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Lent I

St. Francis of Assisi, The Patron for Our Lent this Year

Daily Sermons
February 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Hope Overcomes the Fear of Death
February 16 – Fr. Lehtoranta – President Garfield and the Bible
February 19 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Seek the Lord and Not the Servant
February 20 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Trumpet of Prophet Isaias
February 21 – Bp. Dolan – Thieves of Paradise

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Christmas seems to have crashed our Lent, doesn’t it? We are all ready for Holy Spring, but the good Lord sent us back to Winter for Ash Wednesday, and perhaps a bit longer. God’s holy will be done. Let us take the troubles of the weather in the spirit of the perfect joy of St. Francis, the best penance because the one imposed by God Himself, even if it meant that many of you were unable to make the imposition of Ashes. By exception, we are offering the ashes again today, so that you may not be deprived. Still, it was edifying to see a good little group at almost all of Wednesday’s Masses.

Thank you for your prayers for a good Mexican trip. The faithful in the north, under the care of Fr. Villegas in Tijuana and Mexicali, are well-educated and active Catholics, blessed with a generous spirit as well as devout young people who participate in the life of the church. It was a pleasure to visit them and get to know them better. In Mexicali, we had the Blessing of the First Stone, as well as of the as yet unfinished, but very impressive chapel.

I had Confirmations in both places, as well as a nice dinner reception with the people. In Tijuana I gave a talk on marriage to the married couples who attended, and discussed Bergoglio’s efforts to destroy true and holy mat-rimony. We all know this, but some are willing to com-promise so far as to attend those sacrilegious Masses of-fered in union with this archenemy of all things Catholic, and even of the Natural Law. Pray for the courage of your Confirmation, Holy Fortitude. Avoid sacrilege, schism and heresy. Do not assent, by your active participation, to its presence in the Canon of the Mass.

Fr. Villegas travels three hours each Sunday afternoon to offer Mass in Mexicali, and the faithful set everything up beautifully, but then have to take it down after Mass, as once did we in the “good old days.” It is encouraging to see this energetic spirit of sacrifice still present in our young people, passed on now to another generation.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ocean, Fr. Nkamuke has his Lenten travels planned out, which will take him around his Nigeria, including the capital of Abuja, and into neighboring Ghana as well. Do keep him and his health in your prayers, as his labors and travels are many.

Fr. Cekada is raising money for a “new old organ,” an excellent second-hand instrument, as you may have seen in an email from him. Donations—and memorials—welcome! Gino has been installing the wiring for the new speakers, and the organ itself should be here the first week in March.

Our beautiful St. Francis arrived just in time for his Lent, and stands by the Mission Cross in the sanctuary. Many thanks to the Arlinghaus family, and especially daughter Millie, whose fine work—many hours of it—this is. May this wonderful saint find a good home with us, and his spirit permeate our hearts and home, as well as inspire our Lent this year.

I would be happy to have your comments and ques-tions for Lent this year. I hope to have another Q & A session one Sunday morning, and a Question Box in the vestibule. No question is stupid, but it is not to ask, as someone else needs to know as well. By asking we learn. How much we need to learn and pass on our Faith. Be sure to save our Lenten Special Events on your own calendar.

America’s endless wars and interventions in the Middle East have opened up a Pandora’s Box, Pat Buchanan says. From out this box the mad Mohammedans issue forth, murdering Christians. Let us pray so much for the Chris-tians of that region, betrayed by our own country, and left helpless before the foe. It may be that God in His mercy would inspire some of these murdered ones for a true Baptism of Blood, so that they would indeed be martyrs in His eyes. The Rosary and the Fatima message are the path to peace, not politicians and parties. How about some extra Rosaries this Lent for the persecuted and abandoned Christians of the Middle East?

This cold last week of February is a regular Lenten one, with much on offer to help you offer up the best Lent ever. Offer up with us and at home your prayers, your sacrifices, your Masses and devotions. May St. Francis accompany you, and God bless you!

–Bp. Dolan