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Pentecost XXI

First Holy Communion in Lagos

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
I was sorry to have missed what I heard was an excellent Rosary Sunday. How wonderful to celebrate the latest ordination with a Solemn Mass on Our Lady’s feast, and hear the story of Fr. Dutertre’s path to the priesthood, as well as of his current Canadian apostolate in Quebec. Many thanks to all who helped, especially our generous cooks for the Confraternity Breakfast. It was so abundant that they could even go out into the highways and byways of the 11:30 congregation and force them to come in. You never know how many Gertrudians are going to attend a given event, but all went well, and nothing was wasted.

But I was not sorry to have missed Summer’s last hurrah, with hot humid days while I was away. But beautiful Autumn arrived with me on Wednesday afternoon, maybe this time to stay. I certainly intend to. Two weeks is just too long to be away.

But it was an excellent trip, as regards its fruits, one of the best in my long years as a bishop. We have begun a Brazilian apostolate with one newly ordained priest missionary, and five Franciscans, several of whom are studying for the priesthood. Their enthusiasm is refreshing, and they are all charter members of the Fr. Cekada Fanclub.

First I had a good visit with Fr. Arnoldo Villegas in Tijuana, with customary Sunday confirmations. On Saturday there was a “convivio” for some thirty young people, a late afternoon dinner for them with the clergy, considerably enlivened by the arrival of the Mariachis in full uniform.

Almost all of the young ladies came modestly dressed in skirts, perhaps due to the happy influence of the visit of some of them here in August. More draconian measures were required in Mendoza, Argentina. After many warnings in past visits, I caused a sign to be posted outside the chapel forbidding entrance to women in pants. There was some wailing and gnashing of teeth among those exiled outside, but a major step for modesty inside.

I met a new Argentinean priest, a Padre Henrique, as well as a Brazilian seminarian, and of course the two devoted Fathers in Mendoza, Fr. Damin and Fr. Alberto Martinez. Fr. Damin had given a retreat previously attended by many, including Fr. Leandro who joined us last year.

The days were given over to private meeting with each priest or brother or seminarian, ceremonies, as well as meals with priestly conversation. It was a tiring but also crucial work. It’s Spring in Mendoza, but everything is dry and dusty, weather alternating between hot and cold. Oh, and we did get in three Asados, the classic Argentinean barbeque, with one meat course after another. The chef comes around with the platter and serves each guest. They usually start with two sausages, a kind of chorizo and a blood sausage, and work their way up to beef and pork. There may be a little tomato salad on the side, but Argentineans are essentially carnivores. However the terrible economy limits their meat anymore to once a week, as a rule. It is therefore a great honor—and a sacrifice for the host—to be invited to an Asado.

I’m happy to be home, and catching up on the news, both giving and receiving. After a busy Rosary week, concluding with last night’s final Rosary Procession, we settle down to some quiet days before Forty Hours and Christ the King. The young Fathers come and go as usual about their mission rounds. We continue the daily Rosary devotions here at church and
school, as I am sure you do as well at home.

The Rosary preserves our faith, and really solves every problem. Give it a chance this month. God bless you.
–Bp. Dolan