Chaplain’s Message

Fr. Henry W. Reid

Since we just had the State Board meeting, and I addressed so much in the previous newsletter, I will try to keep this short. Again, I would ask every Division and County Board consider running a fund raiser for the Hibernian Housing Project at John Paul II Institute in Washington D.C.. Unlike other Graduate programs, those at the John Paul II Institute directly benefit our local parishes and Church communities, since those who earn degrees return to instruct and direct programs on parish, diocesan or seminary levels. Any donations can be made out to: St. Anthony of Padua Parish, 1029 Monroe St., NE, Washington, DC 20017; write “AOH JPII” in the memo line.

By the time this comes out, we will probably have entered into our Advent Season, which is a time of preparation for Christmas, although with the barrage of Christmas displays that started showing up in stores back in September, one couldn’t be blamed for thinking we already entered into the celebration of Christ’s Birth. Please remember that this is the reason why we celebrate this Holyday, because God, in the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, chose to take on flesh and become part of His creation; known as the Incarnation, it is most contemplated subject in all Theology. Remember that the Christmas Season does not end on Christmas Day, but lasts until the Baptism of the Lord, on January 11th.

Finally, there has been a lot of reaction to the announcement of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee to the inclusion of homosexuals in the parade. In approaching this subject we need to keep in mind that while the Church’s moral teachings state that homosexual acts, like all sexual acts outside of marriage, are disordered, treating homosexuals themselves with anything except the respect they deserve, as human beings made in the image and like of God, is also wrong. For all of the years and legal battles that the Parade Committee stood opposed to the admission of homosexual groups marching in the parade, it seems ridiculous that they would suddenly fold on this issue. Some of the brothers who hold delegate positions with the Committee have stated that this action was taken by very few of the board, and is not sitting well with most others. Some brothers have already called for a complete boycott, forever walking away from the parade, while others have decided to stay involved and work for change from within. Ultimately, it is up to everybody to decide for themselves what to do. For those who decide to remain affiliated, I would encourage them, that once they have done all they can to remedy this latest situation, they work to establish a required dress code and etiquette for marchers. Even if the ridiculous attire on the sidelines is banned from the line of march, there are various participants whose appearance and behavior do not necessarily reflect the dignity of the Irish people and Catholic Faith, present in the person of St. Patrick, whose Feast day we celebrate.

In the meantime, have a Blessed Christmas and Holy New Year.