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Pentecost XIX

Daily Sermons
October 10 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Humility of St. Francis Borgia
October 11 – Fr. McGuire – Maternity of Mary
October 12 – Bp. Dolan – Mary’s Favorite
October 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Miracle of the Sun, 100 Years Ago
October 13 – Bp. Dolan – Priests to People: Fatima

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
This year of crucial anniversaries, both of revolutions and of revelations, reached its high point Friday the 13th, very humbly, as so many hands throughout the world held rosaries and candles, and so many lips and hearts echoed the saving Rosary Mysteries. I was glad to be home with you for this final Fatima Rosary Procession for Peace in this centennial year. “Father hear the prayer we offer!”

I was happy too to hear a good report of Rosary Sunday, its Mass and procession; its Confraternity Breakfast with such interesting presentations from our authors. Sincere thanks to our dedicated Rosarians for these two great events, as well as for your persevering prayer at home, and in church with the students for daily October Devotions. What other response can we make to the collapse of Christendom than penance, the reform of our lives, and prayer, especially the Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

It was this same spirit of penance and prayer I witnessed in my Rosary journey these blessed days of October, from the desert of Mexico to that of far away Mendoza, Argentina. I was especially touched with the pastoral zeal and prayer of the priests I work with in those dry climes. Humble, hard penitential and prayerful lives mark these true pastors of the flock. Long hours in the confessional bring forth the fruit of many Holy Communions. Impressive.

Many hours of daily prayer, much of it before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed distinguish the daily life of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Rosary in Mendoza. You might say they are truly poor, dirt poor, as they live a hard life among the dusty desert vineyards in Argentina. They manage even without a car, so that every little shopping trip or sick call entails begging a ride. But their devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii is strong, and brings extraordinary graces.

Fr. Arnoldo Villegas up in Tijuana, Mexico travels four hours over the mountains each Sunday to tend two chapels. Mexicali is always hot. It was 99° when I visited. No air conditioning! Every Saturday he teaches Catechism to his children, and every visit of the bishop now features a play presented by the students during the parish dinner which follows the church ceremonies. This time we enjoyed the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Last year they did our own St. Gertrude the Great, and very well.

Fr. Lehtoranta wrote a fine corner for last Sunday, didn’t he? Both interesting and informative. It’s good for you to hear from our other priests (including some fine sermons of late) and about our other missions and chapels. Fr. McKenna is in Louisiana this morning and this afternoon is driving to Dallas with Fr. Francis Miller to see about helping at his chapel there. Our apostolate is always expanding, both really and virtually. Fr. Cekada reports a good visit to the Seminary, which started the school year with eleven students, three of whom are Gertrudians. Father also was impressed with the online interaction classes now being offered by the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas. Fr. Palma is a long distance professor from California.

Fr. Bede Nkamuke has started Seat of Wisdom House of Studies, a minor seminary, with five students. He has a good plan, and began with a retreat, an excellent idea. Pray for vocations and perseverance.

We haven’t heard how our brethren in California made out with the fires, but keep them in your prayers. Think, though, that the world is on fire, and pray your Rosary, for it, for us, to be saved from the fires of Hell.

But may Mary’s Immaculate Heart kindle the fires of God’s love among us this week as we open another urgent, devout Forty Hours Prayer. We, here in our church, before the Monstrance we have the answer to the world’s urgent needs, and to our own. Pray with us some more!

– Bishop Dolan

P.S. Caravaggio was waiting for me when I returned home after the final 24 hour journey from Argentina. He partied a little too hard, though, and the next day I had to take care of clean up. He is prudently sleeping it off now. Puccini is a cool customer, and is quietly going about his rounds, the very picture of disciplined regularity.