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Epiphany II

Fr. Cekada announces the schedule of movable feasts, on Epiphany, 2017.

Our grounds, beautifully lit for Midnight Mass.

Daily Sermons
January 9 – Fr. Lehtoranta – First Be Good, Then Acceptable, and Finally Perfect
January 10 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Mary Clare Meyer of Cincinnati
January 11 – Bp. Dolan – A Star Saint
January 12 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Have Fun with Jesus and Mary
January 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Learn to Love Innocence and Peace

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
The season of contrasts continues. Winter turned into Summer one day last week, but mostly we seem to hover about Spring. We’re only missing Autumn, but lately departed. The Christmas star is still with us this new year, reminding us of a greater star which led wise men away from home and all they knew to adore Him whom they knew only by faith. And it was enough.

Fr. Eldracher developed this theme in his nice Epiphany sermon. Afterwards we went to Helfta Hall’s cozy, candlelight darkness for a fine dinner and a very enjoyable, social evening, brightened not only by candles but by the presence of many, mostly wise, children. We had a beautiful Epiphany, and a second Solemn Mass for Holy Family. God bless and preserve our Cath-olic homes, cradles of vocations, stars shining in the darkness of our day.

On a very cold First Saturday I said the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar in a sunbeam, and was actually toasty warm. The whole church looks so beautiful still, doesn’t it? Regal altar after altar shine for the manifestation, the Epiphany of our God and King. How warming, how cheering, I imagine every January: how it must be to leave the cold work week world, where everything is ordinary now, to return to the heavenly wonderland of our church, where it’s still Christmas!

I’ve decided that of all the splendid decorations which grace St. Gertrude this year, the blue outdoor Fatima lights are my very favorite, so fitting for this centennial year. I’m tempted (is that the right word?) to leave them up all year. At least they’ll know we’re Catholic here, and love Our Lady.

Icy weather was called for this weekend. But Fr. McKenna already had a tousle with black ice the other day, the first of a number of challenges, including a flat tire. By way of comfort, I told him I was praying for his “scars to be turned into stars.” It’s a little cheesy, I know, but a good goal for Epiphany. Now Father’s headed to the land of ice and snow, so we shall see.

Katie always schedules herself to go to someplace nice and icy for a January trip. I hope she has a safe one. We are grateful to her for the care and feeding of our gorgeous poinsettias this season. I also thank her for finding Angela Segrist for us, now at St. Margaret Hall.

Big news, and a real shaggy dog tale (like the Bishop’s Corner itself at times) about our raccoons in the rafters. They made it into the 5:45 sermon last Sunday, but not yet quite out the door. How noisy they have been of late.

On New Year’s Joseph Simpson told me that they had discovered the clubhouse of this clever and curiously adaptable mammal, right over our heads. A disused attic above the altar boy sacristy has been their home for awhile. They’ve been chewing away at insulation and Christmas decorations, and finally wiring, as you may have heard from Fr. Cekada, in an amusing communication. This explains why the audio of our webcast went out. A trapped raccoon got revenge by chewing out the wires. Brendan relocated the raccoon last Sunday between the Masses, and I thank Scott Richesson for restoring the live feed on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, other beasts seemed impervious to any relocation inducements we could offer. It was a noisy week. They fight a lot. Thursday Gino happened upon a soffit the crafty interlopers had patiently penetrated to gain ingress. Charles Simpson blocked it temporarily and then sealed it up. Here’s hoping our unwelcome annual guests take the hint! We are trying to remember that raccoons, like temptations, are always coming back for another noisy try. They must be resisted, quietly and efficiently. “The life of man is a warfare.”

The Pius X Society, incredibly enough, is still very tempted formally to submit to Bergoglio and the New Church. But this is because they view their role rather like that of raccoons. They believe they must move in and take over. Destiny. They see themselves as a kind of a super church which must save the Catholic Church “from within,” answering finally only to themselves. They judge when “the Romans” as they call them, must be resisted. Not much role for a pope or an infallible church in their theology. Unreal, really, but as real as raccoons in the attic. Let us pray for them, and all of the other divisions and splits during the Chair of Unity Octave which begins Wednesday.

This week I’m scurrying about myself, getting ready for my departure on Saturday for the Seminary retreat. Prayers, please. They have a full house this year, and I look forward to some very full but spiritual days, and getting to know our new vocations.

Please pray for a smooth and safe Inauguration on Friday, and for some real relief for our land in the coming weeks and months. The country is about to enjoy a bit of an uptick, it seems. But the Church? What a heavy and dark chastisement is this long eclipse. “But, pray, my children. God will hear you,” promised Tuesday’s Our Lady of Hope at Pontmain, France.

But pray!

—Bishop Dolan