Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time

July 26, 2015 Column Father De Celles

Publicly Defending Our Values and Beliefs. The recent dramatic and rapid advancement of the “gay” and “transgender” agenda reminds every faithful Christian, especially Catholics, that we must step forward and confront these issues in our families, circle of friends and in the public square.

Tom Wilson. Several weeks ago I asked you to consider your own obligations in regard to the political arena, especially to consider running for a seat on the Fairfax County School Board. Although none of our parishioners has decided to run, I am delighted to hear that the son of our parishioners, Dave and Mary Wilson, Tom Wilson, an active member of St John Neumann’s parish and a lawyer, is running for the Sully District school board seat. As you know, the Fairfax County school board recently voted 10 to 1, and over the loud protests of parents, to give special protection to “transgender” students and employees, as well as to advance the “gay”/ “transgender” agenda in the Family Life Education and regular curriculum in our public schools. But they are our schools, and we need solid, faithful and smart Christians to stand up and defend our children. Thanks to Tom Wilson for standing up.

But we all must stand up in some way. Maybe we can’t run for office, but we can raise our voices in support of those of us who do. And we can raise money for them, and vote for them, and pray for them. We must do whatever we can to help them, and to let them, and all our candidates and public officials know what we think and demand for our children.

Election Officers. While you may not have time to dedicate to something like elected office, maybe you could consider serving as an Election Officer for the County. The Fairfax County Office of Elections is currently recruiting voters to serve as Election Officers a few days a year. The job mainly involves working the polling places on all election days. While this is not an office of political advocacy, it is one of assuring that integrity and justice are observed in the election process. It also seems a great way to take a step forward in your involvement in the political process. See the note below in the bulletin for contact info.

Just Standing Your Ground. You don’t have to run for office or have official jobs in government to join in the fight against the descending spiral of public morality and common sense. All of us can and must join in by simply standing our ground and defending our beliefs—which are supported by common sense, science and historical facts.

A few days back I watched a video of a brilliant effort at this by Breitbart’s Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro, in a “discussion” about Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner and “transgenderism” on “Dr. Drew On Call” on HLN. During the course of the “discussion,” in which he stood alone against about 6 other panelists, Shapiro argued very calmly, rationally, and respectfully. But he refused to allow the opposition to dictate the terms of the debate/discussion, or to yield to their bizarre Alice-in-Wonderland logic.

He began by asking, “Why are we mainstreaming delusion?” When he was accused of showing “disrespect” after repeatedly referring to Jenner as “him,” Shapiro replied: “Okay, forget about the disrespect, facts don’t care about your feelings. It, turns out that every chromosome, every cell in “Caitlyn” Jenner’s body, is male, with the exception of some of his sperm cells. …[H]e still has all of his male appendages. How he feels on the inside is irrelevant to the question of his biological self.”

When other panelists accused him of being “rude” and  “aggressively insulting” by referring to the “transgendered” panelist as “sir,” Shapiro calmly answered, “I’m sorry, it’s not rude to say that someone who’s biologically a male is a male,” and “It’s not a matter of aggressively insulting. … The entire discussion is whether we are embracing mental illness and delusion as a society, that’s the entire discussion.” Bingo.

Then, when the “transgendered” panelist actually put his hand on Shapiro’s shoulder and threatened “You cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance,” Shapiro responded very calmly and politely, “That seems mildly inappropriate for a political discussion.”

Perhaps the most surreal aspect of the discussion came at the very end, when a smiling panelist very condescendingly admonished Shapiro: “We need to understand the things that we don’t understand a bit more,…maybe we have a little bit more tolerance.” Poor ignorant Ben Shapiro, and all the rest of us ignorant “social conservatives.” Someday we’ll be as wise as the radical left. In the meantime, tolerance seems to be a one way street.

It’s a great example of what is in store for all of us—even what many of us encounter all the time already. Don’t let them the set the terms of debate, or accept their bizarre redefinitions or world view, or begin with their premises. Act always in charity and respect, but also with clarity and truth. See the whole video at:

St. Mary Magdalene. This last Wednesday, July 22, we celebrated the feast of this great saint. The Magdalene is a great example for our times, as a woman once mired in a life of debauchery and filled with all seven deadly sins, who was finally lifted up and transformed by the love of Christ and her faith in Him to be a repentant, faithful and grace-filled servant of the Lord Jesus. We look to her example for hope in the power of Christ to “make all things new,” and pray for her intercession for our culture and our children.


Offertory Campaign Report. Six months after the beginning of our offertory campaign began on January 1, I’m delighted to report that the average weekly giving for the six months which ended June 30 has increased by just over 10% from last year. This is fantastic! Thank you all for your generosity, especially those who have substantially increased your giving. Thanks also to those who’ve signed up to give “electronically” through Faith Direct, which is a great help in assuring that donations are consistently received throughout the year.

A few weeks ago we sent out a letter to parishioners who had made an offertory commitment back in November/December, and in the next few weeks we will send a semi-annual report to the rest of our registered parishioners. All this to assist you in reviewing your financial commitment to the parish. I hope they were/will be helpful to you. Unfortunately, a very few of the first set of letters contained errors. We apologize for this, and ask for your patience and understanding. If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to give the office a call.


Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles