March 25, 2023 Column Father De Celles

Fifth Week of Lent: Passiontide. Today we see the statues and crosses
covered in violet as we begin the last two weeks of Lent, called “Passiontide.” In
Passiontide the elevated intensity of our focus on the Cross is expressed in the
dramatic sign of covering most of the sacred images in the church. In part, this is
to encourage us to take our imaginations 2000 years back in time, to be with
Jesus during those last two weeks before his Crucifixion and Resurrection: Good
Friday has not yet happened, so there is no cross yet; Easter has not happened,
so no saints are in heaven. Keep this in mind in the coming days: “I’m walking
with Jesus, and Peter, John, Judas and Mary Magdalene. Toward Jerusalem,
stopping in Bethany, the temple, the Upper Room, at the Last Supper… In the
house of Caiaphas and the palace of Pilate…Standing with Blessed Mary as they
scourge her sweet child…
Let us beg our Crucified Lord to shower us with His grace in these holy
Beginning tomorrow, Monday, we will have at least 2 confessors available
for evening confessions that run from 6pm until 7pm. If you have not been to
confession this Lent, please try to go before Easter, remembering that during
Holy Week the confession lines tend to be longer.
I also strongly encourage you to intensify your Lenten observance by
taking greater advantage of opportunities offered in the parish. In particular,
consider the daily Family Rosary, Thursday evening Holy Hour and
Thursday/Friday Nocturnal Adoration, and Stations of the Cross on Friday. I also
encourage you to attend at least one weekday Mass this week and next.
Holy Week. Next Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Please plan ahead
today to participate in the special and unique liturgies that mark these most
solemn and sacred days of the Christian year, including Holy Thursday’s Mass of
the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday’s Celebration of the Passion of the Lord (with
Veneration of the Cross), and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening.
As always, as your spiritual father, I beg you to try to participate in all of
these liturgies, especially the 3pm Good Friday Veneration of the Cross. It is
inspiring to see a huge crowd patiently wait in line, many openly showing their
sorrow, to venerate the cross of Christ. I know it’s a workday, but more
importantly it is the hour of the Lord’s death, the most sacred hour of the
year—skip work and join us. But if you absolutely can’t, try your best to keep that
hour sacred by remaining quiet, and trying to pray or read scripture, or at least
have a recollective attitude.
Transgenderism: Scientifically “Utter Nonsense.” Did you see this news
report last week? As Fox News reported:
“During a recent interview with British journalist Piers Morgan, famed
atheist and biologist Richard Dawkins declared that ‘there are two sexes, and
that’s all there is to it.’ He added that LGBTQ activists looking to discredit the

reality of two biological sexes are pushing ‘utter nonsense.’…
“…The host prompted Hawkins by …referring to a recent list of problematic
words put out by the ‘EBB Language Project,’ a collection of academics looking
to police words that could potentially be found to be politically incorrect. The
proposed list contains gendered words such as ‘male, female, man, woman,
mother, father,’…
“Dawkins had commented on the project last month…,’The only possible
response is contemptuous ridicule. I shall continue to use every one of the
prohibited words. I am a professional user of the English language. It is my native
“Dawkins immediately discredited the entire movement by saying, ‘It’s
bullying.’ …[T]he renowned researcher added, ‘And we’ve seen the way J.K.
Rowling has been bullied…’ But it’s very upsetting the way this tiny minority of
people has managed to capture the discourse and really talk errant nonsense.’
“Upon Morgan asking Dawkins how to combat the ‘nonsense,’ Dawkins
replied, ‘Science.’ He then said, ‘There are two sexes. You can talk about gender
if you wish, and that’s subjective.’…
“He said bluntly, ‘As a biologist, there are two sexes, and that’s all there is
to it.’ Subsequently, the host mentioned how Dawkins has had his career and
reputation dinged for simply asking questions about inconsistencies in the left’s
dogmas on gender and identity.
“Morgan said, ‘You had a humanist award stripped in 2021 because of
your comments about of this kind of thing….you were just espousing a biological
“Dawkins shot back, ‘I wasn’t even doing that. I was asking people to
discuss. Discuss. That’s what I’ve done all my life in universities…There are
people for whom the word ‘discuss’ doesn’t mean ‘discuss,’ it means you’ve
taken a position, which I hadn’t. … I thought it was a reasonable thing to
More on the German Bishops. You may have seen the excellent interview on
EWTN. As Catholic Vote reported: “The recent gathering of the Synodal Way
concluded with 176 out of 202 participants voting in favor of offering blessings for
same-sex couples in Catholic dioceses.
“Cardinals [Raymond] Burke and [Gerhard] Müller reproved the
German bishops in an interview on EWTN’s ‘The World Over with Raymond
“‘It is absolutely blasphemic to make a blessing about those forms of life
which is, according to the biblical and the ecclesial doctrine a sin because all
forms of sexuality outside of a valid matrimony is sin and cannot be blessed,’
Müller said.
“Likewise, Burke said that, ‘Whether it’s a departure, heretical teaching and
denial of one of the doctrines of the faith, or apostasy in the sense of simply

walking away from Christ and from his teaching in the Church to embrace some
other form of religion, these are crimes.’
“…Of the 58 German bishops present at the synod assembly, 38 approved
the motion.
“ ‘There must be a trial and they must be sentenced,’ Müller added, ‘and
they must be removed from their office if they are not converting themselves and
they are not accepting the Catholic doctrine.’
“Burke said that the German synod is using the Church to promote an
agenda rather than to preach the Gospel: ‘These are human inventions, human
ideologies that are being pushed and the Church is being used. And what it does
is it renders the Church then into some kind of a human agency, almost like a
government agency that’s being manipulated to foster certain programs and
certain agenda. And so we need to wake up to what is happening.’”
Some Good News. Several of our young parishioners at Angelus Academy
have won awards for their essay submissions to the annual Pro-Life Essay and
Multimedia Contest, sponsored by the Youth Apostles. A total of 217 secondary-
school students participated and awards went to: First Place: Patrick Kurrus, and
Honorable Mentions: Evelyn Albanese and George Raines. Madison Sward also
won an Honorable Mention for her poster submission. Additionally, Frances
Mantooth (Kindergarten) won First Place in a St. Patrick coloring contest
sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Congratulations, kids—your
Pastor and fellow parishioners are very proud of you!
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles