Pentecost VIII

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Aside from the weather—always interesting, not always great—probably the other constant of this Corner is news of another fine weekend, or its Sunday high point.

The weather does continue abysmal, drippy, dark and damp, tending to mold or at least a touch of mildew, and presenting its fair challenges even for the sanguine at times. Still, the odd pleasant day is so rare that we never take it for granted.

But did I mention last weekend? The church full for a Friday evening, resounding with Rosary and beloved hymns. Ditto for Saturday, and so many confessions for our “Young Adult Triduum.” The new place, Higher Ground, in Indiana, worked out beautifully. Everything went smoothly, all well planned, for this our fifth Y.A.G. And almost one hundred participants! One lone soul managed to escape the Communist Commonwealth of Australia for the occasion. Our Saturday speaker himself escaped Communist East Germany, and found his way out of the Party to Christ. His timely talk was followed with interest and appreciated. So was the traditional Square Dance on Saturday evening. Same very young “adults” got in on the fun. Sunday was equally successful. The High Mass resounded mightily with full-throated Gregorian Chants, one for the record books. Thanks be to God and all of you who organized and volunteered. Special mention to the “Yagermeister,” Colleen.

The seminarians this week have been helping clean and reorganize the rectory, as Fr. McGuire moved into Fr. Cekada’s room. The cats were singularly welcoming, and enjoyed the young people and many a game.

Outside, one recently moved back family has been helping with the gardens. Very appreciated! How quickly April beauty gives way to July weeds. But the cloister is so charming. Come sometime and sit for awhile. Soon, I’m sure, we’ll have the rest of the grounds shipshape.

In fact, the church property here is so engaging that the animals just can’t stay away. We’ve been enjoying the deer, always picturesque. A doe feeds regularly here, and one brought her fawn, probably just for photo-ops. But the skunk is another matter. It’s cute too, same coloring as a tuxedo cat. But I remember when Caravaggio once ran into a skunk, which required a bath in tomato juice, administered by Katie and Michelle, I think. The skunk feeds at dusk, and clergy have been taking detours as needed. Better than the tomato juice.

Some practical reminders: Please do let us know if you or a parishioner you know are sick. We could pray for you and even organize a visit, if you’d like. Parents, please do take fussy babies out when the sermon begins. It’s hard to hear for some, and even the preacher, by the third or fourth sermon, will lose his concentration. If you come out of the confessional during the sermon, take a seat anywhere so as to avoid a distraction. You can return to your place later. Thanks for your consideration.

One final weather note. Tuesday’s Rosary Procession was amazing, verging on miraculous. Black clouds loomed, and the weather radar spelled doom at 7:15. So we said a prayer to the Holy Ghost and set out. One of the faithful later commented that it was all quite liturgical. A cloudy, misty sky for the Joyful Mysteries gave way to dark overcast and ominous thunder for the Sorrowful. The skies grew windy and sputtered. Almost, but no rain. It was raining just a few minutes away at church, however. At the Glorious Mysteries the sun came out and all was bright. There was even a rainbow at the end! Of course, we were praying for our country, our needs, but also for the poor French, facing “Vaccine passports,” August 1st. The message is the power of prayer to hold off the worst. “Spera in Deo…” Tuesday was a little bit like Moses and the Red Sea. Goes to show.

Hope you’re having a good July. Remember the power, the urgency of intercessory prayer. I send a blessing.

– Bishop Dolan