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Last Sunday After Pentecost

James plays the postlude after the early morning Mass this past Sunday, while some classmates look on.

Daily Sermons
November 14 – Bp. Dolan – St. Josaphat
November 17 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Gregory, Happy and Sad Saint
November 18 – Fr. McKenna – Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul
November 19 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Elizabeth and St. Barlaam
November 20 – Bp. Dolan – St. Felix of Valois

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
The old Catholic harvest festival, once kept as Martinmas with a goose, and maintained in our land as Thanksgiving with a turkey, by rights should begin with Holy Mass, as all feast days do. At the Lord’s Table, the Communion Rail, let us pause in saying our Grace, as people do that day, bow the head and give thanks to God for God, for the Church and the Mass, for our church and family and everything and everyone according to God’s plan and providence. Included in this is Mary Immaculate, our Mother and God’s. This Thanksgiving we celebrate the Miraculous Medal, a further cause of thanksgiving for such a Mother, so many miracles, such blessings through her.

Of course we here are especially thinking about St Gertrude the Great, both our protecting patroness and our new church, now in its twelfth year of dedication. We are grateful for last Sunday’s feast, with its gorgeous altar and Pontifical Mass, our honored visitors from another land who came so far to be with us, and for the very fine anniversary dinner with which we were graced. We have had many meals in Helfta Hall, and before that in the under croft of the first church, but rarely have we eaten so well, the best Mexican food I have ever tasted! And in West Chester, Ohio…

Augmenting our joy and adding to our numbers were guests from Tijuana and Mexicali, Mexico, Akron Ohio, and even some from the 7:30 and 11:30 ! (Those borders are usually fairly strict, unlike the American border) who bravely crossed over for the morning and joined our High Mass regulars to rejoice and feast with us on so great a day. Deo Gratias.

A sweet but melancholy air descended upon us in the afternoon as we returned to the empty church, empty save for Jesus, to give thanks, as we do every evening. All of our guests had gone, and who else would dare come to Vespers and face the force of the Vortex? The air was still autumnal, even though we were under the Winter Storm Watch. A flight of birds ascended in the dusky distance, and we prayed and sang our thanks. Only much later, towards midnight would the snow come to surprise our Fall trees still in their scarlet finery, and turn our thoughts for a few days to the coming Winter, and its great feast of Christmas. By today all should be melted, and the way of the Lord made ready for you faithful as we gratefully close the post Pentecost season, and another church year.

As Winter comes we are trying to repair the little hall heaters so church will be more welcoming and less frigid, especially for the little ones in the vestibule. But parents, may I ask you to keep an eye on your children of all ages? Somebody has been vandalizing the painting of Christ (with the children!) poking holes in this precious art work. God only knows how much it would cost to repair it properly. We will have to do something. Most of our children are really rather well behaved, but it only takes one, and a finger or two to do great damage. Remember, free range is for chickens, not children.

What a boondoggle this Obamacare has been. Has your coverage gone up? Ours certainly has, and we’ve heard horrific stories from others. The big insurance companies are now in cahoots with the Feds, and that is that. Billions of dollars are being exchanged, and we get the bills. Thank you all for your steady, sacrificial giving each week. Thank you for the delicious meals you send, and for providing needed transportation for the priests’ airport runs. We are grateful for you all, and for everything.

A good way to give thanks, and keep the blessings coming, is to give Masses, the infinitely perfect prayer. We are low this Fall on parish Masses, and would be able to schedule yours fairly quickly, now that we have six priests for the moment until Fr. Nkamuke leaves in December.

Happy St. Hugh’s Solemnity to our Milwaukee faithful, and congratulations on their Silver Anniversary and first Forty Hours. Half of the Fathers are there today. Thank God for our fellow Catholics in our missions and churches, and throughout the world, including Catholic priests, far more than one would think.

Finally, today, we should remember to thank God for those who have gone before us, marked with the sign of faith. Only 22 years ago dear Sr. Gerard suggested we should have a parish dinner for St Gertrude’s Day, and did most of the cooking herself! What wonderful memories, what great examples, what an enduring cause for thanks!

Have a happy, thankful Thanksgiving…

—Bishop Dolan

P.S. And afterwards, or before, instead of watching America’s overpaid, morally challenged and bloody gladiators fight slowly and ritualistically unto death over the ball on TV, how about actually playing a little yourself, outdoors, with the kids? Just play, casual and fun, mind you, but healthy!

P.P.S. We still have Bee, and Loraine Gates and Paulina and Kim LeBlanc and Barb Steinmetz, to name a few. A visit would be welcome!