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Bishop’s Corner
Already, after an interval of only a few months, the Catholic Church has another priest forever. The fervent prayers of the faithful were answered, and all went well, beautifully, for the great day in Boston’s Sacred Heart Church. This church was beautifully restored by the Third Order Dominican Brothers there, who also gave one of their number, a priest to answer Our Lord’s plea to “restore my Church.” Thus Br. John, T.O.P., became Father Stephen McKenna during the course of a Solemn Pontifical Mass. Fr. McGuire, our new Fr. Lehtoranta, and our expert MC Mr. Richard Vande Ryt ably assisted at the altar, and 150 of the faithful filled the pews on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes last Saturday morning. Three venerable priests who had worked together over the years to assure weekly Mass for the brothers and faithful, were also in assistance and imposed hands on the ordinand.

Ever since the Ordination date was fixed last summer, I’ve been praying and urging prayers for good weather, as winter events are always dicey to schedule. Sure enough, out of nowhere this mild winter came a prediction of two to four inches of the white stuff for the ordination day. This, of course, was only to try us and glorify God in His saints. I thank Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Bernadette, St. Scholastica and St. Therese that there was not a single snowflake to be seen! The sun came out during the Canon on Saturday, and showed fully during Sunday’s First Solemn High Mass.

This ordination proved to be timely as well. No sooner had the new priest returned from taking Fr. McGuire and me to the airport Sunday evening, than an emergency sick call came in for one of the faithful, and Fr. McKenna was on his way to give Last Rites for the first time. Our Lady provides perfectly for those who love her.

I think we saw another example of this in the touching death of Stella Simpson on St. Valentine’s Day. This pious soul, patiently suffering for so long, had devoutly received the last Sacraments from Fr. Thielen a few days before. We extend our sympathy to her husband, Tom, who for many years was in charge of our servers and served as expert MC, as well as to Charles and Bev Simpson, and their children, all very active members of our church. May their strong faith serve as solace in this time of separation and loss.

Today we mark the first anniversary of the death of Bernie Brueggemann at the High Mass. His lively spirit of supernatural faith, and deep charity, will never be forgotten. Do continue to remember his soul, and all of our dear deceased, in your prayers.

After a few more days of “carnival,” as they used to call the Mardi Gras season, it will be time for all of us to receive our ashes, remember our end, and begin another Lent. This year’s theme is Charity, and the daily devotional will help you to do spiritual reading and meditate a bit, if only you will set aside the time. Ditto for daily Mass, Stations, and so many more traditional and
fruitful Lenten practices.

There has been a request for a Lenten Adult Day of Recollection. Any takers for a Saturday? Also, I thought I’d offer something quite different this year, “March Movies.” I’ve come across some edifying and really beautiful films, which would be a good way to spend some of your Sunday afternoon. Details in the bulletin.

New Fr. McKenna returns this week, and will be offering one of his “first Masses” next Sunday, with a reception in his honor after the 9AM Mass and first blessing. Father will be with us through June, as he finishes his studies under Fr. Cekada’s tutelage. This will enable Fr. McGuire and Fr. Larrabee to attend to the missions this Spring, helping our far flung flocks with the life giving Sacraments. Pray with me that no one be left unattended or forgotten.

Lent begins! The trumpet sounds the Solemn Fast! Let us gather our pious enthusiasm and meet again on Wednesday, and resolve to meet the Lord in quiet prayer each morning of this, the soul’s springtime, in quiet reading and prayer. Let us meet for Stations of the Cross, and Stations come alive in the Sacrifice of the Altar. Let us pray to grow in charity after the example of Him,
whose charity is greatest of all.

May Our Lady of Charity bless you for a blessed Lent!
–Bishop Dolan