Bulletin (July 31, 2005)

The visit to Peru went very well. Part of my reason for going in July was to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Mary Bloom Center as a Peruvian foundation. The Center continues to do wonderful work as a medical and educational center serving people in Southern Peru. While in Peru, I saw a number of old friends. One of them was Fidel Quesada, who was severely burned when a propane stove exploded. The Mary Bloom Center, thanks to some generous donations, was able to arrange for Fidel to have several operations. The most important was on his right hand. It enabled him to regain the flexibility needed to do manual labor to support his family. The pictures show Fidel in 2003, a close-up of his hand and in July 2005 with his daughter Anna.

Burn victim Fidel Quesada with daughter Anna & Fr. Phil Bloom

Fidel's hand after operation

Although Peru and the needs of people there are very much on my mind, it is good to return to Holy Family. The needs may be somewhat different here, but the tears and the joys are just as real. This is my home and I love being pastor of Holy Family. I am grateful to Fr. Ramon, Deacon Ted and all of the staff and volunteers. I should particularly mention Parish Administrator Tom Weber who worked very hard during these past months and continues to support Gary Samaniego who has taken over a number of administrative tasks.

There are always crises and emergencies to deal with. The most painful was the vandalizing of the statue of St. Michael. It happened on a Wednesday when our church was open for Eucharistic Adoration. Some of our parishioners heard the noise in the vestibule and got a glimpse of the man. He knocked the statue off its pedestal, breaking the wings and sword, as well as damaging the face. We are investigating what can be done to restore the statue. More than ever we need St. Michael to defend us in the spiritual battle. Meanwhile we must improve our security system. Next weekend the two-bit collection will go for that purpose.

On a more positive side, you may have noticed we now have a Birthright satellite office in the Ailbe House. It will offer counseling and other forms of support to those facing troubled pregnancies. If we can save even one child and help a young mom, it will be well worth it. The costs for our parish are nugatory, but we do need volunteers who can receive training and serve as counselors. I will have more information on the weekend of August 13-14 and (you guessed it) a two-bit collection to support this vital work.

This week I had a good meeting with our new principal Mr. Glen Lutz. Former principal, Mr. Steve Morissette also joined us to share his experience of the past seven years. We are looking forward to a great school year. This weekend Mr. Lutz will speak at the conclusion of each of our seven Masses. I know you will warmly welcome him and be interested in how you can support Holy Family School.

There is a great opportunity coming up in August. Dr. Janet Smith will be here for a seminar titled “Sexual Common Sense.” It will take place at the Best Western Hotel in Federal Way, August 16-20. She and Dr. Thomas Curran will also give a presentation at St. Martin of Tours parish in Fife. You can register online at http://www.MyCatholicFaith.org or call 253-835-5016.

Next Thursday Fr. Ramon and I will be available for confessions from 6 to 8 p.m. It is particularly appropriate day because August 4 is the feast of St. John Vianney, the French priest who often heard confessions for sixteen hours a day. If you want to read a good book, try Fr. George Rutler’s short life of the saint. It is also available on audio tapes.

Great News - Peter Mactutis will be ordained to the diaconate at Holy Family on September 4!

La visita al Perú fue bien. Parte del motivo para ir en julio fue para celebrar el décimo aniversario del Centro Mary Bloom. El Centro sigue hacienda una obra maravillosa como centro medico y educativo para la gente de Puno, Perú. Mientras estaba en el Perú, vi unos amigos, incluyendo a Fidel Quesada, que sufrió quemaduras cuando exploto un horno. Gracias a la generosidad de varias personas, el Centro Mary Bloom pudo ayudarlo a obtener una operación. La más importante fue en su mano derecha. Hizo posible recuperar flexibilidad para hacer trabajo manual. Hay más fotos de Fidel, su mano y su hija Ana en la sección inglesa.

La gente del Perú y sus necesidades están en mi mente, pero al mismo tiempo es bueno regresar a Holy Family. Es mi casa y me gusta ser párroco de esta comunidad. Estoy agradecido al Padre Ramón, el Diacono Abel y todos los otros por el buen trabajo durante mi ausencia. Puede mencionar también a Tom Weber que ya ha ido a Illinois para cuidar a sus papas, pero sigue apoyando a Gary Samaniego durante este tiempo de transición.

Siempre hay crisis y emergencias. El más doloroso fue la destrucción de la estatua de San Miguel. Sucedió un día miércoles cuando el templo estaba abierto para la Adoración Eucarística. Estamos averiguando lo que se puede hacer para restaurar la estatua. Mas que nunca necesitamos a San Miguel para defendernos en la batalla espiritual. Mientras tanto, tenemos que mejorar nuestro sistema de seguridad. El próximo fin de semana la segunda colecta será para esa finalidad.

El lado mas positivo, quizás han notado que Birthright (Derecho de Nacer) ya tiene una oficina en la Ailbe House. Provee conserjería y otras formas de apoyo para las que están en un embarazo difícil. Si podemos salvar aun un niño y ayudar a una mama joven, valdría la pena. Los costos a la parroquia son pequeños, pero lo que mas necesitamos son voluntarias para recibir entrenamiento para servir como consejeras. Tendré mayor información el 13-14 de agosto.

Este fin de semana, el Nuevo director de nuestra escuela parroquial hablará en todas la misas. Les pido darle una bienvenida muy cordial al Sr. Glen Lutz.

El próximo jueves, el Padre Ramón y yo estaremos disponibles para confesiones desde las 6 a 8 p.m. Es un día particularmente apropiado porque el 4 de agosto es la fiesta de San Juan Vianney, el sacerdote francés que muchas veces pasaba hasta dieciséis horas al día confesando a la gente.