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Advent IV

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

Bishop’s Corner

It looks like our Autumn has indeed lingered through Advent, with sweet sunny days, as well as mild wet ones. Winter, doubtless, is waiting in the wings, but for once is waiting its turn until St. Thomastide, the Winter Solstice. Soon enough.

We are all of us meant to take a leaf from meek Winter’s book and wait at Advent, wait quietly and hopefully (NB: correct use of a much abused adverb) for the coming of our God to save us. Like desperately needy children waiting for Santa’s ear, we should be rehearsing our list, so nothing is missed. Don’t miss out on these days of grace and wonder, lost in a world of lists and running and doing. God is waiting ever so patiently for you. Make Him some time in your day today, so there will be some place in your soul, as well as your life, when Mary and Joseph and the donkey come your way, unexpectedly looking for shelter for the Little One.

Oh, but we’re busy at church too. The altar shone in white and blue for Mary Immaculate, the church rang with clear children’s voices, and many of you found time, or made it, for your Holy Day Mass. (The 7 AM “Workers Mass” is getting popular.) Mary’s white gave way to dusty rose (a good match with the dawn last Sunday, I noted on the way over) for Gaudete/Rejoice Sunday. And while the cookies never came through, the crafts were available in abundance. Come back and take a second look this morning. It’s for a good cause.

The decorations are going up a bit early, but this is only prudent, because one never knows if Winter will weary of its wait, and the city slip on its surplice of snow before the feast. The choir is singing away, preparing their best for the King every Lord’s Day, as well as for the blessed night of His Birth. I’m pleased to see more men joining the choir, and just plain edified at everyone’s devotion.

May your devotion increase as the days decrease, these last ones before He comes–the Light of the World. Don’t delay your Christmas confession. Pray, too, for many “Christmas Catholics” to show up, and welcome them, those wayward Bethlehmites, who come at last to “see this thing that is come to pass.” “I must dwell in thy house this day.”

Help us out this week with the decorating if you can. Remember to bring a little something to share with others after Midnight Mass. Be sure to give us your intentions for that so powerful prayer we begin each Christmas–a Novena of Masses.

Help yourself this week, and help the Holy Child find His way into your heart by pausing for prayer, by whispering Hail Marys, by smiling even if. . . ; by saying yes to archangels who announce God’s will to you.

A Blessed Advent of our God to you and yours!

–Bishop Dolan