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Rosary Sunday

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

Sept. 28, 2012: St. Wenceslaus by Bp. Dolan
Oct. 1, 2012: St. Remigius by Fr. Lehtoranta
Oct. 2, 2012: The Guardian Angels by Fr. Lehtoranta
Oct. 4, 2012: St. Francis of Assisi by Fr. Lehtoranta
Oct. 5, 2012: First Friday by Bp. Dolan

zelusdomustuae
✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
I’m in my corner – the Bishop’s Corner, that is – on the feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus. These are the days of the child, with the feasts and devotions of the angels, the rosary, and the Little Flower. God’s Providence has been sending us “Little Flower weather” for a long time now. Mostly overcast and heavily humid, with much more rain than sun, our weather resembles St. Therese’s native Normandy as well as the neighboring Brittany where we have our priests. This kind of humidity, over the long run, is hard to bear, but is typical of the kind of “little” sacrifice the Little Flower offered so naturally and simply to God. In addition (this always impressed me) they forgot to give her a blanket when she entered the convent, and she never asked for one, bearing the cold humid nights uncomplainingly. Did this contribute to her tuberculosis? She wore as well, during the humid days, her heavy woolen habit quite patiently. Small sacrifice + great love = great holiness. St. Therese, pray for us!

Remember our friends who left us to follow Fr. Ramolla three years ago. He has returned to Germany, having had himself made a bishop. The remnants of their group have joined Bishop Pivarunas and His Excellency happily gave them St. Therese of the Child Jesus as their patroness, leaving St. Albert the Great (a great peacemaker) again to us. His statue has been honored in the sanctuary all the way through. St. Therese protected us in an extraordinary fashion during this crisis (Merci, Sainte Thèrése!) and I know she will bless and protect them as well. They have a Sunday evening Mass now at the Holiday Inn in Sharonville, where the St. Gertrude priests used to stay years ago when we first bought the church. Small world! Bishop Pivarunas tells us that eventually their mission will move to a permanent location north of Cincinnati.

One of the blessings (and it is important to search for them) coming out of this sad and long division is that it has helped our friends at Immaculate Conception to move away from their policy of denying Holy Communion to some Catholics. More and more of our Cincinnati Catholics (Catholic, that is “traditional Catholic”) tend to float among St. Gertrude, Little Flower and Immaculate Conception anymore. While not a good thing, it is understandable. Now, it would be difficult or impossible to keep track of this migrant population, and deny the Sacraments as needed. (Talk about “porous borders.”) The Berlin Wall seems to be coming down brick by brick. This is something for which to be thankful. Still, it really is best for stability’s sake for our Catholics to have one spiritual home, which they generally attend and faithfully support. Nevertheless, we welcome our visitors who come for a variety of reasons, and it is good to know that this is becoming the de facto policy of other churches, too. “I was a stranger, and you took me in.”

It was on a Rosary Sunday, the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, that the recently deceased †Fr. Paul Schoonbroodt of Staffeshausen, Belgium once had an extraordinary grace. For his Catholic faith and Mass, this parish priest was being persecuted by the Novus Ordo bishop. That day, he noticed a number of Sacred Hosts, seemingly stained with blood. He set them aside in the tabernacle, keeping these miraculous Hosts for some six months, but saying nothing to anyone. On the very day of his “excommunication” and removal from his parish by the Novus Ordo bishop, December 12, 1988, blood appeared on his priest’s Host after the Consecration. Then Father understood. He only spoke publicly of this apparent miracle a short while before his untimely death this Pentecost. Fr. Schoonbroodt joined firm Catholic faith with a winning charity in his work for souls in his parish and far flung missions. Doubtless St. Therese, patroness of the missions, had something to do with this, too. May she smile and cast a rose upon us all, priests and prelates and faithful, fervent but flawed, dedicated and yet so divided. She is a miracle worker, though, so let us have confidence. Most of all, smile with her at God, our loving Father, and with her, say “yes” to His holy will. The Little Flower reminds us He sends suffering to those whom He loves, so what are you going to do?

Today we go back to our traditional Rosary Sunday blessing of the roses after Mass, and the Rosary Procession and Communion Breakfast. Thanks to all, especially the Confraternity and Fr. Lehtoranta, who worked so hard to honor Our Lady of the Rosary. Remember, she cannot resist when invoked by this name, and by the recitation of her rosary itself. How have you done this first week of October?

May the Little Flower keep us in her Holy Childhood, beads in hand, and gentle forgiving love in our hearts.

–Bishop Dolan