Pentecost XXI

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

Bishop’s Note
Fall, with its cold and damp air and gloomy overcast skies, is most definitely here. The leaves are pretty, though, and the moths are in abundance here at St. Gertrude’s. They are all over the place and sometimes get into places where they cause little annoyances! The yearly fight with the church raccoons has begun once more. Two of these little creatures try to make their home near the choir part of the church. Fr. Brueggemann mentioned that every evening at about 8:00 he can hear them making their way from the back of church to the front to get outside; and every morning you can hear them enter the church roof and make their way to the back to sleep for the day. Father managed to trap one of them, and as soon as he traps the other he and Fr. Simpson will seal off the gutters so that they can’t get in anymore.

Fr. Brueggemann, besides being our raccoon and opossum expert, teaches in the seminary which is located in Seattle. He teaches Latin and Psychology to our four seminarians. I am still hoping to send him to Seattle once a month or so, but this still needs to be worked out with Fr. Ercoli. There is limited space in the present seminary and the only place to put him is in the classroom. We are only in our first year and many things will fall into place over time as we work through all the kinks.

One of the school children made a prayer book for me last week, complete with real prayers (some of which she made up herself and some which she did not), some edifying pictures which she drew, and even some sound advice for her bishop. My favorite is her suggestion, “Say your morning prayers.” Excellent advice! Our school children learn much about their faith and are given a good liturgical and prayer life at school which will lay the foundation for a deep spiritual life as they grow older. This little girl is well on her way, I hope!

Forty Hours ends this evening. We have offered many prayers and begged for many intentions and I am confident that our prayers were heard. The Votive Mass for Peace, said on the second day, is particularly necessary this year as we see the beginnings of a third world war. We hope it does not come to that, but as we see the fight between Israel and Hamas (both of whom want to annihilate the other) growing worse, and America, Iran, and other countries stirring things up, it is something which may very well happen. Prayer, especially Holy Mass and the Rosary, reparation, penance. These are the things that will prevent war and bring peace. Come to more Masses, pray your Rosary with greater fervor, offer small acts of penance and reparation throughout the day. Pray for the conversion of both Jew and Muslim.

Next Sunday we honor Christ the King and promise Him our allegiance, our loyalty, and our love. He is a King Who loves His subjects and treats them better than they deserve to be. Pray that all submit to His reign. The All Saints’ Day party also takes place and everyone is looking forward to seeing the children dressed up as saints. Even amidst so many negative events the Good God always gives us these little joys. Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints!

– Bishop McGuire