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
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
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
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time January 29, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA Today’s reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew is one of the most beautiful texts in all of Scripture: the wonderful “Beatitudes” of Jesus. “Beautiful” is perhaps the best word to describe these beatitudes because the words “beautiful” and “beatitude” come from the same Latin word: “beati”, which means, blessed–as in “blessed are they.” But some people like to think that the word “beatitude” is related to the word “attitude” –that the be–attitudes are so called because … Continue reading
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
Listen to the audio version of Fr. De Celles’ homily for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 22, 2017, here.
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time January 22, 2017 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, VA “Make America Great again.” We’ve heard this a lot lately. But is it just a political slogan, or is it truly a call for genuine reform of our nation? And if it’s a call for reform, is it a call for Americans to dedicate ourselves to becoming a people governed by great administrators, or a people who live great lives, individually and as together as one nation. The answer to these questions depends largely on what it … Continue reading
Rested and Ready. I’m just back from 7 days in Orlando, playing golf with 2 other priests. Having grown up in South Texas, where winter lasts about a month, it was great to go from 24 degrees in Virginia to 80 degrees in Florida. My months-long cold even cleared up. I love being a priest and your pastor, and I even enjoy the change of seasons of Virginia, but I do miss the warmer months of the deep South. So, I thank the Lord for the opportunities He gives me, for such refreshing vacations, and for my priest-friend’s parents who … Continue reading
Parish Volunteers. Last Saturday night, on the Feast of St. Raymond, we held our annual Volunteer Dinner, honoring about 150 of our parish’s most dedicated volunteers and their spouses. It was a great night for many reasons, but especially to see all these people who are so committed to supporting and serving our parish family having this opportunity to share in such warm and fraternal fellowship. I’ve always said that one of the best ways to grow in your Catholic faith is to become active in some parish group or committee. It may not be as essential as receiving the … Continue reading
Listen to the audio version of Fr. De Celles’ homily for the Solemnity of the Epiphany of Our Lord, January 8, 2017, here.