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Last Sunday After Pentecost


St. Gertrude the Great Church is known for its devotion to the saints.

It is a rare occasion when our sacristans have not set up at least a little shrine to the saint of the day. The long hallway on the west side of our church is filled with hundreds of images of the saints — 80 feet of saints, and over 350 pictures — categorized according to the month of their feastdays.

Every year we try to bring some of that devotional spirit to you with our All Saints Roman Catholic Calendar.

Click image for a sample page.


  • Follows the pre-1955 rubrics and calendar. (Of course!)
  • All feasts, fasts and observances
  • Includes many optional feasts or devotional feasts not on the general calendar.
  • Classic art featuring the saint of the month!

Order several for your home. Spend a year with the saints!

ONLY $9 + shipping


Fr. Martin Stepanich
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Martin Stepanich, who died the evening of November 18th.

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

Nov. 18, 2012: Closing of the 40 Hours Devotion by Bp. Dolan
Nov. 19, 2012: St. Pontianus by Fr. Lehtoranta
Nov. 20, 2012: St. Felix of Valois by Fr. McKenna
Nov. 21, 2012: The Presentation of Our Lady by Fr. Lehtoranta
Nov. 22, 2012: St. Cecilia by Fr. McKenna

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠

Some seasons the weeks seem to pass effortlessly around here, the routine and rhythm of one church day giving way to the next, until the sacred number of seven is accomplished, and the Lord’s Day comes again, a fresh week in tow. Not so this past week.

Sunday saw the conclusion, both glorious and quietly homey, of our Forty Hours Prayer. Sunlight filled the sanctuary for the morning Masses, and caught up the careless clouds of incense into a kind of quiet, holy dance, like the prescribed movements of Sacred Ministers and servers. The young fathers with their mostly younger altar boys performed the intricate ritual of the solemn High Mass before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed carefully, reverently, and well.

Most people were intent only on their Sunday Mass routine, and came and went as normal. Some did linger, or come again for a visit. The school children sang Our Lady’s Mass for the second day and helped us sweetly for both Vespers and the adoration. Otherwise the priests took turns and there always seemed to be one last soul just when needed for watching. A devout group, “just enough” in number, persevered through the closing ceremonies Sunday evening. Simon proudly carried his little candle, and a few children came a last time to cast the flower petals in the well-spaced, stately procession. The Rosary Confraternity, out in bloom Friday evening, still managed a few fair buds for the closing.

The choir produced what Fr. Cekada likes to call “a wall of sound,” especially for the Sunday High Mass; rich, moving, and beautiful. It was interesting, for those who made the Forty Hours, to hear the different preaching style of our priests all in a row. Fr. Cekada may preach today, nursing duties permitting. He does both very well.

Fr. Martin, surrounded by a cloud of prayers, passed into eternity on Sunday evening. He was buried rather quickly, “since the festival day was near at hand,” on Wednesday. Father’s beloved fellow Franciscan, Fr. Francis Miller, who took such good care of him, sang the Requiem at St. Hugh in Milwaukee, as the deceased had designated. After all the traditional prayers were done, the remains were transferred to the Slovenian Franciscans for burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Chicago. At the end, the traditional Slovenian Angelus was sung, as is customary at the graveside. Fr. Cekada sang it for his father’s funeral.

†Fr. Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., a doctor of sacred theology who ended up a humble recluse gardener for so many years, was saved by Our Lord for his important role in the latter days, a kind of living link with the Church of proper popes and parishes and powers. He was as well a kind of witness or angel of the Apocalypse, the faithful priest who changed neither calendar nor Mass nor faith. He helped us so very much these past years! He goes with our gratitude and prayers, to his rest and reward, regretted but fondly remembered as a great and humble man of God. Requiescat in pace.

On Tuesday I had my surgery. Thank you for your concern, your cards, the cheering flowers, and most of all Masses and prayers for my surgery and recovery. Everything seems to be going perfectly so far, with some progress each day. The pain comes and goes. I admire Fr. Cekada’s patience… A little bit at a time!

We had quite an ecumenical gathering at Jewish Hospital. There were a Catholic bishop, Jewish doctors, a Catholic surgeon and nurses, and some cheery Protestant ones who energetically “said a prayer with me,” as is their custom, before surgery. I thought perhaps I should say a prayer out loud to the Little Jesus, Doctor of the Sick, but I reflected that non-Catholics probably wouldn’t understand the powerful devotion to the Holy Infancy – more’s the pity! Besides, the anesthesia was starting to kick in…

Thanksgiving made it nice and quiet around here for recovery, for which I am thankful as I sit in my chair with my catheter, moving very slowly and gingerly. (It should come out on Wednesday, which will make me very thankful indeed!)

Thanksgiving…stay there for a while, and don’t be in any rush to start “the holidays.” Next Sunday is Advent, with its four weeks of penance and preparation, and then comes Christmas. Keep it under wraps for while, won’t you? If you must do something, plan out an enthusiastic Advent of prayer and penance.

Let us thank God every day for what He knows to be best for us, deaths and illnesses, heavy crosses or consoling kindnesses. A “gratitude attitude” without reserve is the best stay and support for each day of our life, as we “abide in His love.” Let Deo Gratias be ever in our heart, and on our lips.

I am grateful to God for all of you, and send a blessing with my prayers home with you today on a true Thanksgiving Sunday.

–Bishop Dolan

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