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Lent III

This week’s bonus sermon from Ash Wednesday: A Pile of 70 or 80 Calendars

Bishop’s Corner
March is certainly the month for weather, isn’t it? Heavy humidity and overcast skies bring us unhealthy, unwelcome warmth and rush the flowers out of the earth. Then the wet turns cold to threaten the blossoms with a wintry blast. Still, we do manage the odd few hours of some springtime, perfect, just perfect, in its sun and air. No wonder Lent falls mostly in March. May storms bypass your soul, and spiritual spring make its march gentle and steady towards Easter.

What a pleasant surprise was St. Joseph’s morn. One minute (it seemed) there was only a handful of clients of good St. Joseph, hearing his Mass in the dark church. When I returned, it was flooded with sunlight, and filled with faithful, turned out of their Saturday sleep-ins to keep the feast. The Provider of the Holy Family was afterwards also honored by an elegant Breakfast Buffet. Everyone enjoyed it, and many lingered at the hospitable table. St. Joseph’s poor even received a few offerings as well, gathered on his specially decorated altar in Helfta Hall.

At a certain point in Lent, it seems we do a lot of eating, but always for a good, liturgical purpose. Mostly now it is confined to our modest after Mass “Friday feed,” to keep body and soul together for Stations and the evening service.

I must again thank those who are feeding our fast this Lent so handsomely. I mean not only food in due measure (Josephlike) but also uplifting music for the ears and soul, and shrines and altars for the eyes and heart. Thanks to God’s goodness and the generosity of many, we are always well fed at St. Gertrude the Great.

There’s enough food here to go around, and we don’t want to waste any. So, the Fathers fanned out last week to feed the hungry. Fr. Larrabee used Monday’s school holiday to visit again an older Catholic couple in Albany, Kentucky, otherwise long without Mass. Fr. McGuire went to St. Isidore mission in Central Illinois for their feast day. Fr. Cekada has been teaching and doing more music work at the Seminary. He reports that Fr. Selway is recovering from knee surgery, and Bishop Sanborn had been a bit under the weather, but is better now. Keep them, and all of our clergy, in your prayers, won’t you?

As March concludes, renew your intention to pray and sacrifice for vocations. Send a a Lenten alms to our Seminary. It’s your future! Signs of good American vocations are appearing, but they need our help to reach their goal of serving us.

Persevere in your Lent. Make the Stations. Pop into church (or make the long pilgrimage) for an extra, “just for love” Holy Mass. Thursday is Mid Lent day. Friday and Saturday we must consecrate the new month of April to the Heart of Jesus and Mary. It would be nice to see some new faces starting First Fridays. Pass it on to your children or grandchildren: your faith, your First Friday observance, the Lenten Children’s day, and all the rest. Do you think you’ll regret the efforts you made, come Judgement Day?

May St. Joseph’s just and holy Heart lead you and yours to the Heart of Jesus and Mary this week.
-Bishop Dolan