October 22, 2022 Column Father De Celles News

Sunday Mass Attendance. As I mentioned at my Masses last Sunday, we are
doing our annual October Attendance Count every Sunday this month (excluding
Columbus Day weekend). So far the counting is showing Mass attendance
running at about 60% of pre-Covid levels. Think of that: 40% of the people
who came to Mass in March 2020, are no longer coming.
This is amazing, stunning, and frightening.
Why is this happening? Of course, some people are still afraid of catching
Covid or passing Covid along to some vulnerable member of their family. Fine, I
understand that. I would encourage them to carefully consider if this is
necessary, but I trust their judgment.
But there are other reasons for the radical decline, including the folks who
got used to watching Mass online or having Sunday off. Let me remind them: the
obligation to attend Mass on Sunday is a necessary part of fulfilling the 3 rd
Commandment (“Keep holy the Lord’s Day”). This obligation dates back to the 4 th
century, and before that almost all Catholics went without being obliged. Today
this obligation still exists, and although it was temporarily suspended during
Covid it was re-imposed 16 months ago.
So, most Catholics must come to Mass every Sunday (or the Saturday
Vigil), and as the Catechism states (2181) “Those who deliberately fail in this
obligation commit a grave sin.”
Now, there are exemptions: “those who are ill; those who…were recently
exposed to the coronavirus…those who are confined to their home, a hospital, or
nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions;” or those with
“some other serious reason or dispensed by their own pastor.”
So, if you have been lax in coming to Mass, please come back.
Daily Rosary: Success. I invite you all to come to pray the Rosary with your
family and other members of our parish, here IN OUR CHURCH EVERY
have signed up to lead the rosary each night, but all present will pray together.
I am very happy that so many people have been attending these Daily
Rosaries. Because of its success, I’ve decided to extend this into the coming
months. In the next week you will receive an invitation to sign up to lead the
Daily Rosary in November—please sign your family up.
Remember, the “family” that leads the Rosary can be as few as 2
members of a family, or as many as you like. A family may volunteer for more
than one evening if they want to. It may be that just the family is there alone to
pray, but all parishioners are invited to join them. The Rosary will be informal: we
will just pray the Rosary aloud and together. No fuss or ceremony, just prayer.
NEW: FIRST FRIDAY ALL-NIGHT ADORATON. I have also decided to extend
the hours of Eucharistic Adoration and Exposition on the First Friday of every
Month. Instead of closing at 3pm with Benediction and Reposition (putting the
Blessed Sacrament back in the Tabernacle), we will continue Adoration and

Exposition through the evening and night, closing with Benediction and
Reposition just before the 9am Mass on Saturday morning. This nighttime
adoration is often called “Nocturnal Adoration.”
So, beginning Friday, November 4, we will have Eucharistic Adoration
and Exposition continuously from 9am (after Mass) on Friday until 9am
(before Mass) on Saturday.
This week you should have received an email from the Parish Office
asking for at least 2 volunteers to sign-up for each hour of scheduled adoration,
which is required by the Bishop so that there is no danger that Our Eucharistic
Lord will be left alone at any time. But even if you don’t sign up, you can still
come to adore at any time.
Adoration for Election Day. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. Please
remember to vote and to pray for God’s will in these elections.
With this in mind, we will have Eucharistic Adoration and Exposition on
Election Day, Tuesday, beginning after 8:30am Mass and ending at 7pm with
Benediction. Next week you will receive an email from the Parish Office asking
for volunteers to sign-up for each hour of scheduled adoration, or you may visit
the parish website. As always, even if you don’t sign up, you can come anytime
you like.
Parents Need “Educating”—or Jail. You’ve probably heard about this, but I
can’t help but bring it to your attention as a sign of the times. It’s all over the
news, but this is National Review’s report (note: apparently sane members of her
party have since convinced Guzman not to introduce this bill. Yet.):
Virginia Democratic delegate Elizabeth Guzman is seeking to introduce
legislation that would hold parents criminally liable for refusing to treat their
children as a different sex from the one they were born into.
The legislation, which Guzman plans to introduce in Virginia’s upcoming
legislative session, would expand the definition of child abuse so that parents
could be charged with a felony or misdemeanor for refusing to honor their child’s
request to be treated as the opposite sex.
“If the child shares with those mandated reporters, what they are going
through, we are talking about not only physical abuse or mental abuse, what the
job of that mandated reporter is to inform Child Protective Services (CPS),”
Guzman told 7News. “That’s how everybody gets involved. There’s also an
investigation in place that is not only from a social worker but there’s also a
police investigation before we make the decision that there is going to be a CPS
The move comes in response to Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin’s latest
policy initiatives, which empower parents to exercise control over whether and
how children transition gender in school, as well as a speech he gave at a
“parents matter” rally back at the beginning of the school year. “They think
parents have no right to know what your child is discussing with their teacher or

counselor,” Youngkin said.
When asked by the local reporter whether she isn’t “criminalizing parents”
as many Republicans argue, Guzman answered unequivocally.
“No, it’s not. It’s educating parents because the law tells you the do’s and
don’ts,” Guzman answered. “So this law is telling you do not abuse your children
because they are LGBTQ.” Guzman was similarly unwavering in her thoughts
about whether such an approach violated free speech or religious freedom. “The
Bible says to accept everyone for who they are. So that’s what I tell them when
they asked me that question, and that’s what I will continue to tell people.”
Many Democratic lawmakers and liberal activists have criticized
Youngkin’s recently announced education policy changes. Most prominently, the
new policies prohibit teachers from using personal pronouns “not on a student’s
official records.” They also reverse a previous state policy “allowing students to
use bathrooms that align with their preferred gender.”
Last month, students across nearly 100 schools staged walkout protests
across the state to criticize Governor Youngkin’s policies and defend transgender
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles