Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 23, 2024 Column Father De Celles

Eucharistic Miracles of the World. I hope you were all able to see last weekend’s panel exhibition of “Eucharistic Miracles Of The World,” designed and created by Blessed Carlo Acutis. I’m very happy to say that the exhibit had over 2,000 visitors! I was amazed, in a good way. Thanks to Mary Butler who did an excellent job in coordinating the visit, and encouraged me to bring it here in the first place!

Religious Freedom Week. “Religious Freedom Week” began yesterday, June 22, and continues this week through next Saturday, June 29. St. Raymond’s will keep this “Week” by: 1) praying the “Prayer for Religious Freedom” after every Mass, and 2) encouraging all parishioners to pray the “Prayer for Religious Freedom” daily at home (and perhaps also making the Novena to St. Thomas More).

The Week began yesterday, with the Feast of 2 saints who were killed by their king to silence their religious opposition to his policies, especially with regard to marriage: St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. Normally these two saints are celebrated together as one feast, but since St. Thomas is our Diocesan Patron Saint, we celebrate his feast alone (Saturday/yesterday), and move St. John Fisher to another day (this year we will celebrate the votive Mass of St. John Fisher on Tuesday, June 25).

Tomorrow we celebrate another saint who was killed by his king to silence his religious opposition: St. John the Baptist, who, in preparing the way for Jesus, publicly condemned King Herod’s public incestuous marriage.

Then we end the week on the 29th, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, two saints who not only represent the persisting teaching authority of the Church, but who were also put to death by a king for their leadership of the Church, which he saw as leading people away from absolute obedience to his supposed divine authority. Like many people of our time, Emperor Nero and many Romans blamed Christians for many of the problems of their age.

And all during this week, let’s keep in mind St. Raymond of Peñafort, who also got in trouble with a king. Very briefly, we recall how when our saint condemned King James of Spain’s consorting with his mistress on the island of Majorca. When the King tried to keep Raymond from leaving the island by threatening to punish any ship who took him aboard, St. Raymond, went to the shore, said a prayer, and famously and miraculously sailed 160 miles back to Spain using just his great cape as both a skiff and a sail.

Let us look to these great saints for intercession and as examples of peacefully opposing unjust laws that seek to oppress us in living our Christian faith in every day life.

Scholarships to Catholic Schools. Considering the anti-Catholic teachings promoted in so many of our public schools, one excellent way to support religious liberty is to assist Catholic parents who want to send their kids to Catholic schools or to homeschool.

Please remember that the parish offers scholarships to our parish children to attend local Catholic grade and high schools. These scholarships are conditioned on the active involvement of the families in the life of the parish and are usually $1,000 for grade school students and $2000 to high school students—but we will gladly give additional tuition aid where warranted. We also 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 bonus amount). We also offer financial assistance to families who choose to homeschool.

We are currently accepting donations to fund these scholarships. Last year our “Our Lady of Ransom Scholarship Fund” received $206,080 in donations which was given out in scholarships.

This year, I want to surpass that. 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” page).

I especially appeal to those folks who don’t have children in school anymore. What charitable donation is more worthy than supporting the salvation of the children of our parish? What outreach program, or what “evangelization” effort, would be more effective? PLEASE, GIVE GENEROUSLY!

Pew Research Center. Did you see the latest Pew survey, “Cultural Issues and the 2024 Election.” Here are some interesting take-aways:

 “Roughly four-in-ten registered voters (39%) say society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority, while a majority (59%) say society is just as well off if people have priorities other than family and children.

“Trump supporters (59%) are much more likely than Biden supporters (19%) to say that it is better if people prioritize marriage and children….

“The nation’s fertility rate, which has been declining for years, is now at its lowest point in more than a century…

“Biden supporters have mixed views of the fact that people are having fewer children. Half say this is neither good nor bad, 27% view this as good for society, and 23% say it is bad.

“Trump supporters …view this trend more negatively. Nearly half of Trump supporters (47%), including a 56% majority of men who support Trump, say it is bad for society that people are having fewer children. Roughly four-in-ten women who support Trump (37%) see this trend as a bad thing….

Abortion deeply divides supporters of Biden and Trump. About nine-in-ten Biden supporters (88%) say abortion should be legal in most (46%) or all (42%) cases. Just 11% of Biden supporters say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases.

“Conversely, about six-in-ten Trump supporters (61%) say abortion should be illegal in all (11%) or most (50%) cases…

“Nearly two-thirds of registered voters (65%) say whether a person is a man or woman is determined by the sex assigned to them at birth. About a third (34%) say whether someone is a man or woman can be different from the sex at birth.

“Nine-in-ten Trump supporters and about four-in-ten Biden supporters (39%) say sex at birth determines if someone is a man or a woman….

Choir Takes the Summer Off. The 11am Mass crowd may have noticed the Choir has begun its summer vacation. I want to thank all the members and especially Elisabeth Turco for the great work they did these last 9 months. I think we have one of the best parish choirs in Diocese and the whole region. I also encourage all of you to consider whether you, or a member of your family should join the choir when it comes back in September. You don’t have to have the most beautiful voice, but if you sing and carry a tune Maestra Turco can help you to give glorious praise to God in song.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles