Lent V – Passion Sunday

News 3/14/2023: Episcopal Consecration Announcement

The Bishop’s Note
Life here at St. Gertrude’s is most certainly never dull. There is always something going on so it is never hard to find things to do. Along with many people and much activity comes a variety of stories which are often edifying, often hilariously entertaining. Well here is one that is a little of both. One evening, it was during the five o’clock Mass, our cute new cat (which, by the way, has been given more names than ever a person or animal has been given) managed to escape its pen unnoticed. Well, that is until she was noticed! Mass was going on at one of the side altars when the kitty peeked around from behind the main altar and was noticed by a parishioner who came to see why there was a cat in the sanctuary. The cat, feeling threatened, sought refuge beneath the altar. Danger having eventually gone away she came out and quietly went back where she belonged. St. Francis de Sales often used anecdotes about animals to explain spiritual topics. How about this one?! Learn from the cat with many names. When any danger threatens, flee for refuge to the altar where Our Lord truly lives. There you will find true consolation and every heavenly help.

Joe Bayer came by the other day to discuss plans for a new addition to the rectory. Although things are still being thought out I thought his first idea was brilliant. It was to add a wing with extra bedrooms and a larger dining room and kitchen area onto the east side of the house. I will keep you posted on this project. It is necessary so that all the priests be in one house, which will keep up priestly morale, I think; as well as make the other house available for our Oblates. The Oblates do so much work in the school and sacristy that I would imagine it is sometimes very difficult to have the extra trips to and from the church. This project would also allow us to receive new oblates in the future.

Things are coming along for Fr. Nkamuke’s consecration. Tickets have been booked and episcopal items have been purchased thanks to Fr. Brueggemann and Bp. da Silva. Bp. da Silva will also be coming to St. Gertrude’s to assist at the consecration. Still, we cannot overlook Holy Week! The schedule is included in this week’s bulletin for the sake of people coming from afar. I hope it helps everyone to plan their days a little in advance.

Fr. McMahon was kind enough to make our triple candle, used in the ceremonies on Holy Saturday morning. He shipped it all the way from New York so we are hoping it arrives safely, otherwise Fathers Simpson and Brueggemann have to make a new one and I am quite sure they don’t need any more work added to their load. Update: it has arrived safely. Deo gratias!

Fr. Lehtoranta and I are here taking care of things this weekend while the other priests are at various missions throughout the country. Fr. McKenna is making a quick jaunt to Dallas for Sunday Mass. The mission in Dallas is growing since their recent move to another location and soon they might have to go to two Masses on the Sundays we visit them. Fr. Simpson is spending Passion Sunday at St. Hugh of Lincoln and will be stopping in Chicago to offer Mass on his way home. Finally, Fr. Brueggemann is at Sacred Heart Church in the Boston area. Sacred Heart has about 150 parishioners and is usually served by Fr. Richards from the Companions of Jesus and Mary. The church is an old one built during the early half of the 1900s and has a seating capacity of a thousand people. On the property is a beautiful rectory that one only hears about from stories of priestly life before the changes of Vatican II.

Passiontide! It is here again. Let your thoughts be turned to the sufferings of Our Savior Who endured all of them willingly in order to redeem all mankind. Turn back to Him, for in Him you will find everlasting life. Lord Jesus crucified, have mercy on us!

– Bishop McGuire