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Pentecost XIII

Blessing of First Fruits on the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption
✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Have you noticed the addition to our handsome new church sign on Rialto Road? It is a cross (Hail, O Cross, our only hope!) but not any cross. It is the cross that originally topped the steeple of our Sharonville church. We took it, and the bell, as well as the windows, with us. The windows now form our beautiful south window, and now our old cross takes its place, in time for the feast of St. Helena, who found the True Cross in Jerusalem.

I would have preferred to have the cross in a higher position, but our windy location precludes it. Someone told me that ours is the highest spot in Butler County. (There must be some symbolism there.) With height comes wind out here, very strong wind indeed. So as not to risk losing the cross, we have placed it at our gateway, as the cross leads to life.

Notice the unusual and prophetic composition of the cross. One stands within, at the heart of, the other. I see this as symbolizing the Sacred Heart, and St. Gertrude the Great. Our Lord said to St. Mechtilde: “You shall find me in the heart of Gertrude.” For how many souls has this been true for over 30 years! St. Gertrude is the gateway to Jesus and His Sacred Heart.

Souls are still finding Our Lord “in the heart of Gertrude.” This is why we are always delighted and interested to welcome visitors, real or virtual, every Sunday. The McFathers recently met a lady on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, originally from Lowell, Massachusetts but now living in West Chester. She visited us last week, as did a woman born in Milwaukee, but living in Madrid, Spain. She and her son are now in our virtual congregation, visiting via our webcast Mass. See how Our Lord continues to bless our church and its work. What a blessing for us to be here, and to help St. Gertrude’s work, to work for God’s glory and for souls.

These same motivations, together with love for Mary, inspired our participation in last week’s Fatima Rosary procession for peace. It was windy, hard work, but Thomas kept the banner aloft. It always is hard work, even though Heaven had blessed us with most delightful weather. The slow processional cadence of our 45-minute march leaves limbs a little wearied the next day, but the soul is strengthened and refreshed. How quickly the time passes, and how delightfully. There is nothing wrong with doing a little penance. I note that Our Lady asked for “penance and prayer” at Fatima. This is how souls are spared Hell.

The same must be said for the Holy Day. In the old, old days (and still for some souls who can so arrange things) the Holy Day is a holiday, as the word’s etymology indicates. First comes the solemn morning Mass, and then a day for family and rest, as on Sunday. For others, the Holy Day (or even Sunday) means some real sacrifice with schedule juggling and one more activity after school or work. I am always edified to see so many parishioners and visitors at our Holy Day Masses, but I do worry about those I do not see.

Dr. Warren Pevnick has been attending the 7:30 Mass with us for a number of years, but recently moved to St. Clairsville from Greenville. I will miss him, and wish him well in his move.

I am offering Mass again this morning in Milwaukee, and will be there this week. Fr. Lehtoranta is visiting our tiny flock in great Catholic New Mexico. Fr. McKenna is in Louisiana today, but is counting on visiting prisoner Joseph Murphy this week in Toledo, as well as the faithful round, with Fr. McGuire, of our sick and shut in. Bee Lutkehaus is in Meadowbrook Care Center in Montgomery, and would love a visit, I know. The Arlinghaus family helped us to prepare for our beautiful Assumption feast last week, and then visited Bee before returning home. Although she is still in a wheelchair, we hope she will be able to assist at Sunday Mass again. She longs for the day!

Remember Thursday’s feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the crucial and Heaven-requested devotion for our day. Enjoy this Lord’s Day today, and use it for some quiet time with family, as well as with God. I send a blessing home with you today in Mary’s Immaculate Heart.
– Bishop Dolan