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

May 15, 2011

Father’s Corner, Weekend of May 14/15, 2011 Today, Sunday, May 15, is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Here is an excerpt of Pope Benedict’s message for this day. The 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations….invites us to reflect on the theme: “Proposing Vocations in the Local Church”…. The work of carefully encouraging and supporting vocations finds a radiant source of inspiration in those places in the Gospel where Jesus calls his disciples to follow him and trains them with love and care. We should pay close attention to the way that Jesus called his closest associates to … Continue reading

May 8, 2011

Last Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI joyfully beatified his predecessor, now called “Blessed John Paul II.” It was gratifying to see so many people, including many in the press, so interested and pleased—even overjoyed—by this declaration. At the same time, many seem to be confused as to exactly what this means—to be “beatified” or called “blessed.” Many in the press referred to it as “the last step” in the process of canonization or sainthood. While that’s true, it somewhat diminishes the importance of his beatification. Others say, “now John Paul is a saint,” which blurs the important difference between sainthood and … Continue reading

May 1, 2011

As we finish the Octave of Easter and continue with the Season of Easter (until Pentecost on June 12) I would like to once again wish all of you a Happy and Blessed Easter, filled with the spiritual joy and grace of the Lord’s Resurrection. Thanks to so many. I have to say how pleased I was with the attendance at the Masses and Ceremonies of the Sacred Triduum. Both Holy Thursday evening’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper and Good Friday afternoon’s Celebration of the Lord’s Passion were filled to standing room only. I was especially delighted to see a … Continue reading

April 24, 2011

Father’s Letter April 24, 2011 – Easter He is risen! He is truly risen!” What a glorious day when Jesus Christ is risen from the dead and opens paradise and eternal life to all those who follow him. I want to take this opportunity to personally, and on behalf of Fr. Pilon and Fr. Peter, wish all of you a glorious, joyful, holy and happy Easter. But this celebration is not ours alone. The joy of Easter is the joy of the whole Universal Church. So today, let’s hear from the pastor of the whole Church, Pope Benedict XVI: “Et … Continue reading

April 17, 2011

Father’s Corner April 17, 2011 Today, we begin Holy Week, the most important days of the Christian year, days in which we spiritually, mentally and emotionally enter into the profundity of the mystery of our Lord’s suffering, death and resurrection. We begin with “Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion,” as the crowds in Jerusalem greet Jesus with great anticipation, hoping he is the Messiah, whom they think will raise an army to destroy their Roman occupiers, and restore their nation to greatness. But as the week moves on and Christ refuses to do anything of the sort, they move from … Continue reading

April 8, 2011

During this holy season of Lent, there’s been a lot of talk sin and repentance. Some sins are more obvious than others, because their effect is readily seen. For example, family members see the sins they commit when they hurt each other. But this isn’t always the case, so we need to be able to identify, in an objective way, the kinds of actions that are usually or always sinful. It occurred to me recently that one category of sins that often gets overlooked is sins against the Church. These sins often go unnoticed, either because we don’t see their … Continue reading

Blessed Theodore de Celles

My column of August 1 was dedicated to all the great saints whose feasts are celebrated this month. But I left out one saint (actually, a “blessed”). He’s not very well known, in fact his feast is not even on the liturgical calendar. Even so, I keep his feast every year on August 18. He is the 13th century priest named Blessed Theodore de Celles, my ancestral uncle. As a young cleric Bd. Theodore joined the Third Crusade, and in Jerusalem developed a profound devotion to the mystery of the Holy Cross of Jesus. A few years after returning to … Continue reading