October 28, 2023 Column Father De Celles News

New Sound System. This week, as long promised, we will be installing a new and improved sound system in the church. This will mean adding new speakers and repositioning the old speakers and installing upgraded electronic hardware behind the scenes. The total cost of this will be just under $45,000. I am confident and praying that the sound will be greatly improved, and that the “dead spots” will be eliminated.

                 Schedule in the Church. The sound company will begin working in the church beginning Monday, October 30, after the 8:30am Mass and continue throughout the day Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. They will not be working on Wednesday, Nov. 1, All Saints Day (see below). This, unfortunately, will require us to alter the use of the church during the day, except on Wednesday as follows:

On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (but not Wednesday) the Blessed Sacrament will be relocated during the day from the church to a temporary chapel in one of the basement classrooms (it will be clearly marked).

On Friday, Exposition/Adoration (including “nocturnal”) and First Friday afternoon/evening Confessions are all cancelled.

I apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your patience.

All Saints/All Souls. This Wednesday, November 1, is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation. It recalls the important dogma that we are all called to go to heaven, and even now are in communion with all the holy souls who have gone there before us, the Saints. This mystery is so important for us to remember and celebrate, that Holy Mother Church requires us all to attend Mass, naming it a mortal sin not to go. Please see the special Mass schedule below. (Note: Wednesday Exposition/Adoration is cancelled).

The next day, Thursday, November 2, is All Souls Day, which is never a day of obligation, but I encourage you to try to attend Mass that day as well, and keep the whole day as one of prayer for the dead—it is a great act of love to pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. We will have an additional 7pm Mass for your convenience.

Of course, all this is preceeded Tuesday, October 31, by Halloween. As you know, I am not a fan of this day, since it not only tends to distract us from and trivialize the meaning of the important days that follow, but it is also used as a feast day by those that serve the devil (including Satanists, witches, etc.). Still, I understand the innocent fun, especially for kids, of dressing up in costumes and going trick-or-treating. So, if it’s important to your kids, have some fun, but keep it balanced, and be careful not to let it, in any way, lead you or yours away from Christ, the Saints, or the Holy Souls.

Synod News. By the time you read this (I write on Wednesday) the Synod on Synodality in Rome should be over. According to the Catholic News Agency, the Synod will issue 2 documents. The first, “Letter to the People of God” “serves as a compass, pointing the way for the synodal journey…” As an observation, such a document is extremely unusual and of dubious merit; I have no idea what this is about.

The second document is the “synthesis document.” According to CNA:

“Vatican spokesman Paolo Ruffini explained at a press conference on Oct. 10 that the synthesis report will be written by ‘the experts’ attending the synod. The task before the synthesis commission involves assiduous listening to the insights from smaller circles — garnering a two-thirds majority vote — and gauging reactions within the general congregation to craft a document resonating with the assembly’s sentiments. 

“However, some argue that if listening remains the priority, the summary document ought to encapsulate all viewpoints. Another concern expressed is perhaps more serious: What if a ‘borderline’ thesis finds its way into a summary document, later serving as a foundation for subsequent synodal deliberations? 

“…Following a break on Oct. 27, the document is reviewed in the hall on Oct. 28, morning and afternoon, prior to approval, before concluding with the Te Deum.”

Meanwhile, as the synod continues to discuss not simply synodality (as we were assured it was supposed to), some participants continued to advocate for changing unchangeable doctrine. This provoked at least two interesting responses that made it into the press:

CNA, Courtney Mares, Oct 18: Speaking at a synod press conference on Oct. 18, Archbishop Zbigņev Stankevičs of Riga, Latvia, said that the Church teaches that people with same-sex attraction should be accepted with respect…

“‘…true love cannot be separated from truth because if love is separated from truth, it is no longer love,’ Stankevičs said. ‘If there is a person living in sin and we tell this person, ‘Everything is all right with you, it’s OK, go ahead,’ we do harm because this person is in danger. When he dies, he will be in great danger,’ he added.

“…. Stankevičs…underlined that in response to the issues of women’s participation in the Church and same-sex blessings, ‘we must be faithful to the holy Scriptures, and what the Church for 2,000 years has discovered by interpreting the Scriptures.’”

National Catholic Register, October 18: A laywoman received loud applause this week at the Synod on Synodality for a speech that characterized some members’ push for women’s ordination as an attempt to clericalize the laity, several sources have confirmed.

“Given in response to multiple small-group reports calling for women’s ordination not only to the diaconate, but in some cases also to the priesthood, the laywoman’s Oct. 16 morning address to the assembly also argued that a focus on women’s ordination is a distraction from what women in the Church want and need.

“…In addition to criticizing calls for women’s ordination, the three-minute speech …underscored the importance of motherhood, both biological and spiritual, for understanding what it means to be a woman from a Catholic perspective, drawing on the importance of Mary, the Mother of God, as the paradigm of womanhood.

“…One participant described the speech as ‘profound and real,’ and contrasted it with a presentation from a proponent of women’s ordination that was described as ‘militant.’ Following the laywoman’s speech, the source saw ‘people smiling … joy on lots of people’s faces, maybe relief on some others.’

“The synod members who spoke with the Register said that the intervention received loud applause from some of the 365 members of the Synod, which is now entering its third week of proceedings. 

“The unidentified laywoman who gave the speech, who is reportedly herself a mother, is one of 54 women voting in the Synod. In a first for the Synod of Bishops, significant numbers of women and other non-bishops are participating fully in the proceedings, accounting for 27% of the Synod assembly.

“…. The laywoman’s speech underscores how significant discussions about the possibility of women’s ordination have become at the Synod on Synodality, despite both organizers’ insistence that the assembly’s focus would not be on doctrine and also the Church’s clear and settled teaching on the subject.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles