June 3, 2023 Column Father De Celles

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. The most fundamental dogma of our
Christian faith is the Trinity. It is reflected in the first prayer every Catholic child
learns (“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”) and in
the way we are baptized (“I baptize you in the name of the Father…”). And i is
expressed in our most important summaries of our faith: the Apostles’ Creed and
the Nicene Creed which we pray at every Sunday Mass. As the Catechism (CCC
253-255) teaches:
“The Trinity is One. We do not confess three Gods, but one God in three
persons, the “consubstantial Trinity”. The divine persons do not share the one
divinity among themselves but each of them is God whole and entire….
“The divine persons are really distinct from one another. …”Father”, “Son”, “Holy
Spirit” are not simply names designating modalities of the divine being, for they
are really distinct from one another: “He is not the Father who is the Son, nor is
the Son he who is the Father, nor is the Holy Spirit he who is the Father or the
Son” …
“The divine persons are relative to one another. Because it does not divide
the divine unity, the real distinction of the persons from one another resides
solely in the relationships which relate them to one another: “In the relational
names of the persons the Father is related to the Son, the Son to the Father, and
the Holy Spirit to both. While they are called three persons in view of their
relations, we believe in one nature or substance.” Indeed “everything (in them) is
one where there is no opposition of relationship”…”
It is extremely hard to fathom this mystery, and yet the Church has insisted
on it since the earliest days as the sine qua non of being a Christian. And what
would we expect of something that essentially reveals the inner life of the infinite
and eternal God? How could we ever understand it completely, but isn’t it
wonderful that God has revealed this to us so that we can understand something
of the great mystery of His life? A life of perfect love and absolute unity of the
three divine persons. And in this mystery we begin to understand what it means
to be a Christian: to be invited to live life in unity and love with Them, sharing in
their unity, or communion, and love.
Corpus Christi Procession Next Sunday. Next week we will celebrate the
Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The last few years we’ve
foregone an outdoor procession in favor of an indoor procession. This worked
very well and attracted more folks. So, shortly after the 1pm Mass we will have
a procession with the Blessed Sacrament throughout the church, and then have
a short period of Adoration, followed by Benediction. Afterwards we gather in the
Parish Hall to celebrate with ice cream.
Our Lady of Ransom Scholarships. You all know my deep concerns about
sending our children to the government-run, radical leftist controlled Fairfax
County Schools. But at the same time I recognize that many parents believe they

simply can’t afford, financially or otherwise, the alternatives. While many parents
recognize the problem and dedicate themselves to aggressively countering these
errors at home and in the parish, I’m afraid that doesn’t work for most parents, for
various reasons.
So, the parish offers scholarships to all qualified parishioners who
attend Catholic schools: $1,000 for grade school and $2000 for high school,
renewable every year, and subject only to minimal qualification terms.
We also offer to double those amounts ($2,000 grade school, $4000
high school) for each child (a parishioner) who switches from public school
(k-12) to Catholic school (this is a one-time first-year amount, reverting to the
regular amounts in the following years).
Also, additional financial aid is available if a family truly can’t afford
Catholic school even with the above scholarships. These decisions are made on
a case by case basis.
Finally, similar financial assistance to cover direct educational costs is
also available to folks who homeschool.
Please let me know if you’re interested.
Funding Scholarships. To fund the above scholarships I am once again asking
all parishioners to consider donating whatever they can to the cause. In FYE
June 30, 2022, we received over $243,000 in donations, but this year, as of the
end of April, we are behind $50,000 where we were last April!
We need to support these scholarships! And without diminishing our
regular offertory donations. You can give a lot or a little; you can give monthly or
yearly. If you can give $5 or $50,000, please consider doing so.
You can do this by using the monthly envelope provided to you with your
other offertory envelopes. Or by mailing a check to the parish, and writing on
the “memo” line something like “Scholarship Fund Donation.” Or you can also
give through Faith Direct (there is a special fund set up there on the “my gifts”
What charitable donation is more worthy than supporting the salvation of
the children of our parish? What “evangelization” effort, would be more effective?
Sister Wilhelmina. Have you read the incredible story coming out of Kansas,
about the possibly incorrupt body of Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster? Read this
excerpt from a Catholic News Service report.
“Hundreds of pilgrims have descended on a Benedictine monastery for
religious sisters in rural Missouri in recent days after news began to spread on
social media last week that the recently exhumed remains of the contemplative
order’s African American foundress appear to be incorrupt, four years after her
death and burial in a simple wooden coffin.
“Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, OSB, founded the Benedictine Sisters of

Mary, Queen of the Apostles…in 1995 at the age of 70, leaving the Oblate
Sisters of Providence, her community of over 50 years, to do so.
“Known for her devotion to the Traditional Latin Mass and her faithfulness
to Benedictine contemplation and the Liturgy of the Hours, she died at age 95 on
May 29, 2019, on the vigil of the solemnity of the Ascension.
“Roughly four years later, on the solemnity of the Ascension in the Latin
rite, the abbess and sisters decided to move her body to a final resting place
inside their monastery chapel, a long-standing custom for founders and
“Expecting to find bones, the Benedictine Sisters instead unearthed a
coffin with an apparently intact body, even though the body was not embalmed
and the wooden coffin had a crack down the middle that let in moisture and dirt
for an unknown length of time during those four years….
“The body was covered in a layer of mold that had grown due to the high
levels of condensation within the cracked coffin. Despite the dampness, little of
her body and nothing of her habit disintegrated during the four years….
Interesting note, most of you remember our former secretary Eva Radel.
Well, Eva has two sisters (biologically) who are nuns in this monastery. The nuns
have also sewn several of our Mass vestments.
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles