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Advent I

Click the image above for a slideshow from the ordination of Rev. Vili Lehtoranta to the Holy Priesthood

Bishop’s Corner
We still remember with gratitude our wonderful St. Gertrude’s week, whose octave closed last Wednesday, November 23rd. That momentous week opened, fittingly enough, with an afternoon act of charity for the Poor Souls, and two of our dear dead in particular. On November 13th, the Rosary Confraternity met with a sizable contingent of our Kentucky cousins (you can always count on them on that side of the river) to pray the full Rosary in procession at beautiful St. John’s cemetery in Ft. Wright. Four of our faithful are buried there, including Bernie and Rita Brueggemann. (Rita’s birthday was St. Gertrude’s day).

The weather was wonderfully evocative of the Poor Souls that winsome and windy afternoon, which finally gave way, through parting clouds, to Autumn sun. I was glad of the opportunity to visit the grave of Bernie and Rita, and spend some time there in prayer. Gone, (and Bernie gone under such circumstances!) but their good works live after them, and they will not be forgotten.

Three deaths in a row followed our great week of St. Gertrude, which gave the Church a Priest Forever. Pray for them, and all of our dead wont you? And thank God we have one more priest “to offer Sacrifice for the living and dead.” (Ordination Ceremony)

Larry Adams was for years a long distance church member from Muncie, Indiana. His piety, self sacrifice and generosity led him to make the long drive to hear Holy Mass at St. Gertrude at regular intervals, as well as to remember our church in his will. Pray for him as for a benefactor but also a needy soul. His family buried him without Catholic rites, indeed with a Protestant lady preacher presiding. Needless to say, we gave him his Requiem, Rosary and Absolution.

As I write this, we are still praying and trying to convince the family of Alex Bearov not to cremate his body, but to give it the respect due of proper Christian burial. Alex, a long time invalid, was the son of the later Betty Joliffe, an active member of St. Clare, distinguished for her generosity. Keep them all, and all our dead, in your prayers.

To turn to the living, tomorrow Loraine Gates turns 93 and Paulina Straus 86. Keep these intrepid ladies in your prayers, and pray for a like perseverance. Helen Mahsling, one of our dear faithful, for years attended first the 7:30 and then the 9 AM Mass, but can’t drive anymore. She sends her best from the Cottingham Home. She lives just about across the street from Richard and Elizabeth Smith, who are doing better, and thank you for your prayers.

Speaking of prayers, don’t forget our African missionary Fr. Larrabee, traveling around Nigeria offering Masses, hearing confessions, and performing a wedding. Let us earnestly pray for Father to have a fruitful trip, and return to us safely. I’m sure he will have some interesting stories.

Advent! This short, sweet season of sacrifice fares far worse than its brother, Lent. Advent is forgotten even by the devout and well-intentioned, as “creeping Christmas” overshadows it, like some luxuriant weed in our garden. Do make your resolutions, your prayers and sacrifices, and stick to them. Set up the stable, but keep it empty, save for the straw, one wisp at a time, for each extra prayer and sacrifice. Prepare His way. Keep the holy watch with us this First Friday night in Adoration. Hear extra Masses, with Communion, in reparation. Make a home Holy Hour in intercession for all of our needs. Give something to the Building Fund, St. Anthony’s Bread, or the Little Church, in thanksgiving.

I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one, and that you will continue it, your thanksgiving, all the way to Christmas.

St. Gertrude guide you on your way!

-Bishop Dolan