Skip to content

Irish priest: Christians should stop saying 'Christmas' and 'Easter'

By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
11/20/2017 (3 months ago)
Catholic Online (

Labels have become secularized and commercialized.

An Irish Catholic priest has asked Christians to give up the words 'Christmas' and 'Easter,' because they have been hijacked by secular culture. Fr. Desmond O'Donnell says they should be replaced with new words that are distinctly Christian. 

What are Christmas and Easter without Christ?

What are Christmas and Easter without Christ?


By Marshall Connolly (Catholic Online)
Catholic Online (
11/20/2017 (3 months ago)

Published in Christmas / Advent

Keywords: Fr. Desmond O'Donnell, Christmas, Easter, labels, secularism, commercialism

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- A well-known Irish priest has called for the adandonment of 'Christmas' and 'Easter' by Christians because the names have been hijacked by secularists and commercialized beyond meaning. Fr. Desmond O'Donnell, who has written several influential books, says the words should be replaced. 

Fr. O'Donnell says he isn't targeting or criticizing non-believers, but that the holiday labels are 'lost.' 'We need to let it go, it's already been hijacked, and we just need to recognize and accept that,' he said. 

"I am simply asking that space be preserved for believers for whom Christmas has nothing to do with Santa and reindeer.

He added: "My religious experience of true Christmas, like so many others, is very deep and real, like the air I breathe. But non-believers deserve and need their celebration too, it's an essential human dynamic and we all need that in the toughness of life.

"I'm just trying to rescue the reality of Christmas for believers by giving up 'Christmas' and replacing it with another word.

"I'm all for Christians choosing to celebrate Christmas by going out for meals and enjoying a glass of wine, but the commercialization of anything is never good."

Fr. O'Donnell ended by warning that secularism would 'continue to launder the Church' unless Catholics address the change in the meaning of the word Christmas, from a holy day to a secularized phenomenon. 

In recent years, a growing backlash to the commercialization of the holidays has developed, especially Christmas. Black Friday shopping is especially detested as an orgy of commercialism hypocritically scheduled for mere hours following a day on which Americans at least give thanks for what they have (Thanksgiving). 

Fr. O'Donnell did not propose any new terms to replace Christmas and Easter, and it is unlikely his call to action will gain any traction. However, he is making a noteworthy point, which is that the Christian celebrations of Easter and Christmas have virtually nothing to do with the faith from which they originated. We, the Christians of the world, are responsible for this fact. 

Support FREE Catholic Education


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2018 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for FEBRUARY 2018
Say 'No' to Corruption.
That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.


More Advent & Christmas

Advent? What is it all about

What is Advent? The word Advent derives from the Latin word meaning coming. The Lord is coming. We may reflect that every year at this time we celebrate his coming , so that in a sense we can lose the feeling of expectancy and joyful anticipation, because at the end of the season, everything seems to return to pretty much the same routine. If that is the case, then our preparation may have been lacking ... continue reading

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace... continue reading

Advent Daily Readings

Daily Scripture Readings for Advent The weeks of Advent remind us to set aside some of the hectic business of the holiday season, and to quietly reflect on the promise of the baby born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. The Bible readings listed below relate to the Advent themes of waiting, preparation, light in the darkness, and the coming of the promised Messiah. continue reading

Build Family Tradition
Christmas Gifts

Ideas to Make Your Christmas Special
Traditions From Around The World
Christmas Quotes

More Advent & Christmas News

Pope Francis's 'Urbi et Orbi' message (Full Text) Watch

Image of Pope Francis wants us to remember children who suffer due to war and poverty.

Pope Francis on Christmas Day said the commemoration of Christ's birth is an occasion to remember and pray for every child who suffers due ... continue reading

Pope Francis sends powerful message out on Christmas Watch

Image of Pope Francis reminds us to reach out to the vulnerable.

Pope Francis said the birth of Jesus is an invitation for all Christians to imitate him in reaching out to embrace the vulnerable and all ... continue reading

A beautiful prayer to help with Christmas disappointment Watch

Image of What to pray when you are disappointed.

Since you came to Jesus, you've prayed, you've had faith in the Lord and you've done the best you could to meet God halfway - but now, near ... continue reading

The world's suffering little ones - don't forget them this Christmas Watch

Image of Too many children will go without this Christmas.

Imagine hearing a knock at your front door. As you open the door, to your great surprise you see a baby lying in front of you. Without ... continue reading

Prepare for the Lord: Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus Watch

Image of Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus.

During Advent, we should prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus like we joyfully prepare our homes for a visit from a family member or ... continue reading

The Advent and Christmas Season... by

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.