rss feed for a newsreader
rss feed for podcasting

Advent II

Our Advent Wreath, with 2 Candles Burning

Daily Sermons
November 28- Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Catherine Labouré, The Saint of Silence
November 29 – Bp. Dolan – First Called: Andrew
November 30 – Bp. Dolan – Twice Called: Andrew
December 1 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Prophet Nahum, The Advent Preacher
December 2 – Bp. Dolan – A Home for Jesus

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Autumn is dying a slow death this year, and it looks like we should be able to slide into a mild start of Winter. The glorious days of St. Martin’s Summer delight us still, and cheer us. Wasn’t last Tuesday beautiful? Fr. Cekada took his first outdoor walk, down to the church and back. I finally got out and planted some of the blessed pansies from Our Lady’s Nativity I’d been saving since September. My joints complained at the unwonted exercise, but it was worth it.

The Last Sunday after Pentecost saw a hearty band of twenty or so head out to the mysterious land of westside and riverside and Delhi to find the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity for our annual Cemetery Rosary Procession. A number of us had no idea where we were going (what else is new?) once we got to Mt. St. Joseph. Blind faith, but we arrived. And what a beautiful scene awaited us: the river, the waning November sun, a beautiful cemetery and Calvary scene. It was a tad chilly with a crisp breeze as we prayed our fifteen decades, but it was a memorable experience, and a good penance for the Poor Souls.

Mike Briggs found Sr. Blandina, and we paused to pray there. Later, some of our pilgrims were given a little tour of the relics of one of Cincinnati’s “native saints,” by a kindly nun, who would be happy to receive more visitors. We must return for another little pilgrimage to visit the little Sister who was a giant of a Catholic.

Fr. Mardones is grateful for the blessing of the children’s gifts, so quietly and efficiently arranged this year. We saved quite a bit of money by bagging the items we begged from you for Christ’s poor in Cuidad Juarez and Tijuana, Mexico. God reward our workers and donors.

I wish some of our “Sometime Catholics” loved our church as much as the raccoons do. They want in! They’re not taking no for an answer, and breached the wall under challenging circumstances, landing with a loud thump, as they will, during the 5 o’clock one after-noon. Charles Simpson is our Secretary of Defense and has a series of strategies devised to defeat these clever masked mammals, with their exceeding dexterous front paws. So far the wall is holding.

Fr. Cekada is doing well, but it is a long and slow recovery process. He’s receiving care and physical therapy at home from visiting nurses. I’m handling meals, dishes, deliveries, fetching, and laundry and such like. Good thing the cats have me well trained.

Last week Puccini was in a bad way, moaning in the bushes after Thanksgiving. But he’s a Zen cat, and never complains, so I knew something was wrong. Katie kindly took him to the vet, and it turns out he was thrice bitten (a church-invading raccoon, perhaps?),and required stiches, a partial anesthetic and an antibiotic. He’s pretty much back to normal, but is prudently sleeping quite a bit to speed his recovery. So, like Blessed Martin de Porres, I was operating a double clinic over Advent Sun-day. Caravaggio visited Puccini once, but otherwise kept up his patrols. Especially in the kitchen.

Wasn’t the Advent procession and the singing glorious? How wonderful to be having so long an Advent! How was your first week? Attendance was down due to Thanksgiving travel last Sunday, but our remaining 7:30 faithful prayed for one of their own, John Madaffari, at his Absolution. The children will sing his Funeral Mass tomorrow, and perhaps some of you will come as an Ad-vent work of mercy.

St. Nicholas comes today for good and not always good little boys and girls. You will doubtless be good and come back on Thursday to honor the Immaculate One, our “tainted nature’s solitary boast,” and our country’s patroness. How singularly has the Blessed Virgin blessed and protected our land of late! Let us show our gratitude, and keep her day holy.

Fr. Lehtoranta reports a very smooth trip to Georgia and back, and Fr. McKenna that he missed the very heavy snow which fell upon the protesting Indians in North Dakota. He was not able to visit Bismarck, but is always happy to have extra pastoral time with our growing mission in Great Forks, which will soon give up its house status and go public. We hope thus to draw more souls and continue our growth.

The Virgin Mary comes traveling your way this Ad-vent, so that Her Son and our Savior may be born in your heart and home. They threw Him out of the churches. He has no other home. Open your door to Him.

Blessed Advent!
—Bishop Dolan