Within the Octave of the Ascension

Note from the Bishop
My dear faithful,
May, Mary’s month, is drawing to its close. We had planned on having a quiet month here at St. Gertrude’s, but it’s been quite the opposite. God had other plans—and His plans are always best! Deo gratias!

We end this month on the sweetest of notes as we crown Our Lady and acknowledge her as our Queen and Mother. I’m reminded of the first words of the beautiful prayer that Pope Pius XII wrote in honor of her Queenship: “Out of the depths of this valley of tears, through which suffering humanity painfully struggles, up from the billows of this sea, endlessly buffeted by the waves of suffering, we raise our eyes to thee, most beloved Mother Mary, to be comforted by the contemplation of thy glory and to hail thee as Queen of Heaven and earth, Queen and Mother of mankind…” May we all stay close to our tender Queen and Mother.

Fr. McKenna departed for the northern missions just over a week ago, and will finally return tomorrow. Frs. Brueggemann and Simpson both had their turn to visit St. Hugh’s in Milwaukee. The chapel has around ninety parishioners and is the perfect place for new priests to visit. It has a small rectory attached to it and is set up with everything necessary. What is most charming about the chapel is the hospitality and devotion of the people. We have a slogan on the front of St. Hugh’s bulletin that goes, “Never have so few done so much so well for so long.” Bishop Dolan sometimes referred to the chapel as a mini St. Gertrude’s, because despite the much smaller numbers, the same devotions and ceremonies are carried out there. I have always been proud of them.

Fr. Lehtoranta’s Sodality of Charity continues its great apostolate. Last weekend the young ladies polished candle followers for Mass and made Rosaries. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The Sodality’s purpose is to do works of charity; they send out cards to the sick, and other like works. Speaking of cards, I was deeply touched by the Prayer Bouquet that the Sodality members gave to me on the occasion of my consecration. I am encouraged by their prayers and most thankful. I had to smile when I saw that, among the many Masses, Rosaries and such, one girl offered an Act of Contrition for me! I’ll take it!

Miss Janet stays quite busy in the sacristy these days. Now she must prepare for seven Masses each day. She gets help from the new priests and some of the young ladies, but her job is a big one, and often a thankless task. Sacristans, too, have their own patron saints to imitate. St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who was sacristan at the Carmel at Lisieux, comes to mind.

We open the month of June with the Holy Ghost, our greatest Friend. It’s a big request, but I hope you can cometo the long Vigil of Pentecost ceremonies this Saturday and be present as many of our little folks receive the Holy Ghost in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Come, Holy Ghost!

– Bishop McGuire