December 18 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Mary, Help of All Those Who Grieve
December 21 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Poverty and Humility Lead to Heaven
December 25 – Bp. Dolan – True God of True God
December 28 – Fr. McKenna – The Holy Innocents
January 1 – Bp. Dolan – At-One-Ment
✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Holy Name Sunday used to be a big observance in American parishes before the changes. The main men’s group was the Holy Name Society, which sponsored a Cor-porate Communion on the second Sunday of each month along with devotions, and sometimes a breakfast and speaker and other activities. That’s all gone now, the parishes and the societies, but let us be careful to preserve the powerful devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, and ever to speak it as a prayer, with reverence, and a little nod of the head in adoration. When we hear it taken in vain, we should show our disapproval and murmur a prayer of reparation.
How was your Christmas? Ours went very well, in spite of some illness. We were blessed with encouragingly good weather and excellent attendance “like the old days.” Nobody particularly came to church during the Octave, of course. What a shame to let all of that beauty and prayer go to waste. But it was wonderful that we had “family choirs” on hand to honor the New Born King each day with a High Mass, enabling us to present in song as well as sacrifice, the many petitions which have come in from all over. Thanks, Simpsons and Lotarskis, as well as our regular Sunday choir members!
I got my Christmas presents early and am well content. All I wanted, I was telling Santa, was hot running water after a hiatus of several years of the tepid trickle. Oh, and… (there’s always an “and,” isn’t there?) a stove and a microwave for the priests’ office kitchen, where we often take our meals, would be nice. We didn’t have one, “not one that works,” as King John would say. It came, so, pretty good!
In addition, many cards and gifts, baked goods and goodies and whole meals have made their appearance, and we clergy are all of us very grateful this Christmas for your kindness. Thank you.
Caravaggio and Puccini have been enjoying the spring-like weather, even though the bunnies have pretty much bested them. The office kitchen mice have as well. Puccini often lunches there, and they never bother him.
The cats, however, had the best Christmas ever. Thanks to one devoted “Cat’lic,” they had a present or two waiting for them. Caravaggio grew tired of the waiting, however, and on Boxing Day decided to take matters into his own…paws. We were saying some morning prayers on St. Stephen’s day, the cat and I, when he noticed something and jumped down from my lap. All I heard was a discreet rustle, rustle, rustle as Cara-vaggio retrieved his present from the Christmas gift sack in my room. He then proceeded to open the gift (remember we’re talking paws here!), removing the wrapping and then got through the plastic baggie which enclosed his Christmas catnip. Our little “Stoner” then went on to enjoy a pretty nice St. Stephen’s Day!
But many had crosses this Christmas. Think of bad weather and flooding. Fr. Mardones says Juarez and El Paso had the worst (and first!) snow in many years, shutting down the cities over the weekend. Bishop Sanborn’s back grew worse after his Michigan trip for Bishop McKenna’s funeral, and he finally had to cancel his Christmas trip to England and the Continent. How sad to miss Mass for Christmas, or be laid up and out of action. Do keep His Excellency in your prayers, as also Fr. McKenna, whose back is only very slowly mending. Fr. Cekada is off and on the back list too.
The rest of us are okay with just allergies and colds. No complaints! Fr. Lehtoranta reports a good Christmas in Milwaukee and the missions. He returns today, as school starts tomorrow. Fr. Mardones flies in on Monday to be our guest of honor for Wednesday evening’s Twelfth Night Solemn Epiphany High Mass, and party. We wish especially to thank our workers, helpers, and benefactors. You are many, thank God. We hope to see you Wednesday evening, as we also salute a faithful priest of God, for his twenty-five years.
I’m writing this on a dark and cold New Year’s Eve. Fr. Cekada is busy putting the finishing touches on a timely video exploring why Catholics are afraid of Sedevacantism. The organ has gone out, however, so he’s changed hats and is waiting hopefully for the repairman. Fr. McKenna has been dispatched to do the shopping for New Year’s Eve Dinner. Fr. McGuire offered Mass for the Sisters today, and then went to help Katie in the sacristy. She is dealing patiently with altar linen spots. 19 and Jake cleaned the church yesterday, and Theresa is doing this bulletin.
There…all present and accounted for! Happy, holy and peaceful New Year to you!
In Jesus’ Name,