Bulletin (September 11, 2005)

Thank you for your generous response to the Katrina Relief Fund. We continue to receive checks and cash contribution. I will announce the results of the collection this Sunday. Your generosity will help Catholic Charities USA provide emergency relief and long-term assistance. According to a New York Times article, "No religious institution faced as daunting a challenge as the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Most of its parishioners have scattered, and half of its 300 priests are unaccounted for. But Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans, the spiritual leader of 500,000 people in one of the most heavily Roman Catholic regions in the United States, said he was preparing to put together his archdiocese 'in exile.'" According to The Times, the chaos surrounding Hurricane Katrina "may have already claimed the life of one of his priests, the Rev. Thomas Kinney, who had cancer and died at St. Clare's Nursing Home in Baton Rouge on Saturday night, just after he evacuated from New Orleans. Two priests who stayed to minister to refugees in the Superdome are missing. Archbishop Hughes has not heard from a third priest, who went to the Louis Armstrong airport in New Orleans to tend to elderly, frail and disabled residents who were being airlifted for medical treatment."

Our own problems seem quite small in comparison to what our brothers and sisters are suffering in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. Still, we face some significant challenges of our own. I ask you to continue to be generous in supporting Holy Family Parish as we begin a new school year.

Along with our challenges, the Lord has also blessed us with some hopeful moments. For me the ordination of Peter Mactutis was one of the most joyful events during my ten years here at Holy Family. Below is a nice picture which Shara Mooney took of Archbishop Brunett, Deacon Peter Mactutis and myself after the ordination Mass. Shara’s husband, Keith and her son McCabe were part of the Knights of Columbus honor guard. I appreciated the effort so many people made to attend the Mass. The visiting priests and representatives from the chancery were impressed by the size of the congregation. They also commented on the beautiful music. Special thanks to Pat Waite and all those who worked with her in the bilingual choir. I also want to publicly thank the others who performed liturgical roles during the Mass and those who worked so hard to put on the excellent reception. The food - with its Asian, Hispanic and traditional American flavors - was delicious. Deacon Peter will be preaching at the English and Spanish Masses this weekend.

Later this month we will have a visit from Bishop Eusebio Elizondo. Bishop Eusebio will meet with the parish staff, school faculty and will visit the classrooms of our school. He will also preach at the English, Spanish and Filipino Masses on September 24-25.

Last week I mentioned how much I enjoyed the Ashland Shakespeare Festival. At the same time I noted my disappointment with its anti-Catholic stereotyping which seemed gratuitous. The most striking example was the way they presented Malvolio. In The Twelfth Night he is a stock character – the prig who looks down on others and of course must himself be knocked down a peg or two before the end of the play. He is not a clergyman or even a Catholic. He is referred to as a “puritan” who at the time of Shakespeare were part of the political left wing (they wanted to do away with the monarchy). Nevertheless, when Malvolio makes his appearance, he is dressed as a monk! In case you miss the point, an acolyte precedes him swinging a thurible, walking backwards, incensing the haughty character. In the same play there is a priest with a very minor role; he was presented as an effeminate and silly character, although nothing in the script justifies it. Of course, directors have a certain license, but as my priest friend noted: In the past, literary people used the “Jew” as a stock character and never gave it a second thought. Our modern culture, especially the entertainment world, does the same thing with Catholic clergy. In Doctor Faustus the pope was presented like an infant in a high chair, surrounded by female bishops and cardinals. It was way overboard. No one could get away with such stereotyping of blacks or Jews, but today Catholics have become fair game.

Part of our response to cultural anti-Catholicism is to study our faith so that we can not only defend it, but present its beauty to others. In the vestibule I have provided three new Catholic Answers Tracts: Creation and Genesis, Praying to the Saints and Infant Baptism. Learn what the Catholic Church teaches on these topics and how to explain that teaching using the Bible and Christian tradition. The following pamphlets are also available: Do Catholics Worship Statues?; Origins of Peter as Pope; Homosexuality; Stumpers for Jehovah’s Witnesses, Iglesia Ni Cristo; Adam, Eve and Evolution; Who Can Receive Communion?; The Old Testament Canon; Reincarnation and The Galileo Controversy. The pamphlets cost about twenty-cents each, so I ask you to place an extra quarter in the collection or one of the strong boxes. Also available on the pamphlet rack are the excellent booklets: Pure Love, Breaking Free and Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth.

Gracias por su respuesta generosa para ayudar las victimas del Huracán Katrina. Su generosidad ayudará a Caritas USA en proveer ayuda de emergencia de medicinas, comida, alojamiento, etc. y asistencia de largo plazo para reconstrucción. Nuestros problemas parecen pequeños en comparación con los de nuestros hermanos en la Costa de Golfo de México. No obstante enfrentamos desafíos fuertes. Sigo pidiendo su generosidad en la primera colecta, especialmente al comenzar el nuevo año escolar.

Junto con los desafíos, el Señor nos ha bendecido con momentos de esperanza. Para mi la ordenación de Peter Mactutis fue uno de los eventos mas alegres en mis diez años aquí en Sagrada Familia. Quisiera agradecer a todos que participaron en la misa y recepción. El Diacono Peter estará con nosotros en las misas de inglés y español este fin de semana.

Al fin de este mes tendremos una visita del Obispo Eusebio Elizondo. Monseñor Eusebio se reunirá con el equipa de la parroquia y los profesores de nuestra escuela, visitando a los clases. Predicará en las misas de inglés, español y filipino el 24-25 de septiembre.

Esta semana el Padre Raúl Jimenez estará con nosotros. Muchos de Vds. recuerden su visita anterior y su ministro de sanación y liberación. Todos son invitados a la Misa de Sanación este miércoles (14 de septiembre) a las 7 p.m.