Bulletin (March 16, 2008)

I don’t envy the job of a parent today. At one moment a child can seem quite innocent and the next moment ask a question that surprises, even shocks, an adult. Even the most protective parent cannot prevent their child from being exposed to things beyond their age. Mass media – television, radio, newspapers, Internet, etc. – are omnipresent and they attract the public by sensationalism. Our round the clock news cycle features stories that we might not want children to hear: public figures involved in prostitution, solicitation of sex in rest rooms, etc. Sometimes these news stories go over a child’s head, but children often know more than adults imagine.

What should an adult do if a child asks about these things? It is possible to change the subject, but it can also be an opportunity. A parent should feel glad that their child trusts them enough to ask a difficult question. A parent can say a quick prayer and then use the opportunity to teach their child about the dignity of each human person – that it is wrong to use another person in a selfish way, that God has made us male and female for a purpose and that sex, being sacred, belongs in marriage.

A parent’s task is made more difficult not just because of what the media say, but also because of what the media do not say. The media tend to distort and glamorize behavior that is destructive and immoral. They will use euphemisms to cover up things that are wrong. For example, the killing of unborn children is called “choice” or “reproductive freedom.” Or two men engaged in mutually sterile acts is presented as “marriage” or “equal rights.”

Sometimes it helps when things are called by their proper name. In recent years, a brave group of women has spoken out about the harm done by abortion. You may have heard about “Silent No More.” It is a nationwide campaign of women who are saying, “I regret my abortion.” This makes many people uncomfortable, but it is an opportunity to talk about the long term damage done to women who procure an abortion – and to the men who selfishly encourage and pressure them. The “Silent No More” campaign can help parents teach their children the true reality of what is often covered up with words like “a woman’s right to choose” and “reproductive freedom.”

All of this ties in with Holy Week. Jesus came to bring us true freedom – the forgiveness of sins, the healing of hearts and reconciliation with God. To accomplish our salvation, Jesus faced unspeakable torture at the hands of people who wanted to silence him. They did not want to hear his message or consider the reality of who he is. When people insulted and misrepresented Jesus, he did not strike back. He knew that the truth would eventually win out, but much more important he wanted to win the souls of those who mistreated him.

This Sunday we hear St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Passion. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week, we will listen to readings that explain the purpose of Jesus’ sacrificial death. On those days we have the beautiful readings from the prophet Isaias that speak about a mysterious “Suffering Servant.” He, of course, is Jesus. Our school children will attend the Holy Week Masses on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Holy Thursday we have the Mass of the Last Supper with the Washing of Feet and the Procession with the Blessed Sacrament. On Good Friday our school children will present a “Living Stations of the Cross” at 11 a.m., and at 6 p.m. we have the Good Friday Liturgy with Veneration of the Holy Cross. Also on Good Friday, at 1:30, you are invited to participate in a prayer vigil in front of Planned Parenthood, which is the largest abortion provider in this country. On Holy Saturday you are invited to come to Holy Family Church for Condolences to the Blessed Virgin and for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (10 to 1 p.m.). And, of course, the greatest of all liturgies is the Easter Vigil that takes place at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening. Adults and young people will receive the Easter Sacraments – Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion. All are welcome to attend. The service will last about two hours. On Easter morning we have our regular schedule of Sunday Masses.

This Holy Week is a good time to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who are facing persecution for their faith. I am sure you have heard the shocking news about the murder of the Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, the Most Reverend Paulos Faraj Rahho. Since the first century there have been Christians in the area the Bible calls Babylonia and we know today as Iraq. Like Christians in many other parts of the world, they face challenges we can barely imagine. May their witness strengthen us in following Jesus.

Last Saturday we had the annual Cathedral Walk. It was our biggest turnout since we first began these pilgrimages in 2000. About 250 people participated in the eight mile walk. Below, are pictures of our group processing along Delridge Avenue and of three Holy Family students as we crossed the overpass at Pier 52. You can find more pictures of the 2008 Cathedral Walk at: /cathedralwalk2008.html

Bienvenidos a la Semana Santa. El horario de servicios está en otra parte del boletin. Les invito especialmente participar en la Misa de la Ultima Cena, el Via Crucis y Liturgia de Viernes Santo, las condolencias a la Virgen Maria y confessiones (10 a.m. a 1 p.m.) el dia sabado y la Vigilia Pascual. La misas del Domingo de Pascua estan al horario normal.

Tuvimos una bella Peregrinacion a la Catedral el sabado pasado. Hubo unos 250 peregrinos, el numero mas alto desde el comienzo en el año 2000. Abajo hay fotos con el grupo juvenil en el Parque Delridge y con varios peregrinos subiendo el Calle Marion. Se puede encontrar mas fotos de la Peregrinacion a: /cathedralwalk2008.html

Dear Parishioners,

We have been blessed with a wonderful Catholic school that is embraced and highly supported by the parishioners. I want to thank you and extend our prayers of appreciation for being such good Stewards. First, last and always, we are about helping parents in the formation process of Disciples.

Remember, tomorrow (Monday), seating for the Senior Luncheon to be held in the Tice Hall begins at 11:45. Lunch will be served at 12:00 noon. If you did not return your RSVP, you can still join us for lunch, though you may have to ‘sing for your lunch’.

The richness of Holy Week can hardly be articulated in human words. Nonetheless, it ‘shows us the Way.’ The children will be joining you at Mass on Monday – Wednesday, this week.

God Bless,
Glen t. Lutz

As of this week, we have now collected over $1 Million dollars for the Capital Campaign!  Thank you to all our generous donors.  If you have not yet contributed, there are envelopes in the vestibule by the Campaign Update Board, or you can place a check in the offering and make it out to “Capital Campaign.”

If you are giving by EFT’s, there are now EFT Offertory Participation Cards at all church entrances. You may pick one up before Mass and place it in the offering basket as a sign of your Stewardship to Holy Family.

First Collection Stewardship for Wk. 37 of Fiscal Year
(July 1, 2007 – March 9, 2008)

Amount Needed Each Sunday:		$  12,289.00
March 9 Check/Cash Envelope:	$    6,320.60
March 2 Palm Sunday Envelope:	$       200.00
March 9 EFT(Automatic Deduction):$       637.05
March 9 Loose Cash:			$    2,497.13
March 9 Total Offering:			$    9,654.78

Weekly Income Difference:		       (-) $    2,634.22

Budgeted Year to Date:			$454,693.00
Collected Year to Date:			$442,521.72
Income Difference Year to Date:	       (-) $  12,171.28

Some of the Gifts from the Other Half of our Stewardship
St. Vincent de Paul:		    		$          95.00

Capital Campaign
Total Households Pledging:			694
Total Pledged:					$1,200,643.02
Total Paid:					$1,005,302.20
Balance:					$   195,340.82