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✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
This interesting, troubled month of February, battle scene between Winter and Spring, is a short one, and departs on Thursday. I do think the Candlemas groundhog which graced our Winter Soup Lunch prophesied correctly. It will be an early Spring. But Winter, like the Enemy, will not give up without a fight.

Last week we had three days in a row of rain and dark, but prayed to the Infant and behold, the sun returned on Thursday. Along with light came robins and chickadees and a ladybug, a good sign. Did you know the ladybug was originally a ladybird, named after Our Lady? Red was the ancient color of Our Lady’s robe, rather than blue, and the seven spots, of course, call to mind her Seven Joys and Seven Sorrows. See, even in a dark age, the light of our Faith still shines.

Some dedicated young ladies have been working on reviving our parish lending library, now known as Little Flower Library. Full of treasures, both old and new, it will be open in time for Lent. Be sure to visit it and browse and borrow. Let’s revive the custom of everyone reading at least one good spiritual book this Lent, and some of you writing a little book report to tell the tale.

I’m grateful to Rich VandeRyt, Fr. McGuire and his helpers for a fine Altar Boys’ Day yesterday. These little—and not so little—lads are the unsung heroes of Holy Mass, be it a quiet Low, or a most solemn High, as only we can do it. But what they receive in return in the way of graces and even growth in natural virtue (discipline, self confidence, responsibility) is precious. Serving builds

Our Lenten planning, from more purple for the altar to many meals, and much music is proceeding apace. Anyone interested in a Saturday Day of Recollection to round things out? I have some surprising things to say about St. Thérèse, and you and God’s love. In any case, be sure to be doing some planning these days yourself. Do it thoughtfully, prayerfully, generously. Ask Our Lady what she’d like from you.

But in the meantime, Mardi Gras approaches. Time for some innocent indulgence, some “farewell celebrations” before the holy forty day fast claims our serious attention. Sundays, still, while spiritual (e.g. Mass, reading, Vespers, Rosary, Benediction) are joyful, for each Sunday is a little Easter, and the fasting is suspended.

While Canada (Air Canada, actually) gave me a hard time on my return from Brazil this month, it must be said that it is becoming a fruitful mission field for newly ordained French Father Dutertre, whose apostolate is now taking him beyond the confines of French Canada into English Ontario. Much interest and growth. “The Sower went out to sow his seed.” It is ever thus in the Kingdom. May we be soft, receptive soil, and Heaven grant the timely sun and rain.

Tomorrow is “last of all Matthias,” a good saint for tardy folk and “Johnny Come Latelys,” he is also invoked against alcoholism and smallpox, and for carpentry and tailoring.

–Bp. Dolan