TEXT: Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, May 22, 2016

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity May 22, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   In the first chapter of Genesis, we read: “God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This is one of the foundational passages of scripture, as it lays the basis for our whole understanding of the meaning and dignity of man and of human society, especially marriage and family.   … Continue reading

TEXT: Solemnity of Pentecost, May 15, 2016

Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday May 15, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA Today, of course, is Pentecost: one of the greatest and holiest days in the life of the Church as we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell in the Church and in the hearts of the faithful. The Church seems filled with joyful expectation as we prayed in the Sequence: “Come, Holy Spirit Come!” And all this is right, and good. But there is one little problem: the Holy Spirit has already come. He came almost 2000 … Continue reading

Solemnity of the Ascension Of The Lord

Pre-script: The column below was substantially completed late Tuesday evening, May 17. Early Wednesday morning, my father Dan De Celles, died at the age of 91. I originally ended the column requesting prayers for him in his last illness. I now ask for prayers for the repose of soul. He was a good man, a dedicated husband and father, and above all a very devout Catholic. I am confident that he is on his way to heaven, but he would be the first to recognize his sins and beg you to pray for him in Purgatory. Réquiem ætérnam dona ei, … Continue reading

TEXT: Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, May 8, 2016

Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord May 8, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   Today is the solemnity of Ascension of the Lord, which was celebrated in most of the world last Thursday, but was moved by the Bishops in our area to today. The main reason for moving it was that many Catholics apparently skipped observing it in mid-week because they didn’t think it was important. By moving it to Sunday the Bishops are hoping we can make Catholics more aware just how important it is.   So, … Continue reading

Requiescat in Pace, Daniel H. De Celles Sr.

Dear Parishioners: With sadness, but also with faith in our Lord’s atoning death and glorious resurrection, I write to inform you of the death of my father, Daniel Howard De Celles, Sr.. Please pray for his soul. And please pray for my family, and for me. In Christ, Fr. John De Celles Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen     WAKE/VIEWING: Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 6:00-8:00 p.m., Murphy’s Funeral Home, 1102 West Broad Street, Falls Church, VA http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Daniel-DeCelles&lc=1144&pid=180032831&mid=6935438   FUNERAL MASS: Thursday, May 26, 2016, 11:00 a.m., St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic … Continue reading

TEXT: Holy Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Thursday March 24, 2016 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA   There is a line in the ancient Roman Canon, –the long Eucharist Prayer I always use at Mass– a line that has always struck me, both for its apparent incongruity, and its graphic profundity. It comes after the consecration, as the priest prays to God the Father: “Be pleased to look upon these offerings with a serene and kindly countenance.” Now, “countenance” means “facial expression”, and “serene” means a sense of profound calm, peace, and tranquility and, even implies a … Continue reading


Pentecost: Come Holy Spirit! This Sunday’s readings tell us that the Holy Spirit first descended on the early Christians with “a noise like a strong driving wind,” and appeared like “tongues as of fire.” After this they “began to speak in different tongues” so that the people gathered in Jerusalem “from every nation under heaven” could hear them “speaking in his own language.” That same Holy Spirit descended on each of us in Baptism, and came again to strengthen (“confirm”) His gifts in us when we received the Sacrament of Confirmation. By the baptismal indwelling of the Spirit we were … Continue reading