Bulletin (February 27, 2005)

Last weekend we heard the Gospel of the Transfiguration. Deacon Ted mentioned Peter’s words, “Lord, it is good that we are here.” I could identify with those words, not that I had a direct vision of the Lord, but some events in our parish gave me great encouragement. First of all, I was deeply moved by the Fr. Corapi retreat. This was the third time Fr. Corapi has given a retreat here at Holy Family Parish – and each time the number of participants has grown. People came from Canada, Idaho, Oregon, Eastern Washington, and of course the Seattle area. We had students from Western, the University of Washington and other colleges, as well as high school and junior high students. The number of Holy Family parishioners in attendance also increased from previous years. I received many words and notes of appreciation, including the following:

I would like to thank you for hosting the retreat by Fr. Corapi this weekend. I considered myself very lucky to have been in town and able to attend. Not only did I get a tremendous amount out of Fr. Corapi's talks, but I was very encouraged to see such large numbers of people in attendance, particularly the young people. Furthermore, I would like to compliment you and the parish on the beautiful and reverent celebrations of mass. The choir for the Friday night and Saturday morning masses was magnificent.

It was obvious that the participants sought deep spiritual renewal. Fr. Ramon and I heard confessions over ten hours each during the retreat. Three other priests (Frs. Egan, Reichmann and Nathe) also spent many hours in the confessional. To be God’s instrument for reconciliation and healing is probably the most rewarding experience any priest can have.

Besides the Fr. Corapi retreat, I was also buoyed up by your participation in the Capital Campaign. After Commitment Sunday (Feb. 13), we had reached almost 50% of our goal. Although we still have some distance to go, those pledges will enable us to get out from under our debt (for school and Ailbe House boilers, new property, church and school roofs, etc.) and they will enable us to do the necessary renovation of the ground level of the school. By replacing the current rest rooms with smaller handicapped accessible bathrooms, we will open up space for BASS and pre-K rooms – and a gathering space for 80 or more people (parish meetings, funeral and wedding receptions, and additional seating for large parish events such as the Knights of Columbus Crab Feed).

Besides alleviating our debt and renovating the ground level of the school, the Campaign will address other urgent needs: repairing damage to the interior of the church from past leaks, sealing the exterior of the church (a necessary maintenance to prevent moisture damage as happened about eight years ago), replacing the church boiler, new roof and asbestos abatement for the Ailbe House, repairing and extending the parking lot, etc. We are now in the Home Visitation phase of our Campaign. I greatly appreciate the dedicated volunteers who are calling and visiting those who have not yet responded. If you are in that category, please do so as soon as possible.

As a final event of the formal Campaign, I will be leading a Walk to the Cathedral on March 12. I am asking adults to donate $10 (which will be divided between the Campaign and World Youth Day). Youth and children may participate for free, although they must be accompanied by a parent or a responsible adult. We will leave from in front of the Roxbury entrance on Saturday, March 12, at 7 a.m. You are invited to sponsor me or any of the walkers by using the envelopes available at church entrances.

This Sunday we have the First Scrutiny for those receiving the Easter Sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist). These are powerful prayers of exorcism and blessing which can help all of us in our struggles against the devil and his temptations. Since we are in Cycle A, the Gospels correspond to the three Scrutinies: the Samaritan Woman for the first scrutiny, the Man Born Blind for the second and the Resurrection of Lazarus for the third. The Scrutinies will be administered after the homily at the 11 a.m. Mass.

Fr. Ramon and I will be available for confessions this Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. Please take advantage of this opportunity to make a Lenten confession in preparation for the great events we will celebrate in Holy Week. Also, Lent is a good time for some spiritual reading. I recently finished Biography of Mother Teresa by Kathryn Spink. When someone has been in the public eye, like Mother Teresa, we tend to think we know all about him. However, I have to admit, the biography was an eye-opener to me. Similarly, I would like to recommend Witness to Hope, the Biography of Pope John Paul II by George Weigel. Both books are available at King County and Seattle Public libraries.

Final Note: This Good Friday there will be a special Tre Ore service at Gas Works Park. It will include peaceful procession and prayer before a biotech institute that promotes cloning and the utilization and destruction of human embryos for experiments and research. All are invited: March 25 from noon to 3 p.m.

Estamos en las últimas semanas de la Campaña. Estoy muy agradecido a todos que ya han hecho su promesa – a los que están ayudándome en visitar o llamar a las personas que todavía no han respondido. Como puede ver del reporte incluido en el boletín, hemos llegado a más de 50% de la meta. Con esto vamos a poder pagar nuestra deuda para los calentones, la nueva propiedad, los techos de la iglesia y escuela – y avanzar con la renovación del primer piso de la escuela: tener baños que funcionan y que son accesibles a personas con silla de rueda, construir dos aulas y poder utilizar el espacio en medio para reuniones de 80-90 personas y recepciones para bodas, funerales, quinceañeras, etc. Hay muchas otras cosas que tenemos que hacer en el templo, la Ailbe House, y el parking. Con su apoyo ya hemos reparados los baños del templo. Se puede ver especialmente en el baño de mujeres que ha sido en muy mala condición.

Este jueves, 3 de marzo, hay oportunidad para confesiones cuaresmales. El Padre Ramón y yo estaremos disponibles desde las 6 p.m. hasta las 8 p.m. Quisiera también invitarles a participar en la Caminata a la Catedral de St. James, el 12 de marzo. Saldremos de nuestro templo (entrada de calle Roxbury) a las 7 p.m. Estoy pidiendo una donación de diez dólares que se usará para la Campaña Capital y el Día Mundial de Jóvenes en Colonia, Alemania. Para jóvenes y niños la Caminata es gratis, pero los menores de 18 año tienen que ser acompañados de un adulto responsable. Finalmente, les pido reservar el 25 de marzo (Viernes Santo) de mediodía hasta las 3 p.m. para un servicio especial en Gas Works Park (orilla norte de Lake Union) con una procesión a un laboratorio que esta promoviendo la inmoralidad de clonación y experimentos utilizando y destruyendo embriones humanos.