Lent IV – Laetare Sunday

Bishop’s Note
Spring seems to be coming in pretty fast as the trees are blooming and some of the flowers are coming up nicely in the garden. One of the flowers outside Fr. McKenna’s office is very interesting to watch as it opens up on the sunny days, but then closes its petals on cloudy days. I think it seems to be that way for most people, too. The holy angels, God’s beautiful spiritual creatures, are not affected by such things as we are. They do not change, but are stable beings, always in a state of joy. As we try to convert ourselves to God, by His grace, of course, we have no reason not to be joyful. St. Thomas said that he wonders how a person in the state of mortal sin could ever smile—a good question indeed. Those who are turned away from the creature and converted to God, however, ought never give in to sadness. It is in our power to resist this tool of the devil. Stay in the state of grace. Ask your angel to help. In this way, you will always be joyful.

Bishop Nkamuke and I have been playing some phone tag lately, but we managed to correspond via email and WhatsApp, at least. His father, Gabriel, recently had to have an amputation, but is bearing it all very well. Please say a prayer for Gabriel. His Excellency plans to do some of the pontifical ceremonies for Holy Week. Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday will be done pontifically, but the rest will be done as Solemn Masses.

Fr. Hecquard and I have been playing phone tag as well. I hope to reach him soon, though. He is off on his own taking care of a few small missions in France and is doing quite well. I hope to receive more news from him soon.

Fr. Contreras wrote a few days ago asking for prayers for the second anniversary of the death of Bishop Morello, who was his superior for many years. Bishop Morello passed away only about a month and a half or two months before Bishop Dolan. Afterwards, through the mediation of Fr. Ercoli, Fr. Contreras reached out to us for help. Father and the priests of the Company of Jesus and Mary are most devoted and zealous priests, the kind this world surely needs more of! It was very hard on them, too, when they lost their bishop and mentor.

Fr. Valerii wishes everyone a fruitful Lenten season and mentioned how happy he is to see how much St. Gertrude’s is growing.

We are working on the summer travel schedule and it will prove to be a very busy time. There are all the normal camps to take care of, the YAG, Sodality meetings, a priest’s retreat, then an abundance of places to visit for Confirmations. I plan to do Confirmations in Mexico, Seattle, Colorado, Milwaukee, Dallas, El Paso, Austin, and perhaps North Dakota and Illinois if there are any to be done in those two states. In October, Confirmations will be done in Boston, Connecticut and New Jersey if need be. Our own Confirmations are, of course, scheduled for the Vigil of Pentecost. This sacrament is most important for the Faithful in these days when the Faith and every virtue are attacked from every direction. The graces and Gifts of the Holy Ghost help us to see things as they really are before God, and give us the strength to do what God expects of us no matter the sacrifice.

Dr. Dan Stanislowski, our school principal, has a podcast which he does on the side called “Open Secrets.” I have been listening to it quite often and find it to be spot on. Very enlightening. He explains complicated world events in an easy and down-to-earth way that most will understand. I recommend listening to them.

All the cats and snails seem to be doing fine. It seems the snails have laid some eggs which should hatch before long. That should be quite interesting to see all these tiny snails scooting around their little home. God’s creation is too marvelous not to enjoy.

We are past the halfway point of Lent now. Courage! Don’t give up! Remember the sense of triumphant joy that will be yours if you persevere until Easter. Think of all the merits and graces you will win, and look forward to a higher place in heaven which awaits the persevering soul! All ye holy angels and archangels, pray for us!

– Bishop McGuire