Twenty Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time

September 17, 2016 Column Father De Celles

Parish Picnic Last Sunday. Thank God every year I get to say the same thing: The Lord must love us very much, because he always gives us an absolutely beautiful day for our parish picnic, and last Sunday was no exception. I think a great time was had by all—a true experience of fellowship in Christ. Thanks to all who made the picnic such a success. At the risk of leaving someone out let me thank all the folks who worked so hard, particularly the Knights of Columbus.

Booklet on St. Raymond. Last week we distributed about 500 free copies of the newly re-printed biography of St. Raymond. This week we hope more of our registered families will pick up their free copy from the table in the narthex—it literally has your name on it. I think we have a best-seller on our hands—it does my heart good to see how eagerly so of many have welcomed this booklet, and that many of you are already reading it.

Thanks to the Staff. This is always a very busy time of year for our parish staff, but this year it’s been even more so, with the changes to our CCD program, the picnic, the distribution of the biography of St. Raymond, and various special projects, not to mention having one of our secretaries on leave for a month. So I want to say a special “thanks” to Kirsti Tyson (office manager) for all her yeoman work in keeping things going. Also, thanks to volunteer Nancy Carroll for all her help around the office. And to Mary Salmon, who’s worked so hard over the summer retooling CCD. And to Mary Butler, for her excellent work in putting together the booklet on St. Raymond.

Welcome Back, Choir. It’s so good to have the choir back at the 8:45 Mass—thanks to all choir members for all you do to add beauty to the celebration of our parish worship. As is the case every year, we lost a few members over the summer, folks who moved away from the area. I understand we picked up a couple of new members, but we still need a few more members.
Remember, you don’t have to be a virtuoso to be in the choir—Elisabeth Turco (our choir director) can do wonders bringing various talents and gifts together to give glory to God. Please contact her to talk about joining the choir (703-506-4644,

Kaine: Another Bad Catholic Vice-President? Last week Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate, Sen. Tim Kaine, said that he is convinced that one day the Catholic Church will accept same-sex “marriage.” Of course, this follows years of Kaine’s public support of SSM, not to mention abortion. Why and how this man (like the current VP Joe Biden) continues to call himself a faithful Catholic is beyond me. Thank goodness his bishop, Bishop DiLorenzo, came out after Kaine’s talk, and firmly countered: “the Catholic Church’s 2000-year-old teaching to the truth about what constitutes marriage remains unchanged and resolute.”

Fairfax Public Schools. As so many of our families return to the Fairfax Public Schools, I encourage you to stand strong in your Catholic faith and with common sense. In particular, protect your children from the brainwashing of the secular elites who want to bully your children into supporting sexual promiscuity, same-sex sexual relationships and marriage, the transgender agenda, and abortion. I wish you could all withdraw from the public schools, but recognize that most of you can’t, for various serious reasons.
But you have to do something to counteract the brainwashing, and reinforce your Catholic faith and reason. For most of you that means registering in our Religious Education/CCD program. Though classes begin tonight, it’s not too late to register.
It also means speaking out against the brainwashing, perhaps by refusing to sign the FCPS’s “Student Rights and Responsibilities” parent’s form (the SR&R includes language that requires the students to abide by the FCPS wrongheaded agenda regarding “gays” and “transgenders”).
​And it also means “OPTING OUT” of the schools’ Family Life Education (FLE), which seeks to undermine everything you and I teach our kids about the true meaning of family life. Who do these government functionaries think they are telling our children what “family life” should be like? Especially since they are so confused they can’t even tell the difference between boys and girls.
​And finally, be supportive of good teachers and administrators who are trying to live their Christian faith and common reason in the schools. Many of our parishioners work and teach in FCPS and they are struggling. But they remain in place to help mitigate the damage, and to defend and teach the common sense truth. So support them, with your kindness and with your prayers.
​By the way, last week the Virginia State Supreme Court accepted the case of a FCPS student who claims that the FCPS Board exceeded its authority in giving “transgenders” special protection against discrimination. For decades it has been widely accepted that that authority rests solely with the state legislature. The Supreme Court’s acceptance of the case is a very hopeful sign.

Elections. Many of you have been seeking my advice about voting in the upcoming presidential election. In the next few weeks I will try to give a more thorough account of my thoughts on this, but in the meantime let me say this.
​First, voting is generally a serious obligation—if you can legally vote, you should, except for a grave reason. And remember, there are many offices on the ballot this November; so, if you choose not to vote for a presidential candidate, you can still vote for your U.S. Representative.
​Also, in my opinion, we have been presented with a list of very flawed presidential candidates. Personally, I don’t like the idea of voting for any of them. But, there is an ancient maxim, “silence implies consent,” so if you don’t vote, you consent to the election of the person who wins. There is another ancient maxim, “always choose the lesser evil.” I can quibble with this maxim somewhat, but it is generally a good practical guide.
​Finally, (for now), to me, in the end, the most important and clear issue in the coming presidential election is the fact that the new president will probably appoint 4 Supreme Court Justices, each of whom could serve for 20 years or more. The presidential candidates of the Democrat, Libertarian and Green Parties are on record as intending to appoint Justices who will be pro-abortion and pro-“gay marriage” and weaken religious-liberty. Sadly, only the Republican candidate has promised to appoint Justices who will be pro-life and pro-traditional marriage and defend pro-religious liberty.
​As things now stand, the Supreme Court is, in many ways, more powerful than the President (and Congress). When all is said and done, it looks like we’re going to have to live with a very flawed president for the next 4 years. But do we have to live with a horrible Supreme Court for the next 20? Maybe, maybe not.

Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles