Bulletin (January 22, 2006)

Last Wednesday we had a great outing to Olympia with the seventh graders from Holy Family School. We attended a Mass for Life, which Bishop Joseph Tyson celebrated at St. Michael’s Church and then went to the grounds of our State Capitol for the March for Life. I want to thank our Knights of Columbus (and those who participated in their monthly breakfasts) for providing the bus. Also, I am grateful to the parents, teachers, and others who accompanied this annual March for Life. Three of our school moms (Laura Ruiz-Velasco, Bertha Galaviz-Alcala, and Maribel Laforga) are pictured below. Particular thanks to Joseph Shipley, one of the young adults who accompanied our group. He brought along a small stove and prepared hot chocolate for us. A picture shows some of our seventh graders gathered around a picnic table with the Korean War Memorial and State Capitol in the background.

Groups from other grade schools were present, as well as students from Blanchet and Kennedy. In one of the pictures, you can see Kennedy principal Mr. Mike Prato with some of the students from their pro-life group. We stood on the steps of the Legislature Building along with a couple thousand others. There were interesting presentations by different senators and representatives, including Democrats, who noted that the number of pro-life Democrats has tripled (from one to three) in recent years. I encourage parishioners who are Democrats to consider joining Democrats for Life. Those who are Republican should make sure that their party adheres to pro-life principles in their platform.

A slogan that confuses many people is “pro-choice.” When someone says they are “pro-choice” we need to ask, “Choose what?” I am completely in favor of choice in regard to where one lives, what school one will attend, where one shops, etc. But (to take an extreme example) suppose I chose to hit my dog with a stick or starve him. If I were tempted to do something so crazy, I hope that someone would try to dissuade me – or even restrain me. For me to mistreat my dog would not only be cruel to Samwise, but it would also damage me. Something similar applies in the case of the choice to abort one’s own baby. An unborn baby has an incalculably greater value than a puppy. My hope is that the enthusiasm of our young people will inspire all of us to work for a society were every child is welcomed – even if the parents themselves made a mistake or a miscalculation. Abortion is a false solution.

Other pro-life issues were brought up, such as initiating programs to help young moms and families, promoting scientific research which respects basic human values, and the caring of the terminally ill and disabled. One thing that caught my attention was that some legislators are no longer talking about a “right to die” (no one will miss out on that experience) but about a “duty to die.” When a person gets to a point where they no longer “contribute” anything to society – according to these legislators – they should do their patriotic duty and accept “doctor assisted suicide.” Since I am now in my sixtieth year, I have a few thoughts on this issue – but will save them till a later bulletin.

A few final notes: Our Confirmation class got off to a good start; if you want further information, contact Gary Samaniego, Jim Postel, or Fr. Ramon. This Sunday our Vietnamese will provide delicious food after each Mass; they will serve food each fourth Sunday in order to raise funds for our Capital Campaign. We are working on sending out the year-end financial statements regarding Capital Campaign and Stewardship contributions; please notify our parish office if there are any discrepancies. Finally, mark March 18 on your calendar for our annual Cathedral Walk; now is the time to brave the weather to get in shape for this seven-mile walk.

Como pueden ver en mi columna en inglés, un buen numero de personas de la parroquia y la comunidad hispana fueron a la Marcha Pro-Vida en Olympia. El Obispo Eusebio Elizondo dio una Linda presentación en español e ingles, concluyendo con la oración de la Ave María. La presencia hispana es importante en esto eventos pro-vida, porque muchos quieren enfocarse en los hispanos y otras “minorías” para promover el aborto. La verdad es que los fundadores de “Planned Parenthood” comenzaron con una filosofía racista y hasta hoy día se enfocan en comunidades de color. Se puede ver los resultados en que hay una desproporción de abortos en esas comunidades. Nuestra meta debe ser la protección de los niños no-nacidos y sus mamas, para que todo niño concebido reciba la bienvenida y el apoyo necesario para su buen desarrollo. A veces los papas cometen errores y malas calculaciones en la concepción de un niño, pero no debemos castigar al niño, sino recibirlo como es: un ser humano creado a la imagen y semejanza de Dios que merece todo derecho a la vida.

Hablando del Obispo Eusebio, él estará con nosotros el 15 de mayo para confirmación de jóvenes. Todo joven que alcanza la edad de dieciséis años es elegible para la recepción de este sacramento del Espíritu Santo. También quisiera notificarles que tendremos nuestra peregrinación anual a la Catedral el 18 de marzo. Ahora es el momento de empezar la preparación física – a pesar de la lluvia y el viento. Y también la preparación espiritual. Finalmente quisiera invitar a todos a que aprovechen de la rica comida vietnamita después de todas las misas este domingo.

March for Life, January 18, 2006; Olympia, WA