Bulletin (November 7, 2004)

This weekend our deacons are on retreat. We pray for Deacon Ted, Deacon Abel, their wives and all others who are attending the retreat. They perform an invaluable service here at Holy Family and other parishes throughout the Archdiocese.

On Wednesday the priests of the Archdiocese had the opportunity to meet with Archbishop Brunett. He gathered us for a presentation on archdiocesan finances. As you can imagine, we face some major challenges with rising costs in areas such as medical and liability insurance. The Archbishop is concerned that we have a unified plan for addressing present and future needs: schools, religious education, sacramental formation, service to the poor, etc. One welcome challenge is the increase in number of theology level seminarians. We have some thirty seminarians in their final four years of study and the cost per student is about $30,000 per year. Also, we have a good number of college level seminarians, although in their case, the burden is more on the individual student in terms of seeking loans or other means of financing their studies.

Here at Holy Family Parish we are attempting to address our various needs. Last weekend I made available an annual report. It describes our parish stewardship not only in terms of finances, but of the enormous time and talent in our parish family. This weekend we will hear stewardship testimonies from parishioners Dominic Parmentier, Helene Romero and Bertha Galaviz Alcalá. Also, I have sent out a mailing to all parishioners that contains two cards to help in your own prayerful discernment of how you will make a return to the Lord for the gifts of time, talent and treasure that you have received. As pastor of Holy Family Parish, I am aware that some of our families are in difficult straits. Still, I will be asking everyone to participate on the level in which they can. It is important at this time that all of us pull together so that we can realize our mission as a parish community.

Well, the elections are over. If you are like me, you found reasons to be happy as well as disappointed. People will be analyzing the election results for a long time. William Bennett had an interesting analysis on one aspect of the elections which I believe is important for us to reflect on. Here is part of what he had to say:

Ohio, which may very well have lost more jobs than any other state, delivered President Bush his electoral victory. West Virginia looks much the same. Alaska, a relatively libertarian state, voted against decriminalizing marijuana — despite the proposition to do so vastly out-funding the movement to keep it criminalized. And the eleven state proposals to ban the redefinition of marriage all succeeded overwhelmingly. On this last point, one veteran political reporter told me, "I heard again and again from people connected to, and members of, black churches who did not look kindly on gay marriage, and were very motivated against it. They, more than anyone else, did not see it as a civil right — and were angered by those who claimed it was.” The national exit polling conducted by the Los Angeles Times confirms all these findings, showing that "[M]ore than half of Bush’s voters cited moral issues as a principal reason for their support — more than any other issue, including even terrorism.” In fact, morals trumped terrorism by seven percentage points in the Los Angeles Times poll.

I am sure that Bill Bennett would be the first to admit that concern about moral issues does not mean moral superiority. All of us are weak and sinful. Perhaps that very fact makes many of us aware of the importance of maintaining certain basic moral standards. Nothing is more fundamental to any society than the sanctity of marriage. There has been a tendency to confuse marriage and friendship. Of course, all of us would wish that husbands and wives be friends with each other, but marriage itself is something much deeper than friendship.

One final note: We are in the cold and flu season. Because of this, some parishioners may choose not to shake hands during the sign of peace. A smile, a hand wave, a bow can also serve as a gesture of peace. The gesture is not the main thing, but that in our hearts we seek reconciliation with our brothers and sisters before presenting ourselves for Communion of Jesus.

Este fin de semana hay un retiro para los diáconos de la arquidiócesis de Seattle y sus esposas. Rezamos en una forma especial para los diáconos Abel Magaña y Ted Wiese de nuestra parroquia. Como Uds. saben, ellos ejercen un servicio bien importante aquí en nuestra comunidad.

En la parroquia estamos tratando de enfrentar nuestras necesidades en cuanto a edificios y programas. El domingo pasado les di un reporte anual no solamente de las finanzas, sino de nuestra mayordomía en cuanto a tiempo y talento. Estoy enviando una carta a todo feligrés explicando un poco más sobre mayordomía y pidiendo que cada persona haga su parte.

Después de la homilía, en todas las misas, habrá un testimonio de diferentes miembros de la parroquia sobre su uso de las bendiciones que Dios les ha dado. Bertha Galaviz Alcalá hablará en las tres misas de español. Pido que toda persona reflexione sobre sus dones y como se puede ponerlos al servicio de nuestra comunidad. Gracias.