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Dedication of Basilicas of Ss. Peter & Paul, Pentecost XXVI

Our social hall was filled today for our All Saints party

Our 2018 saints

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
“Ice and snow, bless the Lord,” we want to say, but not yet! We had a bit of St. Martin (Indian) Summer last Sunday afternoon. Did you notice? It was mild, mellow in that special November way of days just before dusk. A good group of us, including an edifying number of young adults, were informally processing among the graves at Gate of Heaven, praying the Rosary and blessing the resting places of our dead. Unlike most old adults, our young adults seem tireless when it comes to prayer. Our children, too! What a blessing.

We didn’t sing Vespers last Sunday but I thought of the fifth psalm: “In exitu, When Israel went out of Egypt,” as we went along. Only our Moses was Albert Daniel. We doubted sometimes and got a little lost, but we prayed on and persevered to many graves, pausing to recite a Responsory and sprinkle Holy Water at each. It was a peaceful afternoon, as we prayed that our Purgatory souls would rest in peace.

The same pious sentiment inspired our prayer at 11 o’clock that morning of “11-11.” The bell, the Dirge, the beads, how solemn and stirring is this little annual ceremony. We must never forget our soldiers, living or deceased, even as we pray earnestly for peace. And the civilians, victims of our wars, yesterday and today! Pray, and pray some more!

The McFathers and Fr. Nkamuke are privileged to make two Forty Hours this year, the second one being this weekend in Milwaukee. Their patronal feast, St. Hugh of Lincoln, was yesterday and we send them our congratulations. What great people! They rarely exceed eighty (it’s a small church) yet they are in so many respects a mini St. Gertrude, under the devout care of the aforementioned Fathers. And St. Hugh is a wonderful patron.

Today is our patronal feast, the Solemnity of St. Gertrude the Great, among other holy observances. We celebrate modestly today but ever so gratefully the 15th anniversary of the dedication of our church, right along with the dedication of two great basilicas in Rome, Ss. Peter & Paul. A sad moment in history. Those churches are co-opted now for the new religion, corrupted; our modest little church is one of the few still for the true, with nothing to do with the new.

Today we dedicate and bless the image of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, thus fulfilling a promise I made some 19 years ago when we launched our building fund under Our Sorrowful Mother’s patronage. Thank you, Blessed Mother! Thanks to our “heart specialist” as well.

It’s 40 years since we started St. Gertrude the Great. Some of those years we may have felt like the Israelites of old, wandering in the desert. But our God has ever been with us, “a pillar of cloud by day, and a column of fire by night.” Such is our holy Faith! May God lead us still, and reward you with eternal life.

–Bp. Dolan