Last Sunday afternoon we formally inagurated the replacement of our school porch. The old one has served us well for almost 75 years, but had become a real danger in case of an earthquake. It will be wonderful to see it replaced this summer with a more durable structure. A good representation of parishioners, school parents and supporters of the Holy Family 2000 Project showed up for the "ground breaking" ceremony. Please allow me once again to thank you for your contributions and to ask you to continue them as we move forward with this first part of phase one.

Talking about our buildings, I would like to use some of this space during the summer to point out aspects of our beautiful church. The longer, brighter days allow us to appreciate more fully its wonderful stain glass windows. The upper west windows in the nave sum up Catholic Church history by depicting eight saints. The first window closest to the sanctuary shows St. John the Baptist. He holds an elongated cross in his left hand with a banner proclaiming, "Ecce Agnus Dei" (Behold, the Lamb of God, cf. John 2:29). With his right hand he points to the one who will "baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matt. 2:11) In the background flows the Jordan River in which he baptized Jesus. Near his right leg you can see a lamb lying on the ground with legs bent under - a sacrificial posture. The Lamb represents Jesus for whom John was the precursor. The feast of St. John's birth is celebrated on June 24, a time of year when the days are longest, but begin to gradually shorten. This date is appropriate because John said of Jesus, "He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:30) The image of St. John is surrounded by a florid decoration repeated in all the upper windows. The second window depicts St. Mary Magdalen, but best to leave her for next week.

Summer is a good time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliations. The lines are usually not long and there are opportunities on Saturday mornings, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; Wednesday evenings beginning at 7:30 p.m. and first Thursdays (July 6 & August 3) from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Next week from Monday through Thursday (June 19-22) Fr. Richard Gallagher and I will be at Ocean Shores for the annual Priest Days gathering.

Next Sunday our second collection will be for Peter's Pence to aid our Holy Father in his apostolic ministry and assistance to the poor throughout the world. Please show your support and love for Pope John Paul II by giving generously to this collection. You may use the envelopes available in the pews.

I encourage you to attend the CALL TO HOLINESS which will take place this summer. They will include video presentations by Fr. John Corapi, entitled The Teaching of Jesus Christ. Each one hour lesson will center on the Catechism of the Catholic Church to assist in knowing what the Church teaches and why. Widely regarded as a preacher and a public speaker, Fr. Corapi holds five university degrees including a doctorate in sacred theology from the University of Navarre in Spain. Please bring a Catechism and a notebook to each of these sessions to more fully participate in the half-hour discussion sessions which will follow Father Corapiís presentation. The sessions take place on Wednesday evenings, 7:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Bellevue. For more information please call Becky Steffan at 425-828-4413 or Mary Smith at 425-868-6819.