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Lent V – Passion Sunday

Daily Sermons
March 16 – Fr. McKenna – St. Abraham
March 17 – Fr. McKenna – St. Patrick
March 18 – Bp. Dolan – Keep the Commandments
March 19 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Joseph, Terror of Demons
March 20 – Bp. Dolan – Tears and Bandages

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
On this most somber of Sundays still we should be glad for all that Our Savior suffered for love of us, and that soon we and our children and the whole suffering eclipsed Church will be celebrating “the sacrament of the Lord’s Passion.” May we celebrate it worthily and well, and thus enter into Easter’s joys.

Did you catch the splendor of the Spring morning on Laetare Sunday? I had to run back to the rectory for a moment after the sermon at the 7:30, but was stopped in my tracks by the vernal beauty of it all. It was like walking into a movie set. The morning sun had turned all the dew into glistening crystal over which bunnies hopped, heedless of cats, and robins swooped and sang. It is a fine picture to remember when the weather turns dark again and damp and cold in West Chester.

Friday was the Spring Equinox, a solar eclipse at the North Pole, another one of those blood moons, and the first day of the first Hebrew month, Nisan. Of course 14 Nisan is the old original day for Easter, which later occasioned much controversy in the early Church. Somehow the Irish got involved in it, don’t you know? The English, of course, sorted everybody out.

Controversies will always be with us, but we really should expect that Catholics will be Catholics, shouldn’t we? One of our faithful went to Margaret O’Brien’s funeral at the Pius X church in Walton, and was really surprised, scandalized even, at the photo of Bergoglio they have there. After all, he’s the antichrist from Hell, who’s trying to get Catholics to accept divorce and remarriage, gay marriage, and even—gulp!—transsexual couples. How far can you push a good ole boy? Pretty far, it looks like. What would Bernie Brueggemann have to say about this? Destroy the Faith to save the Faith is their game plan. Good luck with that. It’s like attending a sacrilegious Mass, (putting the antichrist’s name in the Canon) offending God in order to worship God. Oh, that’s what they do. Do not be scandalized at all of this unworthy compromise, but grow stronger in your faith, even though the Church today be eclipsed, shrouded in dark veils. Easter follows Good Friday. Pray kindly for those who “know not what they do.”

The cats set me a good example these days as they are out at all hours and weather patrolling our property line or “peripheries” as Bergoglio calls them, guarding against marauding baby bunnies and their latest nemesis, a dark feral cat which comes around making strange noises. Caravaggio is truly a cat of the peripheries, but Bergoglio better not try to make him a cardinal. We already have one, still happily bashing his head every day against the patio door.

As I was making the outdoor stations the other day I noticed Caravaggio demurely seated in the Lourdes Grotto next to Our Lady. He’s truly a “cat’lick.” Later he visited the Pieta with considerable curiosity, but never approached to distract me until I had finished the Fourteenth Station. The College of Cardinals could certainly do with his wisdom, but I would hate to lose him to Rome.

How was your St. Patrick’s Day? Ours was grand, thank you! The young Fathers sang the Solemn Mass, the sun shone though ‘twas a wee bit chilly, and the children, all done up in shamrocks and wearin’ the green sang just beautifully. Afterwards we were all treated to a fine fast food lunch with more music and shamrocks and green cupcakes. I was in Mexico for the day last year, so I really appreciated being home and celebrating the Saint of the Irish as only we do here in German Cincinnati.

Holy Week plans are being firmed up, music practiced, menus worked on, arms twisted, er I mean volunteers solicited. Clear your calendar and be with us. The first great Mass is Palm Sunday. Bring the children to march with Jesus and the donkey at about 9:30 for the Procession. Memories in the making, great graces yours for the taking. Holy Week at St. Gertrude the Great!

I write this on a cloudy cold St. Joseph’s Day, cheered by a record attendance this Lent at weekday Mass, for his feast day. How does St. Joseph do it? I wish you all the warmth and light of knowing, loving and trusting this great saint for all our needs. As the Irish used to say, pray: Jesus, Mary, Joseph!

—Bishop Dolan