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Last Sunday After Pentecost

Bishop’s Corner
Thanksgiving falls well for us this year, just after the octave day of St. Gertrude the Great. The feast day of our holy patroness (and already our eighth happy anniversary at our “new construction”) brought us much to be thankful for.

Of course, first we are thinking of our new priest, Fr. Vili Lehtoranta. Father’s father came from Finland, and eleven priests and bishops from all over the world gathered for the imposing rite of Pontifical Mass and Holy Orders. Many of our faithful attended, as did guests from Michigan and Illinois. Our web congregation was active, and one of the Indian faithful wrote from Bombay: “I was particularly touched, and my eyes were filled with tears, when Bishop Daniel Dolan consecrated the hands of the ordinand and bound his hands and then handed over the Instruments of Office of the holy priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church according to the traditional formula.”

For me as your pastor, I must say how proud of you I am, and grateful to so many who willingly helped in so many areas, for everything from secretarial to serving, sacristy and housekeeping, transportation to cooking to choir. A special thanks goes to everyone who coordinated “feeding the multitude” of hungry seminarians, priests and guests. God has blessed us with a fine congregation!

I was happy for you to be able to see so many priests from all over: Bishop Sanborn, who preached an excellent sermon, Fr. Francis Miller O.F.M. of Louisiana, Fr. Mardones of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Fr. Hecquard of France, back for the first time since his own ordination, as well as Fr. Saavedra of Detroit, Michigan, Fr. Ercoli of Seattle, Washington, and Fr. Selway of Brooksville, Florida. Thank you for your hospitality towards them. Fr. Lehtoranta will return to us after Christmas to celebrate Solemn Mass for Epiphany. In the meantime, he rejoins the five seminarians to resume his studies until the end of June.

The church certainly looked and sounded magnificent for the ordination, and an abundant and very elegant reception awaited the guests after the Mass. Heaven even favored us with much desired sunshine Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday morning for the First Mass.

The missionary’s mantle has descended upon Fr. Larrabee, who leaves for a week’s visit to Nigeria on Tuesday. We are proud of him, and grateful for his apostolic zeal. The faithful await his coming eagerly, for it has been a year since their last Mass. We had a bit of a worry, since Fr. Larrabee’s visa was late in coming, but fervent prayers to the Little Flower, St. Gertrude and St. Patrick (the unlikely patron saint of Nigeria) were heard. Now we must accompany our good Father with more prayers for a safe and fruitful trip.

I write this on the day after the ordination, the Thursday, after the First Mass. The seminarians are getting a Cincinnati/Covington church tour today, and some of the clergy have already left. We are already busy planning Advent!

But first let us give thanks for all of the Almighty’s blessings upon the Catholic Church, which has a new priest, and this church, privileged to witness and host this always moving and historical event, as well as so many moving celebrations, all of which give great glory to God, and joy to His faithful here below.

I close with a blessing in St. Gertrude the Great,
-Bishop Dolan