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The Holy Name of Jesus

Read the Christmas Poinsettia Memorial List

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Twelfth Night approaches. Our Christmas holiday, our holy days, draw to a close. One more great Mass tomorrow evening for Epiphany, one more (yes!) party for Gertrudians, and we’re done. Well, not really. Regular life resumes, classes and work. Visiting Fr. Sons departs, and the seminarians later this week. In church we settle down to the quiet faith-filled adoration of the Epiphany Octave.

But Christmas continues its fully forty days. I always like to think that now that the world has put it away and has moved on to other things, our Infant King and His children have a refuge in our humble but richly decorated church, where it’s still Christmas. Next week we will pray for our families on Holy Family Sunday. But after that, even we will “go green” a bit with the “after Epiphany” season. Still, it will be Christmas, and each Friday we continue our Novena to the Infant. He is the true Doctor, good for all that ails us.

A small group joined me for the Holy Innocents Children’s Blessing and Party last Sunday: An active array of little ones, led by a demure Miss Charlotte, and thoughtful young England lads as we did a story and some poetry together. I did catch more children in the vestibule after the 11:30, and they received their Lamb stickers too, and a holy card, and perhaps enjoyed the treat table.

Nature Notes: Our owl has been singularly hootless this season, but seems to be well fed. I was hurrying to the 8 AM the other day, down the hill from the rectory, past the stately row of arborvitae evergreens. Suddenly the owl, whose wingspan looks hawk-like, ducked into an evergreen, and emerged a moment later. I had not scared him off. He found what he was looking for. The feathers on the ground tell the tale. The evergreens are a kind of Breakfast Buffet for our resident predator. The starlings are wise to it now, and nest there no more. I wondered what they talked about each afternoon on the power lines. Now I know.

Puccini was protecting us from a neighboring feline visitor, and is waiting for the next crop of bunnies to appear. In the meantime he’s enjoying his Christmas “doughnut” laced with a little catnip. This morning he pawed around the coffee table until he found it and extracted it. “Dawg,” Fr. McGuire’s bunny, has its own doughnut as well, some kind of rabbit treat. (Certainly not Puccini’s idea of a rabbit treat, however.) Fr. Sons was in charge of feeding the bunny, and relied, it seems, rather heavily on dessert. It happens. But this rabbit turns up its little nose at carrots. Curious creatures, aren’t they? God’s dear creation.

New Year’s attendance is always low, but it was a beautiful day, centered around the splendid Solemn Mass. I hope your holiday was pleasant too, and that this new year, a sheer grace of God, will be met by you with good resolves and great gratitude.

All the Fathers will be with us for Mass tomorrow evening, and the dinner following. See you there? Come when you can. We appreciate you!

–Bp. Dolan