Within the Octave of the Ascension

Our First Fatima Rosary Procession of 2021

“The Collected Writings of Fr. Anthony Cekada” — Now available in our online store.

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Quite a week, last week. With so much happening, one would almost forget the weather. But it too is part of God’s plan. We began in dark and rain, with thunder and lightning during the High Mass. This necessitated Plan “B,” the very reason why we have a cloister. So, we went around the church with our May hymns and the Blessed Mother and the First Communion children, blessed to be crowning Our Lady of Fatima. We then passed dry-shod through the cloister, and returned to church for the coronation. In America, it is customary for an innocent daughter of Eve to crown the New Eve our Queen. Really a most beautiful Mass and May Crowning.

The successive days brightened considerably, with frosty mornings giving way to sunny afternoons, the very picture of “the fairest of seasons, sweet May.” We were cheered by the weather to perform our three-day Rogation duty, a sweet obligation to knock insistently on Heaven’s door for help, enlisting the assistance of all the saints as we chanted the litanies.

Ascension Thursday was a real holy day, one of the Fathers noted. We spent the morning in church. The school children, still strong after three days of processing, sang beautifully for the High Mass. Michael extinguished the Paschal Candle after the Gospel, and Our Lord ascended into Heaven.

Later we adjourned for a fine meal, but soon reconnoitered in the sacristy to plan with Paddy our Vespers, Exposition and Low Mass. A closing prayer sent us on our way to Union Center Blvd. and the first of our Fatima Rosary Processions for peace. It was a beautiful evening, and we opened this annual devotion, rather than closed it, with a record attendance. Dominic and John counted in the high eighties. We’ll say ninety. Now to continue this new tradition…

Continuous prayer has always marked our church life, and the need was never greater. The Guardian Angel of Portugal urged the three seers of Fatima to pray! for the conversion of their country, then in the throes of a Masonic/Communist revolution. Sound familiar? Pray! There seems to be some relief, some increasing popular awareness of the issues. This should animate and encourage us, but never make us think it’s soon “back to normal.” The hour is late, our prayer is our bulwark and support.

Among the Fifth Century portents and disasters which inspired the penitential Rogation Processions were the usual earthquake, fire, plague and famine…and “wild beasts in the marketplace.” I discovered that the wild beasts referred to were deer. They appeared Tuesday morning in my garden. It was a Rogation Day, feast of their founder St. Mamertus, as well. Quite a coincidence. The beasts didn’t seem too disastrous. They nibbled a bit at some bark, and were on their way.

This church week begins quietly but fervently as we continue our Pentecost Novena along with May Devotions. The First Communicants come on Thursday for their Recollection, and return on Saturday for their Confirmation. Pray for them. Remember that there are no evening services on Friday, as we prepare for the Pentecost Pontifical the next day. Join us if you can. It’s our last bit of Holy Week, a mini Easter Vigil as the long Paschal Season closes, and gives way to Summer. Sunday is Pentecost, “the Fiftieth Day.” The Holy Ghost comes not only to conclude the work begun at the end of January, but to bring to perfection the precious work of God in you, His adopted child.

Remember the Holy Ghost’s gift of Knowledge and ask for it in abundance. May Mary, Spouse of the Spirit, intercede for you.

– Bishop Dolan

P.S. St. Michael the Archangel is back on duty, looking better than ever. We appreciate the help, angelic and human both.