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Lent V – Passion Sunday

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Passion Sunday, with its stark purple, focuses our attention this Lent even more on the Mass, the Passion and Death of our Savior, made present on our altars. It also reminds us that Lent, with its extraordinary graces is quickly fleeting by. Time to get serious, and to prepare ourselves for a sober, spiritual Holy Week, which may lead—we pray—to a glorious Resurrection.

Life is full of surprises. Last Saturday’s St. Thérèse Day of Recollection certainly was one of them. Who would have thought that in the midst of an already well attended and fervent Lent that over 40 (the Lenten number) souls would have turned out on a Saturday to hear about the Little Way. But you did. It was a fine day. I feared we would have run out of Hot Cross Buns, but they must have been miraculously multiplied. Someone suggested another recollection for Advent, on Saturday December 14. It’s a little early, but are there any takers? There’s always a lot to say about St. Thérèse. And it is life changing.

The next day, Laetare, was one of rejoicing both in church, all in shades of rose over the purple, and Helfta, packed with people and lots of stuff, generously given and quite a bit of it sold for the Sisters. Your Lenten charity is truly appreciated. These events are also and always good for “Church spirit” in which we Gertrudians never seem to be lacking.

Have you seen or heard about the movie, “Unplanned”? It came into town pretty much under the radar. The masters of media planned it that way, of course. Total embargo. But still word got out about
this seemingly excellent prolife film. I hope to see it myself, and I think it is not entertainment, indeed they say it is rather difficult in parts. So it would perhaps be an excellent Lenten activity, as was the Passion of the Christ, years ago. But it is not for children.

We priests have all been busy with the apostolate this Lent, despite the crosses of the Church’s, and Nature’s, Spring, which is Lent. “Come, labor on.” Enquiries come in daily, questions to be answered, spiritual solace and doctrinal enlightenment to be given. St. Gertrude’s is a great center of Catholic Faith, worship and life, but like the monasteries of old in the Dark Ages we must, and do, radiate out, spread the Faith and Catholic civilization. Thanks for being a part of it these intensive weeks of Lent especially. Do pray for your clergy. How grateful we are for help around the church and grounds, for the faithful meals, for the sacrificial financial support. This all assists us, and Catholics throughout the world. An awesome thought.

The last of Lent is on offer this week. The last Stations, the last Evening of Recollection, the close of the Sorrowful Mother Novena. All of this leads us into the start of something great, the Great Week, as the Church calls Holy Week. Plan for it now, plan to be with us. Join us and the donkey (okay, maybe a mule) next Sunday to process for Christ the King. As much as possible, center your life around church for the Holy Three Days, the greatest of the year. Live your Mass.

God bless you!

–Bp. Dolan