August 1, 2022 Column Father De Celles

Scholarships to Catholic Schools. I hate to say it, but school is just around the
corner. You all know my deep concerns about sending our children to the
government-run, radical-leftist-controlled Fairfax County Public Schools,
including my concern that it might be a mortal sin to send our children to these
schools. But at the same time I recognize that many parents believe they simply
can’t afford, financially or otherwise, the alternatives. While many parents
recognize the problem and dedicate themselves to offsetting the nonsense of the
schools by aggressively countering these errors at home and in the parish, I’m
afraid that doesn’t work for most parents, for various reasons.
So, the parish offers scholarships to all qualified parishioners who
attend Catholic schools: $1,000 for grade school and $2,000 for high school,
renewable every year, and subject only to minimal qualification terms.
Also, additional financial aid is available to families that truly can’t afford
Catholic school, even with the above scholarships. These decisions are made on
a case by case basis.
Also, similar financial assistance to cover direct educational costs is also
available to folks who homeschool.
Extra Scholarship to Help You Switch. Finally, we will double the
scholarship for the first year for each child (a parishioner) who switches from
public school (k-12) to Catholic school this year. That means, for Catholic grade
school the scholarship will be $2,000 and for Catholic high school it will be
Just contact me or the parish office to apply.
Receiving Communion: Hand or Tongue? What is the “proper” or “best” way
to receive Holy Communion—in the hand or on the tongue. The Church leaves
this decision to our individual consciences, but allow me to make few brief
observations in this regard.
For the first few centuries of the Church receiving Communion in the hand
was a common practice. But as time passed it became the practice to receive
Communion directly on the tongue in order to assure that the Host was received
reverently. This was the law of the Church for almost 14 centuries, and is still the
general norm today. However, in 1969 Pope Paul VI allowed an exception:
individual bishops can give permission to their people to receive Communion in
the hand if it does not lead to any loss of reverence. While most bishops permit
Communion in the hand, some, seeing a loss of reverence, are withdrawing that
permission and requiring their people to receive only on the tongue.
There are many reasons for not receiving on the hand. For example,
consider the risk of having particles of the Host—each of which are also truly the
Body of Christ—remain on your hand after you receive. Also, it is a fact of human
nature that the more you handle an object, no matter how precious it is, the more
likely it is that you will take it for granted and forget its value—and this is often the
case with the Body of Christ. In this same line, the Host is no ordinary food, and

receiving on the tongue—rather than handling it as we do most food—is a
dramatic reminder of this.
Because of these and many other reasons, I recommend that all of my
parishioners prayerfully consider receiving Communion on the tongue.
However, it is your choice, and there are many very good reasons for
doing so. In particular, since Covid struck 2+ years ago, many people have
opted for Communion in the hand to reduce concern over passing germs. Again,
I respect your choices. However, I would note that from what I’ve read, experts
say that studies have shown no indication of increased risk of passing germs
by receiving either on the hand or the tongue.
But if you do take Communion in the hand, ask yourself: Do I do it in a way
that expresses and protects my belief in the Real Presence? For example, do I
follow the ancient custom for reverent reception of Communion in the hand? That
is: receive by placing your left hand on top of your right hand as if you were
creating a throne to receive your God, keeping your eyes on Christ; and then,
stepping to the side, carefully take the Host in your right hand and place It in your
mouth, being careful to consume any crumbs remaining on your hands. Please
remember, the Host must be “consumed at once, so that no one goes away with
the Eucharistic species in his hand.” Also, you should not receive in the hand if
you are holding something or someone (i.e., a baby) in your hands or arms,
which would naturally tend to diminish the attention and care you give to the Host
in your hand.
Given this, please remember, if you receive on the hand, please remain at
the altar rail until you have placed the host in your mouth—there is no need
to rush away, and it is certainly irreverent to attempt to move from kneeling to
standing while holding the host in your hand.
Please prayerfully consider my words, and I will respect your discernment.
A Change in Teaching? Last week we celebrated the 54 th anniversary of
Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical affirming the ancient infallible doctrine
of the Church condemning any and all intentional uses of contraception.
But just two weeks ago the press reported that the by the Pontifical
Academy for Life had issued an article/document (completely unofficial) that
suggested there might be “conditions and practical circumstances that would
make the choice to generate irresponsible,” so that a married couple may decide
to use contraception in some cases. This seems to be based on a false
understanding that conscience can override Church teaching.
Give me a break. Clearly this is contrary to Catholic doctrine repeated
strongly not only in Humanae Vitae and Veritatis Splendor but also in the Vatican
II document, Gaudium et Spes (#50), which states that Christians, “… must
always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine
law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church’s teaching office, which
authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel.” In short, while a

Catholic must always follow his conscience, that conscience will always follow
Catholic doctrine. So, the above proposal to override or get around Humanae
Vitae with your conscience, is self-contradictory, and so ridiculous and
nonsensical. The folks advancing this see it as a new development, but it is
actually the same old argument that the Church, particularly through the saintly
Popes John Paul II and Paul VI, has repeatedly rejected for decades.
Fr. Daly. Last week Fr. Jerry Daly celebrated his 91 st birthday. I’m sorry I forgot to
remind you. If you’d like to send him a card, please do so, care of the Rectory. I
spoke to him on his birthday, and he is doing well. Still struggles to walk, but
does so with a walker, and he stands to offer Mass every day in his apartment.
And his mind is as sharp as ever. Please keep him in your prayers, which he
always asks me to thank you for.
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles