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Easter II

Bishop’s Corner

Last week, Low Week was high Spring for us, cool and sunny, with birds and a bunny (I spied one as I knelt to pray the other morning), all the sweeter because it came after such a short but strong taste of Summer last month. Christ is risen! Our Fr. Valeriy in Ukraine celebrated Eastern Easter last Sunday. By then our lilies were going, but Low Week offers a nice stretch of pure Paschaltide before St. Joseph–this week–and Our Lady in May lead us into Pentecost. The Holy Oils, blessed and consecrated on Maundy Thursday, are slowly making their way throughout the world to consecrate catechumens, seal soldiers of Christ, and anoint the sick and dying. Fr. McKenna, who preached for us last Sunday, is preparing the packages, and seeing to burning last year’s oils on Our Lady’s altar.

Low Sunday was indeed low in attendance as is traditional. Our wandering sheep have moved on to other pastures, promptly getting themselves caught in some thorn patch or another. (Good Shepherd, deliver them!) The faithful flock which supports us and helps the shepherds here each week and all week long is still safely grazing at St. Gertrude. (Our Lady of the Good Shepherd sustain them, and reward their fidelity!)

Fr. Lehtoranta conducted his first Holy Week as a priest at St. Hugh in Milwaukee, and did a fine job. He visited us briefly before going to New Orleans on a little pilgrimage to Our Lady of Prompt Succour. After completing his seminary studies he will be joining us this July. Mr. Bede Okechukwu, who is scheduled to be ordained next year, will do some Summer School with Fr. Desposito to accelerate his theological studies for the holy priesthood.

Fr. Roger in France was giving a Low Week retreat, Fr. Hecquard reports. He also says that they are all too busy doing priestly work to worry about the Pius X society, which was was beginning the process of formally joining the One World Church during Low Week, as a kind of a birthday present for the old modernist Ratzinger, one of the last of the revolutionaries of Vatican II, an architect of the New Church. (This is all in spite of the fact that Archbishop Lefebvre laid out exactly why they could never make a deal with Ratzinger.)

Most of the Pius X flock is just looking anymore for convenient and respectable grazing rights, and has quite given up on the “wolves in sheep’s clothing” question. This will lead them right off the cliff, or perhaps leave them as lamb chops for somebody’s dinner. Doctrine, of course, matters, and is meant to trump convenience and appearance and respectability for Christ’s flock. St. Pius X, faithful Shepherd, pray for us all!

Our fathers are visiting these days a number of our sick and elderly whom I ask you kindly to remember in your daily prayers. Fr. Saavedra of Detroit went down to visit his own father, who is quite ill, over Easter, but is back now. He also had a nice group for the seminary to assist him for a solemn Holy Week.

Our school children were practicing Low Week for the annual Spring Entertainment on the 29th, which follows the O’Donnells’ excellent Spring Spaghetti Dinner. (Dominic is an old pro and does not require any practice.) I hope you’ll be with us!

Last of all, the little lambs who will be fed for the first time with Our Lord’s Precious Body and Blood on Corpus Christi came Low Saturday for their First Communion testing with Fr. Cekada. (Traditionally, the highest scoring girl crowns Our Lady on Mother’s Day, while the boy carries the crown.) After the testing comes a little spiritual talk with the children in preparation for their First Confession. Last of all, the little ones complete their day with a visit to Fr. Cekada’s celebrated candy box.

May these days of Easter be sweet for us, full of peace as we graze contentedly in Christ’s pastures, His one and unchanging Church. Come Wednesday, the Solemnity of St. Joseph and the Greater Litanies, to process and pray with us for all of our pressing needs, for Holy Church, for shepherds and sheep, and for the wanderers too.

God bless you!
–Bishop Dolan