Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 15, 2017 Column Father De Celles

Tabernacle Issues. You may have noticed something different about the tabernacle last Sunday and this last week. After last Saturday’s Vigil Mass, the key got stuck in the tabernacle lock, which meant we could also not open the tabernacle. Of course, this was a huge problem, since the Eucharist, Our Lord, was inside.

Fortunately, parishioner Mark Maurer, our locksmith (owner of Suburban Safe & Lock Service, Inc.), rushed right over, and, after a lengthy struggle which required us to pull the tabernacle out of the high altar (no small feat as it weighs several hundred pounds), he was able to open the lock. However, after replacing the tabernacle in the high altar and discovering it was still functioning erratically, we decided to remove the Eucharist and place It in the temporary tabernacle we use on Holy Thursday. On Monday, we pulled the tabernacle out of the high altar again and Mark was able to disassemble the lock and repair it. As I write this on Wednesday, we are planning to restore it to its place in the high altar and replace the Blessed Sacrament to It’s proper home before today’s Sunday Masses.

All this is sort of a priest’s and pastor’s nightmare—“what if the tabernacle won’t open? How will I give Communion to the crowds on Sunday? What do I “do” with Our Lord, trapped, as It were in the tabernacle? How do you fix the tabernacle while still showing Our Lord proper reverence?” Thanks to Mark for his great work saving the day, and especially for the reverence he showed toward the Eucharist during this delicate situation.


Last Fall’s Offertory Campaign. I wanted to share the results of last November’s offertory campaign. Looking at 6 months of collections (January to June) our collection was up 8.5% from the previous year. This is excellent. I want to thank you all for your continued generosity every week.


Summorum Pontificum. Last week was the 10th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, with which he fully re-established the optional use of the “Old Mass”—the form of Mass celebrated for over 14 centuries, before the changes after the Second Vatican Council. This form of Mass is sometimes called the “Traditional Latin Mass,” or the “Tridentine Mass”; for clarity’s sake, Benedict XVI retitled it the “Extraordinary Form Mass” (EFM).

His Holiness envisioned that the EFM would stand side by side with the “New Mass” or “Ordinary Form Mass” (OFM) (the post-Vatican II Mass we most commonly celebrate), so that we could see the exemplary aspects in each and learn more about the true meaning of the Mass and it’s proper, reverent celebration.

I know that in these 10 years that I have celebrated the EFM I have learned to celebrate the OFM with more reverence and understanding. It is true that those who are not used to the EFM sometimes have a hard time adjusting to its quiet, solemn approach. But I firmly believe that even those who may not like to attend the EFM regularly can learn an awful lot about “the Mass” itself at the EFM, and apply that to a more fruitful and profound participation in the Ordinary Form Mass. In particular the EFM’s emphasis on adoration, reverence and sacrifice, as well the interior movement of the soul in personal prayer joined with the communal prayer of the Mass, can transform and deepen our meaningful experience of the Ordinary Form Mass every Sunday. Think of it: this was the form of Mass that the great saints loved and were lifted up to great heights of holiness by: saints like St. Ignatius, St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Catherine, St. Teresa, St. Therese, St. Thomas More and St. Raymond. Some complain that it is too quiet, especially the “Low Mass” we normally celebrate here, but that quiet, that stilling of exterior noise and movements, makes room for opening oneself for quiet interior movements of the soul. Yes, it may not be your cup of tea over the long haul, but it is such an edifying experience, it should not be lost. Then again, you may find, as I have found, a real affinity toward this beautiful form of the Mass.

For this reason, I strongly encourage all of you to occasionally attend the EF Mass we offer on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of every month. It is different, but it is more than worth the extra effort you may have to put out.


Oregon: Free Abortions. Just when we were seeing a Pro-Life swing in our government and in popular opinion, the devil raises his ugly pro-death head in Oregon. As Lifesitenews reports:

“Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she will sign a bill that would force health insurers and taxpayers to pay for free abortions for residents and illegal immigrants.…The pro-abortion bill would require health insurers to provide free abortions to patients without a co-pay. It also would set aside $10.2 million tax dollars for abortions, contraception and other reproductive health services for 2017 through 2019 in Medicaid, much of which pro-life advocates say will go to Planned Parenthood….”

Interestingly, supporters of the bill make it clear that it is a response to the Federal Government’s Pro-Life shift, instigated by President Trump. Oregon House Democrats stated, “Even while the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress are trying to strip away reproductive rights [abortion], Oregon is ensuring access regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity, or type of insurance.” No wonder the Democrat Party is so often called “the party of death.”

Free abortions. The devil must be very happy; after all, what did Jesus have to say about him? “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me” (John 8:44b-45).

But in the end, we know Jesus Christ is victorious over the devil. Let us pray and continue to do our part to bring that victory to its fulfillment in our society.


Transgender vs. Science. A couple of weeks ago there was a great piece on “The Catholic Thing” you should all read. In it, Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons (a very well-respected psychiatrist, and a Catholic) lays out the contradiction between the actual science (biological, psychological and social) and the cultural agenda of transgender activists. As it turns out, our common sense hasn’t failed us and we’re not as stupid as the activists say we are: science is completely on our side. In the article Fitzgibbons directs us to some of the authentically scientific studies done in recent years that support what everyone “knew” up until about 3 years ago: gender confusion is a psychological disorder that must be treated, not encouraged. You can find the article at:

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles