Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

  Holy Week begins Today. One of the keys to Lent is meditation on our Lord’s Sacred Passion—His suffering and death. This week we do this in a particularly intense way, as we spiritually place ourselves with Our Lord as He suffers in His last hours: as He agonizes in the garden, is scourged, spat upon, mocked, and crowned with thorns; as He carries the cross, is nailed to it and hung upon it for three hours to die an excruciating death. We look upon Jesus enduring all this, and remember that He did this all out of love for … Continue reading

Fifth Sunday Of Lent

Cardinal Burke’s Visit. What a great evening our parish experienced on Friday, March 24, as we were blessed by long anticipated visit and lecture by Cardinal Raymond Burke. Both the Cardinal and I were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and the size of the crowd—standing room only (so well over 900 people), by far the largest crowd for a speaker we’ve had in my term here. His Eminence spoke for about 50 minutes. He began with a tribute to our patron, St. Raymond of Peñafort, as a great moral theologian, confessor and pastor, as well as a great Canon Lawyer. He … Continue reading

The Fourth Sunday Of Lent

Laetare Sunday and Counting the Days. Today we celebrate the 4th Sunday of Lent, “Laetare Sunday,” the traditional midpoint of the penitential season. Now, we usually speak of Lent as being 40 days. But the calendar indicates that there are actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday (inclusive). However, the counting of the 40 days has never included the 6 Sundays of Lent, because, historically, the 40 days were always days of modified fasting, and Sunday was never a day of fast since it is the Lord’s Day. However, that count of 40 days is thrown off if … Continue reading

Third Sunday Of Lent

  CARDINAL BURKE TALK THIS FRIDAY. We live in times when it can be very difficult to practice our Catholic Faith with integrity and devotion. Sometimes it seems that we are being assaulted on all sides—from the culture, government, family, friends, and even from our fellow Catholics, even from high ranking officials in the Church. That is one of the main reasons, I am so excited to have Cardinal Raymond Burke give a talk to us this Friday evening, March 24, 2017, at 7pm in the church. His topic will be: “Saint Raymond of Peñafort: The Inseparable Bond between Doctrine … Continue reading

Second Sunday Of Lent

Prayer in Lent: Stations of the Cross. One of the three principle forms of Lenten penance is prayer (the others being almsgiving and sacrifice). So I encourage all of you to “pray more” during Lent, either adding some extra prayer(s) to your daily and/or weekly routine, or praying the prayers you already pray with more attention, devotion and time. One excellent form of prayer during Lent is the Stations of the Cross (or Via Dolorosa, Via Crucis, Way of Sorrows, Way of the Cross), which can be prayed at home, but is most beneficially prayed in a place where “Stations” … Continue reading

First Sunday Of Lent

LENT. Fundamental to a fruitful observance of Lent is the reception of the Sacrament of Penance (also called “Confession” or “Reconciliation”). Last year I published a small pamphlet called “Making a Good Confession: A Brief Examination of Conscience and Guide to Going to Confession.” Copies of this purple pamphlet can be found by all the doors of the church and near the confessionals. I hope you will find it helpful in preparing for and making a good confession. But what is the Sacrament of Penance itself all about? What follows are some short excerpts from the “CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC … Continue reading

Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time

Two Retreats. Spiritual retreats can be so important in helping us draw closer to Christ, and refocusing our lives on Him. That’s why Canon Law requires that all the priests in the Church must go on a five day retreat every year. In our Diocese, every other year, the priests go on one of 3 retreats sponsored by the Diocese, led by “retreat masters” chosen by the Bishop. The week before last I was on such a retreat with one-third of the priests of the Diocese, with Bishop Michael Barber (of Oakland, CA) as retreat master. ​The idea of a … Continue reading

Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time

Since I write this from my retreat (on Wednesday, Feb. 8), I’m supposed to be praying, so it’s going to be a very brief column. First Confessions. Last Saturday about 70 of our Second Graders went to confession for the first time. What a great gift God gives us in this sacrament. And what a joy to be able, as a priest, to share this gift with these little ones. I’m confident that none of us think any one of them was in absolute need of the sacramental absolution (i.e., in the state of mortal sin), even so, we all … Continue reading

Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time

March for Life. On Friday, January 27, St. Raymond’s led a contingent of at least 217 folks to join the hundreds of thousands of other pro-lifers at the March for Life on the Washington Mall. We took 4 full buses, adding the 4th at the last minute due to overwhelming demand. I commend and thank all of those folks who joined us, and all those who attended separately. Also thanks to all who took time to pray during the March, whether at home, work or in the church. And thanks to all who worked so hard to provide for the … Continue reading

Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time

CARDINAL BURKE IS COMING TO ST. RAYMOND’S! I am very honored and excited to announce that Cardinal Raymond Burke will be giving a talk at our parish on Friday evening, March 24, 2017. I’m still trying to tie down the specific time and title of the talk, but I wanted to let you know now so you can save the date—you will want to be here for this visit. As most of you know, Cardinal Burke is Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Prefect Emeritus of the Apostolic Signatura, and a member of several Vatican Congregations. He is … Continue reading