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Sexagesima

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

Jan. 29, 2013: St. Francis de Sales by Bp. Dolan
Jan. 30, 2013: St. Hyacinth Mariscotti by Bp. Dolan
Jan. 31, 2013: St. John Bosco by Fr. McKenna
Feb. 1, 2013: St. Ignatius of Antioch by Fr. McKenna
Feb. 2, 2013: Candlemas by Fr. Lehtoranta

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zelusdomustuae
✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠

Christmas with its forty days has now come to an end. It was charming to see final visits to the strikingly beautiful crib last Sunday, and photographs being taken as a remembrance of Christmas 2012.

The feast of the patron saint both of the Cincinnati archdiocese and of our little priestly society, St. Francis de Sales, came last Tuesday. We kept it with a Solemn High Mass. St. Francis de Sales is the saint of sanctity “without fuss,” for everybody, by the practice of devotion. The devout didn’t come in any great numbers, doubtless keeping their ammo dry for the weekend’s festivities. I’m sure the gentle Bishop of Geneva didn’t mind, as he laid out a program for sanctity for those whose duties keep them in the world, away form church. Still, may he inspire more “church” for us all these coming forty days. He certainly inspired the Little Flower with the main lines of his spiritual doctrine.

Great thanks to all who came to Candlemas, and helped with the beautiful ceremonies for the Purification, and the soup luncheon afterwards. God bless especially those who are helping us these days as we pack Christmas away in time for next Wednesday’s ashes and penance. How different our church will appear in its mourning garb.

Let us all appear “before the Lord” in true spiritual sackcloth and sorrow for sin. The men who watched all night on Friday give us a true concept of a good Lent, with its prayer, persevering and penitential prayer. Remember daily Mass, Stations, and the morning devotions we send home with you. Pray.

Our sweet patroness for Lent this year is St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Don’t be intimidated by your Lent with its sacrifices, disruptions and interruptions of your comfortable schedule. The Little Flower’s way is the Little Way. But enter upon it sincerely, and this little way will yield great fruits, even “a hundredfold.”

Thank you for your prayers for the seminary retreat. Four of our priests (including Fr. Larrabee and Fr. Saavedra) joined our eight seminarians as we considered the life and teaching of the Sacred Hearts’ priest, Fr. Mateo. The weather was fine, whereas ours here seems on quite the roller coaster.

The chant at the seminary is extraordinary this year. They sing three offices daily – Prime, (at 6:00 AM on school days!) Vespers and Compline – and the Gregorian Chant just rolls along flawlessly, echoing in the beautiful seminary chapel. Fr. Cekada taught the seminarians last year how to read chant, which is such a help.

We’ve just about sold out of our beautiful calendars this year, but are disheartened at how much it costs to send them, or anything, out of the country. So much for the age of international business and commerce! Perhaps the idea is that all such things should be controlled by big business or government, not the individual.

Speaking of the government, the immigration rules just make no sense. It costs us thousands of dollars (four or five) and many months of waiting for a foreign priest to receive a religious worker visa. Fr. Hecquard, here for a visit until after Easter, was harassed and questioned by the government agents even though he followed all of the rules. On the other hand, rule-breakers and even criminals are allowed to come and go without sanction. Go figure.

This Sunday and next I am in Milwaukee, tending to St. Hugh’s devout flock. Yesterday we had a more modest version of the Candlemas ceremonies. We are all preparing for Lent, its ceremonies and devout observances. Let us pray to St. Francis de Sales, whose Octave only ends on Tuesday, as well as to the Little Flower for a great “little” Lent.

With a blessing for this short Septuagesima season and a prayer to St. Blaise for you all,

–Bishop Dolan

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The Thuc Bishops: Separating Fact from Fiction, with Fr. Anthony Cekada

Watch the newly posted interview with Fr. Cekada on the topic of the Thuc consecrations: