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Pentecost XXVI

Our Little Saints, 2016

Fr. Cekada Sings the Preface, All Saints, 2016

Daily Sermons
November 7 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Peggy O’Neil of Seattle, WA
November 8 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Four Crowned Martyrs
November 9 – Fr. McGuire – Daily Lesson of the Martyrs
November 10 – Fr. Lehtoranta – A Piece of Heaven on Earth
November 11- Bp. Dolan – Wasted Wars, but a Soldier Saint

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
This has been quite a week for us all, and we are filled with gratitude, and an immense sense of God’s mercies bestowed upon us His unworthy children.

We began the week on All Saints Sunday, with our little saints, whose innocent piety charmed and delighted us all. The Mass was made even more solemn and uplifting by some of the most beautiful singing of the year, both the music of the ladies in the choir and the chants of the men in the schola. Oh, and let’s not forget your enthusiastic hymn singing!

I always fear anymore that the children’s participation in this day is dying out, for once we had great numbers. But the count of the children is just right each year for their little presentations before I go off for the 11:30, and the party begins. I do feel bad for the children who miss out, because they are missing out. And what fun we have as we admire the costumes and strain to hear the little ones speak before we guess their identity. It’s a wonderful Sunday at St. Gertrude the Great.

Nobody in particular was at Vespers, besides a welcome Omlor père et fils, but we did almost have the whole fire brigade. A hot thurible, a large lump of frankincense, and an unusual airflow trapped the fragrant fumes in the hallway, and off went the alarm just at the Collect of Benediction. Fr. Cekada was scurrying about with alarms and doors, and headed off the firemen in the parking lot. Well, that’s one way to increase Vesper attendance.

In all the commotion we forgot to ask anyone to take up the collection at the 5:45. I was enormously edified that a young man in attendance did so on his own, and a nice lady from the choir even started the closing hymn, on pitch! That’s the spirit!

We are so grateful to the volunteers who help now with the janitorial each week, including the Sisters. Thank you! We do need one more helper for Friday afternoon or evening or perhaps Saturday morning. Let me know? We can pay a little if you’d like. Oh, and we do need a hardy man sometimes to do odd jobs and small repairs. Anybody?

On the Octave Day of All Saints, our country was saved from certain Clintonian destruction by the election of an unusual candidate. He’s probably no saint, but few presidents are, even less than kings. Pray for him, and our country in the next few months. Nothing is guaranteed, but we were given a reprieve by the mercy of God.

Please continue to pray for Fr. Cekada in these days of his recovery. He came through his surgery quite smoothly, and was back to his old self in no time. But hospitals are risky places, and we will be relieved when he returns home. Mother Isidore and Sr. Benedict Marie surprised me at the hospital, by bringing a nice picnic lunch, which we enjoyed together during the long wait.

So many of you were praying for him on Thursday! Just as you did this Summer. God reward you. Please remember too John Madaffari who died suddenly on Thursday morning. John and Gloria have been members of St. Gertrude the Great for many, many years, faithful to their post and pew near the Sacred Heart at the 7:30. Please keep Gloria in your prayers as well, as this is very difficult for her.

Friday was our Veterans/Armistice day observance, and here we are, fresh for a new week “because the mercies of the Lord are not consumed.” Sr. Jeanne Marie heads downtown on Tuesday for knee surgery at University Hospital. Our prayers go with her.

Wednesday we keep St. Gertrude’s Day, the 13th anniversary of the dedication of our church here in West Chester. We will also be celebrating the fifth ordination anniversary of Fr. Lehtoranta, our devoted parish priest and parochial school teacher, as well as part time missionary priest. He celebrates a Solemn Mass at 11:20, to which you are invited, and to the luncheon following.

Next Sunday the Rosary Confraternity invites you to join them for their annual Rosary Procession for the Poor Souls. This year we will be traveling over to Delhi to visit the cemetery at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity. We wish thus to return the charity of so many devoted religious, even as we pray for all the Poor Souls. But the visit will focus on the grave of Sr. Blandina Segale, who died in the odor of piety, a wonderful example of the very best in the traditional sisterhood. She combined zeal for souls and the spirit of prayer with a real spunk, a fearless spirit. She even faced down Billy the Kid—and won. We should know and revere our Cincinnati Catholic heroes. Join us next Sunday afternoon.

God bless you, and the Angel of Peace visit and strengthen you, and all our land.

—Bishop Dolan