Pentecost VIII

Note from the Bishop
Everyone’s been asking about the cats these days So I’d better give an update. At the time of this writing, Black Cat is happily sitting in the window soaking up the rays after having eaten quite the large breakfast—turkey is one of his favorites, I guess. They must feel more at ease now that the Boys Camp has ended. They’ve been a little out of sorts with so many people invading their territory, but they made a valiant attempt to defend it, as one of the Dads can attest to. He tried picking up Black Cat and ended by getting a nice big scratch on his arm. Sorry, Mr. Sandberg!

The young Fathers certainly have not let any grass grow under their feet in their first months as priests. They have been thrown right into the middle of everything—a sort of baptism by fire. Fr. McKenna came down with strep throat just before camp, so Fathers Ojeka, Simpson and Brueggemann took the reins. They did a nice job, if I do say so myself! All 37 boys seemed to have a good time. How nice it was to see them processing along in the parking lot saying their evening Rosary. Sure, the boys are meant to enjoy themselves, but it is prayer that nourishes the soul and is what will make them good Catholic men one day. Speaking of prayer, I have a story about the power of prayer. Day 2 of Boys Camp didn’t look too promising at first as the skies were dark and the rain was falling heavily. One of the young priests, in his Mass, said the prayer “to avert storms.” The rain stopped just in time for them to start their games. The story isn’t quite as interesting as the story in the life of St. Scholastica, but it does show that God really does listen when we pray. Pray confidently!

Fr. McKenna always kept a “no girls allowed” policy for the camp days, so our Oblates of the Holy Face mostly stayed away working on different projects around the church. The annex is quite well organized now, and Fr. Ojeka now has a monstrance or two to take back to Nigeria, thanks to them. Miss Janet has been working diligently and a bit Martha-like, teaching the Oblates the different things a sacristan must do. Even I was surprised at the amount of work she has been doing—and I am ever so grateful to her.

I apologize for all the disruption during the daily Masses over the last week or so. You see, the rains had caused some damage to a part of the church and we had to have some of the “siding” replaced. The workers had only a limited time to work, so they were forced to do so during our scheduled Mass times. The hammering was mostly a distraction, but it was a help to pious thoughts on a few different occasions. Twice it happened to me that, just at the moment I leaned over to begin the words of consecration of the Precious Blood, the hammering started—a reminder of the nails being hammered into Our Lord’s hands and feet. And what is the consecration, but the moment when Our Savior is crucified and lifted up on the Cross for all to see!?

Now that Fr. McKenna is healthy again, he has left for Milwaukee and then some much-earned time off. Pray for a safe trip for him! Meanwhile, the rest of us are here at St. Gertrude’s for the week. Next weekend, the mission travels will start up again.

Oh yes! Have you seen the pictures on the wall in the vestibule? Joe Bayer did a fine job fixing up the pictures and hanging them so orderly. The pictures show the succession of Orders. Look at them and see if you recognize everyone, and see if you can tell who ordained whom and which bishops consecrated other bishops. It’s just a bit of our history here at St. Gertrude’s!

Now that we’ve discussed cats, the boys, the priests and Oblates and the work being done around here, I will end this note with one last word. Tomorrow, the feast of St. Peter’s Chains, is an important day for Cincinnati as it is the feast of the Metropolitan Church. I encourage you to come to a Mass and pray for the conversion of the Modernists in our beloved city, and to pray especially for the heads of our church in West Chester.

– Bishop McGuire