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Solemnity of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady – Pentecost XV

Daily Sermons
September 11 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Example of Martyrs
September 12 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Anthony and the Holy Name of Mary
September 13 – Bp. Dolan – The September Fatima Apparition
September 14 – Fr. Lehtoranta – How Great is the Cross of Jesus
September 15 – Fr. McGuire – I Found None – But You!

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Our week of Mary’s Nativity Octave, which began with her Holy Name, led us to her Son’s Holy Cross, and now concludes with the Solemnity of her Seven Sorrows. The Sorrowful Mother devotion is always connected with prayers for our sick, and thus the blessing after Mass today. But I hope you’ll feel better, better enough to picnic with us this afternoon: Free park admission, free burgers and dogs, and a nice Sunday afternoon with your “other family,” your fellow Catholics from Church. We Catholics share the same strong convictions and deep love for the true Church. It’s always nice to meet someone new. It is, St. Paul would say, a real encouragement. Now that you know the deeper agendas of the Parish Picnic, I’m sure you’ll want to participate.

Fr. Cekada and I went over to Elsa Bowman’s wake on Wednesday, just before the Fatima Procession Mass. It certainly brought back memories of our early days in the 1980’s, when Elsa was so involved at our church. To think we founded and “grew” a church and a school then, and within a few short years also were a vibrant community to promote the arts, especially drama. We offered several fine Shakespeare plays. Those were the days! Our high school children are studying the Bard this year, and of
course Fr. Cekada is offering a unique and quite enjoyable Music Appreciation course.

I’m proud of two of our high school freshmen, Peter and Dominic, who have quickly mastered the role of Master of Ceremonies for the daily High Mass. It is excellent training, and affords us great help. Follow these Masses on the daily webcast, or better yet in person during the week, as you are able. Our catechism classes got off to a good start last Sunday, although attendance was a little low. Parents, please take Sunday “Mass and class” most seriously. It is one of your most important duties, for which you will answer to Almighty God. May none of our children accuse us one day of neglect in this.

Sr. Jeanne Marie was scheduled to return home to the convent Friday, after many months of lonely confinement in hospitals and nursing homes. She still has a hard way to go, and I ask your prayers for her and the other sisters who are caring for her.

Fr. Lehtoranta has published his latest book, on Limbo, for children. How do our priests have time to write books, along with all their other duties? How does a book get published today? Our clerical authors, Fr. Cekada and Fr. Lehtoranta will be speaking on this interesting subject at our annual Rosary Confraternity Breakfast. We will also feature an “authors’ table” with a sampling of books published by both clerical and lay authors from St. Gertrude the Great. Who knew? There’s a lot of talent hidden here, and so you see we still promote the arts. Get your ticket today. It’s a wonderful tradition.

Music, of course, is always high on our list of artistic endeavors, but you’ll usually have to come to the High Mass to hear it. This morning our Parish Choir returns after Summer break, enhanced by some brave baritones recruited by the intrepid Fr. Cekada. Attend the High Mass. It is the high point of all the week’s worship of Almighty God, a vision both and an anticipation of Heaven. Check out the Apocalypse.

Irma the Hurricane wasn’t quite as hellish as the media hype incessantly screamed. They do this for their own purpose. In any case, our fervent and charitable prayers were heard on behalf of our faithful and seminary, which came through with only one wounded soffit. The greatest suffering came afterwards with a prolonged loss of power in Florida’s tropical heat, “a miserable 72 hours,” in Bishop Sanborn’s words.

The eye of the hurricane passed directly over the seminary, but it was a tree which fell on a generator nearby which caused all the grief, really a union dispute. The Florida state light and power monopoly is nonunion, and the Duke people are, so they would not cooperate it seems. What a world! Prayers and good sense finally prevailed, the tree was removed, and the seminary is up and running for a new school year.

Thank you for your concern and prayers, your cooking, and contributions, your faithful participation in the life of St. Gertrude the Great. May our power never go out.

May Our Sorrowful Mother both inspire and console you, and we console her Immaculate Heart.

– Bishop Dolan