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Holy Innocents Day

SGG Sanctuary
SGG Sanctuary built with Legos by Christopher and Simon

Daily Sermons
December 17 – Fr. McKenna – St. Lazarus the Friend
December 18 – Bp. Dolan – The Lord of Might
December 19 – Fr. McGuire – The Visitation
December 22 – Fr. McKenna – St. Thomas, Ap.
December 25 – Bp. Dolan – A Live Nativity Scene

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Holy Innocents Day! May Innocence Himself, with His Immaculate Mother, bless you on this Christmas Sunday by restoring your innocence, and renewing your devotion to protecting innocence in our midst. Innocence, purity, modesty and good measure in dress, innocence most of all in good example shown to our children… These are gifts precious beyond price, to which our children have a strict right. Work on the innocence today, and you will preserve the Christmas spirit in your celebration. Banish pride and strife and the bane of self-seeking, of overdoing things, of commercialism and impurity. Call a child into your midst and bless him and let the children be a blessing unto you. This is God’s way. Happy Holy Innocents Day!

I am writing this the Tuesday before Christmas but already I am touched and so grateful for all of the help from so many, which makes things come together so read-ily here, as we make our final preparations for the birth of the King. Oh, problems and mini-crises we do have. Monday was one of those days. But this always happens, and it does by God’s permissive will, meant to sanctify us as they try us, a little bit like poor St. Joseph, so tried in Advent, all the way through Christmas Eve, with its slammed doors and “no room in the inn” signs. But he helps, St. Joseph does. Ask him, and ask him often as you try to take good care of Mary and the Baby this Christmas.

In addition to thanking all of our helpers and work-ers—what a wealth this is for our church!—I want to thank you for such thoughtful Christmas cards and gifts this year, for me and all of the clergy. Thank you for keeping us so well fed, for thinking of all of this. Thank you too for Christmas cookies and cakes! Someone even thought of donating gifts for the little ones at today’s party. Thank you for your regular giving, and for today’s generous Christmas envelope. God, the giver of all good gifts, reward you all.

We must be very grateful this year for the mild weather which accompanies our Christmas, even as we remember in prayer those who face difficult to trying weather. Fr. McKenna was due to fly to Rochester, MN on Christmas Eve and drive on to North Dakota on St. Stephen’s day, his name day. (Bless his heart, he has never had a Christmas with us but is always going off some-where, bringing Christmas to others.)

Fr. Lehtoranta is in Milwaukee for the holidays, where he is known as “the Christmas priest” because he comes each year. He had to reschedule the children’s party, however, because he is offering Christmas Mass this Sunday for the Louisiana faithful, with the traveling Fr. McKenna due to drive in to take his place. It’s a compli-cated schedule this year, but Christmas often is, isn’t it? The main thing is to work that no one be forgotten. That is the ideal, anyway. “And even the birds,” St. Francis would add at this point.

May the rest of your Christmas week be warm and bright, with time for a little needed rest, oh, and prayer too. We’ll be here every day, praying away. Come to the stable, and enjoy a little extra Christmas peace. Don’t forget the Holy Day with its three morning Masses, as we have each Sunday. Start the new year by offering its first hours to God.

If you take Innocence home with you today (I pray you do, that’s the point) will He feel at home there, in your home? Try it out, and let me know, and God bless you!

Bishop Dolan

P.S. As I wrote the above lines, I had a little early Christmas cheer: the dispatching of a possum and a raccoon, trapped on the roof, potential invaders. Thank you, Gino!