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Lent I

Bishop’s Corner
This shortest month, February, has been impatiently stirring with Spring ever since sunny Candlemas cast its bright shadow on this month’s most glorious feast. The robins returned for Quinquagesima and our Broadway Blackbirds, with their stirring sky spectacles, have not yet closed their show since opening in Autumn, even though we are now in Lent. Leftover cardinals, wisely avoiding the goings-on in Rome, have been frequenting my feeder daily.

Thus nature sets the scene for supernatural Spring, Ver Sacrum, Holy Lent. I hope our common theme and goal this Lent, holy charity, have inspired you. Surely a renewal, a rebirth of charity in church and conversation, in soul and prayer, would be wonderfully appealing at any season, but especially now, for Lent. Bring it on then, dear Holy Ghost, this birdsong for a weary world, just reborn the other day in ashes and dust, in prayer and penance and practices of charity. May your Lent be a blessed one, dear faithful.

We were certainly blessed on Ash Wednesday to see so many making the trip in midweek to receive their ashes, and start well their Lent. It is always touching to see unexpected souls, visitors, and dear friends from the past. One baby at the rail was so moved at the prospect of receiving ashes that he cast away his little plastic hammer, which landed safely at the feet of an angel. May we too discard those weapons of discord we so often use against our neighbor.

We witnessed a wonderful example of fraternal charity in the wake and funeral for Stella Simpson just before Lent. It was surely consoling for Tom and his family to see the church full for the funeral, with Catholics coming together for this fine work of charity. All must have been edified by the three simultaneous Masses, and the five priests together on the altar, and at the Absolution conducted by Stella’s good friend, Fr. Thielen. May she rest in peace, and may such examples of Catholics united in charity be more and more multiplied in our day.

We are happy to have Fr. McKenna back with us from Boston after his ordination, and offering his first blessing today. A new priest, the second in only three months, is a blessing to the whole Catholic Church, and to us here.

I pray the Lent we offer this year at church will be a blessing to you and your family. Get started well this week by observing First Friday with us, and All Night Adoration. Don’t forget the beloved devotion of Stations, Friday evening or Wednesday afternoon.

Keep on the lookout for signs of Spring in your own soul. May Our Lady of Charity bless your Lent!

–Bishop Dolan