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Solemnity of Corpus Christi

Tom Payne
Requiescat in Pace

Thursday, June 26
Wake: 9:00 AM
Rosary: 10:00 AM
Requiem High Mass: 10:30 AM

Daily Sermons
June 6 – Bp. Dolan – The Scales Balanced
June 7 – Bp. Dolan – A Nice Confirmation Sermon
June 9 – Bp. Dolan – Pentecost Monday
June 10 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Pentecost Tuesday – Show Affection to the Holy Ghost
June 19 – Fr. McGuire – Corpus Christi

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠

We are between two Solemn Masses as I write this, one for sorrow, one for joy. H.O. Hinton’s death cast its shadow over our Trinity Sunday celebrations, sad as we were to lose him. But as he will be well missed, he was well mourned last week, with the choir singing the Requiem for one of their own, adding the tribute of some exquisite motets in polyphony. Fr. Cekada and Charles Simpson, who found out about H.O.’s death on their way to visit him, sang the beautiful full Gradual and Tract as a particular memorial. As they did last month, they had planned a Schola practice in H.O.’s room, but he was already singing God’s praises in eternity. Many of you came to assist at the funeral Mass. I know it was a comfort to Becky and the family.

That afternoon black gave way to gold as we prepared the altar with many candles and beautiful flowers for Corpus Christi and Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. On Thursday the priests chanted the whole of the Divine Office together in adoration, and sang a Solemn Mass, as we do each year. Friday evening it was the turn of our loyal Guard of Honor, laymen watching by turns all night long in adoration. Meanwhile, each day a faithful few gather before the altar for the special privilege of Mass before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed, and Benediction.

Today, on the Summer Solemnity, the feast has its high point with the beautifully sung choir Mass (the last of this season: thank you, choir, so much!) and the solemn, outdoor procession of the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharistic worship continues this afternoon and all week long until we reach Friday’s feast of reparation, the Sacred Heart.

By exception this year, the Corpus Christi Octave gives way to St. John the Baptist Day on Tuesday, for it is a very great feast. As is customary, the 5:45 evening Mass is followed by our parish Summer barbecue. Bring something to share, and we’ll cook up the brats. ( Just to be clear: sausages, not badly behaved children.) As soon as the long Summer day wanes towards nightfall, we’ll light and bless the bonfire, gathering there for some music and mirth. Fr. Cekada will have something to offer, I’m sure.

Did you see the sweet picture of the Pentecost First Communicants at sgg.org? One correspondent sums up our feelings: “Bishop Dolan: What can I say! Stunning picture on your website. Splendor, solemnity, commitment and dedication as well as adorable innocence, all circumscribed by a tangible atmosphere it seems of God’s pure love. Find it hard to stop looking at it. Inspirational and calming in this terrible age of spiritual darkness. Thank God and thank you and the fathers with all my heart.”

St. Anthony of Padua last Friday brought us the Fatima Rosary Procession for peace. The feast day started wet, heavy, difficult in many ways. Would we be able to have a procession? I remember praying to Our Lady and St. Anthony: “Give us just the day you want.” Well, Heaven wanted the procession, because we had the first of three perfect June days. We sang a High mass for Pentecost Friday, and things ran a little late. Still, you all waited patiently, and the procession – very well attended – departed towards 7:30.

Much penance awaited us. The geese were active, reminding us, as the Apostle says, “to watch how we walk, carefully.” Some heckler, stopped for a red light, heckled us to go home, and in a way, of course, we were, heading slowly home to Heaven, Rosary in hand. We prayed on. Our friend from Dayton came again, and brought his wife this time to join us in prayer. We ran into some boys who were fishing in the pond, shirtless, quite amused at our antics. We prayed on, fishing as we were for souls. It was a perfect procession.

Fr. Lehtoranta departs later this week for Europe, and our prayers go with him. Soon the Summer Camps will be upon us – many many thanks to Marlys and the crew of crafters and sellers, who raised so much money for this apostolate. Fr. Cekada this week is presenting what should be a most interesting Francis Watch with Bishop Sanborn, which tries to keep up with the amazing flow of apostasies, heresies and scandals which come out of Rome each day.

But let us take a break from heavy thoughts today – and Tuesday – and celebrate Corpus Christi, the splendid, triumphant feast of faith, of God Himself in the Sacred Host, as well as of St. John the Baptist, forerunner of the Light, which shines still in our darkness.

Blessed Corpus Christi to you who believe and receive and adore!

– Bishop Dolan