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Solemnity of the Most Holy Name of Mary – Pentecost XVII

Daily Sermons
September 2 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Stephen of Hungary and the Sacred Heart
September 5 – Bp. Dolan – Labor Day
September 7 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Regina and the Dove
September 8 – Fr. McKenna – Mary, the Product of Patient Providence
September 9 – Bp. Dolan – Be a Slave

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Difficult weather dogged us for our back to school week, hot and humid. But we soldiered on. Good St. Joseph helped us, as we met Monday for his Mass, consecrating our labor to God through “the Carpenter.” Our Lady’s birthday dawned all rose, for she is the Dawn of Salvation. The beautiful Solemn High Mass, procession, seedling blessing and little party all went very well, as did the Vespers. Our visiting French seminarian Mr. Damien Dutertre (no relation to the Philippines’ president!) is an excellent singer, and rendered Our Lady’s antiphons flawlessly. How beautiful it was, I thought Wednesday evening, to sing her praises in one prayer after another, and then conclude with the Angelus. Her “venerated cradle” invites all of us today to be devoted to her infancy.

Some devout apparitionists came to the Solemn Mass. It seems they had come from neighboring states, for an annual “apparition of Our Lady” right here in West Chester. Who knew? We’ll stick with Fatima, and I hope you will as well. See you Tuesday evening for the Rosary Procession?

Today we keep the Solemnity of Mary’s Holy Name, such a powerful prayer. This is the actual anniversary of the noble Polish King’s arrival to relieve Vienna, with his small, force-marched army, besieged by a larger Mohammedan force. Tomorrow’s feast day marks the victory, a real Rosary victory. We need more of these. Too many sad anniversaries. But for this we need those willing to wage the weapons of our calling, prayer and particularly the Rosary.

Friday afternoon the school children were playing a little basketball at the newly arrived hoop near the garage, and having a great time in the sunshine. The Sisters kindly organized this project for us, as we lost our last basket some time ago. I think they perhaps had the “young Fathers” in mind, but they’re too busy. Maybe one of these days! In the meantime the children are duly grateful.

We are grateful for your prayers for Fr. Cekada. The St. Anthony Thirteen Tuesdays concluded this past Tuesday with an excellent attendance. Father continues recovering from the chemotherapy, and his strength—and voice—are slowly returning.

I’m still enjoying, and very much, our lovely cloister garden. Fr. McKenna submitted some nature notes for me. He reports being almost mistaken for a zinnia (“that big flower” was his technical term) by a hummingbird which was persistently buzzing about him. Our pretty regular rain will keep things green this Fall. Out back of the rectory one of the few surviving Monarch butterflies was visiting the butterfly bush. They are majestic creatures, and the bush was for them. I hope it comes again. Thanks to those of you who are maintaining the flower beds at the outdoor Stations of the Cross. The grounds and grotto looked good for Thursday’s procession.

Three important days fall in a row this week: Tuesday’s West Chester procession (pilgrims welcome!), Wednesday’s Holy Cross, and Thursday’s Seven Sorrows.

Next Sunday it’s the annual Parish Picnic at Sharon Woods, don’t forget. Hope to see you there! Plan to join us for our Rosary Sunday Confraternity Breakfast, a beloved tradition.

Rosemary and Ian Ford certainly had a beautiful wedding last Saturday. It was touching to consider the “passing on of the torch” as a second generation Gertrudian solemnly pledged her troth. May God bless them.

God bless you as well, wherever you fit into the picture. I hope to see a great turnout for our first Catechism Classes this Sunday with the good Sisters and lay teachers.

Yours in Our Lady of Sorrows,
Bp. Dolan