rss feed for a newsreader
rss feed for podcasting

Pentecost XXV

Fr. Martin Stepanich
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Martin Stepanich, who died this past Sunday.


Dear Fathers, Faithful and Friends,

I just returned from the hospital, and I am happy to report that Bishop Dolan’s surgery went very well.

He whiled away his time on the gurney beforehand by coming up with possible sermon themes for the coming Sunday. It was a four-hour operation. The surgeon said that there were no complications during the procedure and that everything went exactly according to plan.

The bishop is, of course, very tired. He will spend the night in the hospital and probably return home tomorrow. For Thanksgiving and for awhile thereafter, he is supposed to be on a diet of protein-rich soft foods — pureed soups, custard, scrambled eggs, etc. So much for turkey!

He is grateful for your prayers and good wishes, and asks that you also pray that he makes a speedy recovery.

Yours in Christ,

Father Cekada


….Fr. Lehtoranta’s blog is in English as well: faxlegisdei.wordpress.com


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

Nov. 12, 2012: Pope St. Martin I by Fr. Lehtoranta
Nov. 14, 2012: How Did You Get Up This Morning? by Bp. Dolan
Nov. 15, 2012: St. Albert the Great by Fr. McKenna
Nov. 16, 2012: Opening of the 40 Hours Devotion by Bp. Dolan
Nov. 18, 2012: Closing of the 40 Hours Devotion by Bp. Dolan


✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
St. Martin’s Summer continues to soften our slow slide towards Winter, providing us with perfect Autumn days far into November. May the fine weather facilitate our Forty Hours Prayer, today drawing to a close, a perfect and Holy Eucharist (Greek for Thanksgiving) before the monstrance, before everybody observes the opening of “the holidays” with Thanksgiving. Linger today and nip back this afternoon or evening to give your thanks for all of God’s blessings. O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine!

Because Veterans Day fell on last Sunday, we were able to celebrate it with special solemnity at St. Gertrude’s, with the tolling of the bell eleven times (commemorating the Armistice for the First World War at 11:00 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month) and the chanting of the Absolution for the dead. As the recessional for High Mass, the choir sang the stirring Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” which ends with the petition, “O hear us when we cry to Thee, for those in peril on the sea.”

During Communion at High Mass and at the 11:30, Fr. Cekada played the mournful Choral Dorien, by the French composer Jehan Alain (1911–1940). Alain was a prize-winning organist, and considered the most promising organ composer of his generation. He also died the death of a real war hero. On June 20, 1940, as a motorcyclist in an armored division, he was assigned to reconnoiter the German advance and encountered a group of German soldiers. Coming around a curve, and hearing the approaching tread of the Germans, Alain abandoned his motorcycle and engaged the enemy troops with his carbine, killing 16 of them before being killed himself. He was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre for his bravery.

I had a quiet St. Martin’s Veterans Day down in Louisiana with the little flock remaining at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel. I also had a good visit with Fr. Francis Miller, OFM, who has been so good about visiting his fellow Franciscan, Fr. Martin Stepanich, in Chicago. We are continuing to pray for this 97-year-old priest, whose crown is prepared in Heaven.

We are also praying for all of our sick and shut-in. Fr. McGuire and Fr. McKenna report really excellent visits with Althea LeBlanc, Elizabeth Reis, Jane Donadio, Viola Ripperger and Elizabeth Smith, following upon their devout reception of Our Lord in Holy Communion. This Blessed Sacrament unites them with Almighty God and with all of us as well, who pray for them and for their holy perseverance. Soon we will be visiting John Seyfried, who called Tuesday to report a successful operation.

When we visited Shirle Downing’s grave earlier this month, and blessed it, something occurred to Fr. Cekada. It was a Fr. Collins of St. Gertrude in Madeira who conducted a little Novus Ordo funeral service for her on August 15th. Probably the lawyer who was her executor got the wrong St. Gertrude by mistake. Don’t take any chances! Specify to several people your wishes, so that you may be buried in your own religion.

We pray as well this Fall for poor Pius X, its priests and people. It seems that although Bishop Fellay would willingly lead his Hebrews back into the darkness and bondage of Egypt, his way has been blocked. Pharoah’s ministers are fighting. The New Vatican of Vatican 2 really is a mess, with divided and contradictory voices, demands and offers. The old time and doctrinaire left wingers cannot bear anything redolent of Catholic doctrine, any remnant of Catholic worship. The smooth one-worlders, however, are busy evolving into something else, and will not rest until everyone gets into the doctrine-free zone of the one-world church. Stay tuned.

Thanks are in order (even before Thanksgiving!) to all who have been planning and praying, working and watching with us for a beautiful and successful Forty Hours and St. Gertrude’s Day celebration. I thank Bishop Sanborn, who is visiting St. Hugh today for its feast day, thus permitting Fr. McGuire to be with us for Forty Hours (as well as visiting St. Clare), along with Fr. Cekada, Fr. Lehtoranta and Fr. McKenna.

Congratulations to Fr. Lehtoranta on his first priestly anniversary on St. Gertrude’s Day, as well as to Fr. McGuire, and Fr. Desposito (St. Albert’s Day). Spare a prayer, too, for “shepherds in the mist,” those priests whom we remember sadly these blessed days of great St. Gertrude.

May our holy patroness bless us and our work, our faithful and fallen-away and foes, as well as all of our own who have fallen asleep in the Lord. Thirty-three years in church, under our own roof and her patronage, with the true Mass and so many graces! Indeed, this is the time of thanksgiving.

For the gifts which we have received from His bounty, may our Lord make us truly thankful.

God bless you all,
–Bishop Dolan