Thirty Third Sunday In Ordinary Time

November 15, 2016 Column Father De Celles

Election: Praised be Jesus Christ! Some thoughts on last Tuesday’s election. To paraphrase President Gerald Ford, our long national nightmare campaign is over. And, by the grace of God, we have avoided a new nightmare by not electing a president who would continue to press the current president’s pro-abortion, anti-religious-liberty, anti-marriage-and-family, anti-common-sense agenda, not to mention months or years of congressional and FBI investigations and possible indictment and/or impeachment. On the other hand, I pray we haven’t elected a president who will present us  with merely an alternative nightmare, building on his past examples of boorishness, marital infidelity, callous and nasty rhetoric, self-centeredness, and on and on. It is my hope and prayer that the gravity of his office, and the grace of Jesus, may help him to rise above all that and become the president we need.

I give thanks to God especially that we have, at least a president-elect who has strenuously defended the pro-life and pro-religious-liberty causes (though often rather clumsily) and promised to give us Supreme Court justices who will be like minded and defend, not re-write, the Constitution. It’s possible he may not live up to those promises, but we can hope that he will.

I am also very encouraged to see how so many people came out to the polls to vote—a sign that people are not happy with the way the country is going and understand that the we the people are still sovereign in America.

Finally, let us pray for our new President-Elect Donald Trump, that the Lord may shower him with grace and surround him with good and wise counselors to help him lead our country in accordance with God’s will.

Oh, and one last thing: it is fun to see the mainstream media be shown to be the biased fools they are.

God bless President-Elect Trump, and God bless America.


Parish Offertory Campaign. We are all creatures of habit. We get used to doing things a certain way, and we just go on doing it that way without thinking about it. This can serve an important purpose, i.e., after carefully making a certain decision we can stick with it without wasting time second-guessing or reinventing the wheel every day. But even then, it’s a good idea to reassess our choices, from time to time, lest we become unwitting slaves of outdated habits.

One thing that can easily become a habit is the way we contribute to the parish’s weekly offertory. It’s easy to fall into the habit of giving a certain amount every week, year after year, without ever stopping to reassess that amount. But frequent reassessment is important. For example, over time your own ability to donate may increase or decrease: maybe you’ve been giving $5 a week since the kids were little, even though they’ve all grown up, and so has your salary. Or maybe the needs of your family and/or the parish have changed. Or maybe you’ve grown in your appreciation of God’s generosity, or of the importance of supporting your parish family, or of the greater purpose God has for the gifts he’s given you.

So, over the next few weeks, through the mail and at various Sunday Masses, I will be asking you to prayerfully reconsider the amount of support you give to our parish, and to commit to a certain level of support going forward. That level will be entirely up to you—I will try to offer some guidance for those interested, but your gift is entirely, 100%, up to you.

In particular, prayerfully and carefully consider: 1) all the many good things God has given each of you, 2) whether you are truly grateful for those gifts, and 3) that God has given you those gifts to be used for good purposes—His purposes. The first of these good purposes, for most of you, is providing for the wellbeing of your families. Now I ask you to think about the good purpose of providing for the wellbeing of your parish family.

Please pray about all this as you think about this appeal over the next few weeks. Pray the Rosary, at Mass, over Scripture, at adoration, at home as a family…. Pray sincerely and devoutly, asking the Lord Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and St. Raymond to guide you. And then give as you choose.


“Priests for Life.” Last week Fr. Frank Pavone, the President of the organization called “Priests for Life,” posted a grotesque video on the internet wherein he placed the actual body of an aborted baby on a consecrated altar, in an effort to call us to vote for a pro-life president. I join in the chorus of strongly pro-life priests and lay people in condemning this foolish behavior. It is repugnant to me as a priest and a human being. Bodies of babies are not props–they deserve more respect from a priest of Jesus Christ.  Moreover, I strongly believe that while this sort of “shock” effect display of the remains of aborted babies may cause a few people to “wake up” to the reality of abortion, it also drastically hurts the cause by its callousness and cold-heartedness. Furthermore, such an act is clearly an act of sacrilege, i.e., profaning an altar consecrated for one purpose: the sacrifice of the Mass.

Many years ago, I washed my hands of any association with this organization because of its use of these kinds of foolish tactics and other similar examples of poor judgment, and I have refused to promote it in any way in our parish. There is no doubt that Fr. Pavone and his organization are dedicated pro-life warriors—but they are often very wrongheaded in their approach. You don’t have to be a member of “Priests for Life” to be a pro-life priest.


Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles