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Pentecost XVIII

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

Sept. 21, 2012: St. Matthew by Fr. Lehtoranta
Sept. 24, 2012: Our Lady of Ransom by Fr. Lehtoranta
Sept. 25, 2012: Ransoming the Poor Souls by Bp. Dolan
Sept. 26, 2012: North American Martyrs by Bp. Dolan
Sept. 28, 2012: St. Wenceslaus by Bp. Dolan

Bishop’s Corner
Angel Sunday, beloved observance! These awesome beings, “immense spiritual worlds,” nevertheless are interested in our own, and one actually accompanies us to protect us our whole life long. May these blessed spirits bless our children and adults, our priests and teachers; and fill us all with the Fear of the Lord, and holy love. Pray to the angels during their month. Assist at Mass with the angels, invisible armies packing our sanctuary with prayer warriors. Bring the little ones to an extra Mass each week in honor of the angels. Walk the children around the church, and show them the angels. Soon, they will be showing you their angelic side.

September is the month of the Holy Cross. The feast itself on Friday the fourteenth was marked in a memorable way this year. At the boys’ camp this summer, a craft project engaged the young men’s attention and caught my eye – little outdoor shrines. “Why not,” I thought, “make fourteen for a simple outdoor Way of the Cross?” And so it was done. Marlys organized the project and a number of children helped dig and plant the posts one sultry September afternoon. Now, for the blessing….The rubrics prescribe a beautiful ceremony for setting up the Stations, actually making the Way of the Cross after the celebrant has blessed them, directing him to kiss and place a wooden cross (the essential) on each station, which an assistant attaches. Usually, though, they are already set up in advance, due to technical considerations. But on this occasion I saw a liturgical possibility.

Thus it was that after a solemn Holy Cross Mass and a somewhat less solemn lunch, we regrouped to perform the ceremony. It was rather long and a little complicated, but how smoothly it went, how prayerfully. Rarely will you see a vested acolyte manning a power drill. But “do the red,” or “follow the rubrics,” as the neocons say. So we did, the gentle whirr of the drill a background to the piercing meditations of the Franciscan Way of the Cross. Only at St. Gertrude!

The stations are now “good to go.” Use them, and the other outdoor shrines, as oases of prayer when you visit our church these beautiful Fall days.

I had a good visit with Fr. Arnoldo Villegas of Tijuana, Mexico last week. Father and a friend flew all the way from San Diego to Charlotte, and back again to get to Cincinnati – a long all-night trip. Father has invited me to visit his church and missions for Confirmations in December, the weekend of the Immaculate Conception.

Today Fr. Lehtoranta visits the faithful of St. Hugh, whom I had the pleasure of seeing last Sunday. They never cease to impress me with their piety and the devoted talent with which they enrich their little Church. Fr. McGuire’s mission visits went well last weekend, small groups for whom Father is the spiritual lifeline. His last stop was in Iowa for the sad occasion of the burial of Jill Wright, at which over one hundred mourners assisted. Pat and Anne Marie Omlor went out for it, and young Patrick ably assisted Father as altar boy. Some of our eager young schoolboys are now assisting as torchbearers at daily or Sunday Mass. Their enthusiasm for serving is refreshing.

Today Bishop Sanborn and Fr. Selway are visiting the Seminary of the Institute of the Mother of Good Counsel in Verrua Savoia near Turin, Italy, for the ordination of a new priest from Holland by Bishop Stuyver yesterday, the feast of St. Michael the Archangel. Thank God for one more good priest! Keep all priests in your prayers.

Tomorrow the month of the Rosary begins. May it be a month of Marian meditation and mediation, of true prayer for us all. I’m looking for one or two people to pray the scheduled rosary with me before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed for First Friday evening (5:20 PM) and First Saturday morning (7:10 AM). But the Blessed Mother is looking for a rosary from each one of us, every day of the month. Oh, and we’re looking for you for our Rosary Sunday Procession and Communion Breakfast. Don’t miss this second beloved observance in as many Sundays!

May Angels keep you in their care,
–Bishop Dolan