December 28, 2020 Column Father De Celles

Merry Christmas! As the Octave and Season of Christmas
continues, I want to wish all of you a Blessed and Holy and
Merry Christmas. I hope that your Christmas Day was
wonderful and filled with holiness and good cheer, and that you
were all able to spend time with your family and friends.
Thanks. I’d like to say “thanks” all those who worked so hard
to make Advent and Christmas so special during this very
difficult year. In particular, I want to thank the cantors,
musicians (especially Denise Anezin) and Elisabeth Turco for
all the beautiful music. The Knights of Columbus for all they
did in so many ways. Nena Brennan and her family, and
Christophe Sanchez-O’Brien and the other sacristans, for all
their work in preparing the sanctuary. Julie Mullen and her
family and the rest of the flower committee, for decorating the
church so beautifully. To the ushers, especially Patrick
O’Brien, and the porters and counters and video folks who
answered my call to help out on Christmas. To all those who
contributed so much in time and treasure to the Giving Tree. To
all those who assisted in special ways at the Mass, especially
the altar boys, lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy
Communion. Also thanks to our custodial workers from Spring
Cleaning, Luis Tapia and Dania Ochoa, and all the extra “hiredhands” for working so hard to keep the church clean and
sanitized. A special thanks to the rest of our dedicated parish
staff, Kirsti Tyson, Mary Butler, Virginia Osella, Mary Salmon,
Vince Drouillard, Jeanne Sause, and Joe Marquart who all
worked very hard during Advent. And finally, to my brother
priests who helped me out with confessions and Masses,
especially Fr Rippy. I know I’ve left out lots of groups and
names, my apologies. Thank you all, and God bless you all.
New Year’s. I look forward seeing all of you on New Year’s
Eve or Day, to celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of
God. Of course this year, because of the Bishops dispensation,
it is not a holy day of obligation. Even so it is a great way to
begin the new year.
Unfortunately, I’ve decided to cancel our usual
Midnight Mass this year. I hope you understand, all things
considered. It will be back next year.
Oremus pro invicem.

Homily by St. John Paul II, then Cardinal-Archbishop
(Wojtyla) of Krakow, December 28, 1969, Feast of the Holy
“…Today we are celebrating the feast of the Holy
Family, when the Church asks Jesus to bless the family. May
he, who was the blessing of his own family because he grew to
manhood within it, preparing himself in its shelter for his
messianic vocation, bless every human family. Today, the hope
and fervent desire of the Church is that every human family
may be permeated with the mystery of the Holy Family, in
which God became man.
“The mystery offers many points for reflection: Christ
spent his childhood and youth with his family, thus showing us
that God’s greatest work is carried out within the family; he
wrought our redemption and salvation in the context of his
family life; and it is thanks to it that all of us are saved. That is
why today’s feast is of such universal significance. The light of

the Holy Family shines out to anywhere where there is a human
family — which in fact means everywhere.
“The meaning of this feast is also very individual and
personal. Today the mystery of the Holy family concerns each
individual family in a specific way — both husband and wife but
also that special community which begins with their marriage,
in other words, the community of parents and children. Whether
this is a community of mature people or of those still
information, it is a wonderful and fundamental community, and
without it the human race would not exist.
“In a special way today, through the mystery of the
Holy Family, all humanity and the Church reflect on God’s
greatest work — that of creation. God started the human race
when he created the first human couple of man and woman,
husband and wife. The great human family begins with them;
when he gave them the power to transmit life, he invested them
with the divine power of creation. Thus the work of creation
continues through the family in every age and generation of
human history. As parents, you are partners with God and share
in his work in a way in keeping with the dignity of the human
person. The Creator wants the work of creation to be manifested
in every human family and, through the family, in every people
and society and in humanity as a whole.
“If the Son of God became man and carried out the
major part of his mission within the family, this means that his
work must be carried out within and through the family. This
work of redemption and sanctification raises man up out of the
evil to which he has inclined as a result of original sin and
draws him toward the good of which he is capable, even at the
price of effort and sacrifice. Jesus showed us this, and he urges
us toward it, constantly giving us new strength for our task.
“The work of redemption shows us the full value of
everything human and especially of marriage and family. It is as
if God himself — symbolized in the family by the newborn
child — said to every couple: “See how beautiful it is, and how
it is both human and divine!” This is the meaning of today’s
“The divine and human beauty that exists in the family
can only be gained through constant effort. It is not ready-made,
but must be worked for by every couple. We are quite right in
saying that marriage is based on love; we find this truth in the
gospel. However, we must immediately add that true love makes
us capable of taking on the tasks and problems of married and
family life and that it is does not give us this capacity it cannot
be called love. We should therefore be careful not to debase this
wonderful word that was spoken by the Son of God as the
greatest commandment.
“Through marriage and family Christ carries out his
work of redemption, which he won for us on the cross. However,
just as Christ came to resurrection through the cross, so too,
difficulties and hardship bring us to the true value of marital
and family love and real formation and development — first
and foremost the mutual formation of husband and wife and then
the education of their children….
“We pray for our country, in the knowledge that …its
strength lies in the family. Too little is done to develop and
harness this strength, while, on the contrary, a great deal is
done to weaken the marriage bond and the stability of the
family. . . . While we can change the parts of an engine, the
fundamental human community of the family cannot be
substituted. It must be served and helped to develop. It is not
licit to destroy it, since it is a work of God.”