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Last Sunday After Pentecost

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
The sirens scared many off Sunday night for the Forty Hours closing, but others came, and all closed well. If you closed your eyes during the procession or gazed just upon the Sacred Host as I did, it would seem, as it was in God’s eyes, the triumph of triumphs. The bells, the music, the stately ordered procession, made a splendid ending to forty hours of prayer, solemn Masses and sermons, socializing too and celebration as well as our silent “tête a tête” with our God in the monstrance, held prisoner there only by His love.

As I mentioned at the final little sermon on Sunday, I was praying against a tornado that afternoon, as well as for a tornado: some mighty spiritual force, the Holy Ghost to stir us up, priests and faithful, children and adults, to do great things for God and His Christ, “to tear up and destroy, to build and to plant;” that Our Lord would “renew the face of the earth.” Let us settle, as lasting fruit of this momentous month of November, full of victories and solid achievement, for nothing less.

Well, we certainly ate well, didn’t we? The chili supper offered so many recipes to sample and chose from! The Forty Hours meals brought together the faithful for some pleasant visiting after opening ceremonies, or Sunday’s Solemn High Mass. The reception for Fr. Nkamuke was an elegant affair. You ate everything, which is always a good sign. Our new priest is touched and grateful.

I wish especially to thank Mark Lotarski, Katie and Darlene, Fr. Cekada and the choir, our great servers, parents, and pray-ers, and many others. Special thanks go to visiting Andy Hoxie from Michigan, who straightened out our crooked candelabra, and spent hours in the sacristy, setting out and putting away.

Congratulations to our new priest, Fr. Nkamuke, as well as to St. Gertrude’s priest sons, Fr. McGuire and Fr. Lehtoranta, celebrating their ordination anniversaries on St. Gertrude’s Day. Speaking of congratulations, let us give ours also to Lorraine Gates who celebrates her 95th birthday on Thanksgiving. Lorraine visited us the other Sunday for the 5:45. She was so happy to be at Mass again, and we so happy to see her. She is unchanged, still her sweet, chipper self.

Thanksgiving should be in our hearts these days for so many graces and favors of late, as well as (this is harder) the providential little crosses God sends for our good. This November has been a month of blessings. Let us end it together on our knees this Thursday, rendering that perfect thanksgiving by the Holy Eucharist, the actual meaning of the name of this supreme Sacrifice and Sacrament whose valid celebration is the very raison d’être of our existence at St. Gertrude the Great.

I am recalling with great thanksgiving myself these days the first anniversary of my successful cancer surgery, November 20th, and your very great kindness, as well as the 20th anniversary of my Episcopal consecration come Saturday, St. Andrew’s Day. Many of you, dear friends, have special cause for thanks as well. Let us rejoice together. Thus, well fed and feasted, may next Sunday see us ready for some serious Advent prayer and penance.

This Last Sunday after Pentecost I am visiting St. Clare’s chapel in Chillicothe for Confirmations, a happy first visit for me. Unhappier are the coyote visits. You’d think we were in the Wild West rather than West Chester, Ohio to hear their creepy cries each evening, adult and young, coming from the adjoining brush. We worry for the cats, but they seem to have it figured out, and have survived their nightly excursions. Puccini sticks his paw under Fr. McKenna’s door when it’s time to go, usually quite early in the morning. Caravaggio is hibernating for this Winter, I think, but still gets out to run his rounds eventually.

Bishop Sanborn tells me that Sunday’s storms delayed him for hours at the Detroit airport. He didn’t reach Tampa until 2:00 Monday morning. Monday brought us beautiful weather, almost St. Martin’s Summer, a week late. These fine sunny cool days of Autumn are the best the Ohio Valley has to offer.

Fr. Cekada has been busy of late. See his contributions on the SGGResources.org site on the Internet. His “Quidlibet” offerings include a helpful summary of the sede vacante reality of the Catholic Church (know your Faith!) as well as an interesting report on the organ, our musical heritage and its talented heirs at St. Gertrude. Of course, there’s his Field Guide for Young Catholics, combining Father’s trademark precision with humor. Spread it around! Cast some of last Sunday’s mustard seeds into the soil for a Winter harvest.

A blessed and thankful Thanksgiving to you all!
– Bishop Dolan