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Lent III

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Krogers was crazy the last few days, but customary quiet reigned in church. Nobody was crowding in to hear Mass or receive the Sacraments during the Plague Days. Perhaps this is the greatest plague of all. Oh, we had a little uptick in attendance last Sunday, mostly due to visitors here for a baptism. But some who have been “sheltering in place” all Winter did return.

We suffer from not one but three plagues. The official one is thus far invisible, a matter of faith. The second one, mass panic, is everywhere, egged on by the media and government officials. The one job they seem to do quite efficiently is panicking the public. Witness the empty store shelves and now legendary missing toilet paper. Those who live by the media die by the media. The third plague, the imposition of a police state, marches on quietly and more quickly now in these troubled days.

Let us then invoke the Heavenly and earthly Trinity, Almighty God, the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, Joseph. St. Michael looks over our church. Beg him frequently to sheath the sword of God’s wrath. Holy Mother Church provides a special procession for times of plague, and invokes St. Sebastian (who is also patron of police officers!) against it.

Our church remains open, and this week’s great and cheering feasts, St. Patrick and St. Joseph, beckon with the promise of powerful patronage. May God deliver you from panic, and increase your piety to face the plagues with peaceful calm. Pray.

Fr. Nkamuke has asked for our prayers as he has set out on a long “routine” mission trip in a chaotic and now murderously anti-Christian country. God reward his zeal for souls, and keep him safe.

Did you see the trophies in the vestibule? Amidst all the bad news, I’m eager to report some good. We’re ever so proud of our High School boys who were the Fencing Tournament Champions, Divisions 1 and 2. Congratulations! Fencing is not sport, but a classical art which once formed gentlemen. It teaches poise and self-confidence among other qualities. Our students once again prove themselves as good learners…and gentlemen.

Fr. Cekada resumed his seminary classes via Skype this past week, teaching two mornings. His rehabilitation therapy continues, as does his progress, and our prayers.

So, for that matter, does the Spring. How cheery is each unexpected burst of sun, or Spring blossom. My forsythia are glowing yellow. Two mourning doves arrived and proceeded to conduct a demure courtship on my kitchen porch. Puccini is on endless patrol of our peripheries now. He got the bad end of an encounter with some enemy animal, with a head wound to show for it. But his appetite continues unabated. An excellent sign.

It used to be that people would turn to God, however briefly, in times of crisis. I remember the numbers crowding churches after the September 11th attack years ago. But now churches stay quiet, and the Novus Ordo bishops mostly anticipate even the government rush to close them down. Pray that ours stays open. Don’t take it for granted. But if it didn’t, would it bother you? Pray it does, but no panic!

Jesus, Mary, Joseph assist you, Michael and Sebastian protect you!
– Bishop Dolan