Bulletin (August 13, 2006)

First of all, thank you for the prayers for my sister Melanie. She is making a marvellous recovery from the stroke she suffered two weeks ago. The biggest accomplishment was being able to get out of bed on her own and walk around the room. Unlike some of her brothers, Melanie cannot stand a messy room so she was anxious to organize the flowers, cards and other things in her hospital room. One by one she regained movement in the fingers of her right hand. When I visited her last Sunday evening, she could already grasp my hand. As I write this on Thursday morning, her right arm is still limp, but she has made enough progress that the doctors are releasing her from the hospital. She will continue therapy at home and at a center in Stanwood. Please continue your prayers for her steady and complete recovery. Also pray for her husband Alex and the others who are caring for Melanie during this process.

People from far and near have offered prayers for Melanie. At the Mary Bloom Center in Peru, the staff and volunteers have been praying a rosary every day for her recovery. Here at Holy Family many people have told me about specific prayers they have said for my sister. Last weekend, a group of youth spent the night in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The picture shows the group on Sunday morning after the closing Benediction in the Divine Mercy Chapel of our Ailbe House.

I want to thank those who gave us feedback after receiving the six-month financial report. In general, it seems that the reports on Sunday giving were accurate, but the computer program caused some confusion regarding donations to the Capital Campaign. If your past reports or letters regarding your Campaign donations have been correct, then please disregard this current information and know that your records are correct in our data base. Feel free, however, to call the Parish Office if you have any further questions or wish to double-check your Campaign donations. Thanks to your feedback, we hope to correct this problem when we send out a quarterly report in October.

This Tuesday we celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation. You will find the schedule of Masses in another section of the bulletin. I would like to call your attention to an important title of the Virgin Mary: Patroness of the Unborn. When she said, “Let it be done to me according to your will,” Jesus was conceived in her by the power of the Holy Spirit. She carried the unborn Jesus within her when she went to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth. The unborn John the Baptist (already six month old) leapt in Elizabeth’s womb at the approach of Jesus. At that time Jesus was a tiny embryo.

Some people say it is OK to discard or destroy a human embryo because it doesn’t look like a human being: no arms, legs, eyes, etc. The answer is simple. That is what a human being looks like during the first days of his or her life. That is how Jesus looked. You and I once looked like that. When we deny the humanity of any fellow human being, we open the door to all kinds of perversions. That denial made possible slavery and human trafficking. That dehumanization is the basis for ethnic cleansing. The most horrific instance of dehumanizing others was the Holocaust. Our Jewish brothers and sisters were viewed not as fellow human beings, but as “vermin.” As we say, “Never again,” to such atrocities, may we also resist those in our society who wish to deny the humanity of our tiniest brothers and sisters.

Here in Washington State, we are facing an important issue regarding unborn human life. Powerful groups in our state such as NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) and Planned Parenthood are trying to force all pharmacists to dispense a pill which in some case may induce abortion by causing the destruction of a newly formed human embryo. You will find in today’s bulletin a flier from the Washington State Catholic Conference on “Conscience and Pharmacists’ Responsibility.” On the other side of the flier, I have included a letter from Archbishop Brunett encouraging us to write letters and sign a petition in support of conscience rights of pharmacists. After Mass next Sunday, we will have the opportunity to sign a petition supporting the conscience rights of pharmacists.

Next Sunday we celebrate human life in another manner. At the 5 p.m. Mass, Frank and Pat Waite (who directs our children’s choir) will renew their wedding vows. At the 11 a.m. Mass, Holy Family principal Glen Lutz and his wife Yvonne will celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary. Their children (and grandchildren) will be present.

By next weekend, we should have completed the major work on our ground floor renovation. Thanks to a grant from the Shea Foundation, we have been able to expand this work to include the four ground floor classrooms, as well as significant repairs to our upper floor parish hall/gymnasium and the main school entrance. This will make our school much more attractive. Now, I ask you to help in promoting our parish school so that we might fill all our classrooms. If you know someone in the area who has a child, age four through eighth grade, please encourage them to consider sending their child to Holy Family for an excellent Catholic education.

Gracias por sus oraciones por mi hermana Melanie. Ella ya ha salido del hospital pero el proceso de recuperación durará más tiempo. Sigue rezando por ella y su esposo Alex.

Al mismo tiempo quisiera agradecerles por su apoyo de la Campaña Capital. El kermes del domingo pasado recaudó un total de $6,458 por la campaña. Hace posible la renovación del salón parroquial, como se puede ver en la foto. Igualmente, las reparaciones y nuevas rayas del estacionamiento que añadió unos veinte espacios a nuestro parking. Otra vez quisiera invitar a los papás considerar la posibilidad de enviar sus hijos a nuestra escuela parroquial para recibir una excelente educación católica.

En el boletín hay una carta del arzobispo y una explicación de parte de la Conferencia Católica de nuestro estado sobre un asunto importante: Libertad de consciencia para farmacéuticos. Hay unos grupos poderosos (como Planned Parenthood) que quieren requerir que todo farmacéutico provea lo que ellos se llaman “contracepción de emergencia” que en realidad es una píldora que puede matar un pequeño ser humano - es decir, el embrión humano recién concebido. El próximo fin de semana habrá una oportunidad de firmar una petición apoyando a los farmacéuticos en su libertad de consciencia.