Holy Name of Jesus

Additional Christmas Poinsettia Memorials

Bp. Dolan’s Christmas Sermon: Give Your Sins to Christ
Bp. Dolan’s New Year’s Sermon: A New Year’s Sermon on Death

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
New Year’s Eve greeted us wearing white, the very wish of our African seminarians, and appreciated, in moderation, by us all. Some Texans were hoping to see snow as well, but if they move here, they could have months of the white stuff. It was, is, a pleasure to share the beauties of our Christmas with visitors, from near or far.

Christmas drew a record attendance, and the church was full twice, both for the Midnight Pontifical and the morning Mass with the String Quartet. The Richesson “children” shone at both, son Andrew playing the organ as usual for the Midnight Mass, and our High School Senior Julia, the violin on Christmas morning. The young people of St. Gertrude contributed quite a bit to the Christmas decorations. One of the Quartet members said she had never seen a church so beautiful for Christmas. Another commented how good it was to be in church, her own being closed since March. The things we take for granted!

Our up-and-coming servers always impress on these occasions. The choir delighted us with a series of “golden oldies,” as I call them, but more properly referred to as “St Gertrude legacy pieces.” We have an abundance, as we’ve been singing Midnight Mass for almost 40 years. Our new members, young almost all of them, are learning our history, as well as the history of church music, from chant to polyphony to beloved hymns and carols. We appreciate their time and dedication.

The poinsettias, which you all kindly donate, were outstanding this year. They came from Rahn Nursery, a real quality operation. Janet is nursing them carefully, and I’m sure they will make the full forty days. Be sure to take some time with the kids and to visit the beautiful Christmas altars, the “Christmas Cave,” our two Cribs, and to see close up the High Altar.

Our printing company used to be a quality operation, but was bought up by another larger firm, and consumed with Covid, our calendars seemingly along with it. They’ve just never come. This is all deliberate, of course, and just so sad. We have January and February available for you in the vestibule. We’ll figure out what to do next. I am sorry for this mess, brought to us, on purpose, by our masters.

But, in the meantime, it’s Christmas. Gaudete! Party on! A nice group stayed after Midnight Mass for the potluck, and Helfta was full last Sunday for “the Health of St. John,” wine and grape juice being blessed for the purpose after High Mass. Today we bless the children, who are a blessing unto us, and offer them a little party after the 9 o’clock Mass. Maybe, if pushed, I will provide a little poem, too…

But we do pray around here, most of all. I thank the Schola for singing the Octave “eye-opener” High Mass each morning at 7:30. Benediction, too, rosaries and devotions… Friday we opened the Infant of Prague Novena, Sundays we continue the Mother of Good Counsel; Vespers, as well, for those who would give thanks. But the longest prayer of the year, which beats the Holy Saturday Vigil by
an hour, is the Christmas Night Watch, which runs about seven hours. At the end, Our Lord is born, and adored among the animals and in the hay. The Shepherd then hits the hay. Soon it is day.

The day after Christmas was a Saturday, so we just followed our regular schedule. Fr. McGuire favored us with a fine sermon on friendship for Sunday. Fr. McKenna was offering Mass in North Dakota, and visiting the faithful. Fr. Lehtoranta was ministering to Milwaukeans.

Well, that’s at least part of our Christmas Report. As to the New Year, I suppose we’ll hear. May God keep us all in His care. In the meantime, if you have one more party in you (you do), come by Wednesday evening to celebrate Twelfth Night, Epiphany, with us. 5:30 Mass, and then a fine dinner.

Blessed be Jesus Christ! Blessed be His Holy Name!
–Bp. Dolan