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Advent II

Daily Sermons
December 1 – Bp. Dolan – St. Andrew
December 2 – Bp. Dolan – St. Vivian
December 3 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Francis Xavier Preaching to the World
December 4 – Bp. Dolan – Helping the Priest Preach
December 5 – Bp. Dolan – Noise and Silence

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
December’s days thus far have dawned dark and dreary, with at least one “ice event” daily to keep things interesting. The outdoor statue lights are now solar powered, so while natural they are also impractical, and leave the saints in the dark these long nights which fol-low dark days. At least they’re up again, our Calvary figures. The last wind storm knocked them over.

Speaking of nature, our raccoons are not the most amenable of tenants. I’m sure we are glad they have found warm lodging this winter within our walls, but something makes me think they need an exorcist’s touch. The worst of the screeching and thumping is re-served for the Consecration of my 5 PM Mass, and then for the chanting of the Magnificat at Vespers. Fr. Siordia always does say he finds the Magnificat a perfect exorcism. But just in case grace needs some help from nature, does anyone have a trap?

There was a sad but sweet scene last Tuesday morning as we confided Fr. Nkamuke and all of his suitcases and packages, loaded with books and altar articles, to the competent hands of Doby to be delivered to the airport, as he started his long journey home via New York and Abu Dhabi. The Fathers joined all of the students and teachers and sacristy ladies (who did so much to get Father and his vestments and sacred linens ready) to bid Fr. Nkamuke a truly fond farewell, and Godspeed with many prayers for the missionary life which lies ahead for this young priest pioneer of the faith in his native Nigeria.

Our solemn Advent Sunday services last week opened the way for Our Lord and a new Liturgical Year for us. In the meantime, we opened as well the craft and gift sale, which continues today. Friday’s All Night Adoration was the perfect Advent observance it always is. I pray most of you will make tomorrow’s Holy Day Mass one of your Advent sacrifices, one which will bring many blessings.

We are enjoying having almost a full house for our school this year, and seeing all of the students, both old and new, grow in “wisdom and age and grace” already this first semester. The High Masses are a joy to offer to God, with such beautiful music on offer to man as well. The little ones are really learning to sing now, and learning so many other things as well.

Doesn’t Advent indeed pass quickly? The busier you are, the faster it goes. We are trying to provide Holy Mass every Sunday to a growing group of Catholics, including many children, in the Rochester MN area, as well as every three weeks to the other young and growing mission we serve in the frozen depths of North Dakota’s plains, where 0° temperatures are considered average or warm after it gets really cold. Fr. Cekada and his fine choir are practicing up a storm for Christmas, but he has hurried off to tropical Tampa for his semi-nary week.

How was your Thanksgiving? We had a great one here, with so many of you making your thanksgiving God’s way, by the Holy Eucharist, assisting at Mass and Holy Communion. We were especially grateful to see Fr. Saavedra again after a long time. We all had breakfast together, and then a good long visit sitting at the table, as families will.

God bless your family, and your faithful generous and regular participation in our church family at St. Gertrude the Great. God bless our country too as we keep her patronal feast tomorrow.

Yours in Mary Immaculate,

Bishop Dolan