March 9, 2022 Column Father De Celles


Lenten Series/Holy Hour. This Thursday, March 10, at 7pm, we begin our Lenten Thursday Holy Hours. We’ll start with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and then before the Blessed Sacrament I’ll give a short sermon, then we’ll pray the Rosary, and then close with Benediction.

My talks will be short this year—15 minutes, I hope. My general topic will be: “The Lifelong Suffering of Our Savior.” Jesus was born to be like us in all things but sin. This means He entered into our joys and especially into our suffering. And that suffering didn’t just begin on Good Friday. It began as soon as He could feel physical pain or discomfort, and grew as He could feel emotional sorrow and fear. So He suffered as a baby, a child, a young man… all through His life on earth. So my talks will focus on the various sufferings He might have endured, like us.

This Thursday we’ll consider, “The Suffering of the Child Jesus.” How do our children suffer, and how did Jesus suffer like they do? And what does that mean for us, and for our children?

Then in the following weeks, in like manner, we will consider, “The Suffering of the Young Man Jesus” (how do young people suffer?), “The Suffering of Jesus in His Public Ministry” (how do working people suffer?), and “The Suffering of Jesus in His Passion (how do people suffer great affliction?). And then finally, we will consider, “The Suffering of the Mother of Jesus.”

Thursday Night Continuous Adoration. At the end of the Thursday evening Holy Hours, we will continue Exposition/Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, continuously throughout the night until 3pm Friday afternoon. I’m really excited about this, and I offer it to you as a great form of Lenten Penance and Prayer. Think about this: 2000 years ago the Passion of our Lord lasted from the Agony in the Garden on Holy Thursday evening through His death on the Cross at 3pm on Good Friday. So I encourage all of you to take at least one hour during Lent, if not every week, to spend with our Lord during this exposition. Maybe it could change your life.

Making a Good Confession. A few years ago I published a small purple pamphlet called “Making a Good Confession: A Brief Examination of Conscience and Guide to Going to Confession.” Copies of this pamphlet can be found by all the doors of the church and near the confessionals. I hope you will find it helpful in preparing for and making a good confession. Below is the introduction to that pamphlet. Maybe it will lead you to grab the pamphlet and read the rest of it….


A Brief Examination of Conscience

and Guide to Going to Confession

(Parents: consider if this is inappropriate for your children)

How do we make a “good Confession”? We begin by prayerfully, and with honesty and humility, looking at our lives to recognize the sins we’ve committed since our last Confession, i.e., we make “an examination of conscience.” In particular, we need to look for mortal sins, i.e., sins that involve all three of the following criteria: 1) grave matter, 2) full knowledge of the sinful character of the act, and 3) complete consent. If any one of these is lacking it is not a “mortal sin,” but may be a “venial sin.”

“Grave matter” means the act involves some very serious moral evil, found either in 1) the act itself or 2) the intention behind the act. Grave matter can be difficult to identify, but not always. 

Note that some sinful acts are grave matter when they involve circumstances that are serious or very important, but are not grave matter if they involve only small or trivial things. These acts that can be either grave or not are said to “admit of parvity” (smallness). Many of the sins listed below would “admit of parvity,” unless the word “serious” accurately describes them. For example, a lie is always a sin, but lying under oath is grave matter while lying about whether you like someone’s outfit is not grave matter.

Also, in Confession you must distinguish the “kind” of mortal sin committed: be clear about what the sin was, but avoid graphic or long explanations. So it is not enough to merely say “I had bad thoughts” or “I acted inappropriately,” rather one should more specific, e.g. “I had lustful thoughts,” etc.

You must also give the number of times you committed particular mortal sins. Sometimes this is very difficult or even impossible to remember, in which case, try your best give the priest some idea of the frequency or number; e.g., “at least once a month for several years,” etc.

Besides mortal sins, we should also consider confessing (but are not required to confess) vices (sinful habits) or other venial sins that are particularly problematic.


This brief examination of conscience is not all inclusive or exhaustive, but is a useful tool to help you prepare for Confession. Remember, as you go through your examination consider if any of your sins are mortal. Also, remember to confess how many times you committed particular mortal sins.

            Note, to help you identify mortal sins, sins that always involve grave matter are marked with an “A” and sins that very often or usually involve grave matter (so should be considered very carefully) are marked with an “O/U”. This does not mean that sins not marked never involve grave matter, as discussed above. 

            [The pamphlet then continues with a detail review of each of the 10 Commandments, and a detailed “how-to” of what to say and do in the confessional. Happy reading!]

Where’s Our Choir??!!! Thank you to all the folks who have joined our re-constituted choir after Covid. But apparently a lot of our regular “pre-Covid” choir members have decided not to come back to us yet. I wish and pray they would. But what about the rest of you? I know a lot of you can sing well and like to sing. And I know you don’t have to be an Andrea Bocelli or Katherine Jenkins (or our own Sara Sheffield, GySgt, USMC) to sing in the choir—Elisabeth Turco is great with taking different voices and working them together to produce a beautiful sound. So…. former choir members, come back. And new choir members join up! Contact Elisabeth at:

Bye-Bye Buz & Bev Buczacki. After 100 years or so as St. Raymond’s most active parishioners and volunteers, Buz and Bev are leaving us and moving full-time to their beach house in South Carolina. I can’t say enough about these two wonderful people, nor can I thank them enough. They did everything around here at one time or another. I owe a particular appreciation to Buz for being my go-to-guy for setting up early Mass every morning for years. I’m sure you will all join me in praying for many years of happy retirement living, and when they have reached the fullness of years, a very special place in heaven.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles