• Sodality of Charity

Report of the May Activities

Dear members and friends of the Sodality of Charity,


I posted our last newsletter on April 25. On the following day our pastor of St. Gertrude the Great Church, Bishop Daniel L. Dolan, died suddenly. Most of May has been spent with the hard tasks of burying him, and serving Bishop Rodrigo da Silva in the ordination of our new priests and in the consecration of our new pastor, Bishop Charles McGuire. Our Sodalists helped to host the many visitors who arrived here for the funeral by serving a delicious breakfast. The ordination of our four new priests took place on the octave day of St. Joseph, May 11. And the triduum of big ceremonies ended on the feast of St. Eric of Sweden, May 18, when Bishop da Silva consecrated our new pastor Charles McGuire as Bishop.


Bishop Charles McGuire at the consecration on May 18, flanked by his assistant priests Fr. Lehtoranta and Fr. Ercoli

We had four priest visitors who attended the ordination and the consecration: Father James Thielen of Columbus, OH; Father Daniel Ahern of Bay City, MI; Fr. Carlos Ercoli of Seattle, WA; and Fr. Gabriel Lavery, CMRI, of Sulphur Springs, OH. Bishop Mark Pivarunas, who consecrated Bishop Dolan in 1993, came to the funeral and in his May 2022 seminary Newsletter Adsum wrote: “With the death of Bishop Dolan, Fr. Charles McGuire will be soon consecrated to carry on the work of his spiritual father and I assure him of my prayers and best wishes for his upcoming episcopal consecration.” Even in the midst of sorrows all of us at SGG have been blessed and strengthened by the support and prayers of the Traditional Catholic clergy and faithful from all over the world.


Our Sodality member Lucia with Bishop Daniel Dolan in December 2020 and with Bishop McGuire in May 2022

Bishop McGuire visited our Sodality meeting of May 21, and gave his blessing to our Sodalists. They prepared as a present for him a spiritual bouquet, a wonderful gift by which our girls expressed their gratitude and prayers for their new pastor. And all Sodality members should be grateful for everything Bishop Dolan did for us for so many years, and also to Bishop Rodrigo da Silva, who immediately responded to our parish’s urgent need by ordaining our priests and consecrating our new Bishop. And of course our girls must continue to pray for Bishop McGuire, who is now their new pastor, and to whom charity and gratitude are due; and with their work in the Sodality provide help in his work to run their home parish, in the spirit of Catholic Action.


At our May 21 Monthly Meeting, Bishop McGuire gave his blessing to the Sodality of Charity members

Our main summer event is the annual Girls Camp, which is a joint effort of our Sodality and the parish. It will be on July 12-14, running from Tuesday to Thursday. Our girls have again plenty of games and crafts planned, which include: scrap-booking, a pastry baking competition, two puppet-shows, making a braided rag-rug, square-dancing, as well as an abundance of games. You can read the more detailed program and schedule from our website, where you can also view the dress-code of the camp.


Those Sodalists who are of adult age will enjoy our parish’s annual Young Adult Get-Together (YAG), organized by Ms. Colleen Eldracher. This event will take place on July 8-10, from Friday till Sunday, and it is a great opportunity for Traditional Catholics to get together, have fun with friends and meet new ones. There’s more information about the YAG on their website yagincincy.org. St. Gertrude the Great will also host a vocation week-end for girls on the weekend of June 24-26.


We start the month of June on Wednesday, June 1, the First Wednesday of the month. Please attend Mass or do some other devotional deed or good work in honor of St. Joseph on that day. That day is also the feast of St. Angela Merici. (Her feast day used to be on May 31, but was transferred to June 1 when Pope Pius XII established the feast of the Queenship of Mary in 1954). She was the pioneer in educating poor girls in the 1500’s, and that work was continued by the order of the Ursulines which she founded for that purpose.


In June we also start at St. Gertrude the Great our summer novena in honor of St. Anthony; so if you have a special intention, you can leave it to be prayed during summer by our faithful. In the novena, which starts on Tuesday after his feast day, June 14, we pray a special prayer written in honor of St. Anthony shortly after his death, which goes like this:


The sea withdraws and fetters break;

And withered limbs thou dost restore;

While treasures lost are found again;

When young or old thine aid implore.


The popular version, which especially the older generation of Catholics liked to use, goes: “Tony, Tony, turn around. Something’s lost that must be found.” I heard our former sacristan Ms. Katie Bischak use this popular form. St. Anthony, who is one of the Doctors of the Church, has his feast day on June 13. On that day our parish also has the Fatima Rosary procession for peace, when we are praying for peace, for true peace, which only Our Lord can give us, through the intercession of His Mother Mary.


In May our SGG school’s high school class made a field trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The city, which is very pleasant with its parks and waters, has a long Catholic history. The Diocese of Pittsburgh was established in 1843. When the Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1873, labeled by the miners as The Crime of ’73, the interest rates rose and hurt the farmers and others who normally carried heavy debt loads. The panic of 1873 hit the diocese very hard economically, and in 1876 the Diocese of Allegheny was created, with St. Peter’s church in the Northside neighborhood of Pittsburgh as its Cathedral. Spanish clergyman Michael Domenec served as the only Bishop of Allegheny, for he retired in 1877 and never had a successor.


Our high school class at Point State Park fountain in Pittsburgh, PA

In our field trip we visited the Immaculate Heart of Mary church on the Polish Hill of Pittsburgh, and had our own Fatima Rosary procession of seven persons in a park near-by. We also saw the Carnegie Science Center, and Saint Anthony’s Chapel with its magnificent collection of relics.


This May 30 is Memorial Day. Did you know that one of the precedents for that day was the women’s charity towards the dead enemy soldiers? The legend goes that in 1866 a group of women from Columbus, Mississippi, went to the local cemetery to decorate the Confederate soldier graves. The women noticed some graves in the corner of the cemetery that were unadorned. After they placed flowers on those graves too, someone protested that they were Yankee graves. One of the women responded: “We are sure there are mothers, sisters, wives, or sweethearts who are mourning these dead men, so we are going to honor them also.”


Though death is sorrowful for those who are left behind, charity is stronger than death. And St. John writes in the Apocalypse: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, neither shall there be sorrow anymore.”


Yours in Christ and Mary,


Fr. Lehtoranta