Pentecost XIV

Recent Articles By Fr. Lehtoranta, including a new article on Conditional Baptism

The Bishop’s Note
It is First Friday afternoon as I type out this quick note. The time away was quite nice and so very helpful. Fr. McKenna teases me sometimes because I still say that I have to go into town to run some errands. He always reminds me that we are in town. Well, I was able to forget town and city life for a while and spend some time in the woods of the Smoky Mountains—I guess you could say that, for a time, I was the Bishop in the Woods (not everyone will understand the pun though!). In any case, I had my share of animals as I had a few close encounters with black bears, a cute little fox, and some other interesting wildlife. The best part of all was being away from the city. I forgot how quiet it can be. I never did like being in an atmosphere of never ending streets, cars, and buildings. Growing up in the country I never found those things very appealing, although there is something special about living in West Chester that makes it all seem worthwhile. It is because the Sacred Heart dwells in our midst and one does not often find Him in the countryside, except for an occasional Mass once a month. As a priest, I now see things differently as I did as a kid, and wonder how anyone could settle down peacefully in the country, far away from Mass and Our Lord. Never again would I choose to move back to the country since it would almost necessarily mean moving away from Our Lord and all that matters. What is this life if we do not have Our Lord…if we do not have Holy Mass?! St. Gertrude’s is our own little refuge, our own little Tabor, and “it is good for us to be here!”

Fr. Thielen’s health has improved immensely during his stay here. I think he is itching to get back to his apostolic life. We priests have enjoyed his stay here and have benefited very much from his edifying stories and anecdotes. We will miss him when he returns home, but know that he is serving Our Lord and guiding souls to heaven—and we know that we stay in touch. Fr. Lehtoranta sent a few nice reports and worked quite hard over the last few weeks. He is getting ready for the school year in which he will have a very heavy teaching load. Fr. Brueggemann had a teacher’s meeting to discuss the seminary program for this year. All seems to be moving in the right direction. Fr. McKenna left for Milwaukee on Thursday evening, and Fr. Simpson came back from a short vacation just in time to turn around and leave for Texas!

That is the news for this week, but there will be much more to come. I hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend and come back well rested. Remember Our Lady of Sorrows this month which is dedicated to her honor. It is only fitting because she remembered us at the Foot of the Cross.

– Bishop McGuire