rss feed for a newsreader
rss feed for podcasting

Advent IV


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. 17, 2012: St. Olympias by Fr. Lehtoranta
Dec. 18, 2012: A Eulogy for Fr. Martin Stepanich by Fr. Cekada
Dec. 19, 2012: Rorate Cæli by Fr. Lehtoranta
Dec. 20, 2012: O Key of David by Fr. McKenna
Dec. 21, 2012: Two Holy Doubters by Bp. Dolan


✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Last Sunday was truly a rejoicing Sunday, despite the sad news and the sadder reality reflected by the Connecticut slayings. We rejoiced in rose and flower and song that the Savior of the innocent and guilty both is so soon to be born.

The Christmas Craft and Cookie Sale showed our church at its most creative. Delightful gifts and edibles went quickly, although there are a few items still on offer today. Donna’s dishcloth angels impressed me, as did Marlys’ candy creations, and Anne Riley’s reproduced chalk sketch from a Caravaggio Mocking of Christ. Thank you for your artistic, or just generous, participation.

Fr. Cekada had the “24-hour ’flu” last Sunday. This is a curious thing as every year he gets his shot, and every year he gets sick. I never do, and I never do, but there you have it. I was not yet up to the High Mass, which necessitated a change in schedule. I offered the 11:30, with the sermon after the Gospel. Surprise! The Cushion Club was caught short! Much coming and going. . .

If you’re reading this, I guess we survived the Mayan calendar hoax and the latest “end of the world,” which goes to join that old Protestant preacher and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and many more who have tried (the Witnesses more than once) and failed.

Well, I remarked to the people last Sunday that the sermon at the 11:30 is a bit like the end of the world – you never know when it will be. It is not, however, the end of the world to have to hear the sermon! Be in your pew for the scheduled start of your Mass, 7:30, 9:00, 11:30 or 5:45. The sermon just may do you some good.

Last Saturday, Fr. Ahern contacted Bishop Sanborn about some help for his little St. Augustine Church in Norfolk, VA. This is how we learned of Fr. Joseph Collins’ serious pneumonia, which has him in the hospital. I understand that Bishop Sanborn will be sending a priest to Virginia for a few Masses. Fr. McKenna will kindly go to give the faithful their Matins and Midnight Mass for Christmas, and another sung one in the morning.

I reminisced with Fr. McKenna about my first Christmas as a priest. I was in England, and took the train north to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, near where my grandfather was born in Bishop Durham, son of Irish migrant workers. Already in 1976 there were drunks and “lager louts” about, and there was one on the train. Not a very pleasant trip.

To my disappointment, no Midnight Mass had even been scheduled for the mission. I offered it on a buffet table in a private home with three or four faithful. Christmas morning the Mass was in an old English hotel, smelling as they all did of mutton and Brussels sprouts. The family which received me was most hospitable. They did not have central heating, but they did have single malt whiskey which I had never tasted before. The next month I returned to the U.S. to take Fr. Sanborn’s place with Fr. Kelly (imagine, we’re all bishops now!) on Long Island. Fr. Sanborn went to Detroit to replace Fr. Ward, who decamped with his little group to Colorado, where he still is today, in a compound outside of Colorado Springs.

Please pray for Fr. Gerard McKee, a CMRI priest in Wayne, Michigan. Father recently suffered a painful broken ankle, and then the loss of his mother. He was unable to travel home for the funeral in Coeur d’Alene, however, because of danger of blood clots just after his surgery to pin the ankle. May Our Lady of Sorrows console and heal him.

Last Tuesday, we gave †Fr. Martin a magnificent Month’s Mind. After the Solemn High Mass, Fr. Cekada preached an excellent funeral oration or eulogy, which truly captured the unique life and many gifts of this Franciscan Father.

That evening I offered my Requiem Mass for him, and found myself praying to him as well as for him, and very fittingly so.

Pretty much everyone “got it” from Fr. Martin sooner or later. While he was an enthusiastic, “take no prisoners” controversialist (and also a funny one) he was never one to hold grudges, as Fr. Cekada said. He wrote his sharp letter or two, and then moved on, his friendship undisturbed. This is a fine example for us today.

Where did Advent go? Where are holy longings and good resolutions?: Come watch with us tomorrow evening for the Matins, a little after 9 o’clock, as we await the birth of the Son of God and sing His Gloria with the angels at the Midnight Mass.

May Our Lady help you to finish this Advent well.
–Bishop Dolan