December 3 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Francis Xavier Preaching to the World
December 4 – Bp. Dolan – Helping the Priest Preach
December 5 – Bp. Dolan – Noise and Silence
December 8 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Our Lady’s Inn
December 9 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Seven Martyrs of Samosata
✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
I think Christmas has come early to our Church. Of course there is the fine weather, gifts of mild sweet sun interspersed with the symbolic Advent darkness of no sun at all, but good weather so far on Advent’s Sundays. The St. Gertrude’s night snowstorm seems far away now. But I’m wondering if there isn’t more to it than that.
You see, the world, our world, is in full Christmas celebration all December long. What do you do at Christmas, if not, along with parties and gifts, go to Church, and even give God a little extra? This has been our experience here. Of course, we would like to see folk year round, but it is lovely to see old faces, and young ones suddenly all grown up, once again. Such a treat. They’ve come because it’s Christmas. Never mind the purple and brown, or even today’s rose which says, “We’re not there yet, Christ is yet to be born! Come back for Christmas.” I hope they do, but of course it is such a busy day, with the gifts and the children and the entertaining… And didn’t we just go?
Well, the world does seem to understand something about the liturgical year. These four weeks of Advent are part of the greater Christmas season, but as Lent is of Easter, i.e. its preparation. To forgo the preparation would be like showing up at a Christmas party dirty and ill dressed, and empty handed, with no gift. It isn’t done. We all need to prepare, and penance, the washing up part, is important as is getting and giving the gift, as well as to be properly dressed. In this case it is the Wedding Garment of Sanctifying Grace, as well as respectful, modest church dress.
Today we take an updated version of the old Legion of Decency promise. How needed is this. The blasphemy and filth and smut on standard prime time TV is shocking, to say nothing of the expensive Cable which some people don’t seem to be able to do without, as well as the Internet, to which too many young and old have unsupervised access. But all of that takes place in the privacy of your home. Why would you export it to church?
I refer to immodest dress for Mass, innocent girls tarted up in short skirts which would be a pervert’s dream, or done up in heels and jewelry and tight skirts which scream, “look at me!” rather than the altar. Have some mothers lost all sense of modesty? (Modesty conceals the body, even as it conceals the self, by not drawing undo attention.) Must girls be pushed into an adult world, shedding their innocence on the way? What ever happened to childhood, and modesty, to say nothing of good taste and respectful honor paid to God’s house and day? Is this some sort of an obligatory rite of passage for so many of our families? If it is, we don’t want to see it, and neither does God. Leave it at home, and come dressed modestly, for goodness’ sake. What would Our Lady say?
One hundred years ago Our Lady at Fatima predicted that “fashions would be introduced which will offend my Son very much.” This starts very young, and is brazen enough to show itself in church. Some times it strikes one as just plain silly, and out of place and poor taste, but it soon leads to offending Mary’s Son very much. But this is the season of His birth, and “for the children.” Let us all look for our innocence again, and put it on and embrace it and make the Holy Child a gift of it for His birthday.
His birthday is indeed drawing nigh, and we hope you’ll be able to help us decorate our church and grounds as beautifully as possible. General decorating is from Wednesday through Saturday. Call if you’re going to come, but please do come. Could anybody set up outdoor lights on the building and the shrines? Many thanks.
It was a pleasure having the True Restoration staff with us last weekend. How important is their work today. Listen to the broadcasts, support this apostolate which truly exemplifies Catholic Action at its best. They are there all year long to help you understand and live your Catholic faith today, and resist the apostates of New Rome.
Fr. Nkamuke wrote and sent a picture for his first Sunday Mass in Nigeria and reports all is going well so far. Thank you again for the wonderful, and most generous, sendoff you gave him. Another mission priest, our Ukrainian Eastern Rite Fr. Valerii, returns to his war torn country this week. He tried to establish himself in Poland, but it seems he “came unto his own, and his own received him not.” Now he returns, homeless, and that just before Christmas. His flat in Luhansk is in the very dangerous Russian Zone, and must be abandoned. I now need to come up with about $800 to get this poor but true Catholic priest set up in an apartment in Lviv. There I hope he will be able to rescue his fellow Ukrainian Catholics from the clutches of the one world church. Meanwhile he is offering the True Mass, without any union with apostates. Although he is alone, he is surrounded with Angels. May God bless the apostolates of our mission priests.
Our latest domestic missionary is the priest from Bos-ton, Fr. McKenna, who is doing a fine job, if a difficult one. We are trying to see if Mass just about every Sunday would be possible in Rochester, MN, with its young and growing congregation. Rochester is about equidistant from two of our other missions, St. Theresa in Grand Forks, ND, and St. Joseph in Milledge, Illinois. Six hours from both places, although the mission circuit is often connected with Milwaukee, another four and a half hours or so. A lot of driving. And there’s Bismarck which has come up too. Do pray for our priests and their winter driving.
Well, God bless the shepherds, the sheep, the ox and the ass. And wherever you fit in, God bless you! Christmas is nigh!
— Bp. Dolan
St. Gertrude the Great December, 2014 Newsletter is now available.
Why the Latin Mass? Read Fr. Anthony Cekada’s book, “Work of Human Hands”.
7:30 AM S. Pepiot, K. Maki
9:00 AM M. Briggs, Mark Lotarski, P. Arlinghaus
11:30 AM R. Uhlenbrock, P. Lotarski
5:45 PM John Seyfried