Sunday within the Octave of Christmas

Link to Poinsettia Memorials

Bishop’s Note
Christmas has ended for the world, but is just beginning for us Catholics who hold to the sacred traditions of the true Church. I hope you are having a blessed one.

Here at church, Fathers Simpson and Brueggemann have been doing all the work while I took a couple of days off due to illness. They covered the Masses themselves on the feasts of St. Stephen and of St. John, and took the time to arrange the parties, too. St. John’s High Mass and celebration was very popular this year. It was my pleasure to visit with a young couple visiting us from Fr. Trough’s mission in South Carolina. I hear that many of you are making them feel quite welcome here. This is something which I have always loved about St. Gertrude’s—the family-like atmosphere that it provides. Your charity and ability to make newcomers feel welcome has always impressed me and many others.

The Holy Innocents children’s party was very enjoyable. I am not sure who enjoys this party more, me or the children! The children had their fill of sugar and Theresa even made the hot chocolate, then the children gathered round as I read to them their story and a poem. Little Anthony Giese was particularly attentive and even answered correctly a question that I asked afterwards. Reference to a “Maid” was made in the poem I read, so I asked who this maid might be. He answered “Mary!” Anthony not only enjoys books, but he also likes making flower arrangements which we sometimes use in church at various shrines.

Marcel Caggeso served his very first Mass on the feast of St. John and did a wonderful job as torchbearer. Someone said he has already started counting how many Masses he serves, something which Isaac Smith started when he began serving. Isaac has served well over a hundred Masses now and we still owe him a little party. Soon, Isaac, soon! I asked one server if he did anything special for Christmas. Honestly, I was expecting to hear that he had visited family somewhere or got some new game or something to that effect, but that was not the case. Much to my edification, he answered quickly and with a genuine look of sincerity, “I got to go to Midnight Mass.” That was enough to make me tear up a little on the inside, as it shows that we have been blessed with a very good bunch of Catholic youth who love their Faith.

Bishop Nkamuke tonsured two of his seminarians recently (pictured), and will ordain two of his deacons to the sacred priesthood this Saturday, the feast of the Epiphany. I was thinking that it might be a nice idea to try and come to the Mass and Holy Hour for priests this First Thursday evening and pray for the Nigerian clergy, especially the ones about to be ordained. Come if you can. Speaking of clergy, Alfonso Capetillo, our seminarian, is here on a much-needed Christmas break. It is good to see him again. Do keep him in your prayers, too.

There is so much more to write about, but I will refrain for now. Don’t forget the Holy Day tomorrow! May the Infant Savior grant you all the graces for a holy New Year.

– Bishop McGuire