Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

May 30, 2015 Column Father De Celles

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The most fundamental dogma of our Christian faith is the Trinity. It is reflected in the first prayer every Catholic child learns (“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”) and in the way we are baptized (“I baptize you in the name of the Father…”) And it is expressed in our most important summaries of our faith: the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed which we pray at every Sunday Mass. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 253-255) teaches:

“The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”. The divine persons do not share the one divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire….

“The divine persons are really distinct from one another. …”Father”, “Son”, “Holy Spirit” are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they are really distinct from one another: “He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the Son” …

“The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: “In the relational names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their relations, we believe in one nature or substance.” Indeed “everything (in them) is one where there is no opposition of relationship”…”

It is extremely hard to fathom this mystery, and yet the Church has insisted on it since the earliest days as the sine qua non of being a Christian. And what would we expect of something that essentially reveals the inner life of the infinite and eternal God. How could we ever understand it completely, but isn’t it wonderful that God has revealed this to us so that we can understand something of the great mystery of His Life? A life of perfect love and absolute unity of the three divine persons. And in this mystery we begin to understand what it means to be a Christian: to be invited to live life in unity and love with them, sharing in their unity, or communion, and love.


Next Sunday’s Corpus Christi Eucharistic Procession. Next Sunday, June 7, immediately after the 12:15 Mass, we will celebrate Corpus Christi Sunday with our annual Eucharistic Procession. Processing with the Eucharist outside of the church building while singing the Lord’s praises is an ancient practice dating back at least to the early 12th century. By bringing the Eucharist outside of the church building and walking and singing through the streets (or, as we do here, the parking lot) with the Blessed Sacrament, believers give public witness to their faith in Jesus Christ in general, and in the His Real Presence in the Eucharist in particular. Moreover, such processions remind us that having received Christ in Communion at Mass we are sent out with Him in us, to bring Him to the world we live in—the streets, the house, the businesses, and, yes, the parking lots. Please join us in this ancient and eloquent witness to our faith in and love of our Eucharistic Lord.


Priestly Ordinations And Transfers. Next Saturday, June 6, Bishop Loverde will ordain 7 men as priests for our diocese. Two of those men, Deacons Dort Bigg and Richard Miserendino, were parishioners and friends of mine at St. Mary’s (Alexandria) before I came here. I guess they saw me going about my priestly duties and figured if a poor and slow slob like Fr. De Celles could do it they could do it (and do it better!). In any case, please pray for these seven men as they spend this next week in prayer preparing for their priestly ordinations.

Also, next Saturday the Bishop will announce the annual transfers and assignments of priests around the diocese. I do not believe St. Raymond’s will be directly affected by the transfers. But you never know, I guess. I wasn’t told I was coming here until the Thursday before ordinations 5 years ago. So….

As you know, transfers can be a very stressful time for priests. So please keep all those priests who are being transferred in your prayers, that they may joyfully accept God’s will and the Bishop’s decision, and be happy and successful in their new assignments.


Bishop’s Lenten Appeal. I’m happy to announce we’ve reached our BLA goal for this year. Our parish goal was $288,000, and we have pledges totaling $290,279 (101%), with 38% of our households participating—all excellent numbers. The Bishop has asked me to pass on his thanks: “Please communicate my heartfelt gratitude to your parishioners for their generous support of the BLA. The programs, offices and ministries funded by the BLA are essential to our diocesan pastoral mission….”


Fussy Children. It has been a hot and humid May, and the summer is only beginning. As the heat rises, it seems so does the noise level in the church. Babies and toddlers are like that. I encourage all to be patient with our little ones, and kind to their parents. Like many of you, I sometimes I find myself saying, “when I was a kid …” But I was a kid 50 years ago, and times have changed, the pressures on and challenges to parents are more complicated than just 20 years ago. Thank God we have so many young parents and babies and children in our parish!! So, charity and patience at all times, please.

I also encourage parents to please remember that when a child gets a little too loud or out of hand you have the option to make use of our very nice “cry room” or the wide open narthex. Many parents find these options a great way to reduce their own stress. Also consider that some children might not be ready for Mass yet, in which case many parents choose to split their duties on Sunday: Mom and Dad go to different Masses so that one parent can stay home with the baby. That’s what my Mom and Dad did for a few years—but times have changed and it might not be best for you. Dads and Moms, I know it’s hard, you’re trying your best—God bless you! I’m not scolding, just pointing out these options.

It’s tough to be a parent today, and it’s tough to be a Mass-going-Catholic. So let’s all be patient with each other. And let that patience be rooted in true charity—the love of the Most Blessed Trinity.


Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles