The Holy Family

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 ✠
Happy Holy Family feast. A wish, a blessing, and a good resolution for this new year on this happy day which surely brings many blessings.

Cloudy days, these. A Dark Winter, in more ways than one. But surely the sun will come again. In the meanwhile, all is bright and lightsome within. The best part of Christmas unfolds. The world is enthralled with the latest psyop, and their last, masked mini Christmas is long forgotten.

But our children were not forgotten. What an encouraging group crowded the rails after each Mass last Sunday for the blessing. So many children, just like the old days. After the High Mass a packed Helfta Hall noisily joined the children for their party, with lots of sweets. The sermon-themed poem featured spiders, and the little ones didn’t seem to mind. I enjoyed it.

The church is in glorious golden Epiphany now. The Miracle Star shines bright. Time for gentle light, and quiet visits to the Crib, Rosaries at the Tree. Take a look at your Christmas cards again, fondly, savor your Christmas cookies, relive memories of the long ago and yesterday. Yes, the Church bids us linger and wonder still, and love. Forty Days of Christmas will surely fortify us for the nevertheless inviting Forty Day Fast which Fr. McKenna pronounced for February 17th at Wednesday’s Epiphany Pontifical.

The “Announcement of the Moveable Feasts” last Epiphany was Fr. Cekada’s final service in our sanctuary. He had been in the back with the choir, but appeared as usual in his gold cope to sing this piquant paschal melody which lays out the great days of the Church year. By the last of them he would be gone. A profitable reminder for us all. Epiphany’s closing hymn, “Brightest and Best,” was a particular favorite of Fr. Cekada. How we sang it on Wednesday evening. So stirring! Surely enough to “raise the roof,” and to be heard even in Eternity.

After a beautiful Epiphany Mass, we followed the star to Helfta and a fine holiday dinner by candlelight. The food, from hot hors d’oeurves to dessert, was abundant for the happy crowd which filled the hall for this beloved tradition. Another fine Gertrudian custom is sticking around to help clean up after that one brutal moment when the lights so beckon. You did, and thank you! Thank you, dear workers and benefactors for everything, all year long. Thanks too, to the caterer, Aponte, who always gives us a lagniappe.

While the Church calendar clears for a bit and quiets these last weeks of Christmas, the world grows noisy. Notice how Covid chatter subsides when something or another is staged for our benefit. But Fr. de Caussade put it in perspective: He prays “Every moment and every event is guided by You. I am content.” He even goes so far as to say: “Events please me for their own sake, regardless of their consequences, because Your action lies behind them. Everything is heaven to me because all my moments manifest Your love.”

I wish you all and your family such a heavenly week, and year!

–Bp. Dolan