Bulletin (September 28, 2003)

The picture above is not a police lineup. It was taken on September 14 (Feast of the Holy Cross) one day after the diaconate ordination of Abel Magaña. Left to Right are: Deacons Ted Wiese and Abel Magaña, Frs. Bloom and Velasco, Deacon Joe Dunne.

This Sunday we have Architect Kevin Broderick at all of our Masses. For the past six months our Building Commission has been meeting with him every other week to formulate an overall plan for the buildings and grounds of our parish. We have many areas of deferred maintenance, for example: the leaks in our church, school and Ailbe House; seismic retrofit of the school, upgrading plumbing and electrical system, repairing water damage in church and school. Beyond the urgent maintenance needs, we have dreamed for decades of having a multi-purpose facility (gymnasium and parish hall) for the use of children and families of the parish. Kevin will present a proposal which the Building Commission and I believe is well adapted to our needs and fund raising possibilities. The proposal is not final and we welcome any comments or suggestions. Later this year we hope to have a feasibility study in order to determine the level of commitment in our parish. The study will allow parishioners to give their own input before launching a capital campaign.

Jesus tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice – and that everything else will be given to us. If we put God first, he will not only give us strength to face trials and suffering, but will give us the necessary things to carry out our mission in this life.

The October/November 2003 issue of The American Enterprise (http://www.theamericanenterprise.org/issues/articleid.17700/article_detail.asp) provides ample evidence that "things go better with God." To cite but a few examples:

• "Religious practice is one of the best predictors of whether a child will stay free of drugs."

• "The very lowest risk of divorce today, numerous studies show, is among couples who attend religious services together."

• "Religious youngsters are much likelier than the non-religious to avoid anti-social acts and to engage in altruistic activities."

• "Weekly church attendance sharply reduces incidences of premarital sex, extramarital adultery, and homosexuality."

• "Religious commitment (particularly church attendance) clearly discourages delinquency among youth."

• "Regular church attendees live longer."

• "Overall satisfaction and marital contentment are higher, and depression rates are lower, among the religiously active."

These are obviously great blessings. Still, in the long run, we do not seek God because of what he can do for us, but for who he is. As the author of the article noted: "Faith is not a coat you throw on to make yourself look and act better. Promoting belief because it might lower the crime rate or have some similar utilitarian benefit is an egregious misunderstanding of religion’s actual importance, and an offense to real believers."

"Religious people worship not because they choose to but because they feel they have to--inklings of joy, awe, and gratitude well up in them in very personal ways. They feel drawn to God as by a gravitational pull (sometimes subtle, sometimes strong). And, yes, familiarity with God gives most people a more orderly, happy, and productive daily life. But far more significant are the deeper gifts God gives them: confidence about their place in the universe, an ability to weather misery and sinfulness and turn them into good, a much more delicate and soulful appreciation of existence than living on a simple physical plane allows."

This week I am sending a letter to all identified donors with information about parish raffle - and with a book of tickets. If you do not receive a letter by Thursday, please contact Monica Orozco at the parish office: 206-767-6220. We need the support of all parishioners to make this important fundraising effort a success. Also if you wish to receive more tickets, please call the office.

Este domingo el arquitecto Kevin Broderick dará una presentación en todas las misas. Durante los últimos seis meses la Comisión de Edificios se ha reunido con él cada dos semanas para formular un plan para los edificios y terrenos de la parroquia. Tenemos muchas áreas de mantenimiento deferido, por ejemplo: goteras en la iglesia, escuela y Ailbe House, protección seismica de la escuela, mejorar los sistemas de electricidad de agua y electricidad, reparar el daño de agua en el templo y escuela. Mas allá del mantenimiento urgente, hemos tenido sueños por muchos años para tener un edificio de múltiples usos (gimnasio y salón) para el uso de niños y familias de la parroquia. El Sr. Broderick presentará una propuesta que la Comisión de Edificios y yo creemos que está bien adaptada para nuestras necesidades y posibilidades de recaudar fondos. La propuesta no está final y aceptamos sus comentarios, preguntas y sugerencias. Mas tarde este año esperamos tener una encuesta profesional para determinar el nivel de compromiso entre los feligreses. La encuesta permitirá a todos dar sus ideas antes de comenzar una campaña capital.

Esta semana estoy enviando una carta a todo donador identificado con información sobre la rifa parroquial - con un librito de boletos. Si Ud. no recibe una carta antes del día jueves, por favor llamar a la Srta. Mónica Orozco, 206-767-6220. Necesitamos el apoyo de todo feligrés para que este esfuerzo importante sea un éxito. También si Ud. quisiera recibir más boletos, favor de llamar a la oficina.