rss feed for a newsreader
rss feed for podcasting

Pentecost XIX

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
I am writing this to you on a singularly bleak and rainy Wednesday morning, dark and wet as is our wont in the Ohio Valley. Still, the feast day is great, our own heroic North American Martyrs, who bore everything for the love of Christ, to save the souls of savages. Our missionary endeavors are mild in comparison even on a bad day.

Fr. McGuire has had a string of travel problems all Summer, and needs some St. Christopher prayers in his favor. Cars breaking down, major flight cancellations, well these are the life of today’s missionaries, along with long hours on the road. The number of souls we serve is seemingly small, the finances are always tight, too. Yet one soul is of infinite value in God’s eyes, and worth the relatively slight sacrifices we make to save it.

We would not be able to pursue this work, which is as well the continuation of the true Catholic Faith, were it not for many charitable souls making many generous donations both of time and money. And prayer, always prayer. Thank you!

These missionary thoughts are inspired by my own preparation today for Thursday’s departure. God willing, I will be leaving from Tijuana tomorrow for the long overnight trip to Mendoza, Argentina. I will be meeting four Argentinean priests, two for the first time. Fr. Leandro Neves from Brazil, who joined us last year will return, along with Fr. Rodrigo Ribiero who recently left the Pius X Resistance movement. Finally, a Franciscan brother, superior of a small group of Brazilian Friars Minor. Minor and Major Orders have to be given or “supplied,” as we say, in some cases. We must discuss our current state and future plans. We could use the gift of tongues, because Brazilians speak Portuguese, and even my Spanish is limited. Still, by the grace of God and many prayers, everything should work out. It always does, in God’s plan.

“My Mother, my Confidence,” was a favorite prayer of Pope St. Pius X.
– Bishop Dolan

P.S. We are out of Mass stipends. Many Catholics never give a Mass. It is a most powerful prayer, however, for the living and the dead. Remember your dear dead. I noticed nobody gave any Masses for Loraine Gates last June. She must have outlived her friends. Her family is Novus Ordo, where you go directly to Heaven. I scheduled a Mass, anyway. Anyone else?

From Fr. McKenna:

Dear Faithful,
Well, Bishop Dolan is off to minister to the priests and the faithful in Tijuana, Mexico and Mendoza, Argentina. It sounds like it will be a very busy trip, which will see him away for about two weeks. However, it also sounds like it will hopefully be a very fruitful trip at the same time. We, at St. Gertrude’s, should all pray in his absence that everything goes well and that his travels are safe.

In the meantime, he has asked me to write a little note for the bulletin this week talking a bit about my mission travels that I am so often away for. We shall start in the (soon to be) frozen north.

I have three missions in the northern mid-west which I service, outside of our parish in Milwaukee: Grand Forks, ND, Powers Lake, ND, and Park Falls, WI. Grand Forks is our oldest Northern mission and also our biggest. We have around thirty people currently and it is a very vibrant, fervent, and young group (Fr. McGuire is the oldest person when he goes there). As such, it seems to steadily be always growing too. This most frequently is by the old-fashioned method (I think our kids now about outnumber adults), but often is also through conversion, as the young adults in Grand Forks are always ready to talk with others about the faith. In fact, I will soon have another baptism of a new convert once I have tested him on his catechism and finished up a little last bit of instruction.

The Powers Lake mission is at the old Fr. Nelson chapel there. Numberswise, it is a shadow of its former self, with one family maintaining all of the grounds and buildings. However, we have recently increased the number of attendees due to work coming back to the oil fields there. Still not a huge group, but they are faithful and the old chapel provides a beautiful setting for the Mass.

In Park Falls, WI (near the northern tip of the state), we have our mission which is held at a funeral home, where our coordinator and his family live…thus the naming of the mission, St. Joseph of Arimathea. Again, it isn’t the biggest group, but those who come are very faithful and appreciative of every opportunity they can get for the sacraments.

Now, for the southern route, where I also frequent three missions: Lafayette, LA, Dallas, TX area, and El Paso, TX. We have recently merged our chapel in Louisiana with Christ the King Church, belonging to Fr. Francis Miller. It is a fair-sized congregation there, with two Sunday Masses, and one of the priests from St. Gertrude’s goes there to say Mass, hear confessions, and preach. This allows Fr. Miller to go to one of his other missions and allows a little variety for the faithful.

From Lafayette, we drive up to the Dallas/Arlington area for a Sunday evening Mass. This small group has seen a large growth in attendance recently and starting in November, we are hoping to increase the frequency of Masses in the mission. It also provides us with the good problem of finding a larger venue for the Mass.

In El Paso, there is a most charming little chapel, built and furnished by hand by one of the faithful there out of his and his family’s devotion to the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament. In fact, the faithful there are so devoted that most of them make visits to the Blessed Sacrament every day.

How about you? Do you stop in to visit Our Eucharistic Lord outside of when you have to be here for Sunday Mass? It is probably an area in which we all can improve a bit and learn from this mission’s good example. Maybe you can say those prayers for the bishop’s trip and for all our missions during your visit!
With my prayers,

– Fr. McKenna