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Advent II


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. 30, 2012: Bishops of the Church by Fr. Lehtoranta
Dec. 3, 2012: St. Francis Xavier by Fr. Lehtoranta
Dec. 4, 2012: St. Peter Chrysologus by Fr. Lehtoranta
Dec. 6, 2012: St. Nicholas by Fr. McKenna
Dec. 7, 2012: St. Ambrose by Fr. McKenna


✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠

This second of our Advent Sundays, St. Paul employs a striking title for the God whose coming we are now preparing: “the God of patience.” This has always struck me, but this year even more so. I asked God for a speedy return to health (and you joined me in this prayer) and he gave me instead patience, as one popular prayer would phrase it. At least, I’m asking for patience!

I thought that after a few days rest I would return to my daily duties, and even undertake the arduous Mexican mission trip, but it was not meant to be. God cancelled my reservations, so I’m just trying patiently to get better a little bit at a time.

These days at St. Gertrude, we might indeed employ the title “God of patients,” as Fr. McGuire temporarily joined our ranks early Wednesday morning. Fr. McKenna took him to the emergency room, suffering from a very painful attack of kidney stone. Fr. McGuire has since been able to rest and recover and is back to his old self. It seems, however, we might need to have a urologist on staff at St. Gertrude!

The God of patience, St. Paul says, is the God of hope, who “fills us with all comfort and hope in believing.” What comfort it is to us to see our Faith passed on to the next generation, whether it be of priests, or of children. It is taken up and taught, and practiced and loved, and passed down.

Someone wrote recently on what a blessing it is to have so many fine priests serving us, and to know we will get a good sermon regardless of who is in the pulpit!

Fr. Lehtoranta had his first wedding December 1st, for Christopher and Robin Patton, just before the start of the Advent season. In typical Gertrudian fashion, everyone got involved. Father prepared the bride for Baptism, and the engaged couple for their marriage. (He has been engaged this Summer and Fall in giving several catechumens their classes.) (By the way, if you attend but don’t belong, why not? You too could be a Catholic!)

Fr. McKenna volunteered to serve the wedding Mass. Fr. Cekada, though busy getting ready for his Florida trip, played the organ, and our delightful Bonaventura Quartet sang. Fr. Cekada as well was on hand to help with the practice and final preparations, and I was able to meet with Fr. Lehtoranta to go over the rubrics and the details of the ceremony itself. It really is complicated to bring off a wedding, but all went very well.

Of course, as usual, all of this would be impossible without the devoted assistance of Katie and Darlene in the Sacristy, along with their helpers, efficiently setting up a wedding in the midst of our Advent purple preparations.

I think this little story shows how this “God of patience and of hope” has blessed us here with a true community. It is true, the word is used to death by the collectives of the new religion, but it has a proper use as well. Perhaps one might call it instead a “family spirit,” forged in the furnace of suffering, melded together by common ideals of our Catholic Faith, strongly held, for which we sacrifice willingly, with a gentle kind of persevering charity. The fire of the furnace is fueled by love of God, which purifies us as it burns away the chaff. What’s left is gold.

I think this same spirit is found in those of you who pray for the sick and special intentions all week long through the Rosary Chain. What a comfort, in the hour of need, it is to ask for and receive powerful Rosary prayers. God reward your daily giving. Remember to ask the priests to mention your intentions at the altar, in their Mass. This too shows “family spirit” and is a powerful aid in any need.

All went well for a beautiful and well attended Advent Sunday, with Theresa and her helpers making a beautiful wreath. Soon it will be time to call for many helpers for Christmas decorating, as well as for the Cookie and Craft sale on the 16th.

I am still receiving cards and Masses both from the faithful here, and old friends in Cincinnati and elsewhere. One of the first messages I received was from an old dear friend, Loraine Gates, who turned 94 on November 28th, which was also Paulina’s birthday. She is only a Spring chicken, just in her eighties. I shall strive to imitate their good example of longevity.

What a blessing these warm December days bring us with their short but satisfactory sun. It’s not yet Christmas, but God helps us prepare for His Son’s coming by making the weather so agreeable. It’s easier to do all of those errands which fill these days, and even to save a little on the heating bill!

May Our Lord bless your love for His Mother Immaculate and the Mass, which brought you to church twice this weekend!

Yours in Our Lady Immaculate,
–Bishop Dolan

P.S. There is an astounding variety in nuns’ names. Sometimes Latin is used, sometimes English, sometimes the feminine forms, sometimes not. Our Lady’s name is generally taken, but its placement may be confusing. Thus (with my apologies) I reintroduce Sr. Isidore Maria and Sr. Mary Winifred, of the Sisters of Our Lady of Reparation.