To All Hibernians:
All of December is taken up with Advent and the Christmas season. Advent represents the time of preparation for the coming of the Savior. The liturgical color, representative of repentance and humility, is violet, except on the Third Sunday of Advent, traditionally known as Gaudete Sunday, when the color rose represents the joy of approaching the Christmas season. The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8, is the patronal feast of the United States, and a holy day of obligation. The Christmas season begins with the vigil Mass of Christmas. The liturgical color is white.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming.
MAJOR SAINTS AND FEAST DAYS OF DECEMBER
|Dec 3||Francis Xavier, Priest||Memorial|
|Dec 6||Nicholas, Bishop|
|Dec 7||Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor||Memorial|
|Dec 8||The Immaculate Conception||Solemnity|
|Dec 12||Our Lady of Guadalupe||Feast|
|Dec 13||Lucy, Virgin and Martyr||Memorial|
|Dec 14||John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor||Memorial|
|Dec 26||Stephen, Martyr||Feast|
|Dec 27||John, Apostle and Evangelist||Feast|
|Dec 28||Holy Innocents, Martyrs||Feast|
|Dec 30||Holy Family||Feast|
IRISH SAINTS OF DECEMBER
Finnian of Clonard (c.470-c.549) December 12
One of at least three saintly Finnians, this Irish saint may have been born at Myshall, Carlow, Ireland. He may have spent some years in Welsh monasteries. Later he founded several monasteries in Ireland, including Clonard, in Meath, which for many centuries was renowned for Biblical scholarship. Though often referred to as a bishop, there is not solid evidence of his consecration, but Finnian was certainly mentor and teacher to many who went on to spread the faith throughout Ireland and beyond.
Flannan (7th century) December 18
Son of an Irish chieftain, he received a monastic education. On a pilgrimage to Rome, he was consecrated bishop by Pope John IV. Upon returning, he settled at Killaloe and is considered its first bishop.
Ursicinus (d.c. 625) December 20
Probably an Irishman, he was a disciple of St. Columban on the Continent, founded a monastery at St. Ursanne in present-day Switzerland, and evangelized the local people.
Aileran the Wise (d. 664) December 29
Nothing is known of Aileran’s early life. We know that St. Finian induced him to enter the monasterey at Clonard, where Aileran became known as one of the most erudite scholars of this erudite group of monks. He knew Greek as well as Latin, and studied the Eastern and Western Fathers. Aileran’s works include lives of Sts. Patrick and Brigid and a commentary on the genealogy of Jesus which was popular in the Middle Ages.
–Oct. 27: Bishop of Meath Thomas Deenihan, with the unanimous concurrence of the Irish Conference of Bishops, has announced his intent to open the cause for canonization for Jesuit Father William Doyle. Father Doyle was born in a suburb of Dublin in 1873, was ordained in the Jesuit order in 1907, and volunteered to serve as a chaplain in the British Army in World War One. He was a man noted for his holiness, as well as his bravery. Assigned to 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (16th Irish Division), he was decorated or cited several times, including the Military Cross for his conduct during the Battle of the Somme. He was killed in action August 16, 1917, during the Battle of Passchendaele, as he was attempting to save two soldiers (who were Protestant Ulstermen).
–Many religious leaders, legal experts, and parental rights advocates are very concerned about recently passed California state legislation which permits the state to remove a minor from parental authority so that the child can receive “gender-affirming health care.” There is concern that this may even be used against residents of other states whose children may be seeking such treatment in California.
–What is known as the FACE (Free Access to Clinic Entrances) Act dates from the Clinton Administration and was intended primarily as a vehicle for punishing individuals using physical force, the threat of it, or other sorts of interference with women seeking abortions. Some pro-life and religious freedon observers are pointing with alarm at the rise of some rather dubious uses of the statute by the Biden Administration. The arrest of Mark Houck in Pennsylvania is perhaps best known; however, the National Catholic Register notes more than 20 such arrests or prosecutions this year. It is less well known that the law is also supposed to apply to violence, interruption of services, and property damage occurring at places of worship and pro-life pregnancy centers. Though there have been more than 100 such incidents since the Dobbs leak in May, there is little evidence of federal law enforcment activity in this regard.
–It seems clear that fallout from the recent Dobbs decision had at least something to do with the way our recent elections played out. It looks as if the pro-abortion forces were able to capitalize on the fact that while most Americans favor restrictions on abortion, they also do not favor ending abortion. Misleading political ads and “news” seem to have convinced many that that is exactly what Dobbs is about. In addition, perhaps many were swayed by the misleading claim that henceforth women will be unable to receive necessary medical care in the event of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. We on the pro-life side have our work to do, to provide correct information as well as to change hearts and minds.
–Our bishops have registered their opposition to legislation moving through Congress: the Equality Act and the Respect for Marriage Act, both being aggressively pushed by those attempting to promote modern gender ideology and ideas of marriage and to force everyone to agree. The former measure passed the House once already, in 2021, but currently lacks the Senate votes for passage there. Unfortunately, with regard to the latter, the defection of a small group of GOP senators to side with the Democratic caucus favoring passage poses a more immediate threat.
A Merry Christmas to all.
Patrick J. Lally
[Sources consulted for this report include: Butler’s Lives of the Saints, complete edition, ed. and rev. by Herbert Thurston and Donald Attwater; 4 vols. (New York, 1956); The Liturgy of the Hours According to the Roman Rite (New York, 1975); The National Catholic Register; ewtn.com; catholic.org; priestsforlife.org; catholicnewsagency.com; usccb.org.]