August 7, 2021 Column Father De Celles

Abusing Our Children. A parishioner forwarded slides and clips from the Fairfax County Public Schools teachers’ orientation. I have posted them to our parish website for you to see for yourself what teachers are being told to do. Just go to and click the link “FCPS Teachers’ Orientation” on the pop-up to see how the teachers are being told they must abuse your children with hatred, racism and mind-bending gender and sexual ideology. Among other things, teachers are being told:

— They have to affirm and sustain gender identity of their students; the kids can change their gender identity without parental permission;

          — If the child tells the teacher and/or the principal he doesn’t want the parent to know about their gender “change,” the teacher cannot discuss it with the parents.

          — Teachers are to call the kids by whatever name they want to be, but when they deal with the parents, they are to use the name which their parents use.

          — Teachers must let the kids know that if their parents do not support their gender decision, that they (the teacher) and the school staff will support them.

Friends, you have to see these slides/clips: this stuff is diabolical. Literally! Parents, do not sit by and hand your kids over to this abuse! Either actively and strongly oppose these evil ideologues or get your kids out of these neo-Marxist government/party run schools!

Religious Education Registration and Volunteers. Now more than ever it is critical to provide solid and systematic education in the Catholic faith for your children attending public schools. With the new school year right around the corner it is important to REGISTER children NOW as we are getting ready to order textbooks and trying to schedule volunteers to teach. Please, go to the parish website and register or call the RE office at 703-440-0537.

          Also, we need volunteers to help with the program. Please pray about joining this important effort! If we are unable to fill teacher and assistant teacher vacancies, we will cancel the class and move the students to another day.

          Also, Homeschool Families need to remember: If you have a student in grades 2, 7, or 8, you need to register with the RE Office to receive all necessary information for sacramental preparation.

I NEED USHERS FOR MASS!!!!! Retirements, transfers and continuing concerns related to Covid have decimated the ranks of our ushers. I really need your help at all of the Sunday Masses. You can volunteer for every Sunday, or just a couple of times a month. Young adults especially should consider volunteering. Fathers of young families should especially consider volunteering. And if you think ushering will take away from your prayers at Mass, then consider ushering at a separate Mass a couple of times a month. Be creative, but I need your help. This is a great opportunity for individuals and couples alike to support our parish community and is very easy. Please contact the office or our head usher at to volunteer or learn more.

The Church’s Laws on Marriage. One of the most important aspects of Church Law that every Catholic should be knowledgeable of is the laws on marriage, especially those that govern how a Catholic goes about entering a valid Catholic marriage—i.e., a true marriage in the eyes of God. So let me give a brief list of some of the ecclesiastic laws on marriage all Catholics should be aware of. Note that some of these directly reflect Divine and/or Natural Law, and are therefore not “merely” Church law.

          First, laws that effect the validity of a marriage (if these are not obeyed, the marriage is invalid, i.e. the couple is not married in the eyes of God):

          –Catholics normally must be married in a Catholic ceremony before a Catholic priest or deacon; attempts to marry in any other sort of ceremony (e.g., before a justice of the peace, in a Protestant church, etc.), are usually not valid.

          –A Catholic may not marry if either of the couple has been married before and not received an “annulment” from the Catholic Church. Note: non-Catholics do not have to be married by a Catholic priest, so we usually recognize the marriage of two non-Catholics before a justice of the peace, preacher, etc.

          –A Catholic wishing to marry a non-Catholic must make two promises (and inform his/her non-Catholic fiancé): 1) to do everything in his/her power to raise all the children from the marriage as Catholics, and 2) that this marriage will not lead him/her away from the Catholic faith.

          –Couples must accept and intend the three “goods of marriage”: 1) permanence (i.e., no divorce), 2) fidelity (faithful all throughout their marriage) and 3) procreation (open to the birth of children).

Please note, an invalid marriage can often be easily “remedied,” i.e., after a period of preparation with a priest, the couple can be married in a simple Catholic ceremony.

Attending an Invalid “Wedding.” It is normally a mortal sin to attend the wedding of a Catholic at which a Catholic priest or deacon does not officiate. The sin involved is the sin of scandal. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2284) teaches: “Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.” In other words, by attending a wedding like this, a Catholic causes others, especially Catholics, to think 1) there is nothing wrong with ignoring Church law, and/or 2) Canon Law is wrong/not-binding, and/or 3) adultery is not a mortal sin.

          Take for example, your Catholic brother invites you to his wedding in a Protestant Church. You know he hasn’t been practicing his Catholic Faith, so he doesn’t think it’s a big deal not to be married “in the Church.” If you go, normally you would seem to be condoning that false idea, and encouraging him to enter into what is an invalid marriage, and therefore commit the grave sin of adultery.

          Now, I say this is “normally” a mortal sin, because scandal can sometimes be reduced or removed due to circumstances. For example, you might argue that you could attend the wedding if the risk of grave scandal is offset by the grave importance of maintaining your relationship with your brother so you can help him come back to the Church later, and so save his soul. As valid as an argument like this could be, it has become clear to me that almost everyone who uses it is primarily trying to avoid a difficult and painful situation, and have only a marginally realistic hope or care of saving his soul later: i.e., it’s just an excuse to commit sin. So, yes, under some circumstances you could go to the wedding, but in reality and practically speaking, almost certainly you cannot.  You may contact me with questions.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles