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Our Lady of Fatima, on a crisp Sunday morning before Mass

Daily Sermons
February 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Ferial Day
February 14 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Valentine, Marriage, Hate and Love
February 15 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Sts. Faustinus and Jovita
February 16 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Priest – A Charity Worker of Heaven
February 17 – Bp. Dolan – The Flight: No Plane, but Yes a Ticket

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Sexagesima marks sixty days, more or less, until Easter, but only ten until Lent. Time for us for be up and doing. Pray and plan for a good Lent with Our Lady. Your good intentions, the least of your efforts in honoring her, will be richly rewarded.

But first, a little purposeful church fun is fitting for Shrovetide or Mardi Gras. The traditional dish of this season is pancakes, and they will be on offer next Sunday after the morning Masses. We’re calling it “Social Sunday,” as we’d like to give our faithful, especially our young families a chance to get acquainted. Plan to stop by next Sunday to eat a pancake or two, and may-be say hello to somebody. For those so minded, informal games will stretch into the afternoon, with babysit-ting provided. No charge. This is a fun raiser, not a fundraiser, but maybe with a priceless purpose in mind, shoring up the faith of our families.

Stanley Schappacher died Thursday morning. Pray for him. He was one of the founding fathers of St. Gertrude the Great, as well as of St. Clare. A quiet man, a hardworking dairy farmer and father of a big family, his faith ran deep and his generosity overflowed. He and his wife, Wilma, knew great affliction in their later years. God grant him rest, and the reward of his labors.

I knew we had forgotten one of our recent deceased in our Sorrowful Mother Novena last week. It was John Weisman, so firm a Catholic and true and loyal to the very end. He died in August, but the funeral home did not give us the customary church record for our files. Little things which trip you up. But Thursday morning as I was counting out my pills I saw the “Australian Dream Arthritis Cream” John had given me for Christmas. So thoughtful! And I remembered him. May we never forget our deceased. They’re family.

I suppose cats fit into the picture as well, at least from their point of view. Last Saturday before dinner Caravaggio presented Fr. Cekada with a big black field mouse, pre-dispatched but pretty much intact for Father’s delectation and eventual consumption. His cool reaction, however, nonplussed the pussycat. I had to coach Fr. Cekada in a properly grateful response to such a fine gift.

Do continue to keep Fr. Cekada in your prayers that he remain cancer free. He had his first cat-scan on Friday. Caravaggio, however, would be looking for mice.

Tomorrow, President’s Day, should not pass without a prayer for our own. Draining a swamp is tiring messy work. Ditto for the work of guiding Catholics out of the hopeless swamp of “Recognize and Resist,” with its many dangers to the Faith. George Washington’s birthday always coincides with St. Peter’s Chair at Antioch. Say a big prayer for our Church, and the removal of the swamp monsters who inhabit Rome. Please don’t feed them.

We had a pretty quiet St. Valentine’s Day, but some nice cards from the little ones. Thanks for your help with the St. Valentine Bake Sale. The children sang a beautiful Solemn High Mass Thursday for Fr. McKenna’s Fifth Ordination Anniversary. By exception, he’s with us this Sunday.

Have a good Sunday. Read the Bulletin. Set aside some quiet time. Come to Vespers. Say your Rosary. God bless our Catechism teachers, and Our Lady of good Help reward them.

—Bishop Dolan