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Pentecost XVII

Bishop’s Corner
I wrote this corner last Thursday morning, after a turbulent, jet lag night, wondering amidst my tossings what time I needed to get up, what chapel I was going to, and in what language I was meant to preach. Ever have a night like that? (Well, not the preaching part, necessarily.) Still, all told I had an excellent apostolic trip, and I thank Our Lady and the Little Flower, and you for your prayers.

It was hot, summer hot, in Brittany for my last Sunday in France. They call this late September heat wave “St. Michael’s Summer.” It was good then to return home to St. Gertrude’s early Autumn. The calm greens and golds here made for a sharp contrast with the grim greys of urban Rennes. St. Pius V church is in a rented building in an area mostly destroyed during WWII, and rebuilt with wall to wall apartment buildings afterwards. Its central location near “La Gare,” the train station, make it easy of access, and faithful flow into its humble chapel in amazing numbers all week long. I am always so edified at the daily Mass attendance, Fr. Roger’s growing school (near fifty now), many young people, and dedicated choir which sings all of the Gregorian propers each Sunday.

I don’t recall ever being gone for three consecutive Sundays, but I was happy to make this sacrifice so that our faithful in France would not have to do without the Holy Sacrifice on Sunday. Besides, I knew you here were in good hands.

Furthermore this was an excellent opportunity for me to get to know each chapel, its condition and needs, and to spend time with the priests, religious and faithful. Usually a bishop passes through town relatively quickly. There is an important ceremony (with all of its necessary preparations), a dinner, perhaps, and it’s time to pack and leave. I was glad to linger this time to preach more frequently, to give conferences to religious and young people, to visit the school, and to listen to all kinds of people. How different the situation is in France, and yet how similar to our own! How encouraged we should all be at the enthusiasm everywhere, and solid growth.

Thank you for your understanding at my absence, and your prayers. Thanks especially for all of the Rosary Confraternity work for last Sunday and this, and for your extra attendance at church these great days of the Forty Hours. We’re happy to have our seminarians with us again this weekend, and promise the Reverend Mr. Lehtoranta our prayers in view of his priestly ordination here next month on St. Gertrude’s Day. Priests from different countries are planning to be with us that Wednesday morning, November 16th, and I hope you will be, too.

We have two Blessed Sacrament processions scheduled for today. The morning Rosary procession with the Blessed Sacrament is to “make up” for the missed Corpus Christi procession, due to last June’s rain. This evening’s little Procession around the church closes these Forty Hours of solemn eucharistic prayer. Let us forevermore adore the Most Blessed Sacrament!

Forty Hours will have energized our devotion, I know, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to assemble the troops for Thursday’s closing Rosary Fatima Procession for Peace. This beautiful candlelight prayer shares with the public our faithful witness to Jesus and Mary. Come swell our numbers with your presence, and take home enough peace to last you through next May 13th!

Mothers and little saints, be thinking now who you will be for our All Saints procession on Christ the King Sunday, October 30th. Fathers and mothers, remind each other and the little ones to say some decades at the table right after dessert. Nobody move, just pull out the rosaries and light a candle and start. How sweet it is to end the family dinner hour with prayer, the very best prayer possible.

You have been in my prayers all along these days. May your spiritual harvest be rich this October.

Yours in Our Lady of the Rosary,
-Bishop Dolan