This Together” from Project: Space/What Matters, 1 free haircut from Mattie the Barber/Blake & Co Hair Spa, 1 Golden Ticket from I Want Candy (for the lucky basket), 1 Pass for in-town cab fare with Front Royal Taxi.
We are hoping these small gifts might help brighten a man’s day once they are on their own! Thank you SO much to this amazing community who has stepped forward to cheer on the men!