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Pentecost XX

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

Oct. 4, 2012: St. Francis of Assisi by Fr. Lehtoranta
Oct. 5, 2012: First Friday by Bp. Dolan
Oct. 9, 2012: St. John Leonard by Fr. Lehtoranta
Oct. 10, 2012: St. Francis Borgia by Fr. Lehtoranta
Oct. 11, 2012: The Maternity of Our Lady by Fr. Lehtoranta

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
This is our “quiet Sunday” in October, between Rosary and Mission Sundays. This blessed month of angels and of rosaries is bookended on one side by the Solemnity of the Most Holy Rosary, kept in so solemn yet simple and family-like a fashion by our faithful each year. At its end we honor Christ the King with golden splendor, but also with another family feast: all of our children, processing as saints. They lead us to All Saints Day and November.

Last week was not a quiet one for our Rosarians. We began with a really beautiful and inspiring Rosary Sunday, for which so many helped in so many ways. It was edifying to hear of Fr. Lehtoranta’s life and conversion and vocation. These are the kinds of miracles which prayer still works today. While the prayed for sunshine did not appear until later in the day, our hearts were bright with Mary’s light, shining from her beads all day long. We were well fed and warmed as well by the fine traditional Kolb breakfast in the nicely decorated Helfta Hall. And so many Rosarians…about seventy in all for our feast day.

However, our praying was not done after Sunday’s services that morning. Three or four came back for Rosary Vespers and the sorrowful mysteries, and even more for the Benediction. All week long, someone was praying the Rosary every day in church, mostly our school children. Finally, last night, for the 13th of October and Our Lady of Fatima’s Miracle of the Sun 95 years ago, our faithful Rosarians gathered again for a final procession for peace, candle in one hand, and beads in the other, just like last week’s blessed Japanese Confraternity martyrs. Both candle and rosary served as efficacious symbols against the Powers of Darkness.

Nor have these last days been quiet ones for today’s celebrant, Fr. McGuire. He has been doing double duty this weekend, with Fr. Lehtoranta away covering St. Hugh. Thank you, Father!

Fr. McGuire recently reported personally slaying three mice in his office. Our resident cats, Caravaggio and Puccini, are loving creatures but just don’t take church mice too seriously. Life for them is one long cruise, Fr. Cekada says. I’d hire Fr. McGuire as a full time mouser, but word is he’s already pretty busy with the missions, and visiting the sick. Thank you for all your help, Father. (Caravaggio, jealous of feline honor, has rejoined that he did deliver at least two mice to the Bishop’s garden, one nicely decapitated as well.)

A while ago, Connie Kamphaus had the happy inspiration to put a bucket in the vestibule to collect odd change for the Building Fund. For security reasons, this morphed into the plastic cube you used to see in the vestibule, fixed to the table. The idea was to fill it, and then for a contest to guess how much it held. Well, it never did fill, but some poor soul, seeing all the money, fell into temptation and stole the cube one quiet afternoon before my 5:00 PM Mass. Now the insurance adjuster is trying to guess how much was in it (higher math comes in handy here) so as to pay us something, minus deductible of course. If you have any more loose change, light candles with it, or pour it into the Sunday basket (surprise an usher) or give it to Fr. Cekada directly for the Building Fund. Drop full buckets off by his door.

Gloria recently found a bag of change long stashed in the office, remnant of the last children’s Christmastime collection for our missionary, †Fr. Leslie. Father has now gone to God, and we will have a Mass for him, and one for the Propagation of the Faith, offered with the change. Change adds up. Don’t just count your change – make it count!

This Friday, October 19th, Fr. Cekada and I will be leading a pilgrimage to some of the holy shrines (there are so many) of Santa Fe and New Mexico. Some of the local faithful, as well as pilgrims from El Paso, will be joining us. We begin in Santa Fe with the tremendous privilege of Holy Mass in the Loretto Chapel (St. Joseph’s staircase) and then to America’s oldest Madonna, La Conquistadora, and finally to the Martyrs’ Cross, a memorial to the Franciscan Friars slain in the Pueblo revolt of 1680. (How ancient and rich and glorious is the true history of America, land of the Catholic Faith.) We will continue on to Chimayo, with its miraculous crucifix, Our Lord of the Esquipulas, the holy dirt of healing (sort of like Lourdes water), and the Niño de Atocha. You will all be in our prayers, your family and intentions, as well as Church and country, as we trace this holy way in our land’s most sacred shrines, scenes of many martyrs and miracles, and of Our Lady’s victories.

May Mary reward our processions, our rosaries, and your “extra change” as well – and all you do for God’s glory through her, great and small.

– Bishop Dolan