April 18, 2021 News

Easter Continues. The Easter Season continues through Pentecost, May 23, reminding us that the power of the Resurrection of Christ extends throughout the year, i.e., to every day of our lives. When I was younger it was popular to hear Catholics say, “we are an Easter people!” Of course this is true, but in doing this many were trying to avoid the fact that we are also a “Good Friday people,” as St. Paul reminds us, “we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles.” Nevertheless, the Resurrection is real, and has enduring effects: “by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.” So, let this be a time of remembering with great joy the Lord’s power revealed in His death and resurrection, and that His grace makes that power effective in our own lives.

Signing Up for Mass. Our church normally has a seating capacity of 850 people. But the Bishop’s COVID rules currently require that capacity be limited to 50% of that 850, but also require social distancing, including keeping every other pew empty. This latter factor, social distancing, creates a much lower number than 50% of 850. Originally, we calculated the COVID-limited capacity to be 225 people. But experience has shown me that the capacity number is really more elastic, since 10 single unrelated people would require more space than 10 family members, since there is no social distancing in families. So, based on our experience in the last few months, I think we have a Covid-limited-capacity of between 225 and 300.

Very rarely does a Mass go over 225 in attendance, and then only by a few. Moreover, 1) Mass attendance is increasing, but still only slowly, 2) with the decline in COVID cases and rise in immunity, I can’t help but anticipate that capacity limits will be eased in the near future.

So after careful consideration, observation and calculation, and considerable prayer, while setting capacity limitations at 300, it seems to me unnecessary to require signing up for any Masses at this time.

But please, use common sense and be careful. Above all, be charitable to those who might have a different perspective than yours!

Receiving Holy Communion. When we reopened for Masses last June I spent time at every Mass for several weeks coaching the congregation on how I wanted you to carefully receive Holy Communion during the pandemic. Since then, many more of you have returned to Mass and haven’t received that same “coaching,” and others may be forgetting what they had heard before.

So as reminder, when you come up for Communion:

you may receive either in the hand or on the tongue;

hold your tongue or hand still until after the priest/EMHC removes their hands (DO NOT touch the priest’s/EMHC’s hand!);

if you receive in the hand as you are about to receive,

please lower your mask, so that when the Host is in your hand you are not fumbling with trying to move your mask

hold your hand flat, like a plate, not like a bowl;

do not move away from the altar rail (if you are kneeling do not stand) until you have placed the Host in your mouth.

Vacation. I really need a vacation. So I’m gone this weekend and will return next Saturday afternoon. Because I am the only priest in the parish, I have been able to arrange for visiting priests to fill in for me. However, while all Masses will be offered as usual, there will be some cancelations of other “events”: there will be no Confessions on Wednesday evening (April 21) or Saturday morning (April 24); and there will be no Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesday (April 21) or Friday (April 23). Sacramental emergency calls should be directed to Nativity or St. Bernadette Parishes. Sorry. Pray for a new vicar in June!

Great Pro-Life News. Last week the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Ohio law. According to the Wall Street Journal:

A splintered federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld an Ohio law that makes it illegal for a physician to perform an abortion upon learning that the patient wants the procedure because she fears the fetus has Down syndrome.

In a 9-7 vote, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati allowed Ohio to enforce the law

The statute doesn’t prevent women from terminating a fetus diagnosed with Down syndrome. But it prevents a physician from performing the procedure if the pregnant woman tells the doctor she is seeking the abortion because she has reason to believe the fetus has the genetic disorder.

The dispute over the law expands a relatively new front in the legal battle over abortion. The Supreme Court has never reviewed the constitutionality of restraints on abortions performed because of predicted characteristics of the fetus, such as disability, race or gender. Tuesday’s ruling marks the first time a federal appellate court has held that a statute like Ohio’s doesn’t violate the right to an abortion….

The court, whose composition swayed rightward under President Trump, then agreed to rehear the case before the full bench of active judges.

In the opinion, Circuit Judge Alice Batchelder, a George H.W. Bush appointee, wrote that Ohio had legitimate reasons for enacting the law that outweighed the “minor burdens” on a woman’s protected right to an abortion.

She wrote that Ohio had an interest in both protecting the Down syndrome community from the stigma associated with Down-syndrome-selective abortions and “protecting pregnant women and their families from coercion by doctors who advocate abortion of Down-syndrome-afflicted fetuses”

“…James Bopp, general counsel for the antiabortion National Right to Life Committee organization, said the ruling “debunks the idea that Roe v. Wade isabsolute at least prior to viability and that there are no other potential interests that the state can assert to limit abortion.””

Don’t Trust the Media. I keep saying that most of the media lies when it comes to politics, almost always in favor of Leftists. This was dramatically confirmed this week in a widely reported story, as the New York Post tells us:

A CNN staffer admitted in a secretly recorded video that his network produced “propaganda” to oust former President Donald Trump during the 2020 presidential election — and bragged about their success.

Charlie Chester, a technical Director at the cable network, was filmed by Project Veritasas he explained how they “got Trump out” of office.

“Look what we did, we [CNN] got Trump out. I am 100​ percent going to say it, and I 100​ percent believe that if it wasn’t for CNN, I don’t know that Trump would have got voted out,” Chester said, adding that he came to work at CNN because he ​​”wanted to be a part of that…..Our focus was to get Trump out of office, right? Without saying it, that’s what it was.”

Most of the mainstream media hold in distain folks who share our traditional Christian and American values. Why do we listen to them at all?

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles