Bulletin (March 21, 2004)

About seventy-five parishioners participated in the walk from Holy Family to St. James Cathedral on March 13. With prayer and various stops along the way, it took us about four hours. The oldest walker was Celerino Alvarez and the youngest was eight year old Gretchen Martin. There were also some babies in strollers as well as at least two in utero. Thanks to all who sponsored me and other walkers – a total of $731 was donated for parish needs. Also, a family sponsored Samwise with twenty dog bones. He made the walk with no problem and was ready to do it again in the afternoon. I have to admit my feet were a little sore – although I do want to make the pilgrimage again next year. We will coordinate it better so that we can have a concluding Mass at the Cathedral.

As a follow-up to the Fr. Corapi retreat, I have invited lay evangelist Mark Shea to give a conference at Holy Family Parish on April 3. Mark’s presentations will begin at 10:30 a.m, but, if you are able, you are cordially invited to attend the Saturday morning Mass at 8 a.m. From 9 to 10 a.m. Fr. Ramon and I will be available in the church for confessions. In addition, during the day we will offer confession opportunities. Our Knights of Columbus and Stewardship Committee will be providing a soup lunch. The Conference will conclude at 4:30 p.m. There is no registration fee, but it would be greatly appreciated if you could notify us of your attending by calling our parish office, 206-767-6220. We will accept a free will donation, and Mark will also be offering his books and tapes for sale.

Speaking of confession opportunities, Fr. Ramon and I will be available on Tuesday, March 30, from 4 to 8 p.m. Due to the Chrism Mass at St. James Cathedral, there will be no confession on the First Thursday of April. I am very happy with the participation in the Novena to the Child Jesus (Infant of Prague). If you are not yet participating, you may pick up a copy of the Novena in the parish office.

Writing about the proposed “marriage amendment,” Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (a former Lutheran minister who converted to Catholicism about fifteen years ago) had this to say: “A critical question is whether it can avoid being stigmatized as an anti-gay measure. That will depend in large part on whether the argument is successfully made that homosexual unions and other domestic arrangements fall into the category of friendships. Friendships can be healthy or not, but it is not the government’s business to certify or regulate friendships. By way of sharpest contrast, marriage has always and everywhere been recognized as a legitimate and necessary public concern.” (First Things, April 2004)

Last weekend I made available the pastoral letter of Fr. Michael G. Ryan, Rector of St. James Cathedral, on the child sex abuse crisis. As Vicar General of the Archdiocese during the 80’s, he brings an important historical perspective. I encourage you to read the entire letter. Here is part of what he had to say:

It will also be well to keep in mind that the study conducted by John Jay College is unprecedented. No other societal institution — no church of another denomination, no public or private school system, no voluntary organization — has undertaken a study of this nature or undergone this degree of scientific scrutiny. And so, while it may appear that the Catholic Church is unique in the breadth and depth of the sins and omissions of some of its leaders, it is not. The sexual abuse of children and young people by trusted authority figures is both an outrage and a societal scourge that cuts across all institutions, beginning with the family. I realize, of course, that there is small consolation in acknowledging this because the Church should hold itself — and should rightly be held — to a higher standard than other institutions of society, but it does provide a context for viewing and understanding the extent of this terrible problem. And I believe a context is what we need at this time.

Unas setenta y cinco feligres participaron en la caminata desde Holy Family hasta la Catedral. Habia unos niños en sus “strollers” y al menos dos bebitos “en utero.” Con oraciones y varias paradas en el camino, duró un poco más de cuatro horas. Un total de $731 fue donado para la parroquia y una familia patrocinó a Samwise con viente huesos. Hubo un deseo de hacerlo otra vez terminando con una misa en la Catedral.

Estoy contento con la participación en el retiro del Padre Oscar Dueñas. Es un muy buen sacerdote y esperamos que el regrese a Holy Family en el futuro. Muchas personas se confesaron durante el retiro. Habrá oportunidad para confesiones el 30 de marzo (martes) desde las 4 p.m. hasta las 8 p.m. A causa de la Misa de Crisma en la Catedral no habrá confesiones el primer jueves de abril.