Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Parish Hall and Basement Closure. By now you’ve all heard about the problem we’re having in our basement. Let me try to briefly explain.
The concrete outside of the doors leading into the basement was originally laid in such a way that fails to provide adequately for rain water run-off. This leads to excessive amounts of moisture/water gathering in the soil under the concrete. Due to the extreme cold, this underground moisture has frozen, and when water freezes it expands, in this case lifting up the surface concrete a small amount—about an inch in some places. This is called “frost heave.”
This would not be a problem except that the concrete runs right up to the doors of the basement, so that when it lifts up an inch or so it blocks the door from opening outward, so that none of our basement entrances or exits will open. Since these are all fire exits, the Fire Marshal has ordered us to not use the basement until the doors will open.
We’ve had this frost heave problem before, and we know that as the weather warms up the concrete will fall back down, and the doors should open. But it’s never been this bad. We’re thinking this year’s severity is a result not only of this year’s frost heave, but also of the cumulative effect of prior years’ frost heaves—every year it rises a bit and then falls back, but not all the way, so that the concrete rises higher every year.
But as we wait for the assistance of warmer weather, we know there’s still a lot of winter left, so we are diligently looking for an immediate short-term solution so we can open the basement for next weekend. But we will also have to come up with a long-term solution, which will be rather costly. We think that our insurance will pay for most of this.
In the meantime, thank you for your patience. And please pray for all of this, especially pray to St. Raymond that he will come to the aid of his church.

March for Life. This coming Friday, January 19, hundreds of St. Raymond’s parishioners will join hundreds of thousands of pro-life folks from around America gathered on the Washington Mall for the 45th annual March for Life. The parish is sponsoring four buses to take us down to the Mall, so please sign up and join us (sign-up sheets are in the narthex). Or join us down there, taking the metro or coming from your workplace in DC. And if you can’t come down to the Mall, join us in spirit and prayer wherever you are. Perhaps you can start discussions at work or school, always with charity, about the right to and dignity of human life. Or maybe you can watch the March live on EWTN (the global Catholic cable network), while saying the Rosary. Or maybe the best alternative to attending the March: while we’re marching you spend time in Church praying before the Blessed Sacrament.
Love him or hate him, President Trump’s election has been a huge win for the pro-life cause, from his lifting of the onerous contraception regulations of Obamacare, to his appointment of pro-life judges, especially Justice Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. But this kind of good news can sometimes cause us to take our eye off the ball, especially as we are surrounded by all sorts of other social ills we have to deal with. But we can’t let down our fight. We must continue to do everything we can to peacefully and charitably fight to defend the right to life of the innocent, especially innocent unborn babies.

Transgender Ideology in Schools. One of those other “social ills” we’re concerned about is the growth of transgender ideology, especially in our public schools. Some parents and students have told me that they don’t see this much in their schools. I hope not. But I worry that it’s there, but just subtle enough to escape immediate attention. Or perhaps we’ve just gotten so used to the leftist sexual propaganda that we don’t notice what’s going on, like the old story of the frog boiling in water.
But sometimes it’s not so subtle. Last month kids at George Mason High School in Falls Church were apparently forced to listen to a speaker giving the hard sell of the transgender ideology. I quote from a January 5 article about the talk written by Austin Ruse in Crisis Magazine (http://www.crisismagazine.com/2018/tall-trans-tales-gullible-age):
“Amy Ellis Nutt is a reporter for the Washington Post who wrote a book about a boy named Wayne who from the age of two was said to believe he was a girl. How did he express this? How does a two-year-old express anything more than a desire for the breast and a dry diaper? Nutt claims the boy actually asked his mom when will he get to be a girl and when will his [deleted] fall off. Does anyone really believe that a two-year-old would say such things?…
“Nutt delivered a mini-lecture on what she called “gender 101” in which she propagandized those poor kids on these new and utterly made up terms “transgender” and “cisgender.” …. She says language matters. It certainly does. All monstrous and even totalitarian lies begin with the lies of language….
“Nutt goes on to say, …“Everything to do with how you present yourself to the world, what genitals you have, what reproductive organs you have, what gender you identify with, and who you are sexually attracted to was imprinted on your brain by way of two things, hormones and genes when you were still in your mother’s womb.” Forget that there are no scientifically rigorous studies that back this claim (emphasis added) ….
“This is pretty much all they have, fake science and emotion….
“This is what government schools are teaching impressionable young people, some of whom, without any doubt, are going through confusing times and will listen to this siren song and will one day allow themselves to be mutilated….
“Do these schools teach that puberty blockers, such as Wayne was given, stunt your growth, growth that will never come back? Are these kids taught that there has not been a single clinical trial for the use of puberty blockers on gender confused kids? Are they taught that an overwhelming number of gender confused children, something on the order of 80 percent, come around to accepting their biological sex in their twenties? Are they taught of the growing number of adult men and women who deeply regret the extreme measures of amputating otherwise healthy organs like [deleted] and [deleted]? Are they taught that the suicide rate for post-op transsexuals is 10 times higher than the general population even in trans-friendly Sweden? To ask is to answer…”

Parents: please don’t just go along to get along, or be lulled to sleep on this issue that could have a hugely devastating impact on your children’s mental, physical and spiritual health. And let us all pray for parents and kids as they meet the oppressive challenges of modern society.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles

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