Dear members and friends of the Sodality of Charity,
I wish you a happy fall season. Hope your start of school and work has been a good one. I said the monthly Mass for all our Sodality members on September 2.
We have a truly action-packed October coming. We start on October 2, which is Rosary Sunday. After the 9 AM High Mass, there is the traditional Rosary Confraternity breakfast, which includes a fabulous serving of food, and a talk. I will be giving the talk for the third time in my priesthood, and this time will speak about the parish activities. St. Gertrude the Great Church has truly enlivened her parish activities in recent years, and our Sodality of Charity has played a big part in this. Our younger priests have their Knights of the Sacred Heart sport meetings on Mondays for the boys. Our summer highlights are always our camps for girls and boys, and the YAG for the young adults. And recently we started our Oblates of the Holy Face group for young ladies who want to serve the parish full-time, and Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Seminary to train and ordain priests. Attend the breakfast if you can. Purchase tickets from the bookstore, $10 each or $35 a family.
October 5 is the First Wednesday of the month, so remember to present your thanksgiving to St. Joseph by attending Mass or saying some prayers in his honor. We should be sincerely thankful of his blessing and protection. No matter how much we work for our Sodality and our parish, we can never expect any good fruits from our labor without blessings and graces from Heaven.
On Saturday, October 8, we will have our Sodality October monthly meeting from 8:15 AM to 2 PM. We start to prepare for our December St. Lucy procession, which will be here very soon, when the nights grow longer and days get shorter. But our most important activity of the meeting is to get things ready for our Sodality Fall Festival. This event takes place on Sunday, October 9. The fun starts after the first Mass, about 8:30 AM and ends after the third Mass, approximately 12:30 PM. All events are outside events, and include wares, square dancing, apple bobbing, bean bag toss, needle in haystack, pie contest, etc. All children are invited to join our Sodalists for a fun outdoor party. Support this event if you can, most especially with your prayers for a good weather. You can ask help for example from St. Clare. There is an old tradition in Europe, especially in Spain, that a faithful girl who hopes for a good weather, for example on her wedding day, can make a trip to the nearest convent of Poor Clares. She would present the Sisters a gift of eggs, along with a petition to St. Clare for clear skies, and they would then make their own prayers in exchange for the gift. So I guess the closest thing you can do to follow this tradition of making a sacrifice for the much needed good weather, is to give some eggs to our Oblate Sisters.
For a good weather, we can certainly rely more to the saints than to people on earth. The recently died Queen of England Elizabeth II was formally crowned as Queen on June 2, 1953, because the meteorologists had calculated that, according to all trustworthy predictions, it would be the clearest and sunniest day of the year. Needless to say, it was pouring rain on that day.
We need good weather also for Thursday, October 13, when we have our final Fatima Rosary procession. And as usual for the October procession, we will march in candlelight, each one holding his own candle. There will be an evening Mass at 5:45 PM, and the procession will start from the First Watch parking lot at 7:15 PM. Come and join our clergy to ask peace, the true peace, from Our Lady, according to Her request She spoke at Fatima.
On Sunday, October 16, make sure you go to Helfta Hall after the morning Masses. On that day we will have our SGG School bake sale, where you can purchase delicious treats and cakes to support our school. Please also be generous and volunteer to bake and donate your baked goods to this event, which is an important fundraise to our parish school.
On the weekend of October 21-23, our parish holds the traditional Forty Hours Devotion. It starts on Friday evening and ends on Sunday evening. There will be Solemn High Mass on all three days plus adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the weekend. Attend especially the opening and closing ceremonies if you can, come to the Solemn Votive Mass for peace on Saturday morning, and spend at least a little time in the presence of God in the Blessed Sacrament enthroned on the altar. That is the best opportunity for you to present your prayers of thanksgiving, or make a special request to God, if you have any.
Our final activity of the month will be on Sunday, October 30, feast of Christ the King. That is the day for our All Saints party, where the children will dress up as saints and give a little presentation about them. Bishop McGuire takes over the demanding task of filling the boots of Bishop Dolan in hosting this happy event – though he has certainly got practice in his years as pastor of St. Hugh of Lincoln, which also hosts the All Saints party of their own.
We had a wonderful ceremony of investiture of our new Oblate Sisters on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Name of Mary, September 11. The name guessing contest received 22 answers. The most popular name suggested was “Therese”, and “Veronica” got the second place, both certainly very suitable names for Oblates of the Holy Face. The best guesses were submitted by two of our Sodality members, and they both received their prizes at the September meeting.
Though both our Sisters are members of the Sodality, I will from now on inform about their news and events through separate information channels. For that purpose, I have opened a website for our Oblates of the Holy Face. The address is www.magnetofsouls.com and from now on you can read their news from that site and from their own newsletter. These young ladies are a blessed addition to our parish family, so be thankful for the hard work they do here.
Our friends at St. Jerome Library and Bookstore arranged a harvest party on September 24. It was joyful to celebrate the start of the fall season with many friends, and big number of chickens, both on the plate and on the ground. This week I’m also starting to teach Church history in our own Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Seminary, which trains priests under the guidance of Bishop McGuire. In the Mass of St. Henry of Uppsala the Gospel presents Our Lord’s true mission call: “Do not you say that yet there are four months, and harvest cometh? Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes, and see the countries, that they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35) In our time every priest is a missionary priest, so please pray for our Bishops, priests, and Seminarians for a good harvest of souls.
Another piece of joyful news is that Bishop Donald Sanborn announced in his August Most Holy Trinity Seminary Newsletter, that he will consecrate Fr. Germán Fliess as Bishop. The date of the consecration is November 30, feast of St. Andrew, which is also the date of consecration of our dear Bishop Dolan. I did most of my own Seminary studies together with Fr. Fliess, and I appreciate his devotion, character, and wisdom. Please say some prayers for him, as you did for Bp. McGuire before his own consecration, that Our Lady, Who is the Queen of the Clergy, would always protect and bless him in his apostolate as a Bishop of the true Catholic Church.
Yours in Christ and Mary,