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Easter II

May Crowning 2011

Bishop’s Corner
The Holy Cross is a dear devotion of ages past, still held by us as Catholics, yet strangely forgotten. Thus it is that the Finding or the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (May 3rd and September 14) have few takers, although everyone comes to kiss the Cross twice on Good Friday, and we sign ourselves with it all day long. The office of the Holy Cross abounds in the most delightful poetry. The Mass is more sober, but triumphantly joyful. Tuesday was another cold and dark day, but I was thinking that it didn’t matter. Church was God’s garden, green and white with lilies still, and lit with warm light. We carried in the relic of the True Cross, sang its glories, and kissed it again after we renewed its Sacrifice on the altar. That night the clergy sang Vespers with the now victorious Vexilla Regis, one last time until Autumn. Our Lord must have been pleased, for the rain stopped, the sun came out, and a perfect Spring evening arrived out of the blue to finish the feast day.

We had a lovely reception for Keith and Karla Lawrence’s 25th Anniversary, last Sunday in Helfta Hall, along with a very successful Girls’ Camp Bake Sale. (Our social hall is a big and versatile room. Have you ever gone back?) Sincere thanks to all who made both work so well. Marriage, like a bake sale is a lot of work, only it lasts longer and the goods must never go stale. The Silver Anniversary for the average Catholic couple, blessed with many children, is just a brief pause for prayer and thanks in a bustling life. God bless and sustain our married folk, and all of our families.

I want to thank Gloria Zbilicki who has been helping in the sacristy for a year and a half. She left the job shortly after Easter, tuckered out I think from just how much work it is. I thank her for her help, and am so happy that Darlene and Mary Lacy and especially some of our young people are stepping forward to learn the art and help out Katie, who’s been our anchor for years now. If you would like to help, let us know. We need to assemble a Saturday morning team for the odd fifth Saturday of the month. Such a privilege to work so close to God, and all for God! If we do not seek His glory at St. Gertrude the Great, we are nothing.

Our Seminarians, Rev. Mr. Vili Lehtoranta and Mr. Fadey Bobrov have returned to Florida. It was nice having them over Holy Week and Easter. Follow them with your support and prayers. Fr. Larrabee went home on Easter, and Fr. Zapp kept him quite busy on Low Sunday, which allowed the older pastor to get some much needed rest. Fr. German Fleiss, ordained in December, spent Easter at St. Hugh of Lincoln in Milwaukee, and was a big hit. Thank God for our largest attendance for Holy Week and Easter ever. Fr. Ercoli returned to Milwaukee briefly from Seattle for an Easter Saturday wedding. Fr. Saavedra restored the tradition of Tenebrae and Solemn Services for the Triduum at Queen of Martyrs in Frasier, Michigan, with the help of Fr. Disposito and the seminarians, two of whom, like your pastor, hail from the Wolverine state.

Today – our May Crowning! As I write this I pray for good weather, and plan for any eventuality. The weather God sends is always good. Dale was going to clean out the fish pond just in case the rains hold off, and asked Fr. McGuire if he’d like to help him. Well, I know he would, but…Many are the jobs already in the life of a St. Gertrude priest. Eldon and Dale (any other helpers out there?) are entering into the busy season for maintaining our beautiful, park like grounds. The rains are slowing things down. Fr. Cekada suggests rice paddies in the lower elevations of our lawn which flood when it rains. Personally, I’m grateful for the pansies, which have given color all Spring. They are tough little soldiers, and mostly make it through the winter. They do like a cool, wet spring, and respond accordingly, clumps of color against the green, green grass.

May Our Lady be the queen of your heart, your marriage and your family. Have a home May Altar and use it daily.

With a blessing in the Blessed Mother, and every best wish for Mother’s Day.
–Bishop Dolan