Thirty First Sunday In Ordinary Time

Candidate Forum. Our Candidate Forum on October 24 was well attended, with about 125 folks. They tell me this is a lot for an event like this, much larger than most. But frankly, I was really hoping to fill the hall. I’m guessing that some folks didn’t show up when they heard that one of the candidates, incumbent Delegate Kathy Tran, would not attend. I just hope it was not a sign of a lack of interest in this election, which would be a huge mistake, since this is a very important election.
In any case, thanks to candidate Steve Adragna, who did attend and answer questions for 2 hours. And thanks to all who worked so hard to make the evening a success, especially Mychele Brickner who planned and organized everything for us, to Kathy Campbell who managed the evening, to Bob Laird who did an excellent job as master of ceremonies, and to the parish staff for once again making the boss look good.

Elections Adoration. As I said above, this is a very important election. In consideration of that, we will have 24 hours of Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, beginning at 7pm on Monday, November 4, and closing at 7pm on Tuesday, November 5, Election Day. Our prayer intention will be for the Commonwealth of Virginia and to beg the Lord Jesus for Godly elected officials.
As always, we need folks to commit to cover all these hours, especially late-night/early-morning hours. To volunteer please either call the office or go to the sign up page on our website: straymonds.org/ElectionsAdoration/.

Different Forms of Child Abuse. Most of you have heard by now, that a couple of weeks ago the pastor of St. Andrew’s parish was removed from his ministry after confessing to having sexual contact with a minor 25 years ago. It was a sad day for the diocese, especially for many of us who know that pastor well. But the Bishop did the right thing, removing him from ministry. Even though the abuse happened only one time, and so long ago, we need to take this very seriously, not only to see justice done for the past, but to strive to assure that all of our children are always protected. We must protect our children.
It’s strange, though. I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken advocate for strictly punishing priests found guilty of abusing children, as well as the bishops who cover up for those priests. But now a friend of mine has confessed. I never would have dreamt it, having always known him to be such a good man and priest. Yet he confessed it.
So, I will pray for him, and may God have mercy on him, but get him out of ministry and let justice be meted out to him as he deserves.
A hard thing. But necessary. Because we must protect our children, especially from this kind of corruption.
But as I thought about all this over the last few days, it came to me: “if that is the case, and it is, why don’t we protect our children from others in authority who seek to harm them?”
I want you to think about this with me. What greater abuse is there than killing a child? And yet, how many people have willingly voted for men and women who tell us they think it’s a good thing to kill the youngest most innocent of children —babies, before they’re born. How is that not abuse of children!?
And another example. For the last 3 or 4 years we’ve been struggling with folks who instead of helping a boy or girl get over any confusion about their gender, they promote that transgender confusion, and even to go so far as to give them drugs or to mutilate their bodies with surgery that will only change a few outward appearances, but not the fundamental biological life-long reality that boys are boys and girls are girls. And when another child objects to sharing a locker room with a transgender member of the opposite sex, they are told that there is something wrong with them. How is all this not abuse of children!?
And yet, how many Catholics have willingly voted for men and women who support the transgender agenda in our schools?
And another example. What about officials who say parents can’t be trusted to pass on moral values, even how a family should live, not to mention how society should function. And so they develop their own “family life education” that teaches the kids “family values” that run directly contrary to what their own family actually does value, like chastity and traditional morality and marriage.
Now, some may object to me comparing pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQ politicians to people who sexually abuse children. And, honestly, I hesitate to do so. But I don’t know what else to say. What is worse, the sexual abuse of a teen, or the killing of an unborn baby? Or the mutilation of a young body, or the psychological damage done to a child by a LGBTQ activist? It’s all abuse.
Now, I will give these politicians the benefit of the doubt, assuming they are confused, and genuinely think they’re doing the right thing. We cannot not judge their hearts, but we have to protect children from their actions. Because they are STILL WRONG.
And like a bishop who covers up for an abusive priest, voters are the ones who are enabling these politicians to continue their abuse. So when I say that there is almost no way a Catholic can vote for a candidate who is pro-abortion, or pro-transgender, or pro-gay marriage, I understand that these candidates might be otherwise talented people with a lot of good ideas, just like abusive priests might otherwise be very kind and well loved by their parishioners. But FIRST, WE MUST PROTECT OUR CHILDREN.
This week Virginians go to the polls to elect state and local officials, especially our own local state delegates and 4 members of the Fairfax County Public School Board. I can’t tell you the names of people to vote for. So you have to find out before you go into the booth. There are many voter guides out there. Or ask you friends. But find out.
And resolve with me today not to stay home on election day, but to vote. And to vote to protect our children from all who would abuse them.

Wedding Assistants. We are in need of women of the parish to help coordinate weddings at St. Raymond’s. This involves helping brides plan their wedding Mass and attending the rehearsal and wedding to help make sure everything runs smoothly. Please contact Pam Rinn at 703-690-4420 or prinn@verizon.net if you are interested.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles

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