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Within the Octave of Christmas

Read the Christmas Poinsettia Memorial List

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Well, you really couldn’t have asked for a nicer Christmas, could you? Oh, I know some were holding out for snow, but really? Two days of perfect sunshine at the end of December, with mild temperatures as well! And things went so well in church also. Probably our best Matins ever. Despite his flu, Fr. Cekada played on. The charming carols, old and new, the dark and the light alternating for the stately, well sung Pontifical Mass. And0 food for the reception afterwards, all nicely done.

I’m writing this on great St. John’s Day. The clouds have come in, but so have our seminarians for their Christmas holiday. This evening we began our annual Infant of Prague Novena, and another little party to drink the “Health of St. John.” It was a great party, with a nice spread. Today, Sunday, it’s the children’s turn to be blessed and entertained after the High Mass.

Bishop Sanborn gave us the great idea of singing—as we did once—the Te Deum in thanksgiving for New Year. There’s no evening Mass, and most of the Fathers will be here to celebrate together. Benediction follows the 11:30 AM Mass.

Fr. Lehtoranta is still being “Fr. Christmas” in Milwaukee. Fr. McGuire is bringing Our Lord to our three Texas missions, having left very early indeed on Saturday morning. Fr. McKenna was scheduled to be lost in a snowbank somewhere, but if he got out, would be visiting Holy Face Mission in Illinois. Some of their faithful came for Midnight Mass, as did friends from Fr. McGilloway’s old chapel in Whellersburg, Ohio. Seeing old faces and new is one of the joys of Midnight Mass.

But it is soon time to offer the First Fruits of our Reparation to the Sacred Heart on Friday, with Holy Communion and—could you spare the time?—All Night Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. A good New Year’s resolution is to make the First Fridays or Saturdays.

The outdoors of the church has never been more beautiful, with the charming front door decorations, Christmas lights, blue lights for Our Lady, the Crèche figures in the Lourdes Grotto lit up, as also the Calvary. Come to evening Mass or Benediction just to see it!

Enjoy this beautiful week which concludes the Christmas Octave and opens a New Year of Grace.

–Bp. Dolan