Bulletin (July 27, 2003)

This Sunday I am giving a financial report at all of our Masses. I do it first of all to thank you for your generous support of Holy Family Parish. I know that for many families this past fiscal year has been difficult. Many have found themselves unemployed or with a reduction in hours. Even those with good jobs have faced financial strain. Here at Holy Family we have made cut backs in school and parish staff. In June Sharon Carriere, who has worked for Holy Family for many years, passed away. We do not have the funds to replace her. If our collections continue at the same level as recent months, we will have to make further cuts – although I am not sure where.

I have been thinking about our financial situation in light of this Sunday’s Gospel: “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” I came across a reflection by Fr. Tom Cox which helped me. He made a comparison between the Apostles Philip and Andrew.

Perhaps Jesus questioned Philip because as a local he knew the food situation. Did he see Philip as a quiet man of deep perception? It was a situation with no human solution. Like us, Philip thinks of committees, fund-raising and organization. He throws his hands up in despair. While Philip burns out the batteries of his pocket calculator, Andrew scurries around the crowd looking for groceries. We know the rest. Imagine if Philip knew in advance what Jesus had in mind. What a difference it would make for him - for us. With a divine monthly scheduler broadcast to us, life would be simpler. Instead we may wonder if God has forgotten us, or have we got ahead of God. The difference between Philip and Andrew was that the latter had hope. Whatever the future held, Andrew knew who held the future. It helps in seeing past situation to the solution.

Well, I will be leaving my pocket calculator in my desk for a couple of weeks. As I mentioned last Sunday, I will be going down to Peru to attend the national Encuentro (meeting) of Billings Family Planning which the Mary Bloom Center will host. It will also give me some time for relaxation and prayer. I will be back on August 14.

Later in August we will have a joint meeting (School Commission, Finance and Parish Council) to discuss parish stewardship. Scott Bader and Rick Fresch from the Archdiocese (as well as Ed Williams) will be with us. I am convinced that we have the solution to our problems if we turn to the Lord and recognize the great gifts of time, talent and treasure which he has given us. While I am gone, Fr. Juan Diego who has helped out in past years will assist Fr. Ramon. They will be available for First Thursday Confessions as well as other sacraments.

Samwise continues to stay with my brother on Camano Island. He is enjoying the good life. Last Tuesday I took him to vets for his shots. When the veterinarian put him on the scales, I was shocked that he weighs 81 pounds. She told me that he should lose about ten pounds.

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Este domingo doy un reporte económico en todas las misas. Lo hago para agradecerles por su apoyo generoso de la parroquia. Yo sé que para muchas familias ha sido un año difícil. Unos han perdido su trabajo, otros tienen horas reducidas. Aun los con buen trabajo han tendido presión económica. Aquí en la parroquia hemos hecho reducciones en los trabajadores de la escuela y parroquia en general. En junio, Sharon Carriere, que ha trabajado por la parroquia durante muchos años, se nos falleció. No tenemos los fondos para remplazarla. Si las colectas siguen al mismo nivel como en los últimos meses, tendremos que hacer otras reducciones, pero no sé dónde.

Como mencioné el domingo pasado, voy al Perú por unas semanas para el Encuentro Nacional de Planificación Natural de la Familiar. Regresaré el 14 de agosto. Más tarde en agosto tendremos una reunión de la comisión de la escuela, el consejo de finanzas y de la parroquia para hablar de mayordomía. Los Srs. Scott Bader y Rick Fresch de la arquidiócesis estarán con nosotros. Estoy convencido que la solución de nuestros problemas se encuentra en mirar al Señor y reconocer los dones de tiempo, talento y tesoro que Él nos ha entregado. Mientras estoy en le Perú, el Padre Ramón será asistido por el Padre Juan Diego. Estarán disponibles para las confesiones de Primer Jueves y los otros sacramentos.