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Bishops, Priests, & Seminarians participating in the January retreat given by Bp. Dolan.

Here, Bp. Dolan answers questions on the Faith after today’s High Mass.

Daily Sermons
February 17 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Defending the True Doctrine
February 18 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Bernadette, Ordinary Girl & Saint
February 19 – Bp. Dolan – A Call From Purgatory
February 20 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Sadoth, Fearless in the Face of Death
February 21 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Germanus, Friend of His Enemies

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Every year I calculate the opening of our Friday evening Sorrowful Mother Novena by counting back nine weeks from her feast in Passiontide. Then I think, “Gulp! Holy Week is only nine weeks out!” and then Easter, and May, and the end of the season with Corpus Christi….May we keep these days of grace well!

The Church does the same thing (but without the gulping), counting at first the days until Easter, until she settles with forty, Quadregesima (which is Lent in Latin), the perfect number for the struggle which is earthly life lived in view of winning eternity. So, a week ago this past Friday a handful of us braved one of the last snows of the season to pray to our Sorrowful Mother, and for the sick. The next morning after Mass much the same crew sang a sweet strong hymn to bid farewell to the Alleluia, which we will not meet again until Holy Saturday. Its sound of triumph is muted for the struggle which awaits us.

It looked like Winter back then, but we knew Spring was on its way. I think this thought cheered the faithful to Church for Septuagesima through the fresh fallen snow. Courage! It’s almost over. Since then, first sun and then rain have put away Winter’s snowy blanket. We stand ready for Spring, struggle though it spells both for nature and for the soul. Now it is only two months until Easter.

Every Sunday, though, is a little Easter. That is why we come to Mass. Remember this, and come dressed respectfully, modestly, neatly, in your best. Men and boys must wear a tie and proper shoes. Resist the revolution! Church is not a basketball court. Oh, and also: go to the bathroom before Mass. If you miss one of the three principal parts of the Mass (Offertory, Canon, or Priest’s Communion) you commit a mortal sin, unless there is an emergency. Children form the bad habit of bathroom breaks, even frequent ones, when bored or antsy. Help them to focus. Make sure they, and you, have a prayer book. Talk about what the Mass is!

Parents, train your children when young to these good habits, which will last a lifetime (proper dress for Mass, staying put atMass, praying theMass). Remember, training is your job, and pushing the limits is a child’s job. Let’s embrace the holy discipline which, when taught young, may last all through life. ’Tis the season!

Some of the 11:30 faithful last Sunday went afterwards to visit H.O. Hinton and prayed part of the Rosary with him. Visiting the sick is a charitable Sunday activity, complementing and carrying out the Holy Mass. Why not make it part of your Sunday some time, especially (but not only) for Lent?

Bee Lutkehaus had plenty of visitors the other day. Fr. McGuire tries to see her every week with Holy Communion, but Fr. Greenwell was there for the same purpose! We were surprised at this because we thought our faithful were supposed to be denied Holy Communion. In the old days this would probably be called “sheep rustling,” but I’m sure there was a misunderstanding. Poor Bee! How confusing! Fr. Greenwell commenced a little talk for Fr. McGuire about “Thucite Bishops” and at this point our priest quietly withdrew. The confusion of old age and fading memory is hard enough to bear without being asked to chose between conflicting clergymen. How unseemly.

Fr. Jenkins thinks that our priests are not validly ordained, you see, or real Catholics, and we fear that Fr. Greenwell may not be validly ordained, either, come to mention it. It all has something to do with saintly Archbishop Thuc, whose Latin was excellent, and Bishop Mendez or Gonzalez, who repeatedly stumbled over an essential word in the form of the Ordination rite years ago.

Really, careful theological and canonical research and calm application of Catholic principles of sacramental theology is all that it would take to clear up the matter. Oh, better add a bit of good will and some humility too, because these disagreements always have a strong personal element. Let us pray for an end to such truly scandalous scenes, which only hurt and confuse the faithful, young or old. No wonder the sick need our prayers. Schism is splitting the very Body of Christ, one of the many sins with which we are chastised during these days of the Church’s eclipse. If all we can do is to withdraw in dignified silence, let us do that, adding a prayer. Today’s Introit seems fitting for our needs: “Arise, why sleepest Thou, O Lord? Arise, and cast us not off to the end.”

Speaking of schisms, another sad split, fresh enough to be still quite sore, is the St. Albert Chapel started by Fr. Ramolla and now maintained by Bishop Pivarunas as St. Thérèse of Lisieux Church. This small group of our former parishioners meet in different hotels and are surely very devoted to their cause. These souls are cared for by the CMRI Fathers, who come in from a great distance. They are very hard working priests. I am sure they must have many scattered faithful who do not have the Mass every Sunday as we do in Cincinnati, and so many Masses.

There have always been scandals and splits (knowing Church history is such a consolation), but a persevering charity on our part could go a long way towards a solution. Smile, be charitable, and leave the past to God’s mercy. Pray, and highly value these dear souls. Remember the saints teach us that our enemies who speak and act against us are our real friends, not the friends who are kind and sweet to us. Treat your enemies as though they were your best friends, and maybe one day they will be!

As last month, First Saturday comes to us at week’s end. With the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we begin the month of St. Joseph. Let us find refuge in her Heart, a true throne of grace.

– Bishop Dolan

PS: Don’t forget your leeks for St. David’s day (he’s also good for skin problems) and make a little St. Joseph altar at home to remind your family to honor him daily during his month.