Bulletin (April 13, 2008)

I ask you to join me this week in a prayer for the success of our annual School Auction. I want to make it specific: please pray at least one Hail Mary each day for that intention. Even if you do not have a child or grandchild in Holy Family School, I know that you recognize it as an important part of our parish mission. In addition to the parish investment (subsidy), the Parents’ Club commits itself to raising $90,000 for the operating budget of Holy Family School. The main part comes from the School Auction, which involves hundred of hours of work and the donation of many items. All this effort comes together next Saturday evening – so please say a prayer for its success. Meanwhile, I encourage you to give generously this Sunday for Randy Terlicker Fund. Randy’s mother, Colleen will match your contribution, dollar for dollar.

The Hail Mary is an appropriate prayer for our families and children. She is the mother of Jesus – the one mediator between God and man – and she has a powerful role as an intercessor at his side. We can see this role in Jesus’ first miracle – when Mary requested that her Son help a young married couple in an embarrassing situation. There is a nice little book that focuses on this event - Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. You might be surprised to find out that it was written by the popular novelist, Anne Rice (Interview With the Vampire, etc.) I read it because of a positive review by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. Here is part of what Fr. Neuhaus said:

“From the beginning of the Christian movement, writers have been trying to fill in the details of “the hidden years” of the life of Jesus before he began his public ministry. Thus the fanciful tales contained in the pseudo-gospels of the early centuries. The serious Christian cannot help but wonder what it was really like in the household and workplace of Nazareth. Mel Gibson was delicately attentive to that curiosity in his film The Passion of the Christ. The ¬ Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola include “compositions of place” that entail such exercises of the ¬imagination…Ms. Rice’s The Road to Cana is a rare achievement: an engaging story told within the structure of biblical narrative and theological orthodoxy. Of course, there are those who will say that, if God wanted us to know the details of those hidden years, he would have inspired the gospel writers to tell us. I think they are wrong about that. With our capacity for ¬reason, God gave us curiosity and imagination to be employed to his glory. That is the employment to which Anne Rice has turned her storytelling talents…The Road to Cana makes more vivid the Word—both the person and the text—and that is no little accomplishment.”

The Road to Cana is available at the King County Library. I highly recommend it. The library also has most of the works of Pope Benedict. Before he was elected three years ago, he wrote a number of important works and since his election, he has written a major book titled Jesus of Nazareth. I wonder if (apart from St. Peter) we have ever had a pope so theologically prepared. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say this week when he speaks at the United Nations, Catholic University and the Masses in New York and Washington, D.C.

The past two weeks I have called your attention to the pope’s important essay, Conscience and Truth. He takes on the assertion that a person can be saved by simply following his “sincere conscience.” He tells about a conversation with a professor who argued that Hitler was justified because he was acting on his sincere convictions. The pope responded: “Since that conversation, I knew with complete certainty that something was wrong with the theory of justifying power of the subjective conscience, that, in other words, a concept of conscience which leads to such conclusions must be false.” He then quotes the psychologist, Albert Gorres:

“Gorres shows that the feeling of guilt, the capacity to recognize guilt, belongs essentially to the spiritual make-up of man. This feeling of guilt disturbs the false calm of conscience and could be called conscience's complaint against my self- satisfied existence. It is as necessary for man as the physical pain which signifies disturbances of normal bodily functioning. Whoever is no longer capable of perceiving guilt is spiritually ill, a "living corpse, a dramatic character's mask," as Gorres says. "Monsters, among other brutes, are the ones without guilt feelings. Perhaps Hitler did not have any, or Himmler, or Stalin. Maybe Mafia bosses do not have any guilt feelings either, or maybe their remains are just well hidden in the cellar.”

Of course, none of us want obsessive, crippling guilt feelings, but there is a true sense of guilt that leads to emotional and spiritual health. In the pope’s essay on conscience, you will find a penetrating analysis of what conscience is – and is not. It will richly repay a careful and meditative reading. You can easily find the essay online or by checking out Values in a Time of Upheaval.

As we pray for the pope’s pastoral visit to our country, I ask you to pray for families that have lost loved ones. This past Friday we had the funeral for long-time parishioner, John Bazik. On April 26 we will have the Mass for Wayne Miller and on May 3 for John DeLaurenti.

Speaking of prayers, this week I will be at Westminister Abbey in Mission, B.C. Part of my reason for making my annual retreat at that monastery is because a young man from our parish is studying there. Also, the Bruneau family, who worked with me while in Peru, has a son who is now a Benedictine novice at Westminister Abbey. I will pray for you this week and ask a prayer for me. I will return to the parish this coming Friday.

Centenary of Peruvian Consulate in Seattle, April 5, 2008

Consul Peruano Miguel Angel Velasquez, Centenario del Consulado Peruano en Seattle

Esta semana haré mis ejercicios espirituales en el Monasterio de Westminister en Canadá. Rezaré por todos ustedes y pido que me acuerden durante estos dias. Volveré el dia viernes. Naturalmente voy a estar rezando por el Santo Padre. El Papa Benedicto XVI hará su primera visita oficial a los Estados Unidos la proxima semana, entre sus planes está visitar la Casa Blanca, la Zona Cero y hablar ante las Naciones Unidas. El sumo pontífice viajará a Washington D.C. y a Nueva York del 15 al 20 de abril de 2008 y tiene previsto hablar en la sede de las Naciones Unidas el día 18. Ese mismo día visitará la Zona Cero, afirmó el Arzobispo Pietro Sambi. La visita a la Zona Cero será para demostrar su solidaridad con las víctimas de los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre, con sus familiares y con todos aquellos que desean que la violencia llegue a su fin. El viaje también coincidirá con el tercer aniversario de su elección como Papa. La Casa Blanca tiene prevista una ceremonia de bienvenida el 16 de abril. El pontífice celebrará dos misas públicas, la primera el 17 de abril en el Estadio Nacional en la capital del país y la segunda el 20 de abril en el estadio de los Yankees en Nueva York. Su itinerario también incluye reuniones con sacerdotes, presidentes de universidades católicas y jóvenes.