April 12, 2023 News

Joyful, Blessed and Happy Easter! I hope you all had a truly joyful Easter day,
and I pray that this joy has been sustained in you throughout this week and will
continue through the rest of the Easter Season.
I also hope you had a good and holy Lent, preparing you for Easter. I know
I did (although I’m not sure how holy it made me). I was very encouraged to see
so many folks come to the various extra Liturgies during Lent, and also the
number of folks going to confession. This is probably my favorite thing about
Lent: seeing so many of you striving to grow in holiness. Thank you for giving me
such a good Lent, and Easter.
In that regard I’d like to thank so many of you who worked so hard to give
our parish such a special Lent and Triduum this year. Allow me to recognize a
few who made special contributions.
First of all, I give thanks to Our Lord Jesus and His Father and Holy Spirit,
for their great love for us, poured out on the Cross and made glorious in the
Resurrection. I also give thanks to all of you joining in all the Lenten events of the
In particular I want to single out the Altar Servers, especially those who
served the weekday Masses of Lent and the three great liturgies of the Triduum.
Many have told me how inspired they were to see the dozens of boys and young
men serving so reverently, especially the large numbers on Holy Thursday (30)
Good Friday and the Vigil. I was very proud of them all. I sincerely hope, and
believe, that we will have several priestly vocations from this group of servers;
but I also believe that their devout service of Jesus will contribute greatly to
making many good Catholic husbands and fathers in the future. Thanks also to
Christophe Sanchez-O’Brien and Lewis Bliss who acted as MCs.
And I can’t say enough about the stunning contribution of our choir and
cantors, and especially Elisabeth Turco, our Music Director, and Joseph
Mernagh, our organist. We all heard how beautifully they sang, etc., but few of
us were there at their extra hours of practice. In some parishes music is an
afterthought, and in others music dominates the liturgy. But we are truly blessed
to have a music program that strives and succeeds at truly serving and
complementing the liturgy.
Thanks also to the folks who decorated the church, especially Julie Mullen
and her flower committee. Also, a special thanks to Nena Brennen, our head
sacristan, along with her family. Thanks to all the lectors, headed by Phil Bettwy
and Patty Pacheco, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, headed by
Barbara Aldridge. Thanks to all the groups who ran the Soup Suppers. Also,
thanks to the ushers, who did an extraordinary job this year. Particular thanks to
Patrick O’Brien, head usher, who worked hard in so many ways. Thanks also to
the parish staff for all their good work, especially to Virginia Osella, for all the
extra hours they put in.
And congratulations to our RCIA folks. We baptized and confirmed 4,
welcomed into full communion and confirmed 6 former Protestants, and

confirmed 2 adult Catholics. Welcome to them all and let us commit to keeping
them in our prayers. Also, thanks to Bob and Bev Ward for their dedication in
teaching them so thoroughly and faithfully week after week for the last months.
Finally, thanks to Fr. Bergida and Fr. Horkan for all their hard work, and to
Fr. Rippy for all his help.
Divine Mercy Sunday. This Second Sunday in the Octave of Easter is also
known as “Divine Mercy Sunday,” established as such in 2000 by Pope St. John
Paul II, in recognition of the mercy that flows to all mankind from the Paschal
Mystery of Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection. The Pope was inspired by
the claims of St. Faustina Kowalska that Jesus Himself had requested this during
His private apparitions to her during the 1930s. The Lord reportedly also told St.
Faustina: “I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach
the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy
Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On
that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened.”

Although private apparitions/revelations such as this need not be
believed by Catholics, this one, as with many others, has been recognized by the
Church as “worthy of belief” (i.e., it is consistent with the Catholic faith).
Moreover, the Church has established a plenary indulgence for this Sunday:
“…granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic
communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who,
on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or
chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for sin, even a
venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy,
or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the
tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the
merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”).” You may go to
confession “within several days (about 20) before or after the indulgenced act.”
For a brief explanation of indulgences, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church,
Spies Among Us? I have always, and continue to, respect the men and women
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I am very pleased to have so many great
FBI agents/employees in our parish. But something is rotten in the Bureau today.
According to the Catholic News Agency:
“A new document revealed that the Richmond Federal Bureau of Investigation
used at least one undercover agent to obtain information about traditionalist
Catholics, said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who chairs the House Subcommittee
on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
“In response to its inquiry, the committee announced it received from the FBI a
heavily redacted 18-page document that uncovered limited information about the

agency’s efforts to investigate a supposed link between traditionalist Catholics
and ‘the far-right white nationalist movement.’
“The committee had requested information following the leak of an internal
memo dated Jan. 23 that originated from the FBI’s Richmond division. The
memo, which the FBI later retracted, called for such investigations within
traditionalist Catholic communities.
“Titled ‘Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-
Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation
Opportunities,’ the memo singles out Catholics who are interested in the
Traditional Latin Mass as potentially linked to violent extremist groups….
“Jordan included this excerpt from the redacted FBI document: ‘In addition to
[redaction], engage in outreach to the leadership of other [Society of St. Pius X]
chapels in the FBI Richmond [area of responsibility] to sensitize these
congregations to the warning signs of radicalization and to enlist their assistance
to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.’”
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles