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Within the Octave of the Ascension

Children lining up for our May Crowning procession. They will receive the sacrament of Confirmation on the Vigil of Pentecost, and their First Holy Communion on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

The Vidi Aquam is sung during Paschaltide in place of the Asperges Me. It’s also a sure sign that Spring is here.

Daily Sermons
May 2 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Athanasius, The Friend of Jesus
May 3 – Fr. Lehtoranta – How Much Does God Love Me?
May 4 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Guardian Mother
May 5 – Bp. Dolan – Helps to Hope (Ascension Thursday)
May 6 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. John, the Lover of the Sacred Heart

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Happy Mother’s Day! I think nature observes Mother’s Day all May. Two robins have nested here, one in the cloister, the other above my office door. The latter is most aggrieved when I enter or exit, and lets me know it. The killdeer mother is a hoot with her elaborate strategies to distract us from her cute hopping brood on the lawn. Bees have been hiving in the thuri-ble vent, but may have moved next door to the robins, above my office window. They swarmed in their doz-ens, and escorted the queen into her new digs. Just in time for May Crowning. All very symbolic.

Puccini presented a baby bunny on Ascension Thursday. But with edifying detachment, he allowed me to release it and then took a nap. Two young bucks and a doe were by for breakfast Friday, and the coyotes cry hungrily at night. Sunny Spring mornings present a scene of splendid beauty and peace. Every-thing is fragrant and green. Still, the coyotes are close.

Our excellent secretary was away in April, and I thus had to write my report of our Spring School Program before the fact. How much we enjoyed it! “Cart-loads of charm,” Fr. Cekada denominated our well named Spring Fling. The innocence and enthusiasm of our young choir, little peeping voices like fledgling birds from the nest, found an excellent expression in the wholesome entertaining music of yesterday; classic Shirley Temple films. Fr. Cekada’s favorite was “Animal Crackers,” as they are his favorite. I liked the “At the Codfish Ball,” myself. Fr. Lehtoranta loved every single one. Of course we all appreciate the beautiful keepsake booklet, truly a treasure, which has become another tradition here.

Fr. Cekada is slowly recovering but still counting on your prayers for the weeks ahead. Thanks for the food! We all ate well this week. God takes good care of His children. We pray to accept His holy will in all things.

But still we pray, beseech and implore for all the great needs of Church and country, as well as for this church, our clergy and faithful, the healthy and the sick, and so many intentions. This is what we were doing last week with the Lesser Litanies Processions. It was mostly school children and clergy, but I was so very cheered by each one of you who came to help us, as I requested, especially on Tuesday evening. As St. Benedict admonishes us: “Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God.” Thank you!

Now this week we continue our Pentecost Novena to the Holy Ghost, as well as daily May Devotions.

On Thursday I meet with the Confirmation children, although Fr. Lehtoranta has already “recollected” some of them in Chillicothe. Saturday comes the great Vigil of Pentecost, with a Baptism, many Confirmations, and the Pontifical High Mass. Come, Holy Ghost!

Friday May 13th would ordinarily be the first of our Fatima Rosary Processions for Peace, but usually we cancel the evening services because of preparation for the Pentecost Vigil. The same cast of characters who would usually participate in the procession are also involved in the Pentecost Vigil and Confirmations. What to do? I think Our Lady would be pleased if you observed Friday evening as a quiet “Family Night,” and prayed the Rosary at home together. If even a few families this Friday who don’t usually would, then surely Our Lady would be pleased indeed. Monday, June 13th, St. Anthony’s Day, will then be our opening procession this year.

Today’s procession of May Crowning is always a lovely one. I thought we would crown Our Lady in-doors at the May Altar itself, because it is such a fine May Altar, a beautiful tribute to Mary Our Queen. Let us present her crowns of roses (this is what “rosary” means) all month long.

God bless you for your generosity, interest, participation and prayers during these busy but so beautiful days of May.

May the Mother of God reward you!

—Bishop Dolan