October 9, 2021 Column Father De Celles

Shut up Parents, you “Terrorists”! Last week Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe (Democrat) succinctly expressed and embraced the Left’s Marxist attitude toward parents: “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” I still can’t believe he was dumb enough to say that out loud, but I’m glad he finally revealed his true contempt for parenthood.

Now the U.S. Attorney General is investigating parents that the National School Boards Association calls “terrorists.”

Excerpt from an October 5, 2021, article in the Washington Post, ‘Parents take a stand against FBI crackdown on CRT opponents,’ by Callie Patteson:

“Parents and politicians are slamming the Department of Justice’s decision to bring in the FBI to investigate a spike in ‘threats against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff,’ saying the Biden administration is likening their protests of ‘woke’ policies such as Critical Race Theory — as well as mandatory mask wearing — to ‘domestic terrorism.’

“‘Dear @TheJusticeDept Merrick Garland and @FBI Director Christopher Wray,’ Asra Nomani, vice president of investigations and strategy at Parents Defending Education, posted on Twitter. ‘This is what a domestic terrorist looks like? You are criminalizing parenting, and you owe the people of America a swift apology.’

“She sarcastically signed the missive, ‘‘Domestic Terrorist,’ Asra Nomani.’ Nomani’s group has been researching how school boards across the US implement ‘woke’ ideas into curricula, such as critical race theory.

“In recent months, dozens of parents have taken a stand in school board meetings against the teaching of Critical Race Theory in classrooms and to protest mask mandates, causing some to wonder what the FBI and DOJ are actually investigating.

“The DOJ move was spurred by the National School Boards Association asking the Biden administration for assistance, suggesting that there have been threats and acts of violence and equating those to domestic terrorism.

“In a separate tweet, Nomani claimed Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a ‘declaration of war’ on parents when he announced the initiative on Monday.

“Another parent, Nicole Solas from Rhode Island, accused the FBI of being ‘the politics police,’ while claiming any ‘legitimate’ violence is already ‘sufficiently addressed by your local police.’ ‘Arrest me,’ she said in another tweet.

“In a memo released Monday, Garland announced that while ‘spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats or violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.’

“The investigation will be looking at the recent spike in acts of violence against school staff members, however, Garland’s memo did not specify what those acts were.

“In a Sept. 29 letter, the National School Boards Association said much of this opposition led to dozens of incidents at school board meetings this year, claiming, ‘America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat.’

“The NSBA suggested that ‘[a]s these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes’ and asked that the administration review the question.

“The group further asked the Biden administration to consider its powers under the Patriot Act, the sweeping surveillance legislation passed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks….

“Many parents, however, still see the order as targeted towards them.

“‘This is a coordinated attempt to intimidate dissenting voices in the debates surrounding America’s underperforming K-12 education – and it will not succeed. We will not be silenced,’ Parents Defending Education said in a Monday statement.

“Elicia Brand, a parent from Loudoun County, told Fox News that parents ‘owe this to our children’ and generations after to ‘stand strong in their fight for freedom.’ …

“‘I hope the proper authorities are used to find those who threaten violence or speak such hateful words, but they will not find them in the Loudoun County parent community, as we stand against that. Moms and Dads will stand strong in our faith of doing right and our peaceful mission to protect our children even more now that this letter has been released, as we are at the tipping point where the free America that we love can quickly be the America to be feared. We owe this to our children and the generations that follow.’”

Rosary. On a happier note,as most of you know October is the “Month of the Rosary.” Tradition attributes the Rosary to an apparition of the Blessed Mother to St. Dominic around the year 1200. The use of strings of beads to count prayers dates back to pre-Christian times and to the first centuries of the Church. Over the early centuries of the Church the beads were used to count various prayers, including psalms, the Kyrie and the Our Father, especially among the monks. By the end of the 8th century  beads were used  to count the praying of the 150 psalms. In the 10th and 11th century the string of beads commonly used by Catholics was used to count Our Fathers, and the strings of prayer beads became known by the name Paternosters, but by the 12th century they were more widely used to count the 150, or 50, Hail Marys. The practice of meditating on the mysteries of the life of Christ while praying the Aves became popular in the 15th century, and the devotion began to be called the Rosarium, meaning a “garland of roses.” By the 16th century the division of the Rosary into the 5 decades of the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the life of Christ became set. Pope John Paul II proposed for popular devotion a fourth set of mysteries, the “Luminous mysteries.” Meditating on these 15 or 20 mysteries makes the Rosary a truly Christo-centric prayer.

            October’s particular association with the Rosary goes back at least to the year 1571, when Pope Pius V encouraged all Christians to pray the Rosary for the protection of Europe as it was being invaded by the Muslim Turks. On October 7, 1571, the Catholic fleet miraculously defeated a greatly superior Muslim fleet off the coast of Lepanto, Italy, so that October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. In 1883 Pope Leo XIII dedicated the whole month of October to the Queen of the Holy Rosary.

For centuries, successive popes, saints and spiritual writers have commended it to all Catholics as a sure source of spiritual enrichment. Let me add my own personal admonishment to theirs to pray the rosary every day, or at least once a week.

Parish Holy Hour. This Thursday, October 14, at 6:45pm, CCD/Religious Education is sponsoring a Holy Hour of Adoration for the whole parish. Join our CCD families in adoring Our Eucharistic Lord and praying the Holy Rosary for various intentions, including and especially for the “success” of our CCD program this year.

Golf Update. This week I hit a 90 at Augustine Golf Course down in Stafford. For some golfers this is no big deal, but it was one of my best scores ever. 1-over par (bogey) for the round. Just thought I’d share that with you.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles