rss feed for a newsreader
rss feed for podcasting

Pentecost XIX

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Mission Sunday is a good occasion to report on my faraway mission work this month. On October 9th I left for Manila in the Philippines. It was one of those “days without an end,” probably a 28 hour trip or so which took me to a little chapel in a very large city in the Orient. The pastor, Fr. Joven Soliman invited me to visit and to administer Confirmation. Almost half of the congregation received the “Sacrament of soldiers” in the small but very handsomely appointed sanctuary on Sunday, some twenty souls.

The faithful came in from the surrounding provinces for the occasion, and we made of it a kind of Marian Triduum: The Divine Maternity, Our Lady of the Pillar, and Our Lady of Fatima. The Filipino people are most hospitable, and devoted to sharing meals together in the charitable spirit of the early Christians. They also like taking photographs and collecting autographs. They kept me busy!

The schola and congregation of this Sacred Heart Chapel sang a perfect Gregorian High Mass on Sunday, which was followed by a buffet luncheon, a charming casual entertainment provided by the children, and an informal conference with a Q & A session for good measure. A busy day!

I must say I was impressed by the piety of the people, and their evident devotion to their priest, and he to them. It takes them hours to navigate the heavy Manila traffic, sometimes just for a short distance, yet they come. A very warm and charitable family spirit prevails at the chapel. In fact, warm is the operative word. The weather starts with 80° and humid at dawn, and only builds in warmth beneath the tropical sun.

It was an excellent missionary visit. I would be happy to return despite the long, long hours on the plane. Yet, we modern day missionaries surely have it easy in comparison with the real missionaries of old.

Back home, you domestic missionaries were doing your work as well, especially by means of the Rosary Procession. Some 63 of you turned out, candle in hand, for the public witness and prayer of the Holy Rosary. God bless you! May I count on you (I make bold to ask) to take candle in hand again this Friday evening to accompany the Blessed Sacrament for the Forty Hours? Oh, and a quiet visit, a devout extra Communion, too? Yes? I knew you would. God reward you.

Meanwhile, Fr. Cekada completed his first seminary teaching week, and Fr. McKenna his regular runs. He just missed the big North Dakota snowstorm. Fr. McGuire, too, has been a missionary visiting his faithful and being again extraordinary confessor at the seminary. Our school children and you faithful, quietly praying all week long, have generously fueled these many missionary endeavors. Remember that St. Therese, who never left her convent, is the Patroness of the Missions.

Winter knocked on our door this past Wednesday, softening the blow by much needed rain, and the promise of a beautiful Autumn.

God bless you, and don’t forget to buy some goodies for the Bake Sale today. Bring yourself back to church for Friday’s opening of Forty Hours, and a pot of chili to share, if you’d like. But come!

– Bishop Dolan