Boletín (20 de julio de 2003)

Estoy extrañando al Padre Ramón. A veces solamente cuando alguien está ausente, se da cuenta de todo lo que hace y de cómo su personalidad anima. Si todo va bien, el Padre Ramón y su hermana Rosa regresara a la parroquia este jueves. La otra semana me toca estar afuera. El Centro Mary Bloom es anfitriona de un Encuentro Nacional de los que trabajan con el método Billings. Estaré en el Perú por dos semanas.

Aquí en Holy Family estamos trabajando en el reporte anual. La arquidiócesis requiere que cada año hagamos un reporte detallado del ministerio sacramental, vida parroquial y finanzas. El domingo pasado puse en las entradas los detalles de gastos e ingresos de la parroquia durante el año fiscal 2002-2003. A pesar de tener muchos elementos positivos, hay unos desafíos fuertes. Espero dar pasado puse en las entradas un resumen de nuestra situación económica. Si tiene alguna pregunta, favor hablar con el Sr. Abel Magaña, Tom Weber, Mónica Orozco o conmigo.


This Sunday’s readings speak about good shepherds and bad shepherds. Inevitably this brings up the issue of how we are doing as far as the protection of children. I recently had a conversation with the priest who was Vicar General under Archbishop Hunthausen. He put this issue into this context: Back in the mid-eighties, when the first wave of child sex abuse scandals hit the Church, Archbishop Hunthausen attended a nation-wide gathering of bishops. Upon returning he told the Vicar General, “We have to do things completely different.” He removed several priests, put others under restrictions and instituted training for everyone who works in the local church. Since then, in the Archdiocese of Seattle, we have had no new case of sexual abuse of a child or young person by a member of the clergy. Most dioceses in the United States followed a course similar to Seattle. Unfortunately, Boston and few others did not. For that reason in January of 2002, the scandal exploded in a new way. Instead of a policy of graduated sanctions, the bishops at their meeting in June of 2002 adopted a more sweeping approach. Thus men who had served without incident for twenty or thirty years were removed from ministry. The crimes involved were so heinous that perhaps it was the only way to go. The bottom line of course is the protection of children. Here in Seattle – and I believe in most parts of the country – we have worked hard for their protection. This of course should be normal in the church. It should go without saying. While we will never have a perfect church with perfect priests (or perfect parishioners) we must strive to be shepherds after the model of Jesus. As today’s Gospel notes, when he saw the crowds, “his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

Here at Holy Family we are working on our annual report. The Archdiocese requires that each year we submit a report detailing sacramental ministry, parish life and finances. I hope to use this as an opportunity to give you information regarding our current financial situation. Last weekend I posted on the bulletin boards the details of our (non-school) income and expenses for the 2002-2003 fiscal year. Although there are many positive elements, the overall picture leaves something to be desired. I hope to give a summary during the Masses next weekend. If you have specific questions you would like addressed, please contact Vicente Bolisig, Tom Weber or myself.

I have to say I am greatly missing Fr. Ramon. Sometimes it is only when a person is absent that you realize how much they do and how cheering is their personality. If all goes well, Fr. Ramon and his sister Rosa should be returning to the parish this Thursday. The week after next it will be my turn to be away. The Mary Bloom Center is hosting a nation-wide “Encuentro” (encounter) of those working with the Billings Method of Natural Family Planning. I will be in Peru for a couple of weeks.

This week we have the Vacation Bible Camp. I am grateful to Mary Wells and all those who work with her to provide this opportunity for our children. This past week she took a group of teenagers to Shaw Island for a retreat. They stayed with the Benedictine Sisters and helped with the farm work. Next weekend Mary’s brother will be with us at the 11 a.m. Mass. Vernon Wells (now “Brother Pio Marie”) has just completed a year as a Dominican novice. I have asked him to say a few words about his vocation.