July 16, 2022 Column Father De Celles

Kirsti Tyson. Please pray for Kirsti, our Office Manager, and her family. Last week her
daughter and grandson were in a serious car accident, and they are now in the hospital in
Critical Care and ICU with broken bones and some serious internal injuries. Please also pray for
the driver of their car, who was killed in the accident.
Kirsti has been working at St. Raymond’s for over 20 years now, and several years before
that at St. Agnes. She was Fr. Gould’s (my predecessor) right hand in organizing the parish and
building the church and rectory. She has been a great help to me and all of us all these years and
needs our help now. She’s had a difficult few months: surviving a critical illness last year, and
then Covid last month, and as a result suffering from chronic fatigue for weeks. This, along with
other medical problems in her immediate family and the recent death of her brother, has given
her the chance to show what a remarkable woman she is as she continues to support her family
and all of us.
Kirsti’s Retirement. With all these developments in her life, she has decided to retire in
September. As much as I hate to see her go, I do understand her decision. Please keep her in your
prayers in this regard also, and join me in wishing her well. (More on this in the weeks to come.)
Job Opening. Of course this means we need to hire a new Office Manager. I am hoping
to fill this position from within the parish, but am open to all applications. The job primarily
involves responsibility for all bookkeeping, financial and personnel record keeping and policy
compliance. Secondarily the position will probably have the following responsibilities: prepare
parish bulletin; coordinate funerals; schedule Altar Servers; schedule use of parish facilities;
plan, schedule and prepare parish events (i.e. Parish Picnic, Christmas Giving Tree, etc.); order
office and sacristy supplies; back up receptionist duties; assist other office staff, priests and
parishioners as needed.
As you can see, Kirsti has done a lot for the parish, and her shoes will be hard to fill. Still,
we must fill them, and I am accepting applications now.
Abortion Polling Surprise? From the website of politically “moderate” U.S.
Constitutional Law Professor Jonathan Turley:
“[A] Harvard poll …. conducted after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade
found that 72 percent of Americans would allow abortion only until the 15th week of
pregnancy or a more restrictive law. That transcends party affiliation. Even 60 percent of
Democrats believe abortion should be prohibited after the 15th week or a more restrictive law.
“That is also consistent with most other countries. Internationally, only seven countries
allow abortion after the 20th week.
“Notably, 75 percent of women support the 15-week cut-off or a more restrictive law
while 69 percent of men also agree with that timeline.
“The poll also shows that 44 percent of voters believe that state legislatures should have
the power to determine abortion standards while 25 percent believe Supreme Court justices
should decide the issue. Another 31 percent believe that Congress should pass national abortion
“That is significantly at odds with the position of the dissenting justices and most of the
Democratic leaders, including candidates ….in close races….
“While the media has been overwhelmingly portraying voters as pro-abortion based on
the question of whether they would overturn Roe v. Wade, the specific question reflects far
greater opposition to abortion, particularly beyond the 15th week.”

Works of Mercy. Last week’s Gospel included the parable of the Good Samaritan,
giving us an example of how we must show mercy to our neighbor.
The virtue of mercy is sometimes defined as the virtue influencing one’s will to have
compassion for and to try to alleviate another’s suffering (cf. Catholic Encyclopedia). Since
people suffer in both body and soul, the Church has, from ancient times, continuously proposed
certain categories of both corporal and spiritual works of mercy, which are traditionally listed as
The corporal works of mercy:
· feed the hungry;
· give drink to the thirsty;
· clothe the naked;
· shelter the homeless;
· visit the sick;
· ransom the captive (visit the imprisoned);
· bury the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy:
· instruct the ignorant;
· counsel the doubtful;
· admonish sinners;
· bear wrongs patiently;
· forgive offences willingly;
· comfort the afflicted;
· pray for the living and the dead.
Many of us often forget the spiritual works of mercy, especially “instructing the ignorant”
and “admonishing sinners” in this age of false-tolerance and wokeness. Of course, they involve
prudence, but so does any work of mercy.
Gun Control. The issue of gun control has many different facets, and decisions in this regard are
largely a matter of individual conscience and prudential judgment. So reasonable Catholics
can disagree with each other, to some extent, on what restrictions should be placed on gun
rights. Even so, all such judgments are subject to underlying unchanging moral principles.
Some Catholics, however, argue that the “right to bear arms” necessarily conflicts with
“the right to life.” That you must be anti-gun ownership if you are “truly pro-life.”
But it seems to me that “the right to bear arms” cannot oppose “the right to life,” since
the right to bear arms is part of the right to self-defense (or defense of the innocent) which is
included in the right to life; that is, the right to life includes the right to bear arms to defend one’s
own right to life.
Now, in a certain sense, the right to life is not absolute, and neither is the right to bear
arms. For example, you can take the life of someone who is intentionally and directly aiming a
gun at you to kill you, and the right to bear arms can be taken away from someone threatening to
kill innocent people.
But the right to life is absolute in some cases: you can never intentionally and directly kill
an innocent human being. Similarly, the right to self-defense is also absolute when it comes to
innocent people. And so it would seem clear that the right to bear arms is somewhat/sometimes
absolute as well.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us at 2264: “Love toward oneself
remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect
for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is
forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow.”
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles