Bulletin (January 29, 2006)

This weekend we inaugurate Catholic Schools Week. We will have a number of activities to observe this vital part of our parish ministry. In the School News section of the bulletin, Mr. Lutz has important news for all of us. At the Masses this weekend, we are taking up a two-bit collection for a School Improvement Project: the roofs of the portables. The Fifth Grade currently utilizes the North Portable for their classes. A section of that roof has been leaking, and we covered it with a tarp as a temporary fix. The South Portable also leaks. Our Hispanic community has been removing trash and fixing that building, but needs funds for roofing material before they can make much further progress. Your contributions this weekend will help advance these projects. Next Saturday evening we will culminate Catholic Schools Week with our 5 p.m. Mass followed by an Open House. At all Masses next weekend we will have participation by our school teachers, parents, and students with the two-bit collection going toward tuition assistance.

During the month of February, we will have another important observance: World Marriage Day (the Sunday before Valentine’s Day). It is so important for us to pray for married couples. Our young couples are under particular attack. The devil is always trying to tear apart families by sowing disunion between husband and wife. It is a spiritual battle. Unfortunately, society as a whole no longer supports marriage and family as in the past. For that reason we need to give special emphasis and prayer for this fundamental institution that God gave humanity when he created us male and female.

On January 25 we received a lovely gift from our Holy Father. Pope Benedict XVI has issued his first encyclical with the title Deus Est Caritas, God is Love. Less than thirty pages, it is both scholarly and most practical. It will require careful study and meditation. Please consider making it a part of your prayer and spiritual reading during the month of February.

To go from the sublime to the playful, I would like to point out that few things say “I love you” better than a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. From February 1-15 our school children will be selling Reese’s and Hershey candy. Have your dollar bills or five dollar bills ready so that you can purchase Holy Family School candy for a friend, family member or loved one – or just as a reminder that you yourself are a loved child of God.

Speaking of supporting our school, have you given us your Safeway card number? We can sign you up for escrip and a percentage of every purchase will automatically go to support our parish school. Last week I found out that my October purchases netted $0.59! I am obviously not a big shopper, but if we all turned in our Safeway card number, it would add up.

This Thursday we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. Forty days after Christmas, it commemorates the day when Joseph and Mary took Jesus to the Temple for his Presentation, as well as the rites of “Purification” for the mother. At our 8:30 a.m. Mass and 7 p.m. Spanish Mass we will bless candles. For a donation, you may obtain blessed candles for your home. Also, on Thursday evening, we will have the Sacrament of Reconciliation available during the 6 to 8 p.m. time period.

You may have heard about the puppy that followed us to the prayer vigil last Friday. He stuck with us as we were praying the rosary in front of Planned Parenthood, so we checked to see if he had an identification tag. He did not, so I took him, hoping that some parishioner or school child would know whom he belonged to. I gave him the temporary name, “Fabian” in honor of the pope and martyr commemorated on January 20. In the afternoon, Todd Aylard took Fabian to a local clinic and discovered that he had a microchip imbedded behind his neck. It turned out that the chip gave information about the former owner, who came up from Tacoma that evening. Eventually, he got Fabian back to his current owner. His really name is “Bailey.” The picture shows Todd holding Bailey. As I told our little prayer group: when we started these vigils a year and a half ago, our goal was to rescue babies and assist moms. We don’t know if that has happened, but at least we rescued one puppy. May he in some way represent those beautiful children, each one a gift from God deserving our protection and love.

Mencioné en la parte de ingles sobre la Semana de Escuelas Católicas. Un proyecto especial es la reparación de los edificios menores (“portables”) al los lados norte y sur de la escuela. La segunda colecta este domingo es para este proyecto. Nuestra comunidad hispana ya ha quitado la basura del portable sur, pero necesita fondos para materiales para reparar el techo. Sus donaciones ayudará este esfuerzo. Les pido apoyar a la escuela en dos maneras. Primero darnos el número de tu tarjeta de Safeway. Así recibiremos automáticamente un por ciento de cada compra. Solamente necesitamos el número y tu nombre. Segundo, comprar chocolates de nuestros niños entre el 1ero y 15 de febrero. Es una linda forma de decir “Te Quiero” a una amistad, un miembro de la familia o una enamorada.

El domingo antes del Día de San Valentín celebraremos el Día Mundial de Matrimonio. Habrá renovación de los votos y oraciones especiales para los matrimonios de nuestra comunidad. En relación a esto, les animo a leer la carta encíclica del Santo Padre. Es la primera carta universal del Papa Benedicto XVI. Su titulo es Deus Est Caritas, Dios Es Amor. Vale la pena leer y meditar sobre sus palabras importantes para todos nosotros.

El día jueves celebramos la Presentación del Señor, o sea, Nuestra Señora de Candelario. Habrá la bendición de velas. Se puede conseguir velas bendecidas para su casa por cualquier donación. La misa en español comienza a las 7 p.m. Habrá confesiones comenzando a las 6 p.m.

Finalmente este domingo unos misioneros católicos estarán con nosotros con su revista de evangelización: Inquietud Nueva. Tiene muchos artículos interesantes par ayudar en la fe y la vida.