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Within the Octave of the Ascension

Also, this week, listen to Fr. McKenna’s sermon from the Ascension.

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.

Also, Save the Date for Boys’ Camp!
July 24-26

Bishop’s Corner
It stopped raining for a while just before the 5:45 on Sunday, so we were able to go forward with our Fatima Rosary Procession. I had prayed so hard that morning (faith is required, you know) for good weather for the May Crowning that I was truly surprised to see the server had set the blessing book and holy water at the Communion Rail, meaning it was raining outside. Still we had a lovely, sweet crowning of Our Lady of Fatima after the inside procession. God always answers our prayers, just not necessarily in our own way.

On the way over to Union Centre, Fr. McKenna declared that he knew that Our Lady loves us, and hears our prayers but also that she wants her children to do penance. I thought of that as it started to rain in the middle of the Sorrowful Mysteries, gently at first. I also thought of something my mother would say–“Oh, it won’t kill you.” It didn’t, as we gingerly sidestepped goose droppings and puddles and mud, praying in the rain. It rained in Fatima! This Spring’s processions started with Palm Sunday’s, with the raindrops as well as a donkey. By the time we finished the 15th Decade last Sunday evening, it was truly raining, but we all felt happy and cheered.

I think part of our joy was the encouraging attendance. We disciples of the latter days hit the biblical seventy. One of our blessed grandmothers had told her children that the only thing she asked for Mothers Day was that each family send a representative to the Rosary Procession. They did, and more. Our numbers were swelled, and it was delightful to pray with our fellow Catholics from Immaculate Conception. May Mother Mary unite us yet by the chain of the Rosary!

I’m writing this on Rogation Tuesday. The weather turned fine for Monday’s Lesser Litanies. What a week of prayer! Six processions, doubled litanies (in the morning for All Saints, and in the afternoon for May Devotions), and a doubled Mass week for all, finally, with the Holy Day. Then begins the nine-day prayer in preparation for Pentecost, the original Novena. The Holy Ghost, who is Love, inspires our prayer, and enables us to persevere. Mary, Queen of All Saints and Mother of Fair Love, perfects our prayer, St. Louis de Montfort would say, and presents it to God. We were going to do a “rain date” May Crowning in the Mary Garden after Solemn Mass on Ascension Thursday, because it seemed so fitting. De Maria numquam satis, the Saints say.

Puccini came in the other morning with the annual Spring tribute of the baby bunny, perfectly terrorized and somewhat the worse for wear in the fur department. This offering represents a considerable sacrifice for the cats, but we thanked them for their consideration, and Fr. Cekada replaced the bunny in the high grass outdoors. With admirable detachment, the kitties resumed their morning schedule of play and a nap, not a bit offended at our seeming disdain of the gift.

“Christ ascending on high, led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men,” the Apostle tells us at Ascensiontide. Let us earnestly beseech the Holy Ghost for His gifts for us, His old soldiers, as well as for Saturday’s fresh recruits. We have Baptisms as well as Confirmations scheduled for Saturday’s Vigil. Pray with us! Remember as well Fr. Palma of Phoenix, who asks for prayers for the nine he will baptize that day, and maybe more. Fr. Lehtoranta will be reprising the Holy Week he led at Milwaukee with the Vigil ceremonies, and we’re praying for a good attendance there as well as here.

Let us “persevere in prayer, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.” It won’t kill us!

–Bishop Dolan