Recent Daily Sermons
Fr. Lehtoranta: St. Ignatius and St. Bridget

Fr. McGuire: The Tears of a Candle

Fr. McKenna: St. Blaise

Fr. McGuire: From Wolf to Lamb

Fr. Lehtoranta: First Friday and St. Agatha

Fr. McGuire: First Saturday and Simeon

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
On Candlemas I could have sung with Old Simeon my Nunc Dimitis, seeing for the first time in all my ears a pretty much full church for the Purification. Such a beautifully celebrated, harmoniously sung and expertly served service! First came the Blessing of Candles in the darkening church, the procession with its robust responsory, composed by our own organist at the behest of Fr. Cekada, whose spirit stays with us still. Then we boldly passed through the chilly but so convenient cloister, and thus back to church, which had shed its purple and was now in festive array, awaiting the solemn Sacrifice. February 2nd honors both the Presentation and the Purification, both Son and Mother. This feast perfectly bridges the Incarnation and the Redemption, taking us from Christmas to Holy Week and Easter in its themes and prayers, the interplay of sorrow and joy, of light and darkness. Well, that’s the life of a Christian, isn’t it? And so many Christians came to the Mass of Candles. “Lord, lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace.” Well, maybe not quite yet…

There was still the party to stay for. Our Candlemas Soup Supper is simplicity itself, but also an elegantly planned affair from its souvenir placemats to the carefully cooked soups, each one of them a delight to sample. And so many people to know and greet…. What a great time.

Well, it’s almost Lent, which means time to tuck into the traditional church suppers for the Friday Night Recollections. Or maybe volunteer with a church friend to take a night? One of those tasty meatless soups from last week, perhaps healthy brown rice or quinoa or pasta to serve it over, a nice fresh salad, fruit cup… Well, use your imagination! And don’t forget the lentils! We try to feed you in Lent, soul first and then stomach.

Don’t forget mind, too. There’s another Tea Party meeting in Helfta Hall on Tuesday at about 7, 7:15 PM. These are interesting affairs and always informative. Where does our country, our world go from here?

The Dinosaur Man from Columbus, Hugh Miller, died recently. He was a member of St. Clare for years and then attended Fr. Thielen’s little chapel which charitably gathered up the remnants. A strong proponent of creationism, Hugh participated in a dinosaur dig each summer, looking for telltale evidence to oppose evolution. Thus his nickname. He also spoke and wrote on the subject. He was a classic colorful character, devoted to his work, and we shall miss him.

A quiet hardworking man, very much a part of church life since we moved to West Chester, Eldon Neukam served devotedly for years as janitor, gardener and handyman. He is now seriously ill, and I ask your prayers for him. His legacy of silent service was remarkable, and we owe him our gratitude. More prayers, please.

I am writing this corner from St. Hugh in Milwaukee. A Chicago snowstorm delayed my arrival, and I ended up flying via Washington. A young man with one of those super trucks which are all the rage, waited patiently for me and drove me through the ice and snow. I made it safely, some twelve hours after I left for the airport. This is often the fate of the traveling McFathers, I remind myself. Fr. McKenna celebrates a Solemn Mass Thursday to mark his Ordination anniversary with Our Lady of Lourdes.

Get your throat blessed if you haven’t yet, and plan a little Mardi Gras fun this last full week before Ashes. I send a blessing from the frozen north.

–Bp. Dolan