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The Epiphany. January 6. Period.

January 11, 2021 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By FR. JAMES ALTMAN

Dear family, when we look at the USCCB — that organization that somehow is supposed to lead U.S. Catholics deeper into the universal Truth — the always and everywhere Truths of the faith — and not — most definitively is not supposed to be an organization dependent upon the personal opinions of those who currently rule in it. Remember Joseph Bernardin from Chicago in the 1970s and Theodore McCarrick in the early 2000s as archbishop of Washington, D.C. When we look at the USCCB we should find the Truth — the unchanged and unchangeable Truth — and not some watered down, namby-pamby Catholic Lite. We should not seek and find Catholic Lite represented in the predilections of Bernardin and McCarrick.
We could go into countless examples of how such lite-ness has infiltrated and weakened and emasculated the approach to holiness that was the hallmark of all the saints and martyrs. Let it suffice for today to recognize that the USCCB has designated the day I write this column — January 5 — as the Tuesday after Epiphany.
But we know better. We know how utterly ridiculous is that change because we know that the Epiphany is on January 6. Being that today only is January 5, today could not possibly be the Tuesday after Epiphany. That is to say, it would be impossible for today to be a day after the Epiphany because the Epiphany has not yet happened.
We won’t go into it, but as I mentioned at some of my Sunday Holy Masses, just recognize in this designation yet another perfect example of the weakness into which the Catholic Church has been led by the fact that truly major feast days — like Ascension Thursday — get transferred to Sundays because weak Catholic leadership can’t seem to inspire a sufficient number of Catholics to come to Holy Mass even on Sundays, much less major feast days.
It is just another sign of how our lives used to revolve around all things that led us into Eternity, but now, whether or not the many even go to Sunday Holy Mass revolves, at best, around whether it will fit into their many other temporal pursuits — at worst, the many just don’t come regardless.
It is another fine example of the modernist errors into which so many baptized Catholics have been led because so many baptized Catholics simply accepted all the insanity and nonsense that took place in the era following Vatican II.
Why is that so, that so many accepted all the insanity and nonsense? For the same reason so many Americans today are accepting the Godless socialist globalist agenda of so many left-wing political and religious leaders. It’s easier. In the modernist political arena, let the GUV-ment take care of me. Let the GUV-ment be my nanny. In the modernist church arena, it has become “nothing matters because everyone goes to Heaven.”
And — it should go without saying — when the GUV-ment leaders and the Church leaders have become bosom buddies, our temporal lives and our eternal lives are in mortal and immortal danger.
When both government leaders and Church leaders are echoing the same Godless globalist mantras — like “build back better” — let us buckle our seatbelts for a very rough ride. The ride will be a rough one because, dear family, make no mistake about it: “build back better” is a euphemism for Godless modernist one-world government and Godless modernist one-world religion. We do not have to look much further than the watered-down, Catholic Lite designation for today as the Tuesday after Epiphany.
So let us this day call to mind two great saints of the Catholic Church. Firstly, January 4 was the feast day of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She was born August 28, 1774 — two years before the Declaration of Independence. Speaking of which — those were real men, who risked everything because they knew the inescapable, self-evident Truth that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton died January 4, 1821, at the age of just 46. She is the first person born in what would become the United States to be canonized by the Catholic Church (September 14, 1975). How did her life of faith rise to the level of sainthood? The short story is that she endured greatest suffering. She lost her mother at the age of three, and lost a stepmother thereafter.
Her family pretty much lost everything and was bankrupt. She married at age 20, but her husband died in 1803, leaving her with children to support. It was after his death that she converted to the Catholic Church. She established the first Catholic girls’ school in the nation in Emmitsburg, Md., where she also founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity. That’s the very short story of a convert who endured so much, yet did so much amidst all she endured. That is an example of heroic virtue utterly lacking in the Catholic lite of our day.
The saint for January 5 is St. John Neumann. He was a Catholic priest from Bohemia. He immigrated here in 1836, where he was ordained and later became the fourth bishop of Philadelphia. He is the first United States bishop to be canonized. While bishop of Philadelphia, Neumann founded the first Catholic diocesan school system in the United States!
Now get this: Anti-Catholicism always has been the case in the U.S. I could tell you some horror stories from U.S. history. For now, just consider this: Discouraged by conflict as well as by anti-Catholic riots and arson of religious buildings, Neumann wrote to Rome asking to be replaced as bishop, but Pope Pius IX insisted that he continue. He died at the age of just 48.
Dear family, let us reject all things Catholic Lite as we look for guidance on the unchanged and unchangeable Truth and strive to emulate such holy saints as St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. John Neumann. Let us not succumb to Catholic Lite where true feast days — such as Ascension Thursday — are transferred to Sundays for convenience, because a faith of convenience quickly becomes no faith at all.
Lest there be any doubt about the absurdity of transferring feast days — if you do not believe me — consider that if we can just transfer the Epiphany or Ascension Thursday to whatever Sunday the Lite people choose, then how about if we transfer Christmas, December 25 to whatever Sunday is most convenient?! Or, as has generally been the case now for about ten months, how about if we just make attendance not obligatory? Then we do not have to even worry about attendance in the first place! Oh yes, dear family, the absurdity of transferring Christmas for convenience is no different than the absurdity of transferring Ascension Thursday and the Epiphany for convenience.
Instead, let us realize that the life of a saint is anything but convenient. And let us seek and find — and follow — those holy leaders who inspire us to live a saintly, virtuous life, so that one day we might join such heroic saints in the halls of Heaven.

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