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Pentecost XIII

Daily Sermons
August 10 – Bp. Dolan – St. Lawrence
August 11 – Bp. Dolan – St. Philomena and Modernists
August 13 – Bp. Dolan – God, Mary & Numbers
August 15 – Bp. Dolan – Our Blessed Mother and Judith
August 21 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Jane Frances and the Will of God

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Only yesterday our Assumption Novena ended, with Saturday’s High Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. God bless those who have been persevering in prayer with us since the Fatima Rosary Procession for Peace on August 13th.

We drew a good to average crowd for the procession, and were blessed with fine weather that evening. Fr. Lehtoranta and our Ohio seminarian, Paul Wesner, accompanied me. Before the procession, Charles Simpson passed out explanatory leaflets about what we were up with a Rosary procession, to some of the local restaurants. Many managers or customers have approached us with questions over the years, and we thought it would be good to break things down for people. If you’d like a copy, or several, let us know. The Mexicans at El Rancho said they knew, of course, what we were doing, and willingly took quite a few leaflets. The mushroom pizza hostess was too busy seating patrons to focus on prayers, but she did let us leave a few leaflets. Applebee’s was pleasant and friendly. Starbucks froze us out, the three women there neither willing to hear about the procession, nor to take any leaflets. Orders from “corporate” probably. They are One World people all the way.

West Chester was having one of those municipal boon-doggles on that Thursday evening, blaring unbearable music(?) at passersby, in the name of Summer entertainment, doubtless. The noise was truly hellish, but the Devil could not have been pleased at our heavenly music as we prayed the mysteries of the Rosary aloud. Fair enough. We won.

The Assumption dawned quite heavy and humid, but many of you turned out early for one of the Low Masses. The Lourdes grotto was beautifully decorated, and its pond (temporarily) repaired, and the fountain spouted blue water for our Blessed Mother! A wonderful variety of herbs and flowers were arrayed at a fragrant little altar to be blessed. The faithful awaited the clergy procession, praying the Rosary and singing the Lourdes hymn. After the powerful blessing, the children with their posies led us into the church, as we sang beloved Marian hymns. Inside, the flowers were placed in the tomb by our symbolic little angels, and the bishop was vested for Solemn Mass, beautifully sung and expertly served, young Thomas Simpson assisting as MC1, for the first time. Bishop Sanborn politely inquired if any animals figured in the ceremony? No, but there’s always next year….Beau’s blue shoes give me an idea.

After Mass there were two confirmations to confer, one Soldier of Christ traveling almost seven hours from North Carolina, the other a recent convert here in our own church. We invited our out of state visitor for some providentially provided pulled pork lunch, and then he was off. The day ended with the chanting of Vespers and a fine supper of corn on the cob, with Kroger Fried Chicken. Quite satisfactory.

The wedding white gladiolas filled the sanctuary for the Assumption, but many were late like a bride getting to church. Still, they were in full splendor for St. Joachim and Sunday.

We all did double duty last weekend, didn’t we? Sunday saw us back in church, honoring Our Lady’s father, St. Joachim. There were a couple of piglets in the parking lot, but I don’t think there was any liturgical connection. By the end of the day, I was good and tired. Fr. Lehtoranta left us in the afternoon, and files this report:

“On Sunday, August 16th, I celebrated for our faithful in the Chillicothe area the Mass of the Solemnity of St. Clare, the patroness of our mission. We had the joy of seeing Martha Schappacher making her First Holy Communion. The High Mass was served by Brendan Lotarski and Chase McKnight, and was made possible by Miss Felicity Lotarski and her sister Florence Lotarski, who sang the propers of the Mass and beautiful hymns. Many thanks to our young servers and choir members. About 30 faithful attended to the festivities of this blessed day. May St. Clare protect and intercede for them and bless our mission.”

These last weeks of August we are busy preparing for the new school year, which always requires minute organizing. Fr. Lehtoranta will be teaching the upper grades this year, and his specialty, history. Word is that the Sisters will be teaching one of the Sunday Catechism Classes. Don’t forget enrollment the next two Sundays.

Fr. McKenna is with us this Sunday, one of his rare at home weekends, and he is welcome. Already next week he will be heading up north again, to attend to his carefully cultivated mission patch. North Dakota was, in a sense, “one of the first” traditional Catholic centers in the country with Fr. Nelson’s apostolate at Powers Lake, and “The Mary Faithful.” They used to have a big annual Assumption pilgrimage there in the 1970’s. It’s almost all gone now, but some of the surviving board members travel down to Bismark to attend Fr. McKenna’s St. Therese mission. Say a prayer for Fr. Nelson and so many of the early “priest resistors” to the changes. God reward them.

As mentioned earlier, the grotto pond needs to be re-sealed, as ground water is seeping in, and our water leaking out. The church doors are about due for a coat of paint. This time we are going with a lighter color, which should with-stand the strong wind and the merciless western sun a little bit better. I hope you’re all doing well these late summer days, and your children with the fortunate few who get to enjoy another fortnight of vacation.

With daily prayer for you all, I send home a blessing,

—Bishop Dolan