rss feed for a newsreader
rss feed for podcasting

Purification of Our Lady

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Christmas ends today, Candlemas or the Purification of Our Lady, forty days after the great feast of the Nativity itself. Christmas was beautiful, the weather perfect, and the Holy Child deigned before it was out to allow us to share a bit of His cross these last few weeks, full of sickness for Fr. Cekada, and care for his brother clergy and friends.

Last weekend was a real nightmare. I returned from the Seminary Retreat to find Fr. Cekada back from his hospital stay. But that night he had what turns out to be a second stroke, which left his right arm and hand somewhat impaired. We called 911, who came right away with the fire truck to bear him off, back to the hospital. The emergency room physician attributed the problem to pinched nerve, did no tests for stroke, and insisted he be returned home at 3 AM. How Fr. McKenna was able to manage him I do not know. The next two days were full of adventures of the unpleasant variety. By God’s grace, Father survived. Thank you for your prayers.

A further hospital stay and proper treatment restored Fr. Cekada somewhat, and got him on the mend. He is now at TriHealth Rehabilitation Hospital, monitored still for stroke, but slowly starting basic exercises. Already he can move his right arm and hand somewhat. He is expected to regain full use of them. This is good because it sure is hard for him to eat with a spoon in his left hand. The doctor is confident he will even be able to play the organ.

In the meantime, a beautiful new organ was donated to the church, and is now in use. It was installed just before Fr. Cekada went to the hospital, but he was determined to see it done. We are most grateful to the generous donors. Fr. Cekada wants himself to tell the story of this magnificent new instrument, once he’s back in the harness again. His expected stay at rehab is two weeks or a little longer.

I am grateful to all who have helped during Father’s illness so far, particularly to our own McFathers. They have departed now for a few days in the missions. Fr. Lehtoranta and I are here today for this great feast which closes Christmas. Tomorrow some volunteers will come help pack Christmas away until “next year.” Did you miss helping in December? Could you swell their numbers tomorrow? You could get your throat blessed at the same time.

Today we’re offering a lovely reception after the Candlemas High Mass, one final Christmas celebration. What an excellent Epiphany we had. How quickly it passed. “All flesh is grass,” Fr. Cekada quoted from the Psalms in his illness. Only what’s done for God will last.

May the Mother of God bless and keep you!

— Bp. Dolan