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St. Matthew

Photos from the Solemn High Mass on the feast of St. Matthew:



And on a completely different note, here is some tug-of-war fun from our parish picnic, which was also held on the feast of St. Matthew:



Daily Sermons
September 15 – Fr. McKenna – Our Lady of Sorrows
September 16 – Fr. Nkamuke – Bearing Trials Patiently
September 17 – Fr. Nkamuke – Stigmata of St. Francis
September 18 – Bp. Dolan – Come Fly with Me
September 19 – Fr. McGuire – Bold and Brave St. Januarius

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Well, we had an excellent Saturday morning one week ago, as 65 of you joined us for the Fatima Rosary Procession for Peace. The different day and time brought out a different crowd. How happy Heaven must have been to see so many give of their “free day” to walk and pray with us, to free the world from sin and its wages, which are wars. The power of the Rosary!

Just as the clergy were vesting in surplice from our ‘car sacristy’ for the procession, a lady detached herself from the First Watch brunch crowd and approached us. “What’s this? What’s this?” she asked us with a big smile. “Do you believe in Jesus?” “We do indeed!” I answered, explaining that this was a procession to pray for peace, as His Mother requested 100 years ago at Fatima.

At this point, Fr. McKenna had his Rosary dangling from his hand, and with more smiles our curious friend touched it with a look of delight. “I haven’t seen one of these in so long,” she said, and was off, joining her party for breakfast before any of us thought to find her a Rosary or invite her to join us. Another passerby, a young man, did, and prayed with us until the end. There’s something to be said for a public Rosary, a procession. Mark Monday evening, October 13th, on your calendar. It is the last until next Spring, God willing.

We’ve been praying all week, through good weather and bad, for a dry Sunday today, at least as regards rain. Fr. Lehtoranta is kindly covering Milwaukee today, but the rest of the Fathers are with us, and look forward to visiting with you over a plate of great food. See you there?

Our new year at St. Gertrude the Great is well begun. (September is the original “new year month,” going back to the Jews of the Old Testament and continued today by the Eastern rites, whose liturgical new year falls in September, as our does on the first Sunday of Advent.) The school children are making good progress in many fields, and our choir is joyfully singing at Wednesday rehearsal and Sunday High Mass. Our Sunday school is enrolling some more children today, so know that it is not too late for yours. We have ten children so far preparing for First Holy Communion.

Speaking of which, may I ask you not to bring food or drink back to the classrooms, or indeed, around the building. We don’t have a janitor anymore, and I do need each of you to do your part. Please enjoy the refreshments in Helfta Hall. Crumbs left in classrooms, and cups of coffee spilled in the school wastepaper baskets create unnecessary Monday morning work for our teachers, who already have so much to do.

The old discipline of eating neatly, and in one place, is a precious one to pass on to our children. Encourage them as well, by word and example, to clean up after themselves, even in Helfta Hall (or at home!) Don’t leave a mess for the nonexistent janitor. You probably don’t have a janitor at home either.

Fr. Nkamuke made a quick bus trip to Washington last week to get his passport renewed at the Nigerian embassy. Knowing all the grief Fr. Larrabee had getting a visa to visit there, we are all holding our breath until it is successfully accomplished. There was a crisis at the embassy Friday morning. First, somebody announced the embassy was closed, come back another day. Further noise and negotiations. Then, for an additional fee of $85 the passport would be sent to him. Meanwhile, Fr. Valeriy is hoping to receive another Polish visa this week to continue his time learning the Latin Mass with Fr. Trytek in Krakow. He has been very well received by the Polish faithful.

We Americans probably have no idea how complicated life is in other lands, not only with poverty and without so many creature comforts, but with so much bureaucratic red tape. We don’t deserve it, but let us pray to retain the liberties that are still left in our land. “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!”

This past week I happened to watch an old video of Bishop Sheen, one of his wonderful ’50s TV shows. As was his wont, he began with a story or two, which included the line (quite popular at the time): “Everything in the American home is controlled with a switch, except the children.” He went on to praise the efficacy of giving children a good pat on the back, provided it be low enough and frequent enough.

At the same time as I was watching this, a “great scandal” made the headlines about a player of the NFL disciplining his son…with a switch! He is now suspended. How popular orthodoxies change! Remember the gentle use of a switch which forms part of the seemingly very successful “To Train Up a Child” program? Poor Mr. Petersen. A switch in time would have saved nine.

Fun football fact: One in three players suffers a concussion. The health repercussions of this head bashing are showing up earlier and earlier. As I hear the Football Friday drums coming from nearby Lakota, I am reminded of the ominous tom-toms in the soundtrack for a human sacrifice scene in some old Tarzan movie: the mesmerized natives, the innocent victims led to slaughter. You get the picture. There are many false gods who want our children today, younger and younger. Parents should protect them, not process them up to the idols.

Next Sunday is Angel Sunday, the opening of their month. Bring the little ones to be blessed. May these blessed spirits bless you and guide you.
– Bishop Dolan