Bulletin (May 5, 2002)
Today is Commitment Sunday for the Annual Catholic Appeal. As I mentioned last weekend, your support is more vital than ever. Deacon Ted Wiese will speak at all English Masses this weekend and I will be speaking at all Spanish Masses, asking for your commitment to the mission of the Archdiocese of Seattle.
The Annual Catholic Appeal supports 63 agencies of the Archdiocese. Many of these agencies, like Catholic Charities, Detention Ministry and Hospital Ministry work with people who often on the margins of our society and have no one to reach out to them. Other agencies provide religious formation for our children and adults. And, as I mentioned, our thirty plus seminarians receive their formation, thanks in large part to your contributions to the Appeal. We will see our dollars at work at the end of this month when Deacon Armando Perez comes to Holy Family for a couple of weekends before his June 8 ordination to the priesthood.
A couple of parishioners asked about matching gifts. Following is a list of companies that have matched Annual Catholic Appeal gifts:
1. AES Corporation 2. AIG-American International Group 3. American Express 4. BankAmerica Foundation 5. Bank of America 6. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 7. BP Amoco Foundation, INC 8. BP Foundation 9. Compaq Computer Corporation 10. Corbis 11. Costco Wholesale 12. Illinois Toolworks Foundation 13. Microsoft 14. Nintendo of America, INC 15. Puget Sound Energy 16. RealNetworks Foundation 17. Safeco 18. Tennant Foundation 19. Union Bancorp 20. Verizon 21. Washington Mutual Foundation 22. WRQ, INCWe are hoping that other companies, such as Boeing, will include the Appeal in their Matching Gifts program. Even if you company is not on this list from last year, please check with them to see if they are this year or will consider including the work of the Archdiocese in their Matching Gifts program. The various agencies of the Archdiocese do not work just with Catholics, but with a broad cross-section of the community.
Last year 621 Holy Family Parishioners participated in the Appeal with an average gift of $111. This year we have set a goal of 800 parish participants. In light of the fact we now have over eleven hundred identified parish donors (please see the lists at the entrances of the church) I believe we can reach this goal. If we join together we will also reach our target of $75,000. I deeply appreciate your support of Holy Family and the Archdiocese of which we are a part.
Holy Family has always been a generous parish. While we have urgent needs within the parish, we have not forgotten that others are much worse off than we are. In our second collections we have shown a care for those who are suffering in other countries – by supporting the Propagation of Faith, Catholic Relief Services, Operation Rice Bowl, as well as smaller efforts like the Society of St. James the Apostle, Vamos and the Mary Bloom Center. Also we have supported those who work with the needy closer to home: Angelorum Pregnancy Service, Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, St. Martin de Porres Shelter, as well as evangelization efforts such as Sacred Heart Radio, Catholic Answers and Priests for Life. Finally we have some specific causes or organizations within our parish, such as St. Vincent de Paul, CYO Sports, School Scholarships for needy families to attend our parish school, etc. The two-bit collections are a kind of parish “tithe,” a way of giving first fruits to the neediest of God’s children. When we do so, God blesses us not only as individuals, but also as a parish family.
I would like to conclude with a couple of personal notes. As I mentioned last Sunday, I am postponing my visit to Peru. Instead of going there in the month of October, I will be going in January. I’m doing this so that in the Fall I can concentrate on parish stewardship. The Parish Council and Finance Council have been working with me to set up a budget and plan for addressing the urgent needs of Holy Family, but we are going to need the support of every parishioner. However, it is not just that Holy Family needs your support, but that you need to support the parish. It is a spiritual issue: everything we have comes from one source – God. A vital part of our worship and service to Him is to make a return on what we have received, to be good stewards of his gifts.
A second personal note: this week I am going to the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oregon for my annual retreat. As you can imagine, I am very much looking forward to this time apart. Don’t worry, though, about me being tempted to become a Trappist. Their daily schedule begins at 4:15 a.m. with Vigils and their diet is strictly vegetarian. I will be gone from Monday morning through Friday afternoon (May 6-10). In the meantime, the parish will be in the competent hands of Fr. Ramon, together with Tom Weber, Deacon Ted and other staff members.
Pictures of 2004 Eucharistic Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico
Fotos del Congreso Eucarístico