Bishop’s Note
The always so beautiful Candlemas with all of its ceremonies is over, and we have officially celebrated the last of the Christmas feasts. Now we must, if we wish to follow the mind of the Church, enter into the spirit of Septuagesima, a time of preparation for Lent. Accordingly, we ought to spend time in serious reflection on what we wish to accomplish during Lent, as well as how we wish to accomplish it. Is there a particular attachment that often causes you to fall out of the state of sanctifying grace? Perhaps a habitual venial sin that needs to be gotten rid of? It is not enough to simply get rid of vice, but it is essential to cultivate positive virtue. Are you patient enough with the little inconveniences of life? Do you practice self-forgetfulness in order to be more aware of the needs of others? Oh! don’t forget the virtue of humility, the virtue that is the foundation of the spiritual life and usually the last to be perfected. The Church gives us penance in the form of fasting. Will you do it just because you have to do it? Better is to do it out of the love of God and make up for those times when you loved God so little. Will you come to extra Masses? What a perfect way to make up for all those lost years spent serving sin. Lent is coming fast! Be prepared. Enter into the spirit of this short period of the liturgical cycle which we call Septuagesima.

We priests don’t often have guests over for dinner, but were happy to have the opportunity to do so with Tom Gardner, the coordinator of Holy Face Mission in Effingham, Illinois. He was just passing through the area on his way home and decided to stop by for the evening Mass. It was good to visit with him again.

The school children finished their exams and received their report cards. The majority of them did very well, most even improved their grades from the last quarter. It must be very rewarding, not only for the students, but for the teachers to see the progress of the children. The High Schoolers are going on a field trip to the Cincinnati History Museum and the Museum of Natural History tomorrow with Fr. Lehtoranta. Mrs. Richesson, one of our teachers, agreed to go as well. It sounds like a fun time and is certainly a much needed break for the students.

Fr. McKenna woke up on Wednesday morning with some awful discomfort in his eye. I thought it was just some irritation or pink eye, but it turned out that he has an ulcer in his eye from falling asleep wearing his contacts. Did you ever know such a thing existed?! Father is taking special eye drops to solve the issue. It didn’t stop him from his short jaunt to St. Hugh of Lincoln, thankfully. There, he carried out the Candlemas ceremonies and the Blessing of Throats.

Our other young Fathers are traveling as well. Fr. Simpson is in Dallas, where the number of parishioners keeps growing. Fr. Brueggemann departs for our seminary in Seattle later this afternoon and will be gone a full week, returning home by way of Dallas.

I am off to do Confirmations at Fr. Siordia’s church of Our Lord of the Expiration in Cocoyoc, Mexico, and will only be gone for the weekend. After the Confirmations are finished, there will be a conference for the priests and faithful who are there. Hopefully, we will be able to calm down some of the controversies that have been taking place down there. I would be very grateful if you would say a prayer to the Mother of Good Counsel for a fruitful visit.

Our annual Holy Face Triduum begins on Holy Face Sunday next week and ends on the following Tuesday, the feast of the Holy Face. This is another of our favorite devotions here at St. Gertrude the Great. By means of this devotion we console Our Lord for all the blasphemies committed and in return Our Lord promises to settle all the affairs of our household. May the light of His Countenance shine upon you!

– Bishop McGuire