Announcements - September 3, 2000

As summer draws to a close all of us can feel a justifiable pride in our parish. The soon to be completed school porch represents a commitment to our common future. It has happened because of the support of all our parishioners as well as help from school alumni and other outside sources. Our school children brought in their coins last Spring and people from the broader community made matching donations. During the summer our Hispanic parishioners sold food after Mass to raise money for the school porch. The project is an expensive one and we have a loan from the Archdiocese to pay off. I ask your prayers for the success of our Fall Auction Gala that we will not only be able to repay the loan, but have a fund to do the next phase - the elevator and seismic retrofit of the school.

I have to admit the sights and sounds of contruction have been exhilarating to me. It is wonderful to see that work going on. At the same time I happily acknowledge that it would not be happening without the commitment and vision of a number of our key parish leaders. In this space I cannot begin to name them all. By and large they have worked quietly, behind the scenes. Some of them have had this vision for many years and themselves feel a satisfaction that it is beginning to be realized. This summer they have volunteered their own time and talent to enable the construction to go forward. On behalf of the whole parish, especially our children, I am grateful to each and every one who has made this commitment.

Our parish bookkeeper and interim administrator have informed me we are also doing fairly well in terms of our operating budget. At our parish council meeting last week we heard an encouraging report from Tom Swim which indicates we may be able to move forward in terms of some of our staff needs at the parish. As you know in recent years we have had to cut back on parish staff. With your support through Sacrificial Giving we will be able to not only maintain our parish programs, but strengthen them.

Besides the school porch there have been some other improvements in our parish grounds and facilities. I wish to thank Joe and Laura O’Brien for the volunteer work they did in the patio area between the church and rectory. It is great to have that cleaned out and new landscaping put in. Also you may notice that a lovely Celtic Cross (“wheel cross”) has been donated in memory of Tony Conly. The circle on the cross, like a wedding ring, signifies fidelity and the eternity of God.

On a personal note I have my birthday at the beginning of September. It seems like they come quicker and quicker. Some people have asked my age. Here are two clues: like Bill Clinton I came at the very beginning of the Baby Boom - and next year I will be able to take advantage of the Senior Specials at Shari’s. Which means I still have still have a number of productive years left in me - and I hope to spend them at Holy Family.

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There will be a Men's Silent Retreat the weekend of September 8 - 10. Please call Mike Bucy (425) 391-4109 for more information.

Attention married & engaged couples: Come to a complete Natural Family Planning course to be held at St. Jude's Parish in Redmond. Learn about your Catholic faith and discover a modern, natural method of family planning. The course consists of four sessions on the following dates: Sept. 7 and 29, Oct. 27 and Nov. 17 at 7pm. Total cost is $55. For more information and to register, call Scott and Marie Elmenhurst at (425) 788-2453.

Also for information on the Billings Method of Natural Family Planning, please call WOOMB Northwest at 206-275-4266 (ASK-4BOM). The Billings Ovulation Method is currently being used by about forty million couples world wide. It is a safe and effective method of family planning.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is available every Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. Also during this Jubilee Year 2000 I have set aside the First Thursday of each month for confessions. On Thursday, September 7, there will be confessions from 1 to 8 p.m. Please take advantage of this Holy Year opportunity.

Speaking of the Jubilee Year, please set aside the afternoon of December 31. Holy Family Parish will be remembered in the prayers of Vespers and Benediction at St. James Cathedral, which begin at 4 p.m. that Sunday afternoon. This is a great opportunity for us to make a parish pilgrimage to the Cathedral and for individual parishioners to receive the Holy Year Indulgence. As you know, if you have received the Indulgence for yourself, you may receive it on behalf of a deceased family member or other soul in purgatory. The basic requisite is to have made an integral and individual confession during the Holy Year, to pray for the intentions of the Holy Father and to say the prescribed prayers at the site of the pilgrimage, in this case St. James Cathedral.

S P I R I T 2 0 0 0 - 5 TH ANNUAL YOUTH / YOUNG ADULT RETREAT OCT. 20-22nd, JUBILEE 2000 St. Joseph Center, 215 N.15th St., Mount Vernon, WA Theme: EUCHARIST: LIVING BREAD, LIFE FOR THE WORLD