Each year we dedicate the month of May to the Blessed Mother. On the first Friday our school children celebrate the traditional May crowning of Mary. The Filipino community realizes the lovely Flores de Mayo celebrations with rosary, procession and flowers in honor of the Mary. For all of us this is a time to recall with gratitude the final gift Jesus gave to us before he died - his own mother as the Mother of all Christians (see Jn 19:27).

I am grateful for the intercession of Mary on behalf of our parish family. We have experienced remarkable growth in the past five years. She has helped us keep our focus on Jesus with her words, "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn 2:5) This focus has enabled us to maintain a real unity in spite of the great diversity we presently encounter in Holy Family. Unity with Jesus is like the salt we place on different kinds of foods - it brings out the unique flavor of each one.

One project I have placed under the special intercession of Mary is our parish renovation and building project. After several years of discernment in our Parish Council and Building Committee, it seems like the realization of a beautiful dream that we will begin the needed seismic repairs this summer. Please mark on your calendars June 11, 3 p.m. This will be our Ground Breaking or perhaps more accurate Porch Breaking Ceremony. Then during the summer we will be hearing the happy sounds of the old porch coming down and a new, sturdy one going up in its place.

So many people are making this possible, but I want to acknowledge one particular group: Our School Moms. Really they have provided so much of the energy, vision and hard work which is behind this effort. I won't mention particular names, but I think you can all appreciate what they have done and continue to do. We are looking at an effort of several years which will require the participation of every member of Holy Family Parish.

Speaking of parish participation, I am grateful for the initial response to the Annual Catholic Appeal. Last Sunday, we had wonderful Education Sunday presentations by Joe Keppler and Luis Carlos Mendez. As of Monday we received 176 pledges for a total of $20,959. That represents 27.6 % of our parish goal of $76,000. As you know, this goal will not only enable us to fulfill our obligation of supporting important Archdiocesan programs, but will give us a sizable rebate which we will use for the seismic repairs of our school. This will benefit the entire parish since our school is not used by the children, but by so many different groups in our parish.

If you have not yet made your pledge, please do so as soon as possible by filling out the Annual Catholic Appeal envelope and placing it in the collection basket or dropping it off at the rectory. Our participation goal is 950 (50 % of registered parishioners). Even if you can only give a small amount (or even "0") we ask you to fill out an envelope and return it. That will be a great help to us.

May God bless you and may the Virgin Mary guide and intercede for you.