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Pentecost XVII

This school year, as time permits, we will be publishing daily sermons from the previous week. Check back daily for additional sermons:

Sept. 17, 2012: Stigmata of St. Francis by Fr. Lehtoranta
Sept. 18, 2012: St. Joseph Cupertino by Bp. Dolan
Sept. 19, 2012: Our Lady of La Salette by Bp. Dolan
Sept. 20, 2012: St. Eustace & Companions by Bp. Dolan
Sept. 21, 2012: St. Matthew by Fr. Lehtoranta

Bishop’s Corner
Two of our traditional September events seem to have passed with unusual peacefulness. One was public prayer, the other our parish picnic. Both saw a nice attendance, and demonstrated the charitable unified spirit with which God has blessed St. Gertrude the Great in recent years.

The September sun set silently, solemnly, during our Fatima Rosary Procession on the 13th – a lucky day indeed. The Rosary was preceded by the Votive Mass of Our Lady, taken from her Nativity. A few souls were able to attend, more the Rosary itself, altogether 44 faithful, plus some faithful clergy! I think our secret angels swept the path again for the procession, even as the Rosary sweeps out the filth and impurity in this world of ours.

Concerning last Sunday, I must say we’ve had larger groups for our picnics in the past, and the pot luck side of the feeding has definitely been luckier (e. gr. the good Bischel pickles went right away), but never was a picnic so composite, so harmoniously homogenous. It reminded me of a picnic at Keehner Park way back “in illo tempore” with Breitensteins and Gerrards and Gilkers and Brueggemanns, John Weisman, and dear Sr. Gerard. The Simpsons, senior, were new in town and they came, too. Picnics are good annual fun, and a fine tradition to continue. No charge for the memories!

Just a couple of weeks ago, Father Lehtoranta and I went to Don Gilker’s wake at the old Schmidt-Dhonau Funeral Home in Sharonville, near the old church. Many old faces were there, as well as many young ones, baptized at St. Gertrude the Great, but now long gone. (We did though just have a baptism of a Gilker great-grandson, Zander Lee Wallingford. The tradition continues.) Don and Gerry Gilker were some of our first faithful, and Gerry devotedly ran our gift shop for a number of years. She died almost twenty years ago, already. May they both rest in peace!

Today Fr. Cekada goes down to Florida for his first teaching week, and I am up in Milwaukee, visiting our northern cousins. Fr. Lehtoranta is manning the pulpit, and seems to be doing well in his priestly life with us. Deo Gratias! We hear regularly from Fr. Larrabee, and are glad he also is doing well in the new portion of the Lord’s vineyard (well, actually it’s an almond grove near Modesto, California) which is his lot and portion. Fr. Zapp hopes to build a church there one day.

Fr. McGuire is off again to the missions, but returns tomorrow. A Mexican priest is due tomorrow for a short visit. Fr. Arnoldo Villegas Rodríguez is from Tijuana. (Everybody knows Tijuana. It was my first taste of Mexico in 1968.) He was formerly with the Trento group of priests, and in charge of their minor seminary. Fr. Hernan Vigera Monroy, one of our Mexican priests whose apostolate is in Vera Cruz State and Baja California, has made a pilgrimage this month to several great shrines of Our Lady, where I’m sure he remembered you all as his friends and benefactors.

I was just speaking to Fr. Roberto Mardones on Wednesday, and the ceiling of his living room caved in! It was scheduled for replacement in March, but I hope they can fix the roof now. Poor father is poor. I’ll be happy to send along any help: “Roof Fund.” (I know it’s no fun to have your roof fall in. We had that once at Oyster Bay, years ago, I think.)

Speaking of Our Lady, we’re all looking forward to Rosary Sunday, its Mass and Procession and Communion Breakfast, with Fr. Lehtoranta’s life story. Be sure to get yourself a ticket. Don’t forget to bring the little ones (no tickets required!) to the Angel Sunday Blessing next Sunday.

We were saddened to hear of the sudden death last Saturday, feast of the Sorrowful Mother, of Jill Wright in Phoenix. She leaves her husband Dominic and three children, the youngest just eight weeks. Jill and Dominic were faithful here in the time of our new church dedication, and edified us so much with their own dedication. I will never forget the Midnight Mass of 2004, with zero-temperature and blowing snow, and also with a young mother a newborn baby all the way from Georgetown, Kentucky, Jill Wright. May angels fly her to her rest, and choirs of angels care for the bereaved family she leaves behind. Fr. McGuire will be conducting her burial services at a cemetery in Richland, Iowa, on Tuesday morning. Fr. Palma sung her Requiem Mass on Saturday at Our Lady of the Sun in Phoenix.

May the angels bless us with peace, and send some home with you today.

–Bishop Dolan