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Solemnity of the Holy Name of Mary, Pentecost XIV

Daily Sermons
August 15 – Bp. Dolan – 3 Days – Kidnapping, Patience, The Mother of God
September 1 – Fr. Lehtoranta – May Our Hearts by Like the Sacred Heart
September 2 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Stephen of Hungary and Mary-Like Humility
September 6 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Exquisite Vase
September 8 – Fr. Lehtoranta – What Our Lady Wishes for Her Birthday

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
What a Summer this has been. I remember it as a storm of long trips by air (but much good done), the air conditioner here not working over innumerable hot afternoon, allergies and illness, and a funeral. But at its end I had a good rest (as did Fr. Cekada) with a little pilgrimage to Chimayo, “America’s Lourdes.” I returned on Wednesday evening refreshed, to find delightfully cool weather and beautiful September days.

But still it was with a heavy heart, as the dear lady who was once almost the heart of St. Gertrude, Paulina Strauss, died last Sunday evening, in her 92nd year. The young Fathers were very attentive to her deathbed, and she died soon after Fr. McKenna finished a final rosary, surrounded by her family.

She herself was part of our family at St. Gertrude since our beginning in January, 1978, and before. For years and years she did whatever needed to be done, driving, secretarial, laundry, and most of all cooking. She was a gifted gourmet cook. She still cooked Sunday Brunch for the priests until just a few years ago. But all she did, she did out of love, great love for God, Our Lady, and our church of St. Gertrude the Great. How she missed coming to church these last years. But she persevered in prayer, especially for our priests. God blessed her with a sharp mind (and a sharp wit!) along with a cheery demeanor until the very end. She was a true “founding mother” for St. Gertrude. Remember her soul in your good prayers.

Elsa Bowman died just a few days later in El Paso, Texas. She was another colorful character, like Paulina, and once very active in our church. She had suffered from cancer for many years, and always kept her strong, uncompromising Catholic Faith. Please remember her as well.

We are diminished by these deaths, but the foundations they helped build endure, and God’s goodness is always bringing new, needy souls and generous hearts our way. God’s Providence provides.

Recommend, won’t you, this weekend the hurricane victims to Our Lady of Prompt Succor, as well as the protection of our loved ones in Florida. Don’t forget the poor Mexicans struck with a powerful earthquake in the early hours of Friday. Invoke the Guardian Angels of these places; and Our Lady.

Are these tragedies a punishment from God? Well, war certainly is. How many, costly, and long are our wars anymore. (The Fatima Rosary Procession is Wednesday evening.) Natural Disasters, ever recurring and almost expected, play a prophetic role in calling our attention to God and prayer, as well as the works of neighborly charity, as Hurricane Harvey demonstrated in such an edifying way. We should look to God and neighbor first for help, and not to government.

I recommend to your devotion as well each day a little prayer for the dying, as also for the Poor Souls, so many are they, and so forgotten. But there is another intention I have in mind as well: the prisoners. They too are abandoned, and government rules and regulations render it well nigh impossible or at least hopelessly burdensome, for a priest to get in and see them and administer the sacraments. Pray too for our priests charged with this difficult but so important duty.

Last of all, pray for our catechism classes, starting anew today. Remember our Sisters, the teachers, the students themselves, and their parents. I was reading the other night that a century ago in secularized, anti-Catholic France, it was nonetheless considered a shame and a scandal if a child did not know his catechism. Times change, and not for the better.

So much to pray for. How? Well, as Fr. McKenna suggested, come to Mass during the week. We had a good attendance and a lovely observance for Our Lady’s Birthday. This week we keep her Sorrows on Friday and the Holy Cross on Thursday. Wednesday evening is the Rosary Procession. There’s always Benediction after Mass Friday evening….

The McFathers have departed to the missions. Fr. Lehtoranta and Fr. Cekada are pleased with their first classes. The school got off to a very prayerful start with three “special Masses” in a row, but soon will settle down into a routine.

We’re hoping the seminary will be spared by Irma. Pray with us!

– Bishop Dolan