Solemnity of the Seven Sorrows

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

The Bishop’s Note
It seems to me that things have picked up rather than slowed down after the summer months. You might say that this makes all the sense in the world. However, the summer months have always been some of the most action-packed for the clergy not involved in the school, while the start of school each fall brings more of a routine and a sense of calm. Not this year, but then it is a sign of a thriving parish, and for this we thank the Good God each and every day.

Sisters Ulrica and Eulalia made their Final Oblation on the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. The Oblation is not the same thing as a vow and it is not perpetual, but is to be renewed each year or so. The Oblation does not bind under pain of sin as the vows do. Furthermore, there is freedom to leave the Oblate vocation at any time for a legitimate reason. This, I think, makes the Oblate vocation more sacrificial, in a sense. Once a vow has been made, the sister knows that they can never go back on it without committing sin. Somehow, the thought of sin acts as a sort of safeguard, whereas the Sisters do not have this same motivation. They must freely make the conscious act of giving themselves to Our Lord in service to His Church each and every day. The Oblate has to deal with people on a regular basis, much like the parish priest does. She is not protected by any cloister save the one she makes for herself in her own heart. If the Oblate lets even a little bit of the worldly spirit creep into her soul, she will always be tempted to leave. So, without the safeguard of the religious vows, and without the protection of cloister she must remain faithful to the Evangelical Counsels. To do so much of what a nun would do without all the safety nets of religious life is a difficult task in today’s modern world. Some may disagree with my opinion on the matter, but that is how I see it.

Fr. McKenna and I depart for Argentina tomorrow and should arrive on Tuesday. We will be there to celebrate Fr. Alfredo Contreras’ priestly anniversary on Thursday. I will also be ordaining Rev. Mr. Nicolas Benegas to the holy priesthood this Saturday. I will tell you more about this young cleric after the trip, and perhaps invite him to come to St. Gertrude’s some Sunday in the future. He does not know very much English at present. Still, we manage to communicate when we see each other.

Frs. Lehtoranta, Simpson, and Brueggemann are staying back to take care of things while I am away. It is always nice, very nice, to have such capable priests to rely on. Thank you, Fathers!

The weather is changing, as are the leaves. The Faith, however, never changes. May Our Lady give you an ever growing devotion to your Holy Faith.

– Bishop McGuire