Pentecost III

Bishop’s Note
This week will be a quiet one here at St. Gertrude’s as Fr. McKenna takes care of things while the rest of the Fathers join me out west for a priest’s retreat. The retreat begins on Monday evening, but I have been with Fathers Ercoli and Romero since Friday and am giving First Holy Communion and Confirmations at their St. Joseph’s Church which is about an hour from Seattle. It’s always a pleasure to see the Fathers and the wonderful work they are doing. I believe our seminarians will be attending this year’s retreat along with the priests. Please remember to pray for Josè Santos Casas, who will receive the last two minor orders at the end of the retreat. After the retreat, I will be going to Trinidad, Colorado to administer Confirmations at Fr. Peter Raleigh’s church, which he named Holy Innocents. Interestingly, he built the church in the hopes that it would be a shrine of reparation for the sin of abortion.

Don’t forget the blessing of lilies and the Fatima Rosary Procession on the feast of St. Anthony this week! The Rosary Procession for peace is a wonderful way to make reparation during this octave of the Sacred Heart.

School ended on Friday and a well-deserved break is given to Fr. Lehtoranta, our teachers, and students. Although school is out, I encourage the parents to bring the children regularly to an extra Mass or two per week. The children should be taught to appreciate parish life and to understand that St. Gertrude’s is not only a place where they have to do dreaded school work, but a place where they receive the life-giving graces of the sacraments, and where they develop good Catholic friendships. In a word, the church ought to be a second home to them, a refuge from the world, a place they love.

While most of our grounds are cared for pretty well (the outdoor stations look quite nice and the cloister garden looks lovely), the Lourdes grotto could use a little attention. I would like to decorate it with a few more flowers, a rose bush or two would be most appropriate. More importantly, it would be nice to clean the pond more regularly. It does look pretty bad these days. If you have any tips on how to keep it clean or would like to volunteer just let me know. It’s one of those things that I will do myself, if need be, in order to ensure that it stays nice…it is part of one of our shrines, after all. But I just don’t know the first thing about it.

The architect says that the rectory addition might cost as much as a million dollars, but I am told that the price will not be that high. Still, that is too much for a one-story addition and we might need to delay our building project. I cannot justify spending a million dollars for an addition, especially after looking at the type of houses we could afford in West Chester for half that amount. It is my goal to have all the priests living under one roof. This would lend itself to a much better community atmosphere among the clergy, as it should be. It would also mean that the Oblates could move into the other house and have a place of their own. Right now, they are living with their families and traveling back and forth, which makes for a very tiring day for them. I think that having their own place will also promote growth for the Oblates of the Holy Face. Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us!

Attendance at the Corpus Christi Masses has been superb! How edifying to see so many of our First Communicants come daily to receive an extra Holy Communion! May Our Lord reward you for your efforts! I hope even more of you will come during the Sacred Heart Octave despite there being fewer Mass times. Our Lord does ask for reparation and love. May He find clergy and faithful right here at St. Gertrude’s who are willing to give Him what He asks!

In the Sacred Heart,
Bishop McGuire