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Pentecost XXI

Fr. Stephen McKenna

We have a special treat this week: Listen to Fr. McKenna talk about his path to the priesthood.

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
St. Thérèse says that “nature always reflected the image of my soul. On days full with tears the heavens cried along with me; on days of joy the sun sent forth its happy rays in profusion, and the blue skies were not obscured by a single cloud.” This past week seemed to exemplify her observation.

The soul of this church on Rosary Sunday was hardworking, struggling, striving against the rain and its draining humidity, as well as the heaviness of satanic attack; making us think of insistent, persevering rosary prayer. The sea-sloshed decks and bloody battles of Lepanto came to mind, the naval commander fighting one on one in his carpet slippers for better grip on the wood, wet with blood. He fought on, even after being wounded in the eye, for he was fighting for Mother Church, the apple of God’s eye, His beloved bride.

Supported by many fervent Rosaries, the Christian forces conquered, though they were outnumbered, for the prayers prayed, and the fighters fought, heedless of discomfort, cost, or danger. There is a lesson here for us all.

Sunday’s dark struggles gave way to Monday’s Rosary victory on the feast day itself and actual Lepanto anniversary. Blue skies and cool sun have encouraged our joys these October days, our energetic and persevering prayer.

While you at home were offering unfading crowns of roses in your daily and family prayer, we at church in daily Mass and Rosary and Office enjoyed the lasting beauty of last Sunday’s roses, which decorated our altars and faded not. (Thanks, Marlys and helpers, and Rosary Confraternity!) The blessed rose petals you took home may be dried and carried with you, or used to make a drink for the sick, or sprinkled on food, always with a prayer for healing and protection.

Thanks to Pat Kolb and Kolb Catering for another great breakfast, expeditiously served to about 100 faithful nicely filling Helfta Hall. Then we sat back and enjoyed the tale of the lad from Tewksbury and his calling to be a priest, a true priest, one of the few left in all the Church. His was a Rosary story for Rosary Sunday, for Father told of persevering struggle and prayer, and of Our Lady’s protection. Thank you, Fr. McKenna!

Fr. Cekada is back with us after a busy week at the Seminary. Check our SGGResources.org page for his latest offering, an article on the post-modern Modernist and his poison philosophy.

The young Fathers and I, catching up with the children of our school choir, are singing more and more of the actual Gregorian chant in our almost daily Vesper offices. We are not yet singing as well as the children, but mindful of the Divine Mandate we are trying to be like unto them.

Fr. McGuire reports a fine Rosary Sunday in Milwaukee, the traditional start of their season. The St. Hugh choir sang some of the Gregorian propers for the first time in their actual melodies. That afternoon fervent prayers for good weather provided sunny skies for their annual picnic, and “a good time was had by all.” Today I am with them in Wisconsin for the occasion of a pilgrimage to Green Bay’s Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, one of the few places where the Mother of God has appeared in our country. To my knowledge, only Santa Fe, New Mexico, shares this unique honor.

Tonight we all wish to honor Our Lady of Fatima at the last of our outdoor Rosary Processions. Pray for good weather and a great turnout for this final candlelight tribute to Our Lady of the Sun. Fr. Lehtoranta will be leading the Rosary, having returned from St. Clare. Fr. McGuire is gone as well, tramping around the mission circuit, seeking souls to serve and save.

Tomorrow is Columbus Day, a good day off for those able to enjoy it. Perhaps you might like to pray the Rosary and hear Holy Mass with us, praying for our country and continent, so singularly blessed by God and His Blessed Mother. A handful of devout souls will be retracing the steps of our Conquistadora Pilgrimage in Santa Fe, first made last year to honor Our Lady, Our Lord of Chimayo, and the Franciscan Martyrs. May Our Lady peacefully conquer many hearts, lest her Son should unleash Great Michael and the sword of war, already well merited by our wickedness. Pray the Rosary.

May your angel make you pray at home today!
– Bishop Dolan