From:                     on behalf of Saint John Vianney Parish <>

Sent:                               Friday, March 26, 2021 10:09 AM

To:                                   Cathy Berger

Subject:                          Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion - March 28th 2021


St. John Vianney 105 Vianney Lane Prince Frederick MD 20678 410-535-0223 (Office) 410-535-4395 (Rel Ed) 410-414-9099 (FLC) 410-286-1944 (Food Pantry) Dear Brothers and Sisters, Because we are still dealing with...







St. John Vianney

105 Vianney Lane

Prince Frederick MD 20678


410-535-0223 (Office)

410-535-4395 (Rel Ed)

410-414-9099 (FLC)

410-286-1944 (Food Pantry)












Dear Brothers and Sisters,


Because we are still dealing with restrictions in the world of the pandemic, I want to begin with a reminder about signing up for Easter Masses. We need to do this now more than ever. Our seating is still limited due to distancing requirements. When you sign up you help us to plan for individual Masses, and also help prevent overcrowding.










As you know, each week this flock note has been dedicated to a commentary on the readings for Sunday. Since this week the reading is the Passion, and I personally believe it should stand alone. It preaches itself. I was left with a bit of a dilemma. What do I offer for Passion Sunday? Then I remembered that I had a piece in my files that would work as a meditation on the Passion of Our Lord.


So, as we come now to the great events of the death of Our Lord, I offer you as a meditation for Holy Week a bit of historical fiction.  This little piece I call the “Coroner’s Report.”  In actuality, ancient Romans and Jews never had such people to investigate a death.  To the best of my knowledge, medical forensic investigations are fairly modern. The terminology used in this piece reflect our contemporary notions, but they are placed in the historical setting of the first century. Next week, for Easter Sunday, I’ll offer a follow-up on this week’s reflection.


The Coroner's Report

Execution of the accused took place shortly after midday. The exact time of death was not immediate because the accused was put to death following the Roman custom of crucifixion. Those condemned to this form of execution are seen by the authorities to be the worst form of social malcontents.  Since the time of their slave rebellion under Spartacus in the last century, this form of execution has been used to eliminate, in a slow and agonizing death, any non-citizen who was seen to be a threat to state security.


This is why the accused did not meet his end immediately. What is somewhat remarkable though is the fact that his death took only about three hours. Many times, death by crucifixion takes considerably longer, even days. In this case, due to the fact that he was tortured by the lash -- according to guards he was given 39 stripes -- and given the fact that he was severely mistreated, beaten, and made to carry his own cross, it is understandable, again due to his weakened condition that he survived on the cross for about three hours.  


What is also good to note is that this crucifixion was carried out in what can only be called a severe fashion. Rather than simply tying the accused to the cross and waiting for him to eventually suffocate, this prisoner was nailed to his cross. Some may argue that this form of crucifixion is more lenient because it brings about a loss of blood that causes the accused to weaken faster and thus die more quickly. Such arguments though seem strained when one considers the degree of pain involved. The prisoner, while fighting for life, must not only deal with physical weakness, but must also bear the trauma of torn flesh and broken bones.   


This kind of a intense pain could create increased awareness and heightened consciousness of one’s surroundings. Of course, such a traumatic occurrence could also decrease awareness and bring on systemic shock causing a loss of consciousness. But, since the accused did not lose consciousness until almost the moment of death according to eye witness accounts, we must subscribe to the probability that the prisoner felt his pain most severely. Whatever the time of duration or the suffering involved, it can surely be said that this execution took close to three hours.  


As to the exact cause of death, this is not easy to determine. The prisoner in question lost a great deal of blood, so the cause of death may have been due to either strangulation as was the case of the two crucified with him.  Or, it could have been cardiac arrest. The exact cause remains undetermined. In any event we can put the time of death at about the ninth hour of the day or three hours after midday.   


The death occurred on the day of preparation for the Passover, which in this year is the 14th day of the month of Nisan during the tenure of Caiaphas as high priest and Pontius Pilate as Roman Procurator of Judea. This concludes the official medical report on the death of the prisoner Jesus of Nazareth. It is dutifully submitted to the Sanhedrin and the office of the Procurator.









Palm Sunday of the Lords Passion

Lectionary: 37 and 38


Reading I: Is 50:4-7 

Reading II:  Phil 2:6-11 

Gospel:  Mk 15:1-39 











This evening, March 26th starting at 6:00 pm, the Teens will be presenting the Stations of the Cross in the Church. All are welcome.  It is a wonderful way to remember all that Christ has done for us and to reflect on your Lenten commitments. Please consider joining us. 















Holy Thursday, April 1st - The Feast of the Lord's supper will be at 7:00 pm 


Good Friday, April 2nd Good Friday:

  • Stations of the Cross will begin at 12:00 noon
  • 3:00 The Liturgy of the Lords Passion

Holy Saturday, April 3rd  - Holy Saturday 

  • Drive thru Easter Basket blessing at 1:00 at the Parish Center
  • Drive Thru treats and meet the Easter Bunny at 1:00 at the Family Life Center

Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil - Mass will be celebrated at 8:00 pm (sign up required)


Sign-ups are required  for the Easter Vigil and Easter Masses as we have a limited the number of seats available to ensure social distancing of 6' .  If you are interested in attending and have not do so already, please sign-up utilizing the link below.











Our Lady Star of the Sea

Spring Bazaar! School fundraiser  & craft bazaar on April 17th See flyer for details!

















Each year, we honor couples celebrating milestone marriage anniversaries of 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 51+ years at a special Jubilarian Mass. This year’s celebration will be live-streamed.


Please contact the  parish office for more information on how to register for this year’s Mass. Couples registered after the deadline will be accepted, but their names will not appear in the Jubilarian program due to printing deadlines.

To register for the Mass or to receive a certificate, please complete and return the registration form to the parish office before April 30th!











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God bless you today and always! 

Below is a copy of our bulletin for this weekend.   On Saturday evening, it will be uploaded to our Parish website. (click here)    You may also find a history of our parish bulletins using that link.





















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105 Vianney Lane, Prince Frederick, MD 20678   •