Holy Year 2000 holds special blessings - and challenges - for our parish. One of our challenges is economic: to stabilize our parish finances and to face the needs of the buildings which have been entrusted to us. I am grateful to Tom Swim and Tim McDonald, our new parish administrator, for the tremendous work they are doing in this area. Because of great expenses last year (especially the failure of the two boilers) we have become a "hand to mouth" operation. But we have also seen a good response to Sacrificial Giving so that things are looking more hopeful as we begin the New Year. I have asked Tim McDonald to give regular announcements at the end of our Masses so that you can keep up to date.
Our Building Discernment Committee has not only been looking toward the future (our needed gymnasium and multi-purpose facility) but facing the very concrete immediate need to do the seismic repairs of our school building. As you know they have realized some outside sources of funding, particularly the donation from the William Gates Foundation. School families have also responded to this project and during the last weekends at our English and Spanish Masses we have taken up two-bit collections for the Holy Family School 2000 Project.
On January 23 there will be a parish presentation from our Building Discernment Committee to inform you of the work so far - and to answer questions you might have regarding these projects. We need your participation as well as your ideas. Also I sincerely ask your prayers. These next couple of months are vital in moving ahead on this project.
A great blessing of Jubilee 2000 is the Holy Year Indulgence. To obtain this Plenary Indulgence three things are required:
1. A complete and individual confession. At Holy Family we have added an additional time for the Sacrament of Reconciliation - the first Thursday of each month from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. The other times are Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.
2. Prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father accompanied by an act which expresses genuine charity and penance.
3. Pilgrimage of prayer. Archbishop Brunett has designated St. James Cathedral as the pilgrimage site for the Jubilee Indulgence. In the Decree which explains the Conditions for Gaining the Jubilee Indulgence it states that upon arriving at the pilgrimage site, one should "spend some time in Eucharistic adoration and pious meditation, ending with the 'Our Father', the profession of faith in any approved form and prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary."
Evenings for the Engaged begin this Sunday evening (Jan. 9) from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Ailbe House Library. If you have not yet signed up, you may register at the door. Please come if you are planning on marrying (or having your marriage blessed) at Holy Family in year 2000.
Next Sunday we will have speakers from HUMAN LIFE of Washington at our weekend Masses. Mary Jo Kahler will speak at our English Masses and Luz Marķa Emerson at our Spanish Masses. Also I would like to call your attention to a pro-life symposium entitled NEW DIRECTIONS 2000. It will be held at St. Monica's Church on Mercer Island, 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The featured speaker will be Rabbi Daniel Lapin, author of best-selling book, America's Real War. For more information and to register call 253-854-1037 (Mike) or 425-861-0349 (Sue)