Easter IV

Bishop’s Note
The cats are not very expert at finding and getting rid of the mice over at the church…Judy, on the other hand, announced that she has caught four mice. We have other good hunters, too. Fr. Brueggemann has caught a number of raccoons and even a squirrel that have somehow made their way into the church ceiling or walls. All in a day’s work here at St. Gertrude the Great!

We had two birthdays last week, Fr. Simpson’s on April 23rd, and Fr. Lehtoranta’s on April 26th. The two young fathers have been away for quite a while and the older fathers have been holding down the fort. It has been different without them and they are missed, but they come back this weekend. May 1st is Bishop Nkamuke’s first anniversary of episcopal consecration. Say a prayer for him. A lot has happened in a year and his apostolate has grown by two more priests so that they now have as many in Nigeria as we have here at St. Gertrude’s. It might seem like a lot of priests, but it still is not enough to do all the work that needs to be done. Just when another priest is ordained and we think we will finally be able to accomplish that work, even more work is added. Well, that is the way it should be in Our Lord’s vineyard. The work should always be slightly more than one can handle or else we might be inclined, through fallen human nature, to rest on our laurels and become content with the status quo. This is not good enough, either in the spiritual life or in the apostolate. Our Lord intends for us to be constantly growing, increasing. If we begin to rest easy in the status quo then we begin to fall backwards—even in the apostolate. But all is the work of God and is brought to fruition by God’s grace. We are always unprofitable servants.

Patricia Beck, a virtual parishioner from New Hampshire, died this past week. She had a rather aggressive form of cancer. She was a devout woman who has been, since the days of Bishop Dolan and Fr. Cekada, a good friend of us here at St. Gertrude’s. Each year she would ask us to bless Epiphany Water (which Fr. Lehtoranta always kindly did), and she would send some little treats to us. I think she really enjoyed talking to our secretary, Theresa, too. In her last days she especially asked Theresa to pray for her. I thought that said a lot. Now we will do our best to get Mrs. Beck to heaven as soon as we can by our prayers and sacrifices. God rest her soul!

There are a lot of feast days to choose from this week, but don’t neglect to come to Mass on First Friday, the feast of the Finding of the Holy Cross. The Relic of the True Cross will be exposed for veneration at each Mass. Oh! and don’t forget to get your blessed Palm Crosses that day! You could come to the quiet 8am Mass if you wish, or the beautiful High Mass with incense at 11:25; or swing by for the evening Mass and make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. But do come! There is a Holy Hour for Priests on First Thursday; St. Monica’s Club will meet on their patroness’s feast after the morning Masses on First Saturday. Personally, I have always liked St. Peter Martyr, while many in our day have a devotion to St. Athanasius, but we all have a love for the Holy Child Jesus,Doctor of the Sick. Their feast days come this week as well. I think you get the idea…come celebrate at least one of the feast days in church with us!

Time to sign off now. I send you a blessing.
– Bishop McGuire