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Lent V – Passion Sunday

Save these dates for the St. Gertrude the Great Girls’ Camp!
Girls ages 5 – 16+ are welcome to join us on July 11th, 12th and 13th for three days of fun and spiritual activities. We will be joined by three Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas for days filled with camp favorites such as archery, scrapbooking and of course, the popular Ice Cream Social. We’ll also have our second “annual” canoe trip (age appropriate), overnight camping and bonfire again. New activities for this summer include origami, cake decorating, making a personalized Rosary and some surprises! Come join the fun! The cost of this camp is funded by the generous donations of our sponsors.

Bishop’s Corner
All of nature, it seemed, was in bloom for Laetare weekend, and rejoice we did. The school children sang a heartrendingly sweet St. Patrick’s Breastplate (“I bind unto myself today”) on Saturday morning just as I was finishing my Mass at St. Joseph’s altar, beside St. Patrick’s shrine. The Solemn High Mass was celebrated by a bona fide son of Erin, and the sacred ministers wore white and green dalmatics we never before had occasion to use. The altar was all white and green and gold for this beloved saint, whose patronage extends even to our dear Nigerians. Afterwards we gathered for an enjoyable festive breakfast, one of two meals Mark Lotarski provided for this weekend.

For Sunday we went to rose, and rejoiced at the thought of the Resurrection, soon to come. Fr. McKenna ministered to the faithful still of St. Clare, now comfortably housed in a beautifully-fitted domestic chapel. Fr. Larrabee assisted me here, while Fr. Cekada, having caught the bug that’s going around, nevertheless played and sang for another beautiful High Mass. That afternoon he flew to Florida, where he was soon stricken as well by “Spring Fever” (as were some of us here), i.e. afflicted by allergies, severe because Spring came with Summer strength, and of a sudden.

But, “no rest for the wicked,” as my mother used to say. Monday’s Solemn Mass for good St. Joseph was a bit of a scramble due to a scheduling mix-up, but everything proceeded serenely for the “quiet saint.” The traditional procession and hot cross bun blessing followed Mass, and then a nice lunch. Vespers with the school children alternating with clergy closed this perfect feast day, or rather Our Lord did, giving His Eucharistic blessing to those who “kept the feast” as Christians used to, and sometimes manage yet today. Thanks be to God for three days of grace, and your generosity for St. Joseph’s Table. The poor will eat well from the food gathered and given for good St. Joseph.

Monday was also the fifteenth ordination anniversary of Fr. Gilles Roger, of Rennes, France, another fine priestson of St. Gertrude. I called to congratulate him, and learned that he had planned nothing special…just two Masses for St. Joseph (one in a distant chapel dedicated in his honor) and taking care of his boarding students. Twice a week the school boys spend the night to save on driving distances, and Father was getting together supper when I called.

We’ve been enjoying cookouts these warm days, and eating on our deck under the aegis of indefatigable Fr. McKenna, who is an expert at the grill. The warm weather has favored as well the concrete work to complete the first stage of the cloister project. We hope to have everything ship-shape for Palm Sunday’s Procession. I hope you will be there. The donkeys have promised to come.

Come by this afternoon for some or all of the Annunciation Silent Recollection, and tomorrow for the feast itself, another Solemn Mass, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Passiontide! Make this week count. Cling to the beautiful and well-selected Daily Considerations on Charity (thanks, Gloria!), read them over and over, meditate them well. See you for the Sorrowful Mother on Friday?

May Jesus, Mary, and Joseph bless you these blessed days of Passiontide!

–Bishop Dolan