Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mary’s Birthday. Today, September 8, is the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, Mary’s birthday. Of course we don’t celebrate this liturgically today, because it’s Sunday, “The Lord’s Day,” but that does not mean we can’t celebrate it otherwise. So have a piece of cake, or maybe a piece of blueberry pie (I hear that’s Mary’s favorite).
On my Mom’s birthday all her children used to try to spend time with her. Today, spend time with your Blessed Mom, Mary. Of course by praying to her and with her (a family Rosary would be a great idea!), but also by recognizing her presence with you, and thinking, “what should I being doing in this particular situation, knowing the Blessed Mother is here with me. How should I be acting? “
Also, give her a birthday gift. Maybe a prayer, a Rosary, an act of kindness to someone, going out of your way to avoid temptation and sin… Make this a beautiful day for our Blessed Mother.

More Bishop Scandals. The scandals will continue as long as the Vatican and Bishops refuse to recognize the corrupt bishops still in their midst who continue to exercise power and influence.
Bishop Zanchetta, Vatican. According to an article on cruxnow.com, by Inés San Martín, Aug 28, 2019. “Despite being investigated for allegations of having sexually abused two seminarians, an Argentinian bishop close to the pope has once again been allowed by a judge to travel to Rome. The judge said that Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta …has a document from the Vatican saying he must return to Rome “to continue with his daily work” – even though he has been suspended from his job. Crux can confirm that the document…is a certificate signed by Venezuelan Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, the Substitute for the Vatican’s Secretariat of State….”
Bishop Joseph Hart, retired Bishop of Cheyenne. According another article by Christopher White, on that same website, same date: “….[P]olice in Cheyenne, Wyoming recommended to prosecutors that [Bishop Hart]…face criminal charges for the sexual abuse of minors. Prior to being named a bishop, Joseph Hart had served in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph …Although his ecclesial career has spanned over five decades, serving in two states where he was widely popular, he has been trailed by allegations of serial abuse…
“Now…he not only faces criminal charges, where he could become the first U.S. bishop ever to face criminal prosecution for abuse, but also the possibility of being stripped of his title of bishop and removed from the clerical state as a church trial in the Vatican is also underway. Hart turns 88 in September…By 2019, the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph had settled 10 cases of abuse against Hart. In two settlements alone – one in 2008 and another in 2014 – the diocese has paid out nearly $20 million dollars to more than 50 plaintiffs ….”
Mr. Ted McCarrick. Catholic News Service, Sep 3, 2019: “In an interview last month with Slate… Theodore McCarrick said he doesn’t believe he committed the acts of which he has been accused….McCarrick, 89…was dismissed from the clerical state in February 2019, after [a Church court] found him guilty of solicitation in the confessional, and sexual abuse of minors and adults, aggravated by abuse of power. ‘I’m not as bad as they paint me…I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of.’”
The interview took place at, “the St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, Kan….where he resides…[A] condition of his residence is that he remain on the grounds of the friary. …[H]e offered to pay out of pocket [for his room and board]…Fr. John Schmeidler…declined McCarrick’s offer.”
Ted still refuses to admit what everyone knows. According the article on Slate, he’s supposed to be living a “life of prayer and penance,” but an essential part of “penance” is admitting your sin! And why is he still living on Church property at the Church’s (i.e., parishioners’) expense? The Church never does this for any ordinary priest found guilty of abuse and de-frocked/laicized. Why the special treatment? The corruption continues.

New Year Begins. As summer ends all sorts of parish activities start up again. The coming days tell the tale and help us all begin on the right foot.
Parish Picnic. Next Sunday, September 15, we’ll have our annual Parish Picnic from 1-4pm here on the Parish grounds, behind the church. There’s Lots of food and fun for kids and adults alike—a great way to meet and get to know your fellow parishioners. For new parishioners (and visitors) this is a great opportunity to meet people and learn more about the parish; for the rest of us, this is one of the best chances we will have all year to welcome others into a deeper participation in the life and fellowship of our parish—don’t pass it up!
Religious Education (CCD). CCD begins this evening, September 8. Parents, don’t forget to bring your kids this evening, or on Monday or Tuesday, whichever day you’ve signed up for. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late, but time is running out. Please see the bright green registration forms in the narthex, go to the parish website or call the RE office ASAP.
And Parents, remember CCD is meant to supplement the work you do with them at home. Parents are the primary educators of their children—especially in the Faith. CCD is just here to help you do that. But do not use CCD as an excuse to neglect your part. Instead take this as a time to renew your own personal commitment to teach your kids the Faith. Life is hard, but it’s a lot harder without Jesus and His Church. And in the end, the odds are they will not retain their faith when they grow up if you and we don’t do our very best to teach them the Faith when they are young.
I’m particularly looking forward to teenagers coming to our High School program, where they will encounter some especially talented, experienced and knowledgeable teachers. My goal for this program is to be informative, inspiring and challenging, but not a burden to the kids or parents. So, while I’m confident the classrooms will be lively and challenging, I also discourage assigning homework.
RCIA (“Convert Class”). Another program set to restart is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Classes begin this Monday (tomorrow), September 9, at 7:30pm in the Rectory classroom (the “Maurer Room”).
If any adult you know is interested in becoming a Catholic, or is a Catholic in need of the sacrament of Confirmation (or First Communion and Confession) this is the course for them. Bob Ward, himself a convert many years ago, leads an information-packed discussion of the basics (and more) of the Catholic faith, and during the second semester Fr. Smith and I will join in teaching a few sessions. You can contact Bob and Bev Ward at 703-644-5873 or biblestudy@straymonds.org with any questions.
But the class is also designed to be a refresher course for all adult Catholics. So please consider joining this class—even on a week-to-week/topic-to-topic basis.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles

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