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Epiphany II


Daily Sermons
January 12 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Elred
January 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Baptism of Jesus
January 14 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Felix and the Spiders
January 15 – Bp. Dolan – I’m the Best…Help Quick!
January 16 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Sts. Marcellus and Macarius

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Epiphany is the season of light. We see Our Lord revealed as God to all the world, but the world prefers its darkness, for it knows Him not. Still, the light comes among us. It has been fading since November and just before Christmas came the shortest day at the winter Solstice, coinciding with the doubt of Thomas. But by Gospel’s end, he had resolved his doubt, and fallen to his knees to adore. A few days later the birthday of the Unconquered Sun sheds its light on our midnight, and we all fall on our knees to adore the newborn King.

The days grow brighter and the light stays longer, perceptibly so, by Epiphany. I notice it at the 5 PM Mass. A bird was singing just now, practicing for Spring. The cats are out again, checking their bunny traps and patrolling the perimeters. The great conflict of light vs. darkness awaits us, but the Light always conquers. Let it in. These days of such darkness remember the light, long for it, and immerse yourselves in it. It does a lot of good, and always points the way to “the true Light, which enlightens every man that cometh into the world.”

I saw a beautiful painting of Our Lady of the Light in Santa Fe last Sunday, at an exhibit entitled “Painting the Divine” at the New Mexico History Museum. This beautiful painting had once hung in the cathedral altar piece, witness to this Italian, Jesuit-brought devotion which the New World eagerly adopted. Our Lady is pulling a soul out of Purgatory’s flames with her right hand, and holding the Infant in her left. He is accepting hearts—our hearts—from a basket proffered by a young angel. It’s one of those paintings which is iconic in its rich symbolism, a never-ending book of meditation. How much we need the light these days!

Fr. Cekada goes to the seminary today for his regular classes. He reports on Bishop Sanborn’s struggles to keep the seminarians on pitch when they chant. They even have a meter to measure how far they are off. I’ve never worried about pitch too much myself, but then again I do tend to wander in and out of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier. Fr. Cekada says I generally end up in the neighborhood, for which I am grateful. He’s teaching the seminarians to read chant, but I just learned whatever I’ve learned by memory and ear over the years. For the mistakes, I pray the Angels of Light to cover for me…unless they’re covering their ears!

The beasts were so noisy the other night at Vespers that I could barely get the words out. We called an exterminator in desperation, and learned that raccoons do enjoy marshmallows. Please pray with us to get the animals out, and the walls sealed up. Raccoons are cute, but impractical houseguests.

Fr. McKenna has started visiting a small group in Bismarck, ND, Catholics who realized too that they could no longer be one with a noncatholic pope. Locally, visits are getting easier as the car situation improves. We are grateful to Chip McClorey for finding us the white retired police car to add to our fleet. Mrs. Sanborn’s old car from Detroit, once used by Fr. Saavedra, will be repaired and sold as a starter for somebody. Who says we don’t believe in recycling?

Much news on the prayer front. John Segrist, who we had been visiting for years, died January 5th, and was buried in the new religion, and we only heard about it much later. Please pray for his soul. Another regular, a dear and long time faithful Gertrudian, Kim LeBlanc, is dying. He has been in hospitals and nursing homes for years, and has suffered very much, but always with a strong faith which sustained him. Sr. Jeanne Marie had a heart procedure done at University Hospital recently, and pulled through fine. Fr. Mardones has been ill over Christmas with diabetes and other complaints, and suffering very much, although he is now on the mend. He is consoled by his seven Chihuahuas. ¡Ay Chihuahua!

Chris Browne’s father Jack died last week. Fr. Thielen was by to dinner the other night and mentioned that Larry Brugger is ailing, and in a nursing home now. Ruth Higdon has Alzheimer’s but still manages a good visit with Father. Paulina is pretty chipper in her new apartment in Kentucky, and had a nice chat with Fr. Cekada the other day. Bee continues in pretty good health, and enjoys her visitors. Mary Black wrote from Indianapolis that her son JT is anticipating cancer surgery, and still needs to receive the sacraments, as do several, in spite of their serious illnesses. Please pray especially for them, for all of our sick and Rosary Chain intentions, and for our priests, past and present. Priests really need our prayers . Thank you for your Alter Christus Masses.

God reward you! Oh, and remember to pray the Chair of Unity Octave with us for the conversion of all in error, and the unity of the true Catholics who are left.

Let us give Our Lady the last word: “Do whatever He tells you.” May she bless you, with her Son.

Bishop Dolan