FIRST HOLY COMMUNION. Congratulations to all the children who received First Holy Communion yesterday! May the Lord Jesus bless you and keep you in His care, especially through the Holy Eucharist, all the days of your life. MONTH OF MARY. Since the Church sets May aside as a month of particular devotion to the Blessed Mother, we begin this month with the traditional “Crowning of the Blessed Mother,” or “May Crowning.” Please join us and many of our First Holy Communicants for this short richly symbolic ceremony immediately following the 12:15 Mass. If you go to another Mass, come … Continue reading
Post-Lent: Rest, Catch-Up, and More. Lent and Easter are a very busy time for all of us, but especially for priests. Unfortunately, with all the attention given to the special activities of Lent and the Triduum, some things of ordinary “business” get postponed or overlooked by the priest and parish staff. That is especially the case this year, with the reshuffling of our offices at the beginning of Lent, and then Cardinal Burke’s visit in March. Because of this, I, for one, am playing catch up, going back and discovering all the things I didn’t do during Lent. At … Continue reading
Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere! Christos Anesti! Alithos Anesti! He is risen! He is risen indeed! What a glorious day—the Lord has risen from the dead, conquering sin and death, and has crushed the head of the ancient serpent. Alleluia! The world has been redeemed, salvation has been won for all mankind—if only we will accept this infinitely generous gift of Our Risen Lord Jesus. Thanks to all who worked so hard to help make this such a blessed Lent, Holy Week, Triduum and Easter Sunday. And remember, today is just the beginning of this new Season of Easter, as we … Continue reading
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
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
Listen to the audio version of Fr. De Celles’ homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent, March 26, 2017, here.
4th Sunday of Lent March 26, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA Ever since the first Good Friday 2000 years ago, the Cross and the suffering of Jesus have been the focus of constant meditation and veneration by the Church. We continue this tradition today, as we observe the season of Lent –40 days and nights of meditation on the Cross of Jesus, in preparation for the remembrance of the days of his death and of his resurrection. Lent is full of constant reminders of the Cross, and the suffering … Continue reading
Listen to the audio version of Fr. De Celles’ homily for the 3rd Sunday of Lent, March 19, 2017, here.
3rd Sunday of Lent March 19, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA “I thirst.” Jesus said these words as he hung on the Cross. But he also could have said them as he came out of his 40 days in the desert where he was tempted by the devil. And he also probably said them to himself in the scene recorded in today’s Gospel, as, tired from his long journey, he sat down by a well in the hot mid-day sun. But, while Jesus’ thirst was genuinely physical in … Continue reading
Listen to the audio version of Fr. De Celles’ homily for the 2nd Sunday of Lent, March 12, 2017, here.