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Pentecost XXIV

Children’s All Saints Costumes, 2017

Daily Sermons
November 10 – Bp. Dolan – A Friend of Saints
November 11 – Bp. Dolan – A Surprising Saint
November 13 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Stanislaus Kostka
November 15 – Bp. Dolan – Do An Experiment
November 16 – Bp. Dolan – A Pleasing Place

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
We had a beautiful feast of St. Gertrude, thank you, with Solemn Mass and sermon, and barbecue, and Vespers, closing with Benediction. But in the old way, we keep the feast for eight days, so you’re not too late to honor our patroness, and present her your petitions.

But it was a heavy week, as weeks always are which feature a funeral as well as a feast day. I was cheered by the attendance for both occasions. Even Sunday’s Cemetery Rosary drew a nice little group. Some of our potential clients were out of town, of course, and the rain prediction would have warned off trepid souls. But we prayed for a very light rain, almost a mist, and so it came. Very fitting for a cemetery in November. The intrepid did too, and we prayed and walked reverently through fields of graves finding our own to bless, and praying the Rosary for all. Somebody said the souls there begged us to stay longer, as gratified hosts will, but we left just as the rain grew heavier. I know we left a blessing behind.

This week has been difficult, but admirable too, from the perspective of health. That “hang on virus” which is in our midst for months now got a priest or two as well. Yet everyone, priest or lay, was a real troop-er, even if they had to cough, hack or just force them-selves through the ceremonies. I am truly edified at such a spirit, and I know you would be, as well.

One of the Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas who was with us for Girls’ Camp, Sr. Mary Peter, will be making her perpetual profession on Tuesday, feast of Our Blessed Lady’s Presentation. Her patron is Bl. Peter Julian Eymard, the Blessed Sacrament saint, who guided our adoration themed Lent a few years back. We offer Sister our congratulations and prayers.

We are keeping Bishop Sanborn in our prayers as he deals with a serious heart condition, along with all of the cares and obligation of his office, especially preparing young men for the priesthood. We offer our congratulations to Fr. Selway whom Bishop Sanborn will consecrate as his eventual successor.

Speaking of seminarians, my plea for food alms (pretty basic) for Fr. Nkamuke’s four seminarians drew some charitable interest and help. We’ll try to keep sending this extra money each month, so that they at least can buy food. When we think of how extravagantly and wastefully we Americans eat, especially at the holiday season….

Fr. Nkamuke also sends his thanks to those who helped him get a car. He seems quite happy with it, now that he has his license. He’s just starting to use it for sick calls, and finds it such a Godsend, so practical. The things we take for granted!

The other night at dusk I just had the hardest time pulling myself away from the outdoors. Too many beautiful things were happening. There was a magnificent sunset across the sky. Great flights of birds (anybody know which?) soared and swooped in formation, dividing and plummeting as if performing, and the cool evening air was filled with their chatter, like the vestibule after Sunday Mass, but at a distance. So, I stayed out longer, and watched with grateful wonder, and did an extra decade or two. We do have a lot to be thankful for, don’t we?

The grounds never look better around here than in November, especially in late afternoon. The vast expanse of green lawn seems poised and peaceful now, the white shrines gleaming in their midst. The red bushes and faithful evergreens are so autumnal, but preintone Christmas colors, too. We are grateful for our beautiful church and its verdant setting.

Two of the outdoor Stations are down. Alas, the wood rotted in the often wet clay. Could anybody redo them? Gino redid my troll bridge out back, whose real wood had rotted, too. I am grateful for a handsome if “artificial” wood bridge. The trolls aren’t talking.

I guess the coyotes like it out here, too, as one was loping around out back, as though he owned the place. Caravaggio watched him warily from his perch on the porch railing. So far the cats manage more than their fair share of food (that’s where I come in) but never to be-come food. That’s good.

There’s talk of resetting some of the timers on the defunct outdoor lights. We’ll see, (or not see!) this winter. There was a bad leak in the front Ladies Room the other week, and somebody said something about a missing capstone. Eventually something may be done, but everybody’s pretty busy these days, so we avert our eyes, and hope against hope.

This reminds me of today’s St. Elizabeth of Hungary, that perennial favorite of All Saints Day girls. Summoned back suddenly by her spiritual director, she observed “We are like the snail, which withdraws into its shell when it is going to rain. So we obey and withdraw from the way we were going.” Indeed.

Happy Thanksgiving! Anybody having snails for a first course? I did, once. With enough garlic and butter they’re fine. God and St. Gertrude bless you.

– Bishop Dolan