Lent III

St. Therese and the Holy Face
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face
Article by Fr. Lehtoranta

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Early Spring arrived Wednesday, only a month after the Groundhog was wrong. Well, we did have a rough February, but all is forgiven in the sunny warmth which banished Winter.

The weather surely was favorable for the exactly fifty children of all ages who attended our annual Recollection. The appealing outdoors didn’t even distract our youth from the task at hand. All participated energetically and devoutly. The Fathers took turns with their presentations. Consciences were examined, sins confessed. High Mass was sung, and of course there was a sermon. After a nice lunch we did more of the same, and I read to the little ones about the St. Veronica to whom Our Lady taught all the alphabet she ever needed. Children’s Stations around here always feature the charming set I remember growing up with. We closed with Benediction. Every participant got a charming Holy Face tote bag, two holy cards and the Holy Face medal. I don’t think the children went outside but they didn’t need to. Our true Sun, the Holy Face, was shining within.

After Benediction, Doby drove me over to see Eldon Neukam, dying at Blue Ash Hospice, a slow and surely a painful death. The McFathers had already been but I wanted to pray with Eldon too. The death rattle had already begun. He was alone. I talked to him a bit, and then prayed aloud. Very loudly you must speak, so the dying may hear. Finally I sat down next to him, and recited some decades of the Rosary the same way. I had to get back for the 5:15. But I noticed staff members, singly and in groups, passing by the open door, and then again. It occurred to me only the next morning that they must never have seen a priest in his cassock assisting the dying. And they work at a hospice for the dying! Sad…. Well, let us pray on. Loudly.

Eldon was our volunteer janitor, maintenance man and gardener. For over ten years he worked quietly, devotedly, all year round. He also managed the church’s modest stock portfolio. This shows the wide range of talents he exercised in the Lord’s service. He was good friends with Fr. Cekada. In Father’s illness he would call him to give the stock report and linger to visit awhile on the phone, as friends do. I think they both were lonely at times. Another parishioner, so much a part of our church for so long, has been called into eternity. Pray for his soul. Remember him gratefully.

Spring allergies started awhile back already. But we’re so happily engaged in this great Lent, that we barely notice. But God notices, notes, and hears even the slightest prayer. Do something, something extra. Pray for our country!

May the Holy Face shine on you, and give you no peace until you do…

– Bishop Dolan

P.S. Word on the supper circuit is that the Bishop is making Friday Night Soup.