Bishops, Priests, & Seminarians participating in the January retreat given by Bp. Dolan.
February 21 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Germanus, Friend of His Enemies
February 24 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Matthias, An Honorable Servant
February 25 – Fr. McKenna – The Agony in the Garden
February 26 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Margaret, Penitent Daughter
February 27 – Fr. McKenna – St. Gabriel of the Seven Sorrows
FROM FATHER MCGUIRE
Bp. Dolan and Fr. Cekada recently did a very interesting Intenet radio show on sports in our modern day culture. This is always a very controversial topic, but one which does need to be addressed. Their point is not to condemn sports in themselves since these are a legitimate form of recreation, but to address the modern approach to sports.
The modern day attitude towards sports is one of contention and of pride rather than of enjoyment and simple recreation. To the athlete, winning is everything; and if they lose, they give in to anger, envy and sins of all kinds. As in everything, those who desire their sanctification must be virtuous in every action of their daily lives – even in sports.
We who enjoy sports – myself included – ought to examine ourselves to see if this is not true with regard to ourselves.
St. Sebastian, pray for us!
The next show – Sport II – is scheduled for March. Check Restoration Radio for exact date and time.
✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
I am writing this by exception on a Friday, and on the last Friday of February. If you have not yet managed to attend even to the meaning of the second month’s name (“to purify by sacrifice,” some say) then despair not. Good St. Joseph’s month brings us Lent, come Wednesday, with its ashes. Regardless of what the weatherman says (Winter still it seems, with storms and rumors of storms) it is Spring for the soul. Out of struggle and every spiritual storm, the soul is meant to be reborn these forty days, purified by sacrifice. Our sacrifices, great and small, our penance and almsdeeds and prayers are to be purged and purified, and we with them, in union with Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the supreme act of adoration.
I was very edified to hear from Fr. McGuire, who volunteered to offer an early morning Mass each week, that on some recent dark cold morning he had “seven at six.” Seven souls at 6 AM! May this bode well for weekday Mass, at least for Lent, for it is a staple for any spiritual program, or parish, and our great weakness at St. Gertrude the Great.
The rest of our Lenten program we have been busy planning these last of the “ ’gesima” days. We have our Children’s Day of Recollection on St. Joseph’s Day, a most fitting combination. We are also planning a Saturday Altar Boys Day! with games and fun and pizza for our proud pages of the sanctuary.
St. Patrick’s Day will have its Solemn Mass, as will St. Thomas Aquinas this First Friday, for he is the patron of schools. The Annunciation is our day of Eucharistic Adoration and pro-life prayer. Last year we had a Saturday of Recollection for adults. Would anyone be interested? Already our schedule seems to be filling up!
I would be delighted to have your ideas or suggestions. Last Sunday we had a “Question Box” session in Helfta after High Mass. It seemed to be well received, as we covered big topics (scapulars, indulgences, witches) in little time. Some questions were comments, but that was good, too. I do need to watch staying close to the microphone for the Sunday sermon.
Of course, the staple of our Lent at St. Gertrude (along with the annual theme and the daily devotional) is surely our Friday Evenings of Recollection, the “Holy Sacrifice, Soup and Stations” you could call them. This year we will be featuring a candlelight adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for five minutes, after a mini-meditation. “Come, let us adore Him.” Venite adoremus! Perhaps our beloved Christmas hymn could be our Lenten anthem.
This Friday morning, last before Lent, the light is positively Springlike, even though the predictions call for more Winter. Life’s struggle, through sin and sickness and every kind of separation, will one day yield to Christ the Light, the Morning Star (as we sing at Holy Saturday’s Exsultet at Lent’s end) “which knows no setting.”
In the meantime, we’re watching with Pat Harpen who is dying at Hospice, as well as with all of our sick and shut in, our children and families, singles and oldsters, and Poor Souls. Keep watch with us, won’t you, all through this Lent until our late Easter dawns with its promise of victory.
This week will be a busy one for our faithful faithful, with “midweek services” on Wednesday (as devout Protestants always do) but for the ashes and Lent’s good start. Please don’t miss participation in Friday’s All Night Adoration, for that is what it is all about this year, the highest act of the virtue of religion: adoration, our Lenten theme.
Come, let us adore Him! Behold our Lent, planned out for us.
With a blessing in Good St. Joseph’s name,
– Bishop Dolan