Bulletin (March 15, 2009)

Last Saturday 112 parishioners participated in the Lenten Liturgy Workshop. Fr. Steve Sallis gave a presentation on the meaning of Mass – and how to participate more fully. At the conclusion, we had the blessing and commissioning of lectors, extraordinary ministers of Communion, altar servers, sacristans, musicians and ushers. The picture below shows the commissioning of those who read the Scriptures at Sunday and daily Masses. I thank all who participated – and also St. Martha’s Sodality for preparing the lunch after the Workshop. Since it snowed that morning, the hot lunch was particularly welcome.

Blessing Lectors

Speaking of St. Martha’s Sodality, it is not too late to take part in the Lenten Soups – Friday evenings at 6:30 p.m. The picture shows Betty Weller and Robert Tansey serving the nutritious soup and rolls.

At the end of this month we will have a presentation on the Mass for all parishioners. Dr. Curran has a gift for helping high school students and adults understand the meaning of our faith. Please pick up a flier and let others know about this opportunity (Tuesday evening, March 31, at 7 p.m.). Next weekend we will have Dr. Curran’s new book on the Mass for the promotional price of five dollars.

I want to thank all those who contributed last weekend to the two-bit collection for the Mary Bloom Center in Peru. I appreciate your solidarity, especially at this time of global economic meltdown. The financial crisis has affected us all, but the poor – particularly in Third World countries – are suffering the most. Next weekend the second collection will go to Catholic Relief Services and this weekend to St. Vincent de Paul to help poor in our parish neighborhoods. Regarding the Mary Bloom Center, I invite you to the meeting on March 25, at 5 p.m., in the Ailbe House, to discuss the parish delegation to Peru at the end of September.

This week we had some disappointing news. Although it was not a surprise, I was deeply saddened by the presidential order expanding the scope of government funding for embryonic stem cell research. These experiments, as you know, utilize human embryos – dismantling and killing them in the process.

In the seventh grade religion class, we used the novel Crime and Punishment to understand what is at stake in the embryonic stem cells debate. The novel tells about a young man who decides to murder an elderly pawnbroker so he can use her money to help others. Here is the argument:

“Hundreds, thousands perhaps, might be set on the right path; dozens of families saved from destitution, from ruin, from vice, from the Lock hospitals--and all with her money. Kill her, take her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of humanity and the good of all. What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? For one life thousands would be saved from corruption and decay. One death, and a hundred lives in exchange--it's simple arithmetic!”

Moreover he convinces himself that her life has no value, that she is not even really a human being:

“Besides, what value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in the balance of existence! No more than the life of a louse, of a black-beetle, less in fact because the old woman is doing harm. She is wearing out the lives of others; the other day she bit Lizaveta's finger out of spite; it almost had to be amputated.”

This same logic is being used to justify research that involves killing tiny human embryos: Since they do not have arms, legs and eyes, they cannot be considered as humans. And think of all the good, all the possible treatments (even though so far state governments and private companies have spent billions with no results: while adult stem cell research has yield 72 cures and treatments, embryonic stem cell research has yielded zero). The real question is this: if these embryos are not human, what are they? Each one has a mother and father, grandparents and other human relatives. They are in fact our brothers and sisters, the tiniest members of our human family.

It is a terrible shame and disgrace that our government would use tax money for these dehumanizing experiments. They are most appropriately compared to medical experiments that took place in World War II concentration camps. Since the prisoners were already condemned to death and according to Nazi logic were subhuman, corrupt scientists used them for medical experiments: injecting them with viruses, placing them in vacuum chambers and subjecting them to freezing temperatures. Now, human embryos have not developed to a point where they experience pain, but does that fact justify their use in experiments that destroy them?

It is good this Sunday that we listen to the reading of the Ten Commandments. I conclude with a quote from one of the earliest Christian explanations of the Commandments. Written toward the end of the first century the Letter of Barnabas states:

“You must be single of heart and rich in the Spirit. You shall not join those who are traveling the way of death. You shall hate everything that is displeasing to God; you shall hate all hypocrisy…You shall not make any evil plan against your neighbor. You shall not give yourself up to arrogance. You shall not engage in prostitution or adultery or homosexuality. You shall not kill an infant by aborting it or suffocate it at birth. You shall not give in to your son or daughter but shall teach them the fear of the Lord from their infancy.”

Final word: Please join the Cathedral Walk: we will leave from Holy Family Church at 7 a.m. and celebrate Mass at St. James Cathedral, at 11:30 a.m., next Saturday, March 21.

En la parte en ingles he escrito sobre un ataque contra la dignidad humana: experimento que destrozan a embriones humanos. Les pido leerlo, reflexionar y rezar sobre este tema importante.

Quisiera hacer unas invitaciones: el próximo sábado tenemos la Peregrinación Anual a la Catedral de St. James. Los que participen pueden recibir una indulgencia plenaria. Salimos a las 7 a.m. y celebramos misa a las 11:30 a.m, el 21 de marzo. El Dr. Charles Curran dará una presentación sobre la misa el 31 de marzo, a las 7 p.m., en el salón de la escuela. Habrá traducción simultanea en español. Y todos los viernes, antes del Vía Crucis, hay Cena de Sopa en el Salón Tice a las 6:30. Esta foto es la de unos jóvenes contentos después de la cena. Todos son bienvenidos.

Gracias por sus contribuciones al Centro Mary Bloom. Estoy muy agradecido por su apoyo, especialmente en este tiempo de crisis económica que afecta particularmente a los probres del Tercer Mundo. La segunda colecta del próximo domingo será para Catholic Relief Service – y este domingo para el grupo Madre Teresa que ayuda a los pobres de nuestra comunidad.

Stewardship Reflection:

Sacrifice is a key theme of the Scripture readings today. True love is sacrificial. It considers the good of the other. Sacrifice comes in many forms including generosity with one’s time and resources. Mother Teresa said the Christian faith “requires that I be willing to give until it hurts.” Are you?

Stewardship Reflection:

Today’s first reading says, “I, the LORD, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me” (Ex. 20:2-3). When completing your evening examination of conscience, consider whether your possessions control you, or if the Lord controls your possessions.

Faith and Finances with Phil Lenahan © – www.VeritasFinancialMinistries.com

Parish Stewardship Giving Summary:
Wk. 36 of Fiscal Year, March 8, 2009		 
Amt. Needed 1st Collection Each Sunday:  $ 14,100.00	     Weekly Comparison		
1st Week  (Mar. 1)	$12,795.99
2nd Week (Mar. 8)	$13,352.85
3rd Week (Mar. 15)	
4th Week (Mar. 22)	
5th Week (Mar. 29	
Rcvd. Monthly to date	$26,148.84
Check/Cash Envelope:		       $   9,720.00
EFT (Automatic Deduction):	       $      850.54    
Loose Cash:			       $   2,728.85  
Total Offering:			       $ 13,352.85
Weekly Income Difference:		     - $(   747.15)

For on-line donations to parish or school: www.HFSeattle.org  

Gifts from the Other Half of Our Stewardship:
Second Collection:  Mary Bloom Center:       $1,896.69 	
Next week’s Second Collection is for Catholic Relief Services. The annual Catholic Relief Services Collection supports Catholic Church agencies that build the international social ministry of the Church through development programs, relief and resettlement services to the victims of war and natural disasters, and advocacy on behalf of the powerless. When you donate to the Catholic Relief Services, you give hope. Please be generous in next week’s collection.

Annual Catholic Appeal Update as of March 11 As you can see, our rebate is growing! We are now at a rebate of $2,632 and have the potential for over $14,500 more. Remember that all money collected over our required amount of $62,759 will be used to purchase a new hand-carved church sign. The sign will cost approximately $7,800. Please continue to be faithful to your pledges so that we can accomplish this project. Donations for the 2008 Annual Catholic Appeal will be received until April 20. For simple on-line payment of your pledge, go to: http://www.seattlearch.org/ACA. THANK YOU!

Total Pledged:		$80,062
Required Donation:	$62,759
Possible Rebate:	$17,303

Total Paid to Date:	$65,391
Rebate to Date:		$  2,632     

Soup Supper, Friday, March 6

March 7, 2009 - Last Snow of Year?

Liturgy Workshop w/ Fr. Steve Sallis

Blessing Extraordinary Ministers of Communion

Blessings Servers, Sacristans, Musicians and Ushers

March 9, 2009 - Last Snow of Year?