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Advent III-Gaudete Sunday

Daily Sermons
December 11 – Fr. Lehtoranta – St. Damasus and Our Lady
December 12 – Fr. Lehtoranta – Our Lady of Guadalupe: How She Defeats the Idolaters
December 13 – Bp. Dolan – St. Lucy Shares the Light
December 14 – Fr. Lehtoranta – The Loveliest Lady
December 15 – Bp. Dolan – St. Maria di Rosa

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Our hearts, our prayers, our intentions were all given to Katie Bischak, our devoted sacristan, this past week. Katie fell in the sacristy on Monday and broke several bones, necessitating surgery. During the operation, she had a stroke, and fell into a coma. We are praying for her all the way through. Pray with us to St. Joseph, Katie’s special saint. She would need a miracle to recover, or the grace of a happy death.

In the meantime, as we must, Christmas planning continues. Church decoration takes place on Monday and Tuesday, and after the morning Mass on Thursday. Talk to Marlys or Janet if you can help. “Win one for Katie,” I guess we could say, with all sincerity. Let’s make her proud!

Meanwhile, the choir is practicing, the office is humming, the priests are busy, plans are being made, schedules published and so much more. We welcome your help, especially in church and sacristy. Most of all, I invite you to join us in prayer for Katie, even as we are carrying on her work for Christ’s birth.

Andy, our sometime visiting sacristan reminds us to keep sacristans in our prayers. They are rare, precious birds. Darlene had her fall two years ago this December at the same time. She’s a tough old bird, and has since recovered from yet another fall, with more broken bones, and is back wrangling shopping carts at Krogers. She doesn’t have a ride to church anymore so she has to attend Immaculate Conception.

Speaking of Krogers, one of our excellent acolytes, Brendan, works there now. We saw him the other day, and he certainly makes Krogering a homey experience with his friendly greeting and a story or two…. He also reminds Guard of Honor members of the upcoming adoration. A useful post, the cash register.

Bishop Sanborn continues to improve, and even managed to send out Christmas cards. The seminarians had their exams this past week, always a trying time, as I myself remember from my day.

Fr. Nkamuke is just finishing up his mission rounds. He will fly on Christmas, Santa like, to make his rounds, bringing the precious gift of Christ’s Mass to his three main chapels. Your response to our Cucina Nigeria Fund, the pure charity of feeding four hungry seminarians, continues strong. Please do continue as you can, for we will have to continue to feed these future priests, who will one day feed souls. Fr. Nkamuke quoted me an Igbo saying the other day: “The condition of hunger in which there is hope of relief, doesn’t kill.” That’s where you come in.

Well, we’re not dying of hunger here, that’s for sure. The meals of late have been generous and DELICIOUS. If Nigeria were across the street they would get “the dainties” as Alban Butler says. But as it is, we must do our best, and we do, as we tuck in. Deo Gratias!

Speaking of our missionaries, Friday is the centenary of the death of the first American saint, Mother Cabrini. How much good for souls and bodies was done by this one indomitable little lady. “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me,” was her favorite saying, quoting St. Paul. Her feast falls on Friday, with its Perpetual Novena to the Sacred Heart, her great devotion.

Fr. McGuire has headed off this Friday morning for an Illinois sick call, and a Milwaukee weekend. Fr. McKenna is helping Fr. Francis in Louisiana, and then heading off to his chapel in Dallas. (Anybody need Mass in Austin or San Antonio?) After Dallas Father visits Fr. Mardones’ former chapel in El Paso. This will comfort the remaining faithful, and enable them once again to have the precious treasure of the Blessed Sacrament, which they were missing. We tend to take it for granted, don’t we? Twice a week Benediction is given at St. Gertrude, often to no more than twelve souls on Friday, and less than six on Sunday. We did church already. Okay. We’re busy. I get it. But so is Jesus…giving graces!

’Tis the season of giving. Jesus in the Host gives most of all. Get yourself some of those graces. Maybe just out of love? He’s waiting for you, just as anxiously as any child.

With love in our not too loved Jesus in the Host,

– Bishop Dolan