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Bishop’s Corner
You see the ground torn up today as you come to church, the first step towards completing the cloister. We hope at least to lay the foundation this Spring, though I pray we are able to go through to completion. This cloister project will improve our exterior appearance, and provide an enclosed garden for prayer and meditation (as well as after-Mass visiting). The covered walkway of the cloister would provide a protected and resonant route for processions, even in bad weather. Building Fund donations are gratefully received for this unique architectural aspect of our church.

Our other Spring project (let’s not let last Wednesday’s Winter slow us down!) is a proper church sign on Rialto Road. The design of this sign incorporates the old cross which was over the steeple of our Sharonville church. I am grateful to you for your inspirations and suggestions and donations for this needed improvement which will identify us clearly to passersby, and lead more souls to Holy Mass.

By last Sunday, most of our Christmas had come down, the sun came out, and the birds sang as the church opened its pre-Springtime of the Septuagesima season for Lenten planning and preparation. We’re stressing reading this Lent, the key to many a treasure, and a pause which refreshes. Look forward to your Lent! Joyful anticipation is half the battle, perseverance the rest.

Someone wrote to say that this year’s Candle Mass was the most beautiful she had ever attended. I think this golden, glowing Mass was almost Epiphany-like in its profusion of gifts, lavished on the Child at the fortieth day of His Birth.

Father Cekada composed a polyphonic setting of the Lumen and Nunc Dimittis for the candle distribution, a “wall of sound” as he described it, perfectly executed by our choir. A full compliment of clergy and servers surrounded the Bishop at the altar, rendering majestic tribute to the Light of the World entering His earthly temple for the first time, but also touchingly demonstrating Catholic unity, sometimes rare in these dark and divided days.

Our local and out of town faithful and guests who stayed to supper were met in Helfta Hall with an impressive array of soups, lined up like soldiers in a dozen crock pots. Mark Lotarski, who provided the preparations for the feast, had a late night inspiration to print up blue and white illustrated Purification placemats. What a memorable touch for a grand evening! The Pattons get first prize for attendance, having doubled their numbers from ten to twenty. February 2nd is Bud’s birthday, and we’re so glad he and the family celebrated it with us.

Thus ended with holy light and good soup that sweet, sunny day which spelled Spring, and Easter, on its way.

The next day the young Fathers all went into missionary mode. Fr. McGuire went to Milwaukee and the missions as is his wont, and now-Fr. McKenna to Boston to prepare for yesterday’s ordination. Fr. Larrabee had quite an adventure flying to Great Forks, North Dakota (which included a five-hour bus trip), arriving only very late at night. The next morning he baptized a baby, churched the mother, heard confessions and offered Mass for the young but enthusiastic and growing St. Teresa Mission. A tired missionary returned to home base on Saturday evening in time to assist us on Sunday (this Sunday he is offering all four Masses) and resume teaching in our privileged little school on Monday.

Pray for priests, especially our latest one, ordained yesterday in Boston. A full report is promised for next Sunday.

May St. Valentine fill you with a love which leads to God, and inspire some wholesome R & R this Carnivaltide before the rigors of Holy Lent.

Oh, I wanted to thank you for asking about Caravaggio. Candlemas saw him in the pink of health, merrily stalking one of Fr. Cekada’s shoes in which he (Caravaggio, not Fr. C) had deposited one of his cat toys. Such ingenuity! Puccini has turned out to be a far less complicated cat, content with his daily routine.

May we be with ours, even as we look forward to Lent with great love.

May the love of the Sacred Heart fill your own!
–Bishop Dolan