November 17, 2013

“Baby Mary”: Our Sofi. It’s hard to believe that 3 years have passed since November 14, 2010, the day the Lord miraculously delivered a newborn baby to the care of our parish. We first called her “Baby Mary Madeleine,” but we have since come to know her by the name her new parents gave her: “Anna Sofia Rae,” or “Sofi”. To refresh your memories, and for those who were not with us then, I quote from what I wrote 3 years ago: Last Sunday morning, right before the 7am Mass, a parishioner noticed a small gym bag that was laying … Continue reading

November 18, 2012

After having some days to think about the presidential election of November 6, I have some thoughts I’d like to share with you. It is a terrible thing that America re-elected a president who is (extremely) pro-abortion, pro-“gay marriage,” anti-religious liberty, and anti-Catholic, and rejected a candidate who, although imperfect, was pro-life, pro-traditional-marriage, pro-religious-liberty, and who said “we’re all Catholic today”. There are also many lessons to take away from the election. One is the continued identification of Catholics with their political parties rather than with Christ and His Church. But as I quoted Archbishop Charles Chaput (Philadelphia) a few … Continue reading

November 11, 2012

So the People Decided. The election is done and the people have spoken. Unfortunately, wittingly or unwittingly, by a small majority they have chosen leaders who oppose the right to life, traditional marriage and religious liberty, and, frankly, Catholicism. I am very concerned about the effects, near term and long term, of this election, and have many thoughts running through my mind as I look back and, especially as I look forward. But I will refrain from sharing most of those thoughts with you today lest I say something imprudent due to lack of sleep and other factors. (Note: I … Continue reading

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012

November 4, 2012 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, Va. 2 [3] days left. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of this election season. I’m tired of talking about it too, and I know some of you are tired of hearing me talk about it. Someone kidded me the other day about how for the last few weeks I’ve managed to dig around in each Sunday’s readings to find something related to election themes He was kidding, but, elections are, by definition, about choices, choices that effect human lives. And so … Continue reading

October 28, 2012

ELECTION. The election is now only 9 days away. Much is at stake, especially in the presidential and senatorial balloting. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us: “co-responsibility for the common good make[s] it morally obligatory…to exercise the right to vote…” [2240]. In my opinion, failure to vote is usually grave matter (i.e., the stuff that mortal sins are made of) when the issues are as important as they are in this election. You should note that the voting/poll location for one local precinct has changed this year. Those of us in Precinct 806 will no longer vote … Continue reading

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012

October 21, 2012 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, Va. You know, one of the great consolations of being a priest here at St. Raymond’s is the kindness of our parishioners. But sometimes people, even very kind people, complain about what I do. And I understand that and I try not to let it bother me, because first of all I know I screw up, and second, well, I know that you can’t please all the people all the time. Besides, I’m a big boy, I can handle, especially when criticisms are presented … Continue reading

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012

October 7, 2012 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, Va. Today our Bishops ask us to commemorate Respect Life Sunday —to remember that our nation, and much of the world, has been caught up in a culture of death spurred on by the evil of abortion. In this context today I want to focus on one key aspect of the culture of death, and that is its effects on women. Nine months ago certain so called “progressive” politicians began to accuse more conservative politicians of what they called waging a “War on Women.” … Continue reading

September 30, 2012

SOCIAL JUSTICE. The Catholic Church coined the term “social justice” in the mid-1800’s as part of a systematic effort to apply traditional Catholic doctrine to address the new problems raised by the Industrial Revolution, and to counter the evil proposals advanced by Marx and other socialists, i.e., “the left.” This effort reached official “doctrinal” status when Pope Leo XIII issued his encyclical Rerum Novarum in 1891, and almost every Pope since then has weighed in to further clarify and to apply the doctrine to their own times. Unfortunately, the doctrine has often been misunderstood, and even hijacked by the ideologies … Continue reading

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2012

September 30, 2012 Homily by Fr. John De Celles St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church Springfield, Va. Sometimes we’re so busy seeing the differences between ourselves and others that we fail to see the good things we have in common. On the other hand, it is important to recognize those differences, first of all to see the differences that we may want to overcome, but also, to recognize and protect ourselves against values that we don’t share. This tension between recognizing both the good and the bad in others is a source of particular difficulty for Christians –we want to … Continue reading

September 16, 2012

Sad Announcement. Last Sunday I read the following statement at all the Masses. It was approved by both Bishop Loverde and myself: Dear friends in Christ, as you know Fr. Joby Thomas left our parish last Wednesday. This came at the request of Bishop Loverde. As it turns out, Father [Joby’s] Superior General had not been aware that Father was ministering here and actually wants him to be with his community in India. So he is very grateful to Bishop Loverde for having asked Father to return and expects him to return soon. Unfortunately, Fr. Joby did not return [to … Continue reading