Bulletin (November 17, 2002)

Commitment Sunday

Today is Commitment Sunday for our annual parish Stewardship. This is not just one more fundraising effort, but an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of gifts and of giving. Stewardship is the recognition that everything one has is ultimately a gift: time, energy, mental and physical skills, health, opportunities to serve and work, family, possessions and financial resources. All that I have, everything that I am comes not from my own self, but in the final analysis is a gift from God. Stewardship means to express gratitude and worship to God and to make a fitting return to Him for the gifts received.

In this Sunday’s Gospel we hear about the men who received talents and how God expects a return on what he has given. We saw beautiful examples of that return in the testimonies last weekend. At the 5 p.m. Mass, Mike Curtis gave an extemporaneous presentation on what Holy Family Parish means to him. On Sunday morning Fred and Sandy Cavazos, together with their two small children, also gave a very moving testimony. They caused us all to consider of our gifts of time, talent and treasure – and how we can put them to God’s service in this parish.

Today we will ask you to return the commitment forms. The green card relates to sharing of financial resources. As you know from the annual and quarterly reports, the needs of our parish are great – and we are working hard to make our parish programs (religious education, school, liturgy, building and grounds maintenance, etc.) as cost effective as possible. However, the focus of Stewardship is not so much the needs of the parish, but the need of each parishioner to give back to God a portion of what they have received.

Along with the green cards, you received a white slip which contains various opportunities for giving of time and talent. We have an ongoing need for parishioners to participate in programs like Ladies Sodality, St. Vincent de Paul, CYO, RCIA and Eucharistic Adoration. After Mass a young man asked what the acronyms mean. CYO is Catholic Youth Organization and RCIA is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. These and the other parish groups listed will have representatives in the school hall after the Sunday morning Masses to answer questions and to sign up volunteers.

Come and See

The Archdiocese of Seattle is sponsoring a Come and See Program on December 7, from 2 to 5 p.m. at St. Edward’s Church. Come and See provides an opportunity for young men (ages 16-30) to learn more about the priesthood. There is a poster on the bulletin board and I have some brochures for anyone who is interested. Please pray for vocations. Holy Family Parish has seen a number of young men step forward in recent years, including Fr. Armando Perez, who was ordained last June, and Deacon Thanh Dao who became a transitional deacon in July and who will be ordained a priest next June. Peter Mactutis continues to advance in his theological studies at Mount Angel, Oregon and Vernon Wells is deeply immersed in the Dominican novitiate in California. Please pray for these men and others whom God is calling to his service.

Ordination of Permanent Deacons

Mr. Abel Magaña, who is Hispanic Pastoral Associate here at Holy Family, has been studying the past three years to become a permanent deacon. If all continues well, he will be ordained on September 13 of next year. All of us are familiar with the great service provided by our parish deacons, Ted Wiese and Joe Dunne. As we pray for priests, we should also remember them and their wives.

Bishops Meeting

The U.S. Bishops underscored the great need for ordained ministers in their document Encuentro and Mission: A Renewed Pastoral Framework for Hispanic Ministry. The promotion of vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life must be integral to the efforts of Hispanic ministry. As the number of parishes providing pastoral services to Hispanic Catholics continues to grow, the availability of ordained ministers to provide for the sacramental and spiritual life of the parish is imperative. I am pleased to have a man of such skills and dedication as Abel Magaña studying for the diaconate.

Although the media focused almost exclusively on the issue of sexual abuse of minors, the bishops dealt with a number of other significant matters. The document on Hispanic ministry will provide guidelines for a parish like Holy Family in our outreach. Also the bishops finalized some guidelines on liturgy. Archbishop Brunett has already sent a letter to pastors regarding the implementation of new Liturgical Norms. As I mentioned in past bulletins and homilies, Holy Family Parish is by and large on target, although we will be implementing a few minor changes beginning next Lent. We will have appropriate catechesis as we get closer to Ash Wednesday.

A Matter of the Heart: Thirtieth Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

This Bishops also made a very moving statement regarding the thirtieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade which took legal protection from unborn children in this country. Here is part of what they said: Many young people today comprehend the legacy of Roe. They look at thirty years of legal abortion and weep over the 40 million lives destroyed. They are aware that one in every four pregnancies ends in abortion,4 and they grieve for the world they will soon inherit. They mourn the fact that each year approximately 1.3 million abortions take place, and that thousands of them are done in the sixth month of pregnancy or later, when the child would likely survive if born.5

Many who came of age at the time of Roe were hopeful about what it was said to promise: an end to poverty and abuse. Who would not hope for these things? But legal abortion promised what it could not give. It promised women a freedom to participate more fully in society, but it took their children and broke their hearts. Countless women have suffered physically, emotionally, and spiritually because of abortion; many have even lost their lives. Many men, too, mourn the loss of their children, while others carry the heavy burden of having persuaded their daughter, wife, or girlfriend to have an abortion.

Thirty years after Roe v. Wade, some may think that the pro-life movement's efforts have amounted to nothing because Roe v. Wade still stands.

But that misses the heart of the matter:

· Today fewer abortions are being done each year, and fewer doctors are willing to be involved in abortion.6

· More Americans identify themselves as pro-life, while the numbers of those saying they are "pro-choice" have declined significantly.7

· Ultrasound and other medical advances have made possible a greater appreciation of the humanity of the unborn child.

· In these three decades thousands of pro-life groups, individual parishes, Catholic social service agencies and pregnancy resource centers have provided practical assistance and support to thousands of women facing difficult pregnancies.

· Most state legislatures have enacted measures to restrict or regulate the practice of abortion and reduce its incidence. Above all, the pro-life movement is brimming with the vibrancy of youth.

Why so much youthful energy in the cause of life? Because the hearts of the young are open to life and are filled with love of life. The minds of the young are open to the truth about abortion. They dream of a world without Roe v. Wade, and they live as if the dream were true. Their hearts are full of compassion for unborn children and for young women who are confused and suffering, and they look for ways to serve them. Many in the last generation fought for legal abortion; but more today know that women deserve better, and so fight for true freedom for women. Young people know that the future is in their hands, and their hearts yearn to bring a message of hope and healing to a culture in great need of hearing it.

Among those who defend abortion, there are many who do so despite the pain abortion has brought into their lives, or even sometimes because of it. Many contemplating abortion believe they have no other choice. We listen to them, we understand their sense of isolation and despair. We must strive to know their hearts.

We renew our offer of assistance to anyone considering abortion: If you are overwhelmed by the decisions you face, if you cannot afford medical care, if you are homeless or feel helpless, whatever your needs, we will help you. The Church and her ministries, inspired by the word and example of Jesus Christ, will help you with compassion and without condemnation.

Roe v. Wade has left a trail of broken hearts. Through Project Rachel and other ministries, we will continue to help the broken-hearted. Those who resort to abortion out of a sense of desperation often find the cruel reality of abortion too difficult to bear. But it is too difficult only in a world without God and therefore without hope. We must reach these hearts and give them hope. These are the converted hearts that will at last bring an end to abortion.

Roe v. Wade cannot stand as the law of this great nation, a nation founded on the self-evident truth that all people are created with an inalienable right to life. We are committed, no matter how long it may take, no matter the sacrifices required, to bringing about a reversal of this tragic Supreme Court decision. We will speak out on behalf of the sanctity of each and every human life wherever it is threatened, from conception to natural death, and we urge all people of good will to do likewise. For, as Pope John Paul II reminds us, "it is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop" (The Gospel of Life, no. 101). Roe v. Wade must be reversed.

Mensaje del Padre Felipe

Mayordomía (Domingo de Presentación)

En las misas de inglés tuvimos un testimonio sobre mayordomía. Este domingo la Sra. Luisa Elena Valera dará su testimonio en las misas de español. No es tanto un esfuerzo para recaudar fondos, sino una oportunidad para reflexionar sobre el significado de los dones que hemos recibido y que tenemos que utilizar para la gloria de Dios y el bien del prójimo. Todo lo que yo tengo es de Dios: mi tiempo, energía, habilidades mentales y físicas, salud, oportunidades para trabajar y servir, familia, posesiones y recursos económicos. Todo lo que tengo, todo lo que soy al final de las cuentas es un don de Dios mismo. Mayordomía significa expresar gratitud y culto a Dios, dando un retorno a Él por los dones recibidos.

Al final de la homilía y testimonio repartiremos tarjetas y formularios para indicar su compromiso de tiempo y talento. Esto ayuda a la parroquia en su planificación, pero también te ayuda a ti en planificar. Es una verdad obvia que nadie cumple algo sin planificar.

Ven y verás

El 7 de diciembre en la Iglesia de San Eduardo, Seattle, la arquidiócesis de Seattle tendrá un taller de “Come and See” (Ven y Verás) para jóvenes (16-30) que quisieran saber mas sobre el sacerdocio.

El sábado siguiente habrá una Jornada Vocacional para jóvenes (hombres y mujeres) que quisieran discernir el plan de Dios en su vida. Para mas información sobre estas oportunidades, favor de hablar con el Sr. Abel Magaña o conmigo.

Ordenación Diaconal

Los obispos americanos en su última conferencia han publicado un documento llamado Encuentro y Misión. Da énfasis a la importancia de vocaciones al sacerdocio y al diaconado en la comunidad hispana. Tenemos el gran honor, si Dios quiere, que nuestro asociado pastoral, el Sr. Magaña será ordenado diácono el 13 de septiembre. Es importante rezar por él y los otros hombres casados que están en estudios para el diaconado permanente

El diaconado permanente, restablecido por el Concilio Vaticano II, ha florecido en las últimas décadas en muchas partes de la Iglesia, con prometedores resultados. "El crecimiento del diaconado permanente da origen ahora a la necesidad de una cierta unidad de dirección y esclarecimiento de conceptos, así como de un estímulo práctico y objetivos pastorales definidos con mayor claridad". De la Congregación para la Educación Católica y la Congregación para el Clero.

Oraciones por la Iglesia en Colombia

Esta semana hemos escuchado las noticias horribles del secuestro del Monseñor Jiménez Carvajal, presidente del CELAM (Conferencia Episcopal Latinoamericana). En su audiencia del 14 de noviembre, el Papa Juan Pablo II pidió oraciones por la Iglesia en Colombia que está sufriendo a causa de la violencia. Estas son las palabras del Santo Padre:

"No cesan de llegar noticias dolorosas de Colombia, que esta vez se refieren al secuestro de monseñor Jorge Enrique Jiménez Carvajal, obispo de Zipaquirá y presidente del CELAM, junto con un sacerdote que le acompañaba", señaló el Papa, afirmando que "este hecho, que acrecienta el clima de vejación de los derechos humanos y aqueja tanto a la población civil como a la Iglesia, me impulsa a expresar una vez más la repulsa de toda violencia y lesión de la dignidad humana, que nunca es camino de paz", afirmó el Santo Padre".

"Mientras pido vehementemente la liberación de todos los secuestrados y que estos pastores puedan volver a ejercer su servicio al Pueblo de Dios, elevo mis oraciones para que Dios conceda la tan ansiada paz a Colombia", concluyó.

Además hay esta noticia del sacerdote secuestrado con el obispo: El padre Desiderio Orjuela ha dedicado 44 de sus 78 años de edad a la misión religiosa. Todos ellos, en la población de Pacho (Cundinamarca), donde ha dejado un rastro de entrega y conciliación.

El secuestro de Desiderio Orjuela, cuando acompañaba a monseñor Jorge Enrique Jiménez --obispo de Zipaquirá y presidente del Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano-- a unas confirmaciones de jóvenes, ha truncado por el momento su labor sacerdotal en Pacho.

El ejército atribuye la acción a las FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia), en cuyas manos se encontrarían retenidos los dos desde el pasado lunes.

Simple Catholicism receives citation in Daily Kos! (Caution: contains reference to a private body part)