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Pentecost X

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
The last big week of Summer was really blessed. A little rain blessed us first, early on, to offset a bit of the traditional August draught. Our Nigerian seminarians kindly spent two days working on our beautiful cloister garden in preparation for the Assumption. The cloister seems to make a lovely and practical setting, with its seating and shade possibilities, for outdoor ceremonies. The seminarians also slew the weeds on the gravel path. We are grateful to Gino for the traditional in time for the Assumption grotto fountain repair. It makes a world of difference, but attracts more outsiders than insiders, which is interesting.

The mice situation is one of those “good news/bad news” things. The mice really like St. Gertrude the Great, and attend regularly, unlike some folk. But electronic repellents and electronic mice coffins have made their appearance, and possibly the odd traditional mice trap or two. Mice were in the ladies room the other day, but I was unable to address the issue immediately. I have appointed a mouse squad and I am sanguine (well, I am sanguine, I am told) that in time we will see the fruits thereof. But next time (pace Puccini!) I’ll get a female cat.

The good news is that we are no longer poor as church mice. While we still must and do “punch above our weight,” Fr. Cekada says; we have a solid core congregation which tithes regularly and conscientiously. (August is still a rough month, Father says.) Crowds of floaters come and go all year long, but this is not reflected in the collection basket. It is your offerings which enable us to make it, and make Mass available for those who do not give their share. Still, they are giving God to God at Mass, and it is a grand thing to make that possible. He will judge the rest. Benedicimus Domino.

Far from poor, we are rich, most of all in devoted faithful. How generously you’ve been providing us with solid dinners and delicious desserts for the duration of the seminarian visits at least. Another couple of weeks, I think. Your generosity for feast days and “feeds” is legendary, or should be. Finally so many people assist at Holy Mass virtually (via the webcast), but actually contribute! God love you, good Gertrudians everywhere.

We are grieved at our fallen aways, a casualty, no doubt, of the modern world, and leave the light on for them. Some pretty much take the Summer off, but may return a bit for the Fall. “The smoking flax shall he not quench.” The education of our children in the faith, Mass most of all, but also class, is the crucial duty on which eternity depends. Prayers, please. Constant prayer, says St. Anthony of Egypt. But

I started to talk about rain. Some 65 souls eventually gathered for the Fatima Rosary Procession in front of First Watch (a good name for our work!) on a seemingly balmy Tuesday evening. More souls—how encouraging!—joined us en route. So did some raindrops. I asked God to hold off this particular blessing until 8 PM. He did. Later on I amended my prayer “until 8:10,” but it was too late. The first took, and we had to take shelter from a fiercely wet and windy downpour. We finished our devotions in front of…First Watch! “From the morning watch even until the night, let Israel hope in the Lord.”

The Assumption was perfect. One of those “just enough” days which get us by nicely, started in the cloister with the Blessing of First Fruits. A handful of children, really, but just enough. The Legacy kindly provided the choir, and Fr. Cekada the organ. The Sisters professed their vows and were crowned with roses in a simple but very moving ceremony. The complex drama of the Pontifical Mass rendered our very best to the Most High in honor of our Queen Assumed into Heaven. The Sisters even found time to bake a cake. Very good! A classic and very holy Holy Day.

May you find your shelter in Mary’s Immaculate Heart!

-– Bishop Dolan