Pentecost XIX

Note from the Bishop
Thursday evening’s candlelight Rosary Procession was quite the encouraging scene as 135 souls (one third of our parishioners), candles and rosaries in hand and Mary’s prayer on their lips, devoutly implored her for peace. Despite all the “wars and rumors of wars” these days, I am confident that Our Lady will hear our prayers. Let’s not forget, however, that sin is the cause of war, famine and disease. If we want to have true peace, man must reconcile himself once more to God. Give up sin, make a good confession, make acts of reparation for the sins of all mankind. This is the way to true peace.

Speaking of ways of drawing down peace, our yearly Forty Hours Devotion starts this Friday evening. Each one of us has the opportunity for a personal audience with Our Lord Himself. Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is not some inanimate being, a sign or symbol. He is there, and as you look upon Him in the monstrance, He is looking back at you, His ears listening to your every word, His Sacred Heart welcoming you, and His pierced Hands filled with blessings which He wants to give you…if only you would ask! There are so many things you wish to obtain from Him, I know there are! So many family members and loved ones deceased, sick, or fallen away; so many hurts and worries filling your heart; so many problems in the world. Come and have a face-to-face talk with Our Lord about these things. Don’t forget to tell Him a big “Thank You!” for all things, for gratitude “moves” His Sacred Heart to bestow more graces upon us.

My trip to Sacred Heart Church in Lawrence, Massachusetts, went smoothly thanks to your prayers. Fr. McKenna was a big help by running practices and directing the sacristans. I confirmed 34 new Soldiers of Christand met with Fr. Richards of the Companions of Jesus and Mary. He is a good priest and is taking care of the parish until they are able to get a priest of their own. The parish has about 150 devout souls. It was nice to see so many people enthusiastic about their Faith.

Fr. Lehtoranta and the Sodality of Charity continue their good work. Last week, they put on a Fall Festival complete with Bobbing for Apples, a pie contest, and all sorts of enjoyable games. Everyone hears about the edifying ceremonies that take place here at our beloved St. Gertrude’s—and all the work. There are plenty of fun times, too. After all, religion is not a gloomy, sad thing. Who was more joyful than the saints we learn about, after all?! The practice of our holy Faith brings joy and can be—yes—enjoyable, almost FUN! The saints tell us to be cheerful, never giving in to feelings of sadness and despondency, because the joyful heart more easily makes great strides in holiness. There are plenty of fun events at SGG to make the practice of our Faith easier and more enjoyable. Thank you, Fr. Lehtoranta, and the girls of the Sodality of Charity, for all your hard work in putting together this event!

Well, I must end this note so that I can start getting organized for the big wedding tomorrow (Saturday). Another happy event! But don’t forget Forty Hours this Friday. Let’s make this one the best yet!

– Bishop McGuire