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Easter V

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Last Sunday’s bulletin promised “beautiful quiet early Spring morning” Masses this past week. But the faithful who gathered on Thursday found a dark heavy morning with noisy rain, and a lightning bolt just at the Consecration. When the clouds parted later that day, summer had arrived, just in time for its traditional Memorial Day debut. But each early morning Mass evokes the presence of “the sweet Heart of Jesus, fresh and gladdening as a breath of spring,” as St. Gertrude used to pray upon awakening. Spring cedes to Summer this week, and Mary’s month to the Sacred Heart, after we honor her Queenship, and then her own Immaculate Heart. The best and sweetest hours of the day gather about the dawn. Give them to God in prayer.

Last week, ten days ago now, it was an expected storm which led Fr. McKenna and me to make a hurried and early exit for our Dallas Confirmation trip. Texas is known for its tornadoes. We came and went again safely, as did our confirmands, and thirty some faithful at St. Anthony Padua Chapel in Arlington, closer to Ft. Worth, I am told. A new family joined us, driven from the St. Peter Fraternity by Bergoglio’s blatant heresy, and their own grasp of Catholic truth. Sunday afternoon I flew to Pensacola, Florida, where Fr. Francis, O.F.M. has another mission (he founded St. Anthony years ago), again with many young faces and families, much love for the Faith and the Mass, and the sacrifices such treasures engender. Nineteen Confirmations concluded the day’s work. I had a much delayed return Monday afternoon, but patient Brendan patiently waited for me.

Thanks to one family which answered my plea for gardening help the other day, doing the Stations, and another patch or two of planting, mulching or cleanup. All very professional. “Kirby’s” roses are blooming nicely outside the church. All the plants and bushes loved the Spring rains, it seems. More help still needed. Don’t delay.

It was on a Memorial Day gardening project that we first met Rick Woods, a colorful character who came riding across the lawn in his jeep, all festooned in veteran regalia. He uses a wheelchair, but remains active in spite of sometimes crippling illness. He it is who restored the beautiful Holy Face painting now in the Baptistry Chapel. We’ve had it for decades, but he made it “good as new.” A great talent, a beautiful gift.

Fr. Clement Procopio is a well known Franciscan Friar faithful to the Faith and Mass. He was helping a group in Boston when I met him for Fr. McKenna’s ordination. After that he announced he was off to California, despite his advanced age, “to help out Mel,” Gibson that is, a soul surely in need of assistance. After that we lost touch, but he has been found in an Assisted Living facility in Walnut Creek, California. He will celebrate his 100th birthday in June, on St. Anthony’s Day. Fr. Zapp promises to visit him with the sacraments, helping him in turn. I wonder how Mel turned out?

As you may have realized, this is a great week, a busy week, encompassing the Holy Day of the Ascension, three processions, the close of May Devotions, First Saturday, and the opening of the Sacred Heart’s month of June. Don’t miss it for the world!

May Mary make you just like Jesus, and Jesus make you just like Mary,
–Bp. Dolan