Pentecost XVII

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

Letter from Father
The Bishop’s note has been demoted to Father’s note this week, because Bishop McGuire is in Argentina doing a priestly ordination. Usually Bishops perform ordinations before doing a consecration, but Bishop McGuire has already performed the consecration of Bishop Nkamuke in May, and this is his first priestly ordination.

On September 11 we had a Requiem Mass for Fr. Anthony Cekada on the anniversary of his death. The name “Anthony” means “priceless one,” and when he died three years ago, we truly lost something priceless. Though it is possible to match him in knowledge, no one can ever replace his wit and charm. And there can be no match for his big and sweet heart. Fr. Cekada helped and encouraged me so much on my road to the priesthood, and I still miss him and pray for him every day. One of our parishioners is putting together a new video by Fr. Cekada, which he recorded before his death. Thus, one more time, “he being dead yet speaketh.” (Hebrews 11:4)

I took portraits of our Oblate Sisters of the Holy Face, who made their final Oblation on September 12. They are now wearing their full Oblate Sister attire, which includes a thicker veil and a black belt with their black Oblate dress. You can see the photos in the Sisters’ latest newsletter, available at and on the bulletin board in the vestibule. Please also remember that we have an ongoing fundraiser for the Sisters at and contribute to it. Its success is essential for the growth of the Oblate group.

The fundraiser is important also for the training of our Seminarians, who, God willing and Our Lady interceding, will one day serve St. Gertrude the Great and her missions. Classes have started in our Seminary in Washington state. We have four Seminarians as students, and four priests as teachers. Fr. Anthony Brueggemann spends his afternoons giving classes to the Seminarians, and will travel there in October. Among other things he teaches Latin, the subject which was always hard for me in the Seminary. But eventually I did learn it, not only so that I could say Mass and the Divine Office, but also enough to start to like it, and teach it, too. An elderly gentleman in one of our missions once told me that he was always very slow to learn when he was in school; and when he finally learned enough Latin to start to serve, they changed the Mass to English! He thought that was it for serving, but decades later he got another chance, when the true Mass returned to his area, and he started to serve Mass with his own grandsons.

Our school started its semester this month. Its teachers and students contribute not only to the parish, but to our worldwide Internet apostolate, too, by singing the High Mass during the week. I thank Mark and Joan Lotarski, who recently retired from the school. For 25 years they have tirelessly worked not only for our little school, but for the whole parish, offering even their spare time to help Bishop Dolan and Bishop McGuire in running St. Gertrude the Great Church. That work is very much appreciated and I’m grateful to them for all the help they give to the parish and to me personally.

Today we celebrate our Fall Festival, arranged by the members of the Sodality of Charity, our youth group for girls and young ladies. The Sodality now has 46 enrolled members, and at our monthly meetings we usually have about 30 attendants. The Sodalists also get a Mass celebrated for them once a month. The Knight Fathers, i.e. Fathers Simpson and Brueggemann, usually get about 15-20 attendants at their Knights of the Sacred Heart group sport meetings on Mondays.

St. Gertrude’s is a place filled with parish activities, and October will be filled with action, too. Among the upcoming events we have Rosary Sunday, the altar servers’ day, Forty Hours, and the All Saints party.

The happy day of our Sisters’ final Oblation was followed by our Fatima Rosary procession for peace on September 13. There were 75 attendants who recited the full 15 decades of the Rosary in the beautiful cool weather. You still have one more chance this year to join us in prayer for true peace on October 13, which, as usual for October, will be done in candlelight.

Kevin Davis of Catholic Family Podcast recently interviewed Bishop Nkamuke, who just ordained two of his Seminarians to Major Orders. One of the remarkable things the Bishop said in the interview was that when Fathers Ojeka and Okerulu returned to Nigeria, he thought that now, with the extra help, his work would be a little bit easier. But the two young Fathers have been such zealous missionary workers, that now Bishop Nkamuke has even more work to do than before. He will take in four new Seminarians and also one minor Seminarian to his Sedes Sapientiæ Seminary. Fr. Ojeka has two Oblate Sisters of his Guanellian Oblates of the Mother of Divine Providence to assist him in his parish and school.

This November 6 it will be ten years since Bishop Dolan ordained Bishop Nkamuke to the priesthood. That event was the start of this current expansion of the true Catholic Faith in Nigeria. This week, on the feast of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29, it will be two years since Bishop Dolan consecrated Bishop Rodrigo da Silva, who now has an active apostolate in Mexico and in South America. All this good news from all over the world is an occasion of joy and gratitude for us. It shows that as much as we might miss Bishop Dolan and Fr. Cekada, all that work they did at St. Gertrude the Great Roman Catholic Church has not come to an end.

Yours in Christ and Mary,
Fr. Lehtoranta=