Twenty Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Choir and Schola. Welcome back to our Choir at 10:30 Mass. You know summer’s over when you hear the beautiful strains of choral singing showering down on us from the choir loft. I hope the choir members had a restful summer and look forward to their assistance at Mass. Also, I know they are looking to increase their numbers, so anyone with any interest in joining them is welcome and encouraged to contact Elisabeth Turco at music@straymonds.org.

Also, welcome back to our Schola at 8:45—they add so much to the solemnity and reverence of that Mass.

Fix Climate Change: Eliminate Poor Babies. At a campaign stop a week ago Democrat Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders suggested a unique way to fix Climate Change. Here is his exchange with an audience member:

Audience member: “Good evening. Human population growth has more than doubled in the past 50 years. The planet cannot sustain this growth. I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it’s crucial to face. Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact. Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe?”

Sanders: “The answer is yes. And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions. The Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. I think especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, it’s something I very, very strongly support.”

So, the answer to climate change is fewer poor babies, so let’s get rid of them. Satan hates mankind, and God has a particular love for the poor. Whose side is Bernie on?

More Bishops’ Scandals. Last week I had an update on the continuing scandals among the Bishops. This last week 2 more stories hit the news. First, as was widely reported, Buffalo’s Bishop Richard J. Malone was caught on tape admitting to covering up a homosexual priest’s harassment of a seminarian. According to LifeSiteNews, (Sept. 4, 2019):

“On August 2, Malone had a private conversation with his secretary Fr. Ryszard Biernat …Unbeknownst to Malone, Biernat was taping the exchange….‘We are in a true crisis situation,’ Malone told Biernat. ‘…And everyone in the office is convinced this could be the end for me as bishop. It could force me to resign if in fact they make a story…’

“In May, Boston’s 7 Eyewitness News had reported allegations that Fr. Jeff Nowak, a parish priest, had made romantic overtures to seminarian Matthew Bojanowski and even attempted to blackmail him with information heard in the confessional.

“‘I think we’re gonna blow this story up into something like an atom bomb if we start talking about that. You know?’ Malone told Biernat. ’Cause then it sounds like, it sounds like a soap opera. It sounds like a love triangle. And you know what the media can do with that.’

“‘The simple version here is we’ve got victims and we have a perpetrator, and the perpetrator is Jeff Nowak, and he’s done things that are clearly wrong, and I think he’s a sick puppy,’ the bishop said.

“….Nowak was not removed from ministry until August.”

Second, the Ted McCarrick scandal continues to unfold. According to Cruxnow.com, (Sept 5, 2019):

“A yearlong investigation by Seton Hall University confirmed that Theodore McCarrick, the laicized cardinal who had been archbishop of Newark from 1986 to 2000, had sexually harassed seminarians during his tenure as head of the archdiocese.

“‘McCarrick created a culture of fear and intimidation that supported his personal objectives. McCarrick used his position of power as then-archbishop of Newark to sexually harass seminarians,’ said the 700-word “update,” dated Aug. 27.…‘Individuals, communities and parishes across the country have been affected by former archbishop McCarrick and others who have profoundly and forever negatively altered so many lives.’

“McCarrick, as Newark archbishop, was president of the board of trustees at Seton Hall, which is sponsored by the archdiocese. The seminaries are located on the Seton Hall campus.”

Rev. Cornelius O’Brien, RIP. Last Saturday we were informed of the sad news that Fr. Cornelius O’Brien had died at his home in Ireland, at age 87. Some of you may remember him from his many post-retirement summer vacations spent with Fr. Gould at St. Raymond’s. He was a good friend of and mentor to Fr. Gould, and to so many of the priests of the Diocese, including me.

Ordained in Ireland, in 1955 he immediately came to the United States where he served as a priest of the Diocese of Alexandria, La. until 1975, when he joined the Arlington Diocese. After graduate studies at Catholic University, he taught philosophy at various colleges and seminaries in the area.

He became the first chaplain at Christendom College in Front Royal in 1977, and was assistant director of the Notre Dame Institute from 1976 to 1979. He also served as parochial vicar at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More (1975-79), St. Agnes (1979-80), and St. Lawrence (1980-83).

He was pastor of St. Timothy Church in Chantilly from 1983 to 1999, and of St. James from 1999 until his retirement in 2006.

In 1992, he was also co-founder of CREDO, an organization of priests and scholars dedicated to the proper translation of the Roman Missal, which significantly influenced the eventual retranslation of the Missal in 2011. He also co-founded of the Adoremus Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy in 1995, which still publishes the Adoremus Bulletin.

Fr. O’Brien was one of the most brilliant and erudite men I’ve ever met. He was an expert in philosophy, especially Aquinas, and could talk at length about subjects from Shakespeare, to construction, to sheep farming. I always thought he would have been a great Shakespearean actor if he hadn’t gone into the priesthood. His rich deep voice and his eloquence in speech reminded me of an intellectual Peter O’Toole. All this combined to make him one of the best preachers, both in content and in delivery, I’ve ever heard in my life.

I was honored to serve with him twice, first as a seminarian at St. Timothy’s, and later as his last vicar before he retired from St. James. He was very kind, supportive and encouraging to me, and I was truly saddened when he announced he was retiring and moving back to County Cork, to live with his dear sisters in the “wee hoos” he had helped construct during his annual month-long summer vacations.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles

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