Bulletin (February 12, 2006)

“Che la nostra vita sia la cera che si consuma in totale disponibilità.” (“May our life be the wax that is consumed willingly.”) Those were the final written words of Fr. Andrea Santoro, an Italian priest murdered on Sunday, February 5, while praying after Mass in his mission church in Trabzon, Turkey. Fr. Santoro had been a missionary in that country for ten years. A youth has confessed to the murder, mentioning his outrage at the cartoons of Mohamed published in a Danish newspaper. There may be more involved since Fr. Santoro was involved in the opposition to human trafficking. No doubt we will hear more about this heroic priest. I encourage you to get a copy of his last letter. Following, is the concluding paragraph. I will give the English translation since my own Italian is pretty rusty, and I imagine only a few of you read that language:

Moreover, Jesus said: ‘I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness.’ If his light illuminates us, not only will it illuminate every situation, even the most tragic, but in addition we too, as He always said, will be light. The tenuous light of a candle illuminates a house, an extinguished lamp leaves everything in darkness. May he shine in us with his Word, with his Spirit, with the sap of his saints. May our life be the wax that is consumed willingly.

You and I may not be called to be martyrs for our faith, but we can give our lives in other ways. This weekend we celebrate World Marriage Sunday. We want to honor those who have given such beautiful examples of love and fidelity in living the Sacrament of Matrimony. We also want to pray for those who are struggling in their marriages. Our young married couples often feel bombarded, overwhelmed. We need to pray for them and support them as they work hard to provide for their children and raise them to keep God’s commandments. Parents who are on their own (single moms, divorced or widowed) need particular support from the Church community. Those called to be single in the world have a special role. In all this, we keep holding before our young people the ideal of Christian marriage, and we do all we can to combat modern attacks on that ideal. This Sunday we will have a renewal of marriage vows and blessing of married couples at all our Masses.

At the end of the month, you will have the opportunity to give a part of your blood. On February 27, our Knights of Columbus are sponsoring a Blood Drive. If you are able, please plan on participating.

Catholic Schools Week went beautifully. I want to thank all those who took part in the various activities. Thank you all for your contributions to the two-bit collection for Tuition Assistance. Currently, a good part of tuition assistance is unfunded, which means that ultimately the overall parish picks up the tab. We do not want to turn needy families away, but at the same time we have to be fiscally responsible. I am working with Mr. Lutz and some parishioners on this issue with the goal of establishing an Endowment Fund, which can take us into the future. Please keep this effort in your prayers as we work on this important effort.

Also, I want to thank you for your donations for the roofs of the portables. Deacon Abel Magaña is working with some professional roofers who are making a donation of their time and skills. I am most grateful for this help.

I should also mention that our parish administrator Gary Samaniego is involved in some very important projects for the future of our parish: the bids for the renovation of the school ground floor and the sound system of our church. Pray for him (and me) as we work with the building committee to achieve these important goals. Your contributions to the Capital Campaign make them possible.

This weekend the two-bit collection will go toward some special projects of our parish religious education program. On April 8 we will have a retreat day for RCIA candidates as well as for the young people preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation on May 28. I hope to bring Catholic lay evangelist, Mark Shea, who speaks beautifully on the Sacrament of Reconciliation and how it fits in with God’s overall plan of salvation. Your contributions this Sunday will go toward the costs of that retreat day.

Don’t forget Valentine’s Day. Invite your sweetheart to the Democrats for Life meeting that evening or bring her to the Latin Mass at 8:30 p.m. in our Church or buy her a Holy Family School candy bar. It could be the start of something really beautiful.

En la parte en ingles he puesto una foto del Padre Andrés Santoro, el sacerdote italiano asesinado en Turquía, el 5 de febrero. Aquí hay unas citas de la última carta del Padre Santoro:

Oriente Medio, gran «tierra santa», donde Dios decidió comunicarse de manera especial con el hombre, tiene sus riquezas y la capacidad, gracias a la luz que Dios ha infundido desde siempre, de iluminar nuestro mundo occidental.

Pero Oriente Medio tiene sus oscuridades, sus problemas, con frecuencia trágicos, y sus «vacíos». Necesita, por tanto, a su vez, que ese Evangelio que de allí partió vuelva a ser sembrado y que la presencia de Cristo vuelva a ser propuesta allí. Es una recíproca «reevangelización» y un enriquecimiento que los dos mundos pueden intercambiarse…

Además, Jesús decía: «Yo soy la luz del mundo, quien me sigue no camina en tinieblas». Si su luz nos ilumina, no sólo iluminará toda situación, aunque sea la más trágica, sino que además nosotros, como decía Él siempre, seremos luz. La luz tenue de una vela ilumina una casa, una lámpara apagada deja todo en la oscuridad. Que Él brille en nosotros con su palabra, con su Espíritu, con la savia de sus santos. Que nuestra vida sea la cera que se consuma con total disponibilidad.

Al celebrar este domingo el Día Mundial de Matrimonio, el Padre Santoro no da una reflexión para nuestras vidas, especialmente el ultimo frase: “Que nuestra vida sea la cera que se consuma con total disponibilidad.”