Bulletin (January 25, 2004)

We had an important meeting Tuesday evening. Kelly Stupfel, from Guidance in Giving, presented the results of the Feasibility Study to representatives of the Pastoral and Finance Councils, School Commission, and Stewardship and Building Committees. Within a few weeks we will send the executive summary to all those who participated in the study. I appreciate all the families who took time before Christmas to participate in this study. Some seventy-five came for personal interviews, while others filled out questionnaires or made their opinions known in either one or the other of two focus groups. While the overall level of participation was not as great as we might have hoped, it does give a good indication of what steps we need to take.

In her presentation Kelly indicated that those interviewed had a good understanding of the overall project – and felt positive toward it. Parishioners especially want to address the deferred maintenance needs: the roofs of the church, school, and Ailbe House; seismic retrofit of the school; internal and external repairs to church building; bathrooms in various buildings; extension and restriping of main parking lot; upgrading of electrical systems, etc. Those who participated in the study indicated, that over and above their normal offertory giving, they would give toward these projects. Kelly estimated a total of three hundred to four hundred thousand dollars from those who participated in the study – and that all parishioners might give between $750,000 and $1,000,000 over a three year period to address these needs.

After listening to Kelly’s presentation, each representative gave their opinion on what should be the next steps. There was an overall feeling that if we did a successful campaign to address the deferred maintenance needs, it would give us necessary momentum to tackle the more ambitious project of a multi-purpose facility. The timing of the campaign was a vital consideration. The various representatives considered that fall would be the most opportune moment. At present, our parish school has some intensive fund raising efforts. In April and May we will be promoting the Annual Catholic Appeal. Also, we have other efforts such as the Sharon Carriere Memorial Fund which would enable us to do some work on the Ailbe House, especially the library, which will be rededicated in her honor this coming June. Finally, all agreed that we needed to continue working on having a sound operating budget, enabling us to reduce our parish indebtedness.

On February 2, our Parish Building Commission will meet to update the deferred maintenance priorities in light of the results of the Feasibility Study. At our February 19 Parish Council meeting, we will make a final determination regarding the timing of the campaign and other issues related to our building needs.

As I mentioned to you a couple of weeks ago, it would be a wonderful help if some parishioners would consider “adopting” a child at our parish school. We want families with fewer resources to be able to send their child to Holy Family School, but our scholarship fund is relatively small. Some parishioners have already told me they would consider making a monthly contribution (say of $100 or $50) to help a child attend our school. We will have some forms available next weekend as we celebrate Catholic Schools’ Week.

We are not alone in our commitment to keep our Catholic school viable. The Archdiocese has established the Fulcrum Foundation, which is a great source of encouragement and future support. Also, the Washington State Catholic Conference has been promoting initiatives so that parents would have true choice in the education of their children. The Conference has a three page statement titled “Educational Excellence: A Matter of Choice” which I will make available to you next weekend.

The Conference has also been addressing the need to provide legal protection for unborn children. Abortion has become the most common invasive surgical procedure in the United States - about 1.2 million per year, compared to 350,000 heart bypass surgeries. Abortion not only takes the lives of innocent human beings, but it does great damage to their parents – and to our society as a whole. At the March for Life in Olympia this week, Fr. Derek Lappe offered a beautiful prayer.* At the conclusion he prayed:

“Finally, Lord, we offer our prayers for those who still live with the consequences of abortion, those mothers and fathers who daily struggle with the decisions of their past. Through Your mercy, heal them and help them to experience Your forgiveness and new life. We entrust, especially, our prayers to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all. We turn to her today as the one who said, ‘Yes’ to Life, to Him who is Life itself. Intercede for all of us, bring all of our prayers to Your Son, that He may give us grace and strength to be worthy apostles of the Culture of Life, and to bring an end to the culture of death.”

El día martes tuvimos una reunión importante. Nelly Stupfel de “Guidance in Giving” presentó los resultados del Estudio de Probabilidad a representantes del Consejo Parroquial, de Finanzas, Comisión Escolar, y de Mayordomía y Edificios. Dentro de unas semanas, enviaré el resumen ejecutivo a todos los que participaron en el estudio.

En su presentación Kelly indicó que los participantes entendieron el proyecto y tuvieron una reacción positiva. Especialmente quieren enfrentar las necesidades de mantenimiento deferido: los techos de la iglesia, escuela y Ailbe House; baños de los diferentes edificios; reparar y extender el estacionamiento; mejorar los sistemas de electricidad, etc. Los participantes indicaron que contribuyeron extra para realizar estos proyectos. Nelly estimó un total de entre trescientos y cuatrocientos mil dólares de los participantes – y que todos los feligreses pudieron dar entre $750,000 y $1,000,000 durante tres años para enfrentar estas necesidades.

El 2 de febrero, la Comisión de Edificios se reunirá para poner al día las prioridades en luz de los resultados del Estudio de Probabilidad. En la reunión del Consejo Parroquial (19 de febrero) haremos las determinaciones finales en cuanto a tiempo de la campaña y otros asuntos con relación a las necesidades de edificios.

Una parte importante de nuestra parroquia es la escuela parroquial. Como se puede ver de la foto, nuestra escuela está abierta a todos. El próximo fin de semana, el director Stephen Morissette dará una presentación en las misas de 9:30 y 12:30. Su hijo o hija puede ser estudiante en nuestra escuela.

*In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, you have gathered us here today in prayer and vigil for the greatest and most important of reasons—the defense of life. You have revealed Yourself as the Father of all life, help us to nurture and protect that gift, especially on behalf of the weakest and most vulnerable of our society.

We are here to pray for the conversion of all of those politicians and judges in this country and in the world who do not respect and protect your gift of life. Change their hearts and minds and help them to know the truth—to work against unjust and irrational laws—and bring an end to abortion in this country and the world.

We are here to pray as well for our own conversion, in sorrow for the ways that we allow the culture of death a place in our own life and in our world. Keep us faithful to you and to the Gospel of life proclaimed by your Son.

We pray for all those who work in health care and especially those who work in the abortion industry—open their eyes to the true nature of their actions and through your perfect and infinite mercy bring them to conversion and repentance.

We pray especially for all men and women who are tempted by abortion, and we ask you to extend Your hand of protection to those threatened by abortion, save them from its destructive power. Give Your strength to all fathers and mothers that they may never give in to the fears that seek to enslave them.

Finally Lord, we offer our prayers for those who still live with the consequences of abortion, those mothers and fathers who daily struggle with the decisions of their past—through your mercy heal them and help them to experience your forgiveness and new life.

We entrust especially our prayers to Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all, we turn to her today as the one who said “Yes” to Life, to Him who is Life itself. Intercede for all of us, bring all of our prayers to your Son, that He may give us grace and strength to be worthy apostles of the Culture of Life, and to bring an end to the culture of death.