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Advent III, Gaudete

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
I am writing this for St. Lucy’s Day. Her name brings the promise of returning light to the darkness of our winter. The world’s winter is another thing, in need of light which Christ alone could bring. He does, through “Mary, Most Holy of the Light,” as the devotion names her.

A further title, blasphemously denied by antichrist Bergoglio, is that of Co-Redemptrix. The false pope calls it “silliness,” but the true popes teach it, beautifully and clearly, in their encyclicals. “Together with Christ, she has redeemed the human race,” wrote Pope Benedict XV. I hope this sheds a little light on the latest darkness coming from the Vatican.

We are grateful to several of our young men who are working to shed some light on St. Gertrude, both inside and out. The sanctuary lighting is a bit of a challenge. Outside, the dark nights show how many lights have burned out in the parking lot and around the church exterior. This too, is a multistep process. But we’re on it.

We’re also, of course, setting up Christmas lights outside and in. Some of the work has begun, but there’s always more, and the church decorating as well. We’re asking for a good crew to help us this Saturday starting about 9 AM.

Our last full week of Advent opens today with the cry of “Gaudete,” be glad! The sanctuary is all clad in shades of pink for the occasion, as purple gets lightened to honor the soon arriving Infant King. Last week was entirely devoted to His Mother’s Immaculate Conception, its Octave and Novena. It’s wonderful to have Holy Days fall on Sundays. Not only convenient for you, but this assures that all will be able to celebrate the feast.

You’ve probably been busy this Advent, out and about preparing for Christmas, and dodging, I bet, those bothersome Christmas parties which come too early. That said, I was very impressed with December’s First Friday attendance, which even spilled over into First Saturday.

Last week’s Rorate Masses were sparse, but so beautiful. Our Lady of Guadalupe’s early Masses were so quiet and prayerful as dark gave way to dawn, and sung chants to whispered words at the altar. On the way down the hill to church, the dawn was red to start, and I thought of the hill of Tepayac, where the Expectant Virgin appeared at daybreak to create Mexico, a Catholic country from its conception. There were birds, too. But mine were hundreds of sleepy starlings startled at the solitary bishop rushing along disturbing their rest, nestling as they were among the evergreens. Some jump out with a cry, others just thrash their wings, making my trip each morning and night a noisy commute, or an avian gauntlet.

St. Lucy is for the Scandinavian Protestants what St. Nicholas was for the Dutch. At the Reformation some saints were just too beloved to be pitched, and survived. But secular and antichristian (read: Moslem) culture is destroying these European customs. Yet Fr. Lehtoranta reports that St. Lucy still has her processions. One girl is chosen as the Lucy Queen, and wears a crown of light, for St. Lucy’s feast used to be the darkest day of the year. They even sing “Santa Lucia.” Bits of Catholicism which survived until now.

I apologize for the missing calendars. As is often the case in the business world, the printing firm we used with great satisfaction for years has changed hands, and things are different now. Next year we resolve on an early November delivery.

Our webcasting service changed hands recently too, and we had to scramble to find another server. We are grateful to the hardworking webmaster. We hope to update the system with new equipment over Christmas.

Don’t forget the Ember Days this week, bare remnants of the old Advent Fast. Christmas Eve is as well. Little enough penance we do, eh? Well, give alms generously to the poor, pray more, and receive the Sacrament of Penance to prepare your heart for Christmas…and rejoice!

— Bp. Dolan