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Last Sunday After Pentecost

Daily Sermons
November 15 – Bp. Dolan – Do An Experiment
November 16 – Bp. Dolan – A Pleasing Place
November 17 – Bp. Dolan – A Favorite Teacher
November 20 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Felix and Love to One’s Neighbor
November 22 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Cecilia and Friendship

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Golden autumn lingers these days, making Thanksgiving – themed gratitude seems natural. But the supernatural as well chimes in with thanks, as we “ring out the old year,” the liturgical year, that is. Think of all of the graces and blessings bestowed since Advent of 2016… the Masses, the Holy Communions, Confessions and Confirmations, Baptisms, weddings and sick calls and sermons and funerals, prayers, too, answered and unanswered, crosses and losses and unexpected joys. The newcomers, the latecomers and those who rarely come or not at all. Deo Gratias for all of this grace, God’s Holy Will, this past Church Year.

But see this Sunday, how silly the worldly look as they put up trees and lights and bring in Santa in the balmy weather of Fall. It’s not Christmas yet! Cries Moth-er Nature in concert with Holy Mother Church. Enjoy the Fall. Winter will come soon enough.

Wait a bit. The holy season of waiting will soon be upon us. We call it Advent. It starts next Sunday. Use this week to prepare for it. You have to catch in right away, for it is as its shortest this year, only three weeks. Plan some sacrifices, some penances, some time to pray, St Cecilia like, when everyone else is intent on play.

First Friday with its All Night Adoration leads us into Advent this year. Sanctify the long dark night of the season, and your soul as well, by watching in prayer be-fore the Blessed Sacrament.

Reading. Reading good books. Do you ever? I have never seen so many wonderful Catholic catalogs, offering old books, timeless, timely treasures in new packaging as now. The time is ripe. Reap some harvest. Browse the bookstore or online, and buy, read and give as gifts, good Catholic books. Most people just never read. Do you? Read the best and you’ll be better for it.

How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was excellent. We five fathers were all together for a fine meal. The day start-ed at the altar, with the best of prayers, and a good attendance at both Masses. Simpsons were away, so there were no servers for the 9 (Brueggemans did the 8). But the McFathers stepped forward and did a fine job serving the Bishop for what is always a special Mass. There was no music this year, but we sang a heartfelt (if slightly hoarse: colds all around) Holy God.

Katie made a beautiful golden Thanksgiving shrine around Thelma Sieverding’s St. Gertrude the Great, which has been in the sanctuary since her funeral. How golden should be our gratitude to Almighty God, to St. Gertrude, for so many blessings.

Among those blessings is a little “green card” for Fr. Lehtoranta, at long last. Now he will be able to come and go unhindered. We are also grateful for friends and visitors who came and who swelled our numbers last Sunday. We look to share our treasures.

I was gratified and am grateful for the generous response from all over for the “Cucina Nigeria,” a fund to feed Fr. Nkamuke and his seminarians. The money goes directly to Father, and is the simplest and purest form of almsgiving. It actually feeds the hungry. You’ll want to get in on it, at least a little. Be sure to check out our “Christmas Boxes” plan this year. We have a ton. Let’s share.

Because of government regulations it’s very difficult and time consuming to send money to our needy priests in foreign lands. Many lay people and priests have helped, or tried to, often in vain. Fr. Cekada is trying a new company, and has spent hours this week making arrangements. God bless him, and all who help our priests! We hope that in time this will be a safe and speedy solution.

The cats are grateful for the fine weather, and are going about their business with renewed enthusiasm. Let us be thankful for everything as we go about ours, in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

– Bishop Dolan