Lent VI – Palm Sunday

Bishop’s Note
Things are ramping up for Holy Week here at St. Gertrude’s. Everyone has an idea of how busy it gets in the sacristy, choir, and sanctuary, but there is a lot more to it than even that. The secretary is plenty busy with all of the extra programs and bulletins, phone calls and emails, and the special Easter Memorials that keep coming in. The Gieses have kindly offered to clean our rugs in the vestibule. Ian Ford et al made the cloister yard look nice, and the lawn mowing company is out cleaning up the grounds. Our Holy Week cooks are all lined up and the Easter Egg hunt has been well planned. There is excitement in the air as everyone looks forward to this most sacred time of the liturgical year!

We clergy were discussing how edified we were at the amount of people who came to attend the Masses on the feast of St. Joseph! Your devotion is a good example to all! The blessed Hot Cross buns were a hit, though we forgot to have the coffee and juice ready! Thanks, Mrs. Lotarski, for making the Hot Cross buns; and thanks, Fr. McKenna, for blessing them! Next year, we will try to remember to have a little more to offer in the way of refreshments!

Fr. Brueggemann is back from his monthly seminary visit where they had a solemn High Mass for St. Joseph’s feast day. Fr. McMahon and Fr. Romero took part in it, while Fr. Ercoli helped with the singing. One of our seminarians served as MC and our very own Poncho Capetillo played the organ to accompany the chant. I had heard comments from some of the parishioners of Holy Redeemer that they had never seen a Solemn High Mass out there. Comments like that remind us that these sorts of ceremonies are rather rare in our day. Oh! may we never grow weary of the sacred liturgy, the true worship of God!

Great news from Nigeria arrived earlier this week. One of the new Fathers will be doing his first Holy Week in one of the missions, while in another, Bishop Nkamuke, Fr. Ojeka, and Fr. Okerulu will be performing solemn ceremonies. Both Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday will be done pontifically, while the other three days will be Solemn High Masses. Gabriel Nkamuke (His Excellency’s father) has been in the hospital since last May and had to have an amputation. Please say an extra prayer for him today (today is the feast of St. Gabriel the Archangel, although it is not celebrated this year due to Palm Sunday). Illness is one of those evils in life that God often uses to bring about a greater good. That is just what happened in Mr. Nkamuke’s case, as it led him to convert from the Novus Ordo. Now he receives the sacraments from his own son, a bishop of the Catholic Church. Fr. Ojeka’s father, once a prominent catechist in the Novus Ordo, also converted and now attends the true Mass. So many graces are being sent to the souls in Nigeria, and it is truly awesome to see how well they are cooperating with these graces.

I will be having a chat with your guardian angels this week, asking them to urge you to come to the beautiful Holy Week ceremonies. So if the thought comes to you that you should try to come, just do it, because it is probably your angel talking to you. Don’t ignore him. You might think I am exaggerating, but truly I am not. This is exactly how it works with the angels. They are such amazing creatures of God. I hope you have grown in devotion to them. After all, they are so devoted to us! May the Holy Angels keep you!

– Bishop McGuire

P.S. The eggs have hatched and we now have baby snails.