Bulletin (June 8, 2003)

This Sunday we commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the construction of our parish church. It is a good moment to remember the love, sacrifice and hard work of those who have made Holy Family the great parish it is today. When I look at the beautiful architecture, the marble sanctuary and the wonderful stained glass windows, I cannot help but think that those were “days of giants.” To accomplish something similar today would require a breath-taking sum of money.

Holy Family Church was built before the idea of making a temporary church which would one day be converted into a school gymnasium. In other words it was built to always be a church. Within ten years parishioners had completely paid for the cost of the church and it was consecrated. Archbishop Connolly anointed the walls with holy chrism in twelve places which are today marked by the crosses and candles. They represent the Twelve Apostles who received the full revelation of Jesus and whose faith we continue to profess as members of One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We will light those candles at our Masses this weekend as we commemorate the fifty years of our church.

At the same time we remember and thank God for those who have gone before us, we look forward to the challenges of the future. Our church and other buildings face a variety of deferred maintenance needs. Also we need a multi-purpose facility (gymnasium, hall and classrooms) to meet our current and future requirements. Working with our Parish Council, I have asked Parish Administrator Tom Weber to form a Building Commission to develop a comprehensive plan. They have been meeting almost weekly with architect Kevin Broderick and this Sunday have a preliminary sketch indicating the variety of needs and possibilities. As we have been announcing, this presentation will take place at 10 a.m. in our school hall so that those interested can ask questions and make suggestions.

To face these future needs we must bring our operating budget into balance. When Archbishop Brunett reassigned me for a further six years as your pastor, we had a conversation about the financial situation of Holy Family. He offered some important help, first and foremost the assistance of Mr. Ed Williams in evaluating our income and expenses and drafting a realistic budget. I will be presenting this on Thursday to a joint meeting of our Parish Council, Finance Council and School Commission. Also the Archbishop indicated that if we move ahead with a capital campaign, he would pay for the first step, the feasibility study.

In the course of the Archdiocesan Review of my six years as pastor, some immediate concerns surfaced. One thing on many people’s minds was security. For example, during our 12:30 Spanish Mass on May 25, a car parked next to the church on 20th Ave. was broken into. Fr. Ramon saw the two thieves and got a partial description which we reported to the police. I have asked Tom Weber and Abel Magaña to recruit people to patrol our parking areas on Sunday mornings and evenings during the week. Samwise and I are doing our part, although I am afraid we would not intimidate many thieves. Still, I will do everything on my part to make Holy Family a safe place and I ask the vigilance of all so that we can help the police capture these thieves who have such little regard for other people.

Mr. Morissette and the school staff have worked hard to make our school a completely safe environment for our children. I am also delighted that so many parish families with small children feel comfortable using our playgrounds and fields on evenings and weekends. Holy Family Parish does offer a safe environment, but we need to work together to keep it that way – and to capture the few delinquents who threaten that environment.

As a parish family, we have a great past with much to be proud of and grateful for. And we have a future together which deserves our own hard work and sacrifices.

This week longtime parishioner Frances Yarington passed away. As her obituary stated, “She was active in the fundraising for the construction of Holy Family Catholic Church and was active in the Sodality.” Frances represents so many people who have made the White Center community and Holy Family Parish what it is today. May angels take you to paradise, Frances – and from your place there may you continue to pray for us.

And a special prayer for vocations. On Saturday morning, Than Dao, whose family belongs to our parish, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Seattle. Fr. Than Dao will celebrate Masses of Thanksgiving next Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 8 a.m. We also pray for Peter Mactutis who continues his studies for the archdiocesan priesthood and Vernon Wells who completes his novitiate and has taken temporary vows as a Dominican seminarian. This month a young man from Holy Family will be entering the Brigittine Monastery in Oregon as a candidate to become a brother of that order and another man of our parish is in discernment for the diocesan priesthood. We pray for them and for all of our young people, that God will make known to them his plan – and given them courage to respond.

Otra vez he escrito algo más largo en inglés. Nos toca en la comunidad hispana en cuanto a la preocupación por seguridad y los planes sobre la conmemoración del 50 aniversario del templo. Voy a explicar estas cosas en las todas las misas este fin de semana. Como siempre, estoy agradecido por su paciencia, apoyo y oraciones.