For roving flock, Holy Apostles parish name fits


March 13, 2001|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MOST ADULTS, at some time in their lives, have toiled over choosing a name for a new baby. For weeks, parents-to-be try out all kinds of possibilities.

Sometimes, they choose a name to honor a special grandparent or a favorite friend or a national hero. Sometimes, they choose a name because it is unusual or because it sounds good - or just because they like it.

Selecting a name for a new church follows much the same process, as the members of the Waugh Chapel Mission Community have discovered. During the fall, the community's pastor, the Rev. Michael Callaghan, invited the congregation to become involved in finding a name for the new parish.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore provided a booklet listing scores of suggested names not being used by other churches in the archdiocese. Parishioners pored over the book for weeks, and several submitted their choices, along with reasons they thought the name suited the kind of community being formed.

The process was like an election, moving from a primary to a general election. Callaghan gathered the parishioners' suggestions and asked church members to rank their favorites. When these results were tabulated, the church members voted once again, choosing a list of three names that the group submitted to Cardinal William Keeler for approval, along with their reasons for the choices. Shortly thereafter, the cardinal notified the community members that their top choice had been approved.

The mission community now has a name. It is called the Church of the Holy Apostles.

The word "apostle" means "one who is sent." Usually, it refers to the 12 close friends who followed Jesus during his life and who, after his death, went off to spread his story. The Roman Catholic Church has also honored many saints with the title of apostle for their role as spreaders of the Gospel. Callaghan said that choosing this name reflects a recognition that: "We do not have the church for our own navel-gazing. We have it to empower us to bring good news to the world."

Ann Hazelwood, pastoral associate at the new parish, adds that the nomadic life of the early apostles is reflected in the nomadic life of the new church. Beginning in the fall of 1999, the group met at Waugh Chapel Elementary School. Then, in the summer of 2000, it moved to Our Lady of the Fields Church.

Since September, members, like nomads, have gathered their books, furnishings and liturgical materials each Sunday from storage places in their homes, and met at their new liturgical space, Four Seasons Elementary School. An end to the traveling is in sight, though. Next month, ground will be broken for a building on Waugh Chapel Road, which will house the School of the Incarnation and be the home for the Church of the Holy Apostles.

The parishioner who suggested the name wrote that he felt it was appropriate because the new community includes people from 12 ZIP codes and a variety of backgrounds.

To celebrate the new name and the community's role as apostles for today, the parish is planning a Families of Faith chili potluck dinner on March 25 at the Odenton Knights of Columbus Hall, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Parishioners are invited to sign up to bring chili or another dish by contacting Carol Yorkgitis at 410-672-5471 or by e-mail at

St. Patrick's Dance

The Knights of Columbus will stage a St. Patrick's Day dance from 7 p.m. until midnight on Saturday at the Knights' hall on Becknel Avenue in Odenton. The party will feature a corned beef and cabbage dinner, games and dancing, with music provided by In the Mood DJs.

Tickets are available in advance at $15 per person or at the door at $20 per person. Information or tickets: George Riggs at 410-451-8915.

More dancing

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church in Crofton will hold a St. Patrick's Day Potluck Dinner and Dance in the Parish Hall from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Parishioners are asked to bring a dish to share with 10 people. Tickets will be available until Thursday; no tickets will be sold at the door.

Information or tickets: 410-721- 5770.

German-American Women

The Christian German American Women's Group will meet at noon on Monday in the blue room of the Chapel Center at Fort Meade. The speaker will be Lisa Beilke. After her presentation, the group will have a German lunch and singing, accompanied by pianist Heidi Zech.

Information: Irene Kucholik at 301-621-7862 or Karin Jackson at 301-855-6877.

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