Bulletin (July 4, 2004)

July 1 marks my ninth year here at Holy Family Parish. So much has happened during those years in our world, our Church and our parish community; yet it seems to have gone by so quickly. I am grateful to each one of you for your support of me and of the parish over these years. God willing, we will have more good years together.

On July 1 we began a new fiscal year. The parish staff and I will be working on our annual report to the Archdiocese which includes not only finances but also the whole sacramental life of our parish and school. As soon as we have the report ready, I will share with you the pertinent details. As you know, we are moving into a new phase of our parish life with the Capital Campaign in the fall and winter. I feel very confident that this campaign will not only address our various building needs but also make us a stronger, more unified parish.

During the past year, our Parish Council has been discussing a different approach to our overall financial situation. One of the suggestions was that instead of having a two-bit collection each Sunday, we put more emphasis on Stewardship in relation to the offertory collection. It was recommended that we set a ten-dollar a Sunday challenge before the entire parish. We of course are aware that those who are on fixed incomes or who are unemployed might not be able to contribute that amount; but, at the same time, we feel it is not an unreasonable starting point for most of our families. During Lent, parish council member, Timothy Riley, explained this at all the English Masses; and we also presented it at the three Spanish Masses. We are tracking this in the bulletin each Sunday so that parishioners can see how we are doing. I appreciate all who have responded to this appeal. Obviously, I am grateful to those who give more than ten dollars each Sunday. For example, last weekend four families gave between $100 - $200, nineteen gave between $50 - $100, and forty-nine gave between $25-50. Without this generosity Holy Family Parish could not continue its mission.

In the announcements last weekend, Deacon Ted gave a summary of the second collections which we will take up during this fiscal year. They include the archdiocesan collections (Build Hope, Mission Sunday, Catholic Community Services, Black and Indian Missions, American Bishops Overseas Appeal, Peter’s Pence and, of course, the Annual Catholic Appeal). Each month we will also take up a second collection for St. Vincent de Paul and Madre Teresa in order to help the poor in our own parish. Beyond that, we will have three collections for the School Scholarship Fund to help needy families attend our parish school, two for the Mary Bloom Center and one each for Deanery Hospital and Prison Ministries.

The Respect Life Committee has been meeting on Friday mornings before the 8:30 a.m. Mass. We meet to pray the rosary and to discuss how we can promote the culture of life here in our parish. Recently, I read a disturbing statistic: by age forty-five, one out of three women in our country will have procured an abortion. This is a deep wound in our society, not only for the women, but for the fathers of the aborted children, as well as family members affected by this terrible loss. The Respect Life Committee will not only strive to help young people tempted by abortion but will also work for healing of those affected by abortion.

We are fortunate to have with us seminarian Ed White, who has had years of experience here and in Chicago praying in front of abortion clinics and doing sidewalk counseling. Ed is helping our Respect Life Committee prepare to do peaceful prayer vigils before the new Planned Parenthood facility here in White Center. If you would like to work with the Respect Life Committee in its mission of prayer, education, and providing resources for those in troubled pregnancies, we are having a meeting Tuesday, July 20 from 7 to 8:15 p.m.

We have a great event coming up later this month – Madeline Williams will be celebrating ninety years of life! Much of her life has been given to this parish, and she always maintains such a positive and upbeat personality. Thanks be to God, we have many senior parishioners like Madeline who give a great example of faith. Included in that number is “Frenchy” Ducharme, who last Saturday celebrated his eighty-fifth birthday!

Have you seen any good movies lately? Me neither, but I understand that Spiderman 2 and Two Brothers are worth seeing. I don’t know if I will get a chance this month, but in August, I will be down in Peru. Being on vacation, I have more time; and also, movie tickets are a lot cheaper there!

On Monday Fr. Ramón goes to the Philippines for a couple of weeks. Our prayers for a safe trip and a safe return here to Holy Family.

Don’t forget, a week from Monday Monsignor James Kelly will be here for a presentation on The DaVinci Code. Please call Aquinas Bookstore (425-828-4413) to get a copy of De-Coding Da Vinci by Amy Welborn as preparation for that evening. Later this month on July 25 from 10:30 a.m. to noon, I have invited a couple of doctors to give a presentation on the Billings Method of Natural Family Planning. On July 31 we will have a rummage sale and on August 21, our parish picnic. Please plan on attending these events.

El primero de julio comienza mi décimo año con la parroquia de Holy Family. Mucho ha sucedido en el mundo, nuestra Iglesia y la comunidad parroquial. No obstante, los años han pasado rápido. Estoy agradecido a cada uno de Uds. por el apoyo a mi y la parroquia. Dios primero, tendremos muchos años más juntos. En julio comenzamos un nuevo año fiscal y es tiempo para dar el reporte anual a la arquidiócesis sobre las finanzas y la vida sacramental de la parroquia y escuela. Cuando tenemos el reporte listo, les daré los detalles importantes. Como Uds. saben, estamos entrando una nueva etapa en la vida parroquial con la Campaña Capital. Estoy convencido que no solamente enfrentará las necesidades de los diferentes edificios, sino hacernos una parroquia mas unida.

El Consejo Parroquial ha propuesto que, en cuanto a la situación financiera, que en vez de tener una segunda colecta cada domingo que nos enfocamos en la Mayordomía (primera colecta del Ofertorio). Fue recomendado tener una meta de diez dólares por familia cada domingo. Sabemos que si uno está sin trabajo esto no es posible, pero en general no es una cantidad irrazonable. Algunas familias por supuesto dan mas, pero si toda familia diese esta cantidad, estaríamos en buenas condiciones para avanzar nuestra misión.

En cuanto a las segundas colectas, como mencioné el domingo pasado, tendremos las de la arquidiócesis (Construir la Esperanza, Misiones, Servicios Católicos Comunitarios, Misiones a Negros y Nativos, Petición de los Obispos Americanos, El Santo Padre y por supuesto, la Petición Anual). Cada mes habrá una colecta para ayudar a los pobres por medio de San Vicente de Paul y Madre Teresa. Además tres colectas para el Fondo de Becas de nuestra escuela parroquial, dos para el Centro Mary Bloom y dos para Ministerios a Hospitales y Cárceles.

Quisiera invitar su participación en el Comité Respetar la Vida cada Viernes antes de la misa de 8:30 a.m. Rezamos el rosario y hablamos sobre la mejor forma de promover la cultura de vida en nuestra parroquia. Recién leí una estadistica alarmante: A la edad de 45 años uno de cada tres mujeres en este país habrá tenido un aborto procurado. Es una herida profunda en nuestra sociedad, no solamente para las mujeres, sino los papás de niños abortados y miembros de familias que sienten este perdida terrible. El Comité Respetar la Vida ayudará no solamente a jóvenes tentados por el aborto, sino trabajar por la sanación de los afectados por el aborto. En adiciones a las reuniones en las mañanas de viernes, habrá una reunión abierta el 20 de julio de 7 p.m. hasta 8:15 p.m. Todos son invitados.