Bulletin (September 10, 2006)

I want to thank you for your kindness on the occasion of my sixtieth birthday. It seems like yesterday that I was celebrating my fiftieth birthday here at Holy Family. It would be beautiful if the Lord gave us another ten years together - but that we must leave in his hands. Every day is God’s gift. I deeply appreciate your good wishes and prayers, as well as donations, which I will use to help needy children and families in Peru by way of the Mary Bloom Center. In the Stewardship box of the bulletin, you can see the results of the two-bit collection for that medical clinic and educational center which bears the name of my mom.

I want to express a particular word of gratitude to those who organized the birthday celebration on Saturday afternoon. It was the first event in our new ground level parish hall (the “Tice Hall”). About seventy people attended and the hall beautifully accommodated everyone. The pictures give some idea of the new hall. You will all have an opportunity to see the new hall next weekend. St. Martha’s Sodality will host an Open House after the Saturday evening and Sunday morning Masses. Please plan on attending.

Wednesday was the first day of school. At the opening assembly, we had a short prayer service and a blessing for the renovated upper hall, which also serves as our gymnasium and lunch room. The refinished floor, the new ceiling tiles, and the freshly painted walls make it look like a whole new space. It lifted the spirits of everyone - students, parents, faculty and school staff. Those who attend the Knights of Columbus breakfast this Sunday morning will experience this great improvement.

One painless way that you can help our parish and school is by registering your Safeway Card with us. One percent of every purchase will be automatically donated to our parish school. Last year many parishioners did this, and it is bearing some good results. For example, in the past two months, we have received from Safeway; $117.16 (on July 7), $126.98 (July 13), $127.16 (Aug. 3) and $211 (Sept. 3). You can register your card online or simply give us your card number, and we will register it for you. You can do it at our school or parish office.

In some ways it would be beautiful to simply focus on Holy Family Parish and let the rest of the world go away. That, of course, is not possible. As the Greek statesman, Pericles, said back in the fifth century B.C., “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!” We saw that dramatically last month as powerful groups like NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) pressured the Washington State Pharmacy Board to reverse its earlier decision protecting the conscience rights of pharmacists. It is an ominous development and makes one wonder what will be the next attack on freedom of conscience and religious rights. Most of us have become rather complacent, simply assuming that we are a Christian nation. I admit, it is hard for me to find time to study the issues in order to cast an informed vote. I received my absentee ballot ten days ago, and it is still unopened on my desk. I did receive some help from Human Life Political Action Committee, which I would like to pass on to you. Particularly important this year is the Washington State Supreme Court. Human Life endorses these candidates: Stephen Johnson, Supreme Court Position 2, John M. Groen, Supreme Court Position 8 and Jeanette Burrage, Supreme Court Position 9. The Human Life Political Action Committee “endorses judicial candidates that we believe will apply the law as written and not legislate from the bench. We oppose judicial activism practiced from anywhere along the political spectrum. That is not the judge’s duty. We seek a proper application of the law as written, and ask only for a level playing field. Within this framework, citizens are best able to control their own political destiny.” You can find further information at: http://www.humanlife.net/view_reports.htm?rpid=22

This Thursday is the Feast of the Holy Cross. In the Imitation of Christ, Thomas A Kempis gives this meditation: “Behold, in the cross is everything, and upon your dying on the cross everything depends. There is no other way to life and to true inward peace than the way of the holy cross and daily mortification. Go where you will, seek what you will, you will not find a higher way, nor a less exalted but safer way, than the way of the holy cross. Arrange and order everything to suit your will and judgment, and still you will find that some suffering must always be borne, willingly or unwillingly, and thus you will always find the cross.”

Estoy muy agradecido a todos ustedes por las oraciones y el cariño en la ocasión de mi cumpleaños. Quiero expresar mi gratitud especialmente a los que participaron en el kermes del domingo pasado: los que ayudaron a Rogelio en poner la carpa, las mesas y sillas, los que prepararon la rica comida, los grupos musicales que cantaron y los jóvenes que bailaron. Luis Gómez tomó un pequeño video del baile que se puede encontrar a: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Vjhg2IVCqQ

La foto muestra algunos miembros del Grupo de Adolescentes que me hicieron una linda presentación de un cuadro con las firmas y una foto del grupo.

Este domingo habrá la oportunidad de ver las renovaciones del salón parroquial. Los Caballeros del Colon ofrecen un desayuno entre 9 a.m. y mediodía. El próximo domingo, el grupo de Santa Marta dará una “Casa Abierta” después de las misas de sábado y las del domingo en el la mañana. La Casa Abierta es completamente gratis y da la oportunidad de ver el nuevo salón en el nivel de la calle (el “Salón Tice”). Estoy agradecido a todos ustedes por el apoyo a la Campana Capital que hace posible estas renovaciones. Una forma fácil de ayudar a nuestra parroquia es registrar su tarjeta de Safeway. Si lo haces, un porciento de cada compra se devolverá a nosotros. Recién hemos recibido de Safeway; $117.16 (el 7 de julio), $126.98 (julio 13), $127.16 (agosto. 3) and $211 (septiembre 3). Se puede registar su tarjeta por Internet o en la oficina parroquial.