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Nativity of St. John the Baptist, Pentecost V

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Summer Christmas! That’s how the Nativity of St. John the Baptist was celebrated for centuries, a great feast in its own right, celebrated all night, and the pre-cursor to the coming Christmas, six months from now. Thus last night’s bonfire and parish picnic celebration, and this morning’s Pontifical Mass. In the early times, three Masses were celebrated, as at Christmas, and there was great rejoicing for the birth of St. John, already sanctified of Original Sin, and destined to prepare the way and point out the Messiah.

We welcome our young adults, some 54 in number, who have come to St. Gertrude for the second annual revival of our YAG of years ago. We hope you’re having a good time, but also a spiritual one, inspired and support-ed by so many who share the same Faith, unchanging and uncompromised. It is a pleasure for us to host this gathering, and to share with you our abundant but all too rare spiritual resources. And may the Holy Ghost inspire, and St. Raphael protect you.

Summer is no time for sluggards. As I write this early bulletin on Thursday, some first comers are being put to work for the Young Adult Get-Together, and the many final arrangements seen to by the ever competent Miss Colleen Eldracher. The teachers in our midst were pleased to see school out, but only to devote themselves to waiting projects, after a day or two of rest: the liturgical ordo, the calendar, email, church controversy, book publishing, and maybe a film or two if we’re good….

Nor have the devout let up. It’s been wonderful so far to see so many, including children, assist at extra Masses during the week. We had four Masses for the start of our Summer Novena, and a good little group for each. I pray this continues, for what we do freely and out of love touches Our Lord’s Heart and inclines Him to hear our many petitions.

Do continue to pray for the Sisters, among your own many intentions. The convent has been sold, and they will need a place to stay come August.

Please pray for Keith Brabender, who died suddenly May 18. Keith had been devoutly attending St. Gertrude for over a year, I think. He was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, and was starting chemo. I last recall speaking with him perhaps in April or early May. We never could get ahold of him after that and finally found him in the obituaries. We fear the family had his body burned and the bones crushed, and the ashes boxed for delivery, as is the popular way nowadays. Our consolation is that Keith devoutly received Extreme Unction when he first fell ill, and was always regular at the Sacraments. Please leave instructions with us, and someone you trust, for your funeral plans. And please remember his soul in your prayers. We will schedule a funeral service for him.

No sooner will the young adults have departed, than the young ladies of the Girls’ Camp arrive. Two Sisters of St. Thomas Aquinas will be coming to assist Miss Michelle Mikesell and her helpers for three wonderful days of fun, activities, and prayer, starting Wednesday. Parents, don’t let your girls miss out.

Tuesday is the second week of our Summer Novena, and Wednesday is the feast itself of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Friday’s 9 AM High Mass for Ss. Peter and Paul will be sung by the Girls’ Camp Choir.

Thanks for your presence and participation these Summer days, dear faithful, as well as for your regular support. Remember to pop your Sunday envelopes in the mail should you be travelling over a Sunday. A special thank you to our four faithful cooks. It’s a lot of trouble purchasing, preparing and delivering a meal, but your charity is ever so much appreciated.

The days grow shorter now, just a bit at first. But Christ the Light of the World comes again at Christmas, only six months away. Blessed Nativity of St. John the Baptist.

– Bishop Dolan