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Advent III – Gaudete


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:

Dec. 6, 2012: St. Nicholas by Fr. McKenna
Dec. 7, 2012: St. Ambrose by Fr. McKenna
Dec. 10, 2012: St. Melchiades by Fr. Lehtoranta
Dec. 12, 2012: Our Lady of Guadalupe by Fr. Lehtoranta
Dec. 13, 2012: St. Lucy by Fr. McGuire


✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Last Tuesday the very December weather, heavy, dark, wet and cold, lifted to give way to a tingle of Winter; a bit of chill, before Autumn’s anticipated return. Wednesday, Our Lady of Guadalupe, dawned cold and bright, leaving a layer of hoarfrost on the lawn. (That’s the old word for frost, which they call “Cajun snow” in Louisiana.) Thanks to Our Lady, I felt I “turned the corner” in my recovery.

12-12-12, the feast day of La Guadalupana: first came the resident three deer to the bird feeder (a gift of Becky Mattingly, rebuilt by Eldon), but hesitantly at first, and soon they fled. (The snow will make them bolder.) Then came the bluejays, and nothing tentative about them. Their blue and grey plumage glistened in the first rays of the Winter sun as they cawed and hopped about like Aztec warriors in some strange victory dance.

Unfortunately the lower-class birds – starlings, I suppose, and biblical sparrows – had already emptied the feeder, soon after Dale had kindly filled it. I hope the pair of cardinals were not disappointed. Those who are humble enough, like cardinals and mourning doves, to peck around the ground, will still find plenty. There’s probably a lesson here. Our very traditional and austere-looking owl has returned. Perched in a sapling, he surveyed the scene that morning. His nocturnal hoots are quite comforting. When he flies, he soars. I mistake him for a hawk.

I meant to get over to church last Sunday before 8:30, to say hello to the 7:30 crowd, but didn’t make it, recovery being a slow and time-demanding process. Still, the people had a bishop waiting for them in the vestibule.

We had forgotten to schedule a St. Nicholas for the first Mass, but Ken remembered and vested up like a proper bishop. Mark had the happy idea of setting up his cathedra right in the vestibule, as the 7:30 folk are people on a mission, and never linger after Mass or go down to Helfta, except under duress or great hunger for donuts.

What a good time everyone had in the vestibule, gathered about St. Nicholas’ throne. The children saw the saint and got a candy cane, and pictures were taken, with much laughter and conversation. Richard Z. and Patrick L. donned the robes later that morning, and many children made their little visit. Everyone seemed in the mood to linger and visit after Mass.

The High Mass for the Immaculate Conception was exceptionally numinous*, wasn’t it? The stately solemn service done by the three sacred ministers, the Cardinal Spellman vestments, the many servers, the sweet and lilting voices of the school choir, the bright white poinsettia-decked altar, and so many of you, turned out to keep the Holy Day for the Immaculate Mother of God. “Truly God was in this place.”

†Fr. Martin Stepanich, OFM was buried in haste last month at a very busy time, but now comes his month’s mind, and we want to remember him with a solemn High Mass and Absolution, as befits this “great, high priest, who in his days pleased God,” a latter-day doctor of the Church. Come Tuesday at 11:20 to pray for him and to him, as well. God raise up worthy successors to him.

This week some of you will be coming to church to get started on Christmas decorating, well organized by Theresa Simpson. Come by too, if you’d like to help, or give us a call.

The choir is practicing sedulously, the decorators are decorating, and today the crafts and cookies in their own way too announce Christmas’ coming. Remember the Novena of Masses, and the Poinsettia Memorials to help with flower bills as you honor a loved one. Oh, and don’t forget…some prayer, a bit of penance with the Ember Days, some silence these busy days, much longing for the Savior, and a good Christmas confession.

Rejoice, our Lord is near!

–Bishop Dolan
*Vocabulary word of the day: “filled with a sense of the presence of God, holy…”