Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

June 12, 2017 Column Father De Celles

Trinity Sunday.  Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The mystery of the Trinity is the central mystery of our faith, and yet one of the most difficult to understand and misunderstood dogmas of the Church. 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”…”

The dogma of one God in three Persons is both unique and essential to Christianity. Although difficult to fathom, it has been handed down to us exactly as Christ revealed it. I encourage you to read and learn more about the mystery of the Trinity. The CCC, beginning at paragraph 232, is a great place to start. There are also several good resources in our parish library, as well as in the online library found at


“Like a Dove.” Last Sunday, Pentecost, we were all a little amused by a bird flying around inside the church. It seemed somewhat appropriate, considering how St. Luke tells us that at Jesus’ baptism “the Holy Spirit descended on Him in a bodily form like a dove.” This was no dove, but perhaps the Spirit was traveling incognito. I was a little unnerved to hear from several of you that during my homily the bird landed on the crucifix above the altar and remained there until I was finished. Perhaps the Boss decided to show up to see if I was doing my job.

I joke about this, and I know it was just a bird, and that things like this “just happen.” But on the other hand, it’s important to recognize God’s mighty hand working through the simplest things to remind us of His presence and power. We don’t get carried away with this, especially in favor of superstition, but there’s nothing wrong in allowing these things to prompt us to move closer to Christ.


Corpus Christi Procession—next Sunday. Next Sunday, June 18, immediately after the 12:15 Mass, we will have our annual Corpus Christi Procession. Carrying the Blessed Sacrament from the church, we will continue (with singing) around the parish grounds, pause for prayer and benediction on the patio behind the church, and then process back through the grounds into the church for final benediction. This is an ancient practice dating back at least to the early 12th century, as a form of public witness to faith in Jesus Christ in general, and in the His Real Presence in the Eucharist in particular. Such processions also 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 homes, the schools and the workplace. Please join us in this eloquent witness to our faith in and love of our Eucharistic Lord. I know this is the same day as Father’s Day, but I encourage Fathers and their family especially to join us: what better way to bless your Fathers and your families!


Fortnight for Freedom. In the last few months we’ve had much to be grateful for in our fight to defend Religious Liberty in our nation. Whatever you think of our new President, he has done an awful lot to reverse the persistently increasing assault on our liberties and our faith so blatantly led by his predecessor. Even so, we must not let down our guard, especially spiritually. So once again our parish will join Catholics around the nation in our sixth annual Fortnight for Freedom, from June 21st through the morning of July 4th—14 days of prayer, fasting and public witness to protect life, marriage, and religious freedom. See next weekend’s bulletin for more details.

Priest Transfers. In response to popular request, Bishop Burbidge has released the annual list of priests’ transfers/reassignments two weeks earlier than usual this year. Our parish is not directly affected by the changes—Fr. Smith and I will remain at St. Raymond’s. I’m delighted now to begin my 8th year as your pastor. Thanks for your continued support.


Fr. Joby Thomas, RIP. It is with great sadness that I report that Fr. Joby Thomas—a missionary priest who served in our parish in 2011 and 2012—passed away on June 1, in his native Kerala, India, after a lengthy illness. Fr. Joby was well loved by many in our parish, and did much good work while he was with us. We commend his soul to the Lord’s mercy. May he rest in peace.


Graduating Altar Servers. I’m always amazed and pleased when our altar boys continue to serve into high school. I’m especially impressed when they continue through their senior year. And while I’m always happy and proud to see them graduate from High School and move on to new challenges, their “moving on” from us always saddens me.

This month we have 8 young men in this category who will be serving their last Masses for us: Bryan Christman, James Drouillard, Tucker Gorski, Joseph Hatcher, Jack Jackson, Asher Kocen, Daniel Murray, and Christophe Sanchez-O’Brien.


All of them have been serving for between 8 and 12 years, and been a real blessing to us, especially in their leadership roles these last few years. I honor and thank them for their dedicated service. They are all fine young men, “good guys,” who I am proud to call my spiritual sons, and my friends. I thank them for their patience with and kindness to me, personally. I know I speak for all the other priests they’ve served, and for all of you, when I pray that the Lord will bless them abundantly for their past generous service, and that He may send His Holy Angels to protect and serve them all the days of their lives. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to grow into the great Catholic men Christ calls them to be. (And say a prayer that 1 or 2 or more will one day stand at the altar as priests).


Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles