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Epiphany II

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

Daily Sermons
January 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Both the King and the Subjects
January 14 – Bp. Dolan – “Hilary Term” A Patron for the Spring Semester
January 15 – Bp. Dolan – Two Young Men in a Hurry
January 16 – Fr. Lehtoranta – A Christian Comforted Amidst Troubles
January 17 – Fr. Lehtoranta – “I was with You the Whole Time”

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
In seeming reparation for the “Polar Vortex” (what an imposing name for January’s customary zeroes and subzeroes) which accompanied the Wise Men this year for our Epiphany, Winter took a break of late, and tantalized us with a taste of Spring. The cats fell for it, and have been out long hours on bunny patrol, faithful felines that they are. They do not listen to weather reports. Blessed innocence!

Some of us are fleeing south today for the annual seminary retreat. Its theme is taken from the wisdom of the Egyptian Desert Fathers: flee, be silent, be at rest. (Fuge, tace, quiesce.) Fr. Lehtoranta will be staying put, and give up the “quiet” of his contemplation to offer the daily High Mass and sermon, in addition to his teaching at our little school, and minding the store. His native Finland’s patron saint comes tomorrow, St. Henry of Uppsala, a sort of Finnish St. Patrick’s Day. Accompany him for the feast, and wear your blue and white. Father recently ventured down to Louisiana for our monthly Mass. The congregation was down, but the weather was fine. Our Fathers always stop in to greet Fr. Francis Miller, OFM, in Lafayette.

I always think that one of the many rewards bestowed upon Gertrudians and visitors alike in late January is the Christmas scene which awaits them at our charmingly decorated church, still all a-twinkle with light, and red and gold and crêche and Holy Child. In the world all is bleak, and purposeful talk about diets, or MLK or Roe v. Wade. Within, one can rest and pray and truly address the ills of the day. Come, come to Bethlehem. Flee, be silent, and still.

I have noticed that already the light lingers during my 5:00 PM Mass on weekdays. While Fr. McGuire’s heroic 6:00 AM Mass has yet to meet the dawn it anticipates, it does draw a faithful four for the coming of the Light of the World. This week’s Mass schedule is limited, but keep those pious thoughts in mind for next week. Daily Mass, an extra Mass….

For this week I propose to you our annual pro-life Day of Prayer of Wednesday. The children sing the votive Mass of the Holy Innocents in the morning, and make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed in the afternoon. Supernatural faith teaches us that the power of the Word of God, exposed in the Sacrament of His Love, far exceeds the perishable but plentiful words of politicians. Flee with us, be quiet and be at rest.

Our Fr. McKenna’s peregrinations about the frozen north have taken him into the Mountain Time zone and almost to Montana in search of souls to serve. Thus we have opened a second mission in North Dakota at Dickinson, west of Bismarck, dedicated to St. Thérèse.

Our Twelve Sundays of the Mother of Good Counsel seem to have flown by, even as Our Lady flies to our needs, answering our heartfelt prayers. Truly she is “de prompte secours,” of quick help, as our Louisiana brethren are honoring her these days. Be sure to gain your plenary indulgence by Confession and Communion for having made the Twelve Sundays with us. Honor her image in your home.

We are already talking about Summer camps and fundraisers this January. What a warming thought, and that in more ways than one on these cold grey days. In the meantime, our gamers are welcome to play with us next Sunday afternoon for a little innocent recreation. Euchre instructions willingly provided. Perhaps some of our young and very avid cardsharps will come along with “more experienced” players. Come, young and old, for a Winter’s afternoon entertainment.

On a more somber note, we fulfilled our sad duty of devotion towards †Iris Wilson, whose Requiem was read on Saturday, January 11th. Doris, one of the mourners, afterwards shared a touching memory of this good soul. Even while she herself was suffering from cancer, Iris would take †Shirle Downing shopping or to the doctor. May they both rest in peace, and know the reward of their labors.

Pray with us this week, too, for the conversion of non-Catholics during the Chair of Unity Octave. “May all be one, O dearest Lord, we pray!” Let these words resound in our hearts and inspire our deeds every day.

Pray for us on retreat, and flee with us, at least a little, from this wicked world. I sent a hermit’s blessing home with you. Hole up with the Holy Family and find rest for your soul.

– Bishop Dolan