The Holy Family

Singing Matins before Midnight Mass

✠ The Bishop’s Corner ✠
Two “double weekends” in a row were surely demanding, but first came double blessings. They last. All went well, and we are grateful, “in Jesus’ Name.” These past few days seemed particularly busy, as we prepared for the Diaconate Mass on great Epiphany. What a memorable day.

The only snow we had Epiphany morning was the luxuriant fall of grace from Heaven, as our seminarians received the Sacrament of Holy Orders to become deacons. The Mass was recollected and joyful, as we saw deacons not just as servants of God, as the word indicates, but also as stars, meant to shine with His truth, and show the way in a dark world. Our talented young servers showed us the way as we proceeded through the complexities of a Pontifical Mass of Ordination.

The choir was down in numbers but high in quality, reprising an old “legacy” Mass from the 80s, a favorite of mine, the Missa Brevis by Matyas Seiber. Its mystical tone of awe seems especially fitting for Epiphany. Our talented organist composed an accompaniment for it.

Afterwards, our favorite caterer, Tony at Aponte’s in Mason, provided a fine dinner for a full Helfta Hall. Finally, as things were winding down, I noticed the gentle snowfall. Perfect! Our Nigerians were delighted to see a proper snow at last, and took many pictures. A beautiful day ended on a beautiful note.

Our gratitude and joy these days is increased, as we consider that our new deacons are truly the sons of St. Gertrude, two having been raised here all of their life. Our two Nigerian vocations also qualify as sons, or perhaps grandsons of St. Gertrude the Great, coming to us through Fr. Bede Nkamuke and the work of the Nigerian mission. We are proud of them all.

But I wish to close with great thanks to our St. Gertrude workers and helpers, our unsung stars. Every day, or from time to time you shine and light up the path with cheerful, efficient work. Thank you! Happy Holy Family Sunday. Individuals here contribute so much out of every condition and in so many circumstances. But it is the families which provide the faithful, and the future. God bless you and give you increase, fearless growth and every blessing in this new year. You are a blessing to us!

–Bp. Dolan