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Pentecost XXIV

Bishop’s Corner
These short sunny days of November we await a hard freeze which many years never comes. The garden goes to sleep a bit at a time, and winter’s approach is gentle. May it be so this year. I am admiring nature’s forgiving bounty this week, contemplating a chrysanthemum in my garden. We had a few little white ones at the Easter Altar of Repose. They lay forgotten in the sacristy during April, and slowly died. I hate to see waste, so on impulse I planted the last living mum one busy Spring afternoon. I must confess my neglect, for the poor plant had little in the way of food or water. Yet, how forgiving God’s nature is. The mum bloomed a second time, abundant snow white blossoms prostrate on the ground as before God’s presence, full of Fall’s fragrance as store-bought plants never are. Take ten minutes today to do something you’re usually too busy to do. The little reward may be great.

May God reward everyone who gave time and talent and travel, and much prayer, for our Three Days of Grace and Glory: Christ the King, All Saints’ and All Souls’. Glorious and grace filled they were. The regal sanctuary honored our King, as did his little saint courtiers in costume. How we enjoyed the “sainted” children! All Saints’ is a day of sacrifice for so many to hear the Holy Day Mass on a work day. Anymore, we have almost as many on a holy day as on a Sunday, and a good group for the waning days of October Devotions, which Pope Leo XIII extended, sensibly enough, through All Souls’ Day.

Three days of church in a row would be difficult for many, and there was Election Day to contend with as well. While the Poor Souls lost out to the polls, still there was a steady little stream of the Church Militant at the Masses, and making indulgenced visits. Get your indulgence for the Poor Souls this afternoon for the Rosary Cemetery Visit. Keep all of November sacred for the suffering souls.

Pray for priests. In Mexico, Fr. Mardones’ life has been threatened unless he pays extortion money, but Fr. Siordia says this happens to him all the time and to just hang up the phone. It is a side effect of the Drug Wars, a general anarchy in Mexican society. This is fed by the American appetite for drugs, of course. Fr. Ercoli has returned safe from Nigeria and South Africa, a fruitful and apostolic visit. Deo Gratias. More thanks for our French fathers and faithful; A live World War II era bomb, dropped by the English, was found during construction under Fr. Roger’s St. Pius V church in Rennes. It was defused “without incident” and all is well. Would that all bombs, especially near our churches, could similarly be defused. They could of course … by prayer. Over the years many have lived to tell the tale.

Plan to participate in our annual 40 Hours Devotion November 19-21, with Friday evening opening Mass, Procession and All Night Adoration. We are giving thanks for the thirty years this congregation, and Christ our Eucharistic King, have been in a beautiful church building; first in Sharonville and now seven years (already!) in West Chester. The bombs are always defused, it seems, as the mercies of the Sacred Heart are without limit. How much generous perseverance He inspires in His faithful!

Fr. Cekada is off to the seminary this afternoon. All of your clergy will be heading there next month for the ordination of our next priest on December 15, Fr. German Fleiss. After ordination and further studies Fr. Fleiss, who hails from Argentina, will join the teaching staff at Most Holy Trinity Seminary. We look forward to welcoming the new priest and receiving his blessing at Epiphany.

Today I am visiting St. Gertrude for Mass, and the Baptism and Confirmation of an adult convert. “I thought this was St. Gertrude,” you might well think. Well, we have a little mission in Albuquerque, named for New Mexico’s patroness, and our own. By God’s grace we are hoping to revive the chapel, and serve souls in the Southwest. Thank you for your prayers.

Thanks for your prayers, too, for all of our sick. Today is Ernie Nellenbach’s patron saint, St. Ernest, crusader, Abbot and Martyr. Thursday was Fr. McGuire’s, St. Charles Borromeo, patron of Bishops, Sunday schools, and seminarians, who did so much to provide for the plague victims, and get them Sacraments. Fr. McGuire and Fr. Larrabee are very zealous in visiting our far flung faithful. Fr. Larrabee went all the way up to Circleville after classes last week to bring Holy Communion to Betty Jolliffe and son Alex, dear and generous faithful for so many years.

As we approach our anniversary and feast day I thank the Sacred Heart for your fidelity. May it mirror His own: stable, selfless, seeking only God’s glory, anchored in love.

I send a blessing today all the way from New Mexico.
–Bishop Dolan