September 11, 2011

Where were you 10 years ago today, September 11, 2001? Where were you found out that an airplane had crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center? Or that a second plane had crashed into the south tower? Or that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon? Or that a fourth plane was headed toward the White House or Capital, but had crashed in a field in Pennsylvania? Or when you heard the Twin Towers had collapsed to the ground? Where were you? I was just coming back from saying 8:30 Mass at St. Andrew’s when I … Continue reading

July 17, 2011

Due to an error in the bulletin last week, part of Fr. De Celles’ letter was inadvertently omitted. The following is his complete letter from July 17th. Yesterday, Saturday July 16, was the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, memorializing the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite priest, and her gift to him of the “Brown Scapular” on July 16, 1251. The origins of the Carmelites (The Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel), are somewhat uncertain, but it seems the order originated when certain devout souls came together after the third crusade … Continue reading

July 10, 2011

This last week marked one year of service for me at St. Raymond’s. It has been an interesting year for me, a very good year in many ways, and certainly a challenging one. I’ve learned a lot about how to run a parish, and how not to, and how much more I still need to learn. I hope that it has been a good year for the parish as well, although only heaven really knows that. I thank all of you, especially the parish staff and the heads of committees, for your patience and assistance. Looking back at my first … Continue reading

July 3, 2011

On this Fourth of July weekend, let us pray for our beloved nation and our nation’s leaders. Prayer for Government by Archbishop John Carroll, first bishop and archbishop of Baltimore, and of the United States We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name. We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of … Continue reading

June 26, 2011

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi. In most of the world the feast is celebrated on the following Thursday after Trinity Sunday, but in the United States it is celebrated on the following Sunday. The feast calls us to remember the munificent gift God gives us in the Blessed Sacrament, in particular the gift of Christ’s Real Presence that begins as the bread and wine are transformed—by the words of Jesus spoken by the priest at Mass—into the true Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord, and continues … Continue reading

June 19, 2011

Today, June 19, is, of course, “Fathers’ Day.” In a way, it is quite remarkable that our nation still celebrates this holiday, given the concerted effort over recent years to reduce or to denigrate the importance of fatherhood. Among other interest groups, the radical feminist movement made this a particular target of its efforts to change our culture in the ’60s and ’70s, as it labored to convince women to think of men as not necessary to their happiness. Women could “have it all,” even a home with children, without men figuring into the picture. At the same time, the … Continue reading

June 12, 2011

Today is the Solemnity of the Pentecost, remembering the day, 10 days after Jesus’ glorious Ascension into Heaven, that the Holy Spirit descended upon the nascent Church, about 120 disciples gathered in the upper room waiting and praying. As the Acts of Apostles tells us: “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. … Continue reading

June 5, 2011

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. This commemorates the true historical event when Jesus of Nazareth, who had died on the cross and risen from the dead, ascended by His own power in His human body into heaven, where he is now present, bodily, in eternity. The importance of the mystery of the Ascension is often overlooked or forgotten by Christians, but it must not be, since it is critical to our understanding of Christ and ourselves. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church summarizes: 665 Christ’s Ascension marks the definitive entrance of Jesus’ humanity … Continue reading

May 29, 2011

Memorial Day This Monday, America celebrates Memorial Day, a day of honoring those in our military who have given their lives not merely for our nation, but for the life, liberty and happiness of each and every individual American. At the Last Supper, Christ told His apostles, “No greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” That saying pertains directly to the death He endured for our salvation on the very next day, and to a love beyond all measure. But this greatest love is reflected, in a very real way, in … Continue reading

May 22, 2011

This time of year, most of the priests of the Diocese of Arlington celebrate the anniversary of their ordinations to the priesthood. As I mentioned at Mass last Sunday, there was no happier day of my life than my ordination day, as I know most priests will tell you. What a phenomenal gift the Lord gives to priests. And yet it is a gift not really meant for us personally, since the whole purpose of the priesthood is to serve God’s Church and all of His people. But that just makes the gift the priest receives that much more wonderful. … Continue reading