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Advent I

The closing procession from Bp. Dolan’s anniversary Mass.

The social hall during Bp. Dolan’s anniversary reception.

Zelus Domus Tuae. An original work composed for the occasion of Bp. Dolan’s anniversary celebration.

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
It’s Thursday afternoon, and the place is buzzing. Our devoted “party people” are finishing plans for Friday’s reception. Sacristans, clerical and lay are laying out vestments and arranging the sanctuary for the Pontifical Mass. Guests, including the reverend and most reverend variety are arriving. I am touched and grateful for the kind efforts of so many for this happy anniversary.

But most of all to God go the thanks, through Our Lady. How mysterious, yet manifold are the ways of His mercy, His providence, these last twenty five years. Thank God we have the Mass, else how would we ever adequately thank Him?

Fr. Bede Nkamuke returns to Nigeria today, loaded down with good wishes, gifts and support for his apostolate. I think Father is well rested and refreshed after his weeks with us. Thank you for your kindness.

The McFathers were here and then gone again, out about the Lord’s business. I will have a full report on the Anniversary next week but thought I would say a word about the painting I chose for my holy card.

The Crucifixion of St. Andrew was painted by Caravaggio (no…not the cat) in 1607. This artist was the master of Chiaroscuro style which dramatically contrasted light and dark. He was well chosen to depict the death of the “First Called” Apostle, for St. Andrew was hidden, in a blaze of heavenly light for half an hour before he died. In the painting you see him, tied to the cross at the moment of death. The proconsul ordered St. Andrew to be taken down from the cross (pressure from the crowd, who were being converted, and from his wife who already was baptized), and St. Andrew had just prayed to be allowed to die there as did his Master. The apostle’s prayer is heard, the soldier’s arms are paralyzed, the pagan proconsul looks on with wonder. “Receive the disciple of Him who hung upon thee, my Master, Christ.”

On a rainy First Saturday I conclude this Corner with thanks and more thanks for a picture (and audio, oh, and taste) perfect 25th Anniversary celebration. Thank you to distinguished guests from afar, for a choir so good Bishop Sanborn found it distracting, for all of the sacristy and ceremonial work, for the perfect party set up with lights and decorations and food stations, one more inviting than the next, for the moving of furniture, and even for the so efficient clean up and following day set up for Advent Sunday. St. Gertrude’s never rests! I thank Bishop Sanborn for his words, a needed and appreciated telling of our history, and an encouraging look at our present. He also said some nice things about me, and I blushed. Thanks for all of the Masses, prayers, good wishes and gifts. Well, this should be enough to last me for the next 25 years.

With my sincere thanks, I send you all a blessing.

–Bp. Dolan