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Advent I


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


This school year, as time permits, we will be publishing daily sermons from the previous week:

Nov. 22, 2012: St. Cecilia by Fr. McKenna
Nov. 27, 2012: Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal by Fr. McKenna
Nov. 28, 2012: St. Catherine Laboure by Fr. McKenna
Nov. 29, 2012: In Whom There Is No Guile by Fr. Lehtoranta
Nov. 30, 2012: Bishops of the Church by Fr. Lehtoranta


✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠

A blessed Advent to you all. May longing for Our Lord and Our Lady – the coming of Jesus through Mary – permeate your life and give the deep, true purpose to your busy December days. Whatever else you do, make time for prayer to make you “just like Jesus, just like Mary.” This is the first meaning of “Thy Kingdom come,” that truest of Advent prayers.

I am happy to announce the opening of a convent of contemplative Sisters of Our Lady of Reparation. These Benedictine Oblates will dedicate their lives to prayer, especially the prayer of reparation and for priests. These two intentions are very dear to God’s heart, as must be the founding Sisters M. Isidora and M. Winifred who, along with Sheila Anderson, were with us for Forty Hours, and hope to visit again for Christmas, weather permitting.

The sisters are beginning their new religious life in Saybrook, Illinois, where Fr. McGuire founded his first mission, St. Isidore, a number of years ago. Their new religious life began the same weekend as that of another one ended. The sisters would travel to hear Mass in †Fr. Martin’s chapel, near Chicago, where once he lived a prayerful contemplative life with two devout Franciscan Sisters, Sr. M. Yvonne and Sr. M. Olive, now gone on to eternity. This fervent house of prayer ended with Fr. Martin’s last breath on November 18th, but that same weekend of fervent Forty Hours prayer saw the inauguration of a new community which continues this work. Deo Gratias!

May I ask your prayers for Fr. Roger, his priests and faithful? They have rented their Church of St. Pius V in central Rennes, France, since its initiation in the 1970s. The owner now wishes to sell in short order, and our folk are scrambling to put something together in a hurry under very difficult circumstances. Great possibilities or ruin loom for the congregation of some three hundred souls, the largest truly Catholic church in France. St. Pius V, and our Lady of the Rosary, come to their aid!

More thanks are in order for continuing cards and prayers, as I continue my recovery. The sincere sentiments are touching, the prayers so welcome. The cats even managed a card with a paw print theme, and several children delighted me with their homemade craft. Steve Weigand has carved me a truly patriarchal staff with which to get around, as needs be, or perhaps to part a red sea. Thank you all so very much!

Some young men have been helping Gino with the heavy hefting of the cloister stones as he takes advantage of our continuing good weather to make progress on this task, a true work of art.

Meanwhile, Fr. Cekada has completed his nursing duties and descends to Florida this afternoon to don his professorial robes at the seminary. Fr. McKenna, who helped out with some of the teaching last week at our school, performs permanent playground duty, to the children’s delight. He is at St. Clare this morning, and Fr. Lehtoranta is helping us here with our Advent Sunday. Fr. McGuire returns from a long mission run tomorrow. He reports that 33 souls (that perfect number again!) from St. Hugh helped with and attended Fr. Martin’s funeral, with about ten from out of town being able to make it.

By the way, I am indebted to Fr. McKenna for giving me Extreme Unction before my surgery. It hadn’t occurred to me that I would be entitled to it, but I certainly benefited, body and soul, from his kind ministration of this powerful sacrament.

On Wednesday I had my postoperative visit to the doctor, and it seems that all continues well through the different stages of recovery. I must be careful not to lift or carry anything heavy. This weekend I’m trying to do just a few things as I continue my recuperation.

The doctor has given “his blessing” for a brief, long-scheduled pastoral trip to Tijuana, Mexico (just the other side of San Diego, California) next weekend for Mass and Confirmations on the Holy Day. I will be visiting the church of Fr. Arnoldo Villegas, who came to see me in September. It is a brief visit (Friday through Monday), but a long plane trip, and I ask your prayers for all to go well.

Advent is an enigmatic season. The world says celebrate Christmas now!!! Eat, drink, decorate, and shop until you drop. Mother Nature, however, wisely says to enjoy Autumn’s last sunny and mild days. It’s not even Winter yet, much less its Solstice. Mother Church says: do some praying. Pass up parties. Gather the children for a holy story, some crafts, and don’t forget the family Rosary. Prepare now for Christmas, but first in soul and family. Who are you going to listen to? Listen to your Mother!

May our Blessed Mother lead us all this week in our first tottering Advent steps towards her Immaculate Conception.

I send an Advent blessing home with you all.

–Bishop Dolan

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