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Advent IV

Rest in Peace

†Bp. Robert McKenna
†Elizabeth Smith

(see Bishop’s Corner below)

With a shrine to our Lady of Guadeloupe in the foreground, you can see the altar decorated with rose-colored trimmings for Gaudete Sunday.

Daily Sermons
December 11 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Haily Mary in the Bible
December 14 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Carl Bolez, A Boy in Mary’s Arms
December 16 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Isaias, The Prophet and Herald of Jesus
December 17 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Olympias and Our Bishops and Priests
December 18 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Mary, Help of All Those Who Grieve

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
This year we are one day shy of the longest possible Advent, but doesn’t it still seem too short? If only this longest Advent ever would bud forth and bloom with long-ing, holy longing for Jesus to come and save us, to come by Mary and with good St. Joseph! Then all would be well. Ready or not, the Holy Family say each year, here we come! Come into the muck and mess of a stable. Think of it. Don’t feel too bad.

Come Lord Jesus, come! In this understanding, Advent is a good time to die, isn’t it? Oh, it does run counter to our culture, our understanding of what is “Christmasy,” but this is how we go to God, even as Bethlehem is how He came to us.

†Elizabeth Smith had a beautiful and most Catholic death, befitting a wonderful woman and mother and Catholic, once very active in our church, taking care of the gift shop. The Smiths moved here from Tennessee, and Beth Prell remembers as a teenager making the drive for Mass once a month, coming all that distance before they moved here. Sarah French and her husband came back for the funeral, and remarked how welcoming the Smiths were to them as new converts with questions. We were happy to welcome back to St. Gertrude as well some of the family for the sad but happy occasion which is a funeral.

It was comforting to have the full traditional funeral again as people used to: Wake the night before with Rosary, High Mass, burial with priest and servers. Afterwards three good ladies of the parish hosted a luncheon, which was warm and restorative. Would it be wrong to say after such a funeral: “A good time was had by all”?

A long, lingering leukemia took †Bishop Robert McKenna this past Ember Wednesday. After many years selflessly and simply serving souls in Connecticut, His Excellency moved back to his native Michigan with his beloved Dominican Nuns. Bishop Sanborn with some of his priests provided a very solemn and proper pontifical funeral yesterday for the bishop who consecrated him.

Before his consecration, then Fr. McKenna was co-founder with Fr. Fenton of the Orthodox Roman Catholic Movement, and travelled around the country bringing the true Mass, including here to the tristate, and to Our Lady of the Rosary in Louisiana. His religious name was Fidelis, which well summarizes this faithful Catholic priest and bishop, faithful to the Faith he loved and for which he sacrificed himself so generously. Many souls are in his debt. Pray for him.

Today our friend Fr. Roberto Mardones celebrates his Silver Ordination Anniversary. A Chilean by birth, he was ordained by Bishop Carmona in Mexico, where he still serves souls especially in Ciudad Juarez, as well as at his American chapel in El Paso, Texas. Father has had a difficult year with illness, but now seems stronger and more animated than ever. Pray for him, too.

Loraine Gates, now 96, is doing rather well, Fr. McGuire reports. She put on eight pounds in the last couple of months! Angela Segrist is back at home with a daughter. Jane Donadio is quite happy at her new home, happy especially for the company. As of this writing, Darlene was making arrangements for a place to stay for her next stage of recovery and rehabilitation. We promise prayers for all of these dear ladies, and all of the sick, remembering them especially for Christmas.

Remember the fast and abstinence for Christmas Eve, the “last minute” confessions today and Thursday. Come pray with us for some or all of the Holy Night. Welcome the Light of the World with us as we sing and pray for Midnight Mass. The Friday morning Mass with the string quartet and Benediction is a lovely tradition, worth getting up for. I always do!

Don’t worry if something remains undone this week. Wait, and watch and want most of all not things or some imaginary perfection but the Little One Who is born in Bethlehem’s stall. That’s all.
Blessed Christmas!

-Bishop Dolan