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The Holy Family

Fr. McGuire chants the Gospel on the Feast of the Epiphany

Daily Sermons
January 3 – Fr. McGuire – The Word was Made Flesh
January 6 – Fr. McGuire – Epiphany – Your Guiding Star
January 8 – Bp. Dolan – Your Journey with the Star
January 9 – Bp. Dolan – Teachers: A Treasure
January 10 – Bp. Dolan – “Run Away” Saints

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Today’s weather was predicted to be the same as last Sunday’s, rainy and mild. But what a week ensued. Still, despite skin-cracking cold, and the weather terrorists on T.V., we all did very well. Our standard Sunday attendance was only off by 20 or so, and a biblical 70 fairly bulged the church for Twelfth Night’s Solemn Epiphany Mass. The party afterwards was warm and wonderful (thank you, Mark and Marlys!) and we all went back into the cold well fed indeed. Not a bad week at all, this week of the Three Kings’ coming. The sacred ministers at the Epiphany Solemn Mass, processing to the altar as the choir sings the Provençal carol March of the Kings, always remind me of them.

Our “Baltasar,” (the African king), Mr. Abraham Chukwu, has returned to the seminary for the resumption of classes tomorrow. On Saturday, I will be going to Brooksville myself to give the annual retreat. Several of the Fathers will be making the retreat along with our future priests. Please keep us all in your prayers.

A good daily Rosary, a family Rosary, is like a miniretreat, a bit of recollection in the midst of a distracting day. I hope you will make this spiritual exercise, alone or with others, a nonnegotiable all week long. But it is better to pray with others.

I’m thinking of Rosaries today, because Vic Ritze, a longtime and prolific Rosary maker, has officially retired, passing his enthusiasm as well as his equipment on to his daughter Theresa Hill. God bless you, Vic, for all of the thousands of Rosaries you must have made over the years, which have accompanied me for distribution in mission lands, or been passed out here at St. Gertrude.

We had a quiet Requiem and Absolution for †Iris Wilson yesterday. Keep her in your prayers. Joan Lotarski remembered on Wednesday that it was the third anniversary of Ernie Nellenbach’s death, a dear, generous and truly holy soul. The same must be said of Bernie Brueggemann, whose anniversary is February 12th. Fr. Eldred Leslie’s fifth is January 21st. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

On a more prosaic note, how did you survive the big freeze? We kept some faucets on trickle to avoid frozen pipes, but the office and the Helfta heating went out. It was only for the day, and the pipes were thawed out and heat restored. In the meantime, it was chilly. I could not move my fingers fast enough on the computer keyboard to stay warm. One of the more colorful members of staff likened his position hovering over the solitary space heater to “a bum at a burn barrel.” Great simile, Jim!

Fr. Lehtoranta was three days delayed returning from Milwaukee, and has already left, yesterday, for a quick visit to Louisiana. Let us pray for a good trip for him, as also for Fr. McKenna, who had an early departure for Milwaukee last Wednesday, and hours and hours of driving to reach Grand Forks, North Dakota, where it’s really cold. He only got there at 11:00 PM.

Epiphany concludes tomorrow, but our quiet contemplation of the joys of Christmas continues through February 2nd and Candlemas, which this year falls on a Sunday. Next Sunday we conclude already our Twelve Sundays of the Mother of Good Counsel, who has so watched over us and our needs these past ten years in our new church.

Speaking of numbers, we are reprinting a popular bulletin feature of years ago, “The Sunday Seven,” as well as the ever-necessary Catechism Corner. There’s still time for a New Year’s resolution: take some time to read the bulletin each Sunday. Think about it. Clip and save something that strikes you. Pass it on to someone else. What a great little magazine you receive 52 times a year! It feeds your spiritual life, and furnishes something to share with others.

I’ve noticed how many people, visitors and faithful both, come to church without a prayerbook. So, I thought we would add a little Sunday Mass explanation to the music/prayer leaflets we pass out. Take yours home with you. Cut out a prayer you like. Pass it on, or place it in your prayerbook.

God bless our families! We all came from one. May we all come back together to God one day, family intact, by a true love for God’s Family: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

May they bless you,
– Bishop Dolan