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Easter III

Young Adult Get-Together

This summer, we are hosting a young adult get-together. We hope to draw Traditional Catholics from across the country. Visit our event website for more information.
YAG Cincinnati Website

Our school children pose after their Spring Program

Daily Sermons
May 1 – Bp. Dolan – “Seeing” on This First Day of May
May 2- Fr. Lehtoranta – Why is Heresy so Dangerous?
May 3 – Fr. McGuire – Not Just for the Birds
May 4 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The True Cross and the True Priest
May 5 – Fr. McKenna – Pius V, Lepanto, The Rosary, & Fatima

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
The weather has been so dark and chilly damp that you’d think yourself in December rather than “the fairest of seasons, sweet May.” If so, light a candle to Mary, and meditate one of her Joyful Rosary mysteries. St. Joseph, whose solemnity we keep today, is in them all. Go back to cold Christmas, the Holy Child, the poverty of the stable. Friday’s St. Pius V would approve. Poor boy who became a poor friar and then pope, he reminds us that he beat the Turks with the Beads, not bombs. The power of prayer saved Europe from the Moslems. French electorate please note. Your country, and the whole continent, is lost. And America, quo vadis?

But regardless of religious and geopolitical realities, Spring marches on, doesn’t it? ‘Tis the season of concerts and Communions and congratulations for graduations. Did you happen to catch our “Cowboys and their Queen” program last Sunday? A good crowd stayed. Several Western favorites were wonderfully presented. The charm, the talent, and the concentration of the little ones playing solos or duets drew the eye as well as the ear. But our young poets shone. Richard VandeRyt kindly provided a perfect PA system for the program, and one could hear clearly how well our young men were declaiming the poetry. Each had his own rhythm and style. Very accomplished. Afterwards we all drew near to the campfire for some homemade baked beans, rollups and sheriff cookies. Mmm! The cacti were a nice touch, too.

A good group of us supported our young organist, Andrew Richesson, by attending his school Spring program, and were rewarded by a fine concert. The high point was a preview of a Mass the graduate had composed himself in honor of St. Gregory the Great. It is an interesting piece, with a complex and rich sound, well worthy of the Holy Sacrifice.

Last Sunday’s High Mass got me thinking about our church music. The Gregorian Vidi Aquam and Introit set the tone of so quiet, peaceful prayer for Paschaltide. But Our Lord has risen from the dead so the triumphant, exultant strains of the Casali Mass were quite fitting. We ended with everybody enthusiastically singing the stirring hymn “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” in a fine full bodied way. But the Mass had its quiet moments, too, for silence can be its own song. Come sometime to the High Mass and let your spirits soar.

I saw something on the internet about the perpetual question of babies in church. I’ve been thinking about that, too. When I preach right at 11:30 the first five to eight minutes are unbearably noisy, but that’s because people wait until the last minute to come into church, or arrive even later, and it takes time for babies to settle in, too. Children need a routine, and calm. If you rush in late, it takes longer for little ones to quiet down. Homegrown St. Gertrude babies know the drill. Babies like stability. Visiting toddlers don’t know, but if you do the same thing every week, calmly, they will pick it up. You can always hear a visiting baby. But not for long. They get it.

But taking baby out to the vestibule (where late-comers may be waiting out the sermon) is not the end of the world. You can actually hear the sermon much more clearly (good speakers, no echo), and so will the people still in church, although we do have a nice echo. But the lesson is that children learn more than you’d expect from adults, attitudes, and fellow babies. They may make noise, but like Caravaggio they prefer calm.

We had the First Confessions yesterday. Confirmations and First Holy Communions are Pentecost Weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes I think we’re the only ones to follow the mind of the Church when it comes to First Sacraments. Canon Law prescribes that children are to be confirmed before First Communion, if possible, but most churches make it a kind of Bar Mitzvah, a big religious test for older children or adolescents. St. Pius X was very explicit about the age of First Communion—the age of reason—and the very reasonable minimal requirements for children to receive our Dear Lord in their innocence. Basic religion, reverence and the ability to distinguish the Eucharist from ordinary bread are all the Holy Father required. But sometimes parents and priests don’t understand. Don’t hold children back from Holy Communion, (unless you intend to hold them back from weekly Mass attendance, of course). Speak to the pastor before you decide this question. This is what priests are for.

We had a nice smattering of souls Wednesday for St. Joseph’s Solemn Mass. I’m hoping for a big crowd Saturday morning for Mass and Communion, as well as the Rosary Procession in West Chester at 10:15. 100 years to the day since Our Lady appeared! Join us for breakfast beforehand if you’d like, or join the Rosary Confraternity if you haven’t yet.

In any case, there’s a second procession the next day, May Crowning. Make them both. You probably won’t be around for the next Fatima Centennial.
Yours in the Heart of Jesus and Mary,

–Bp. Dolan