Bulletin (November 16, 2008)
Today we hear the famous parable of the Talents. One of my priest friends joked that – given our current economic meltdown – maybe the guy who buried his talent was the smart one! Some people, who have their retirement fund invested in the stock market, have told me that they lost thirty or forty percent in recent months. I admit I do not understand all this, but it does make me feel a little nervous – especially when I hear from parishioners who have lost jobs in construction or service industry work. Nevertheless, Jesus gives a strong warning today not to be paralyzed by fear. Instead he wants us to trust in him and to invest what we have received. I don’t know if the stock market is a good place (although my older brother says now is the time to buy), but I do know one sure investment: place your time, abilities and financial resources in God’s work.
Last weekend many of you made a pledge to Holy Family Parish. I was delighted to see that we received some 314 pledge cards in our collections (plus 20 by mail). I thank each and every one who pledged. I also know that many of you took home your pledge card and will be placing it in the collection this Sunday. As you know, we do not automatically renew your pledge. We ask you every year to make an intentional, planned and sacrificial commitment to your parish. In the vestibule you will see the list of those who pledged last weekend. Please make sure your name is on the list. If you returned a card in last week’s collection and your name is not listed, please let Mary French know at 206-767-6220. If we have not received your pledge by this Sunday, we will be sending a reminder letter this coming week.
Some, who are making a first-time pledge, have asked me what will happen now. It does take some time to process the pledges, but you should be receiving some temporary envelopes in the mail within a few weeks, which can be used until your permanent ones arrive in January. You can also use the “Welcome Envelopes” at the entrances of the church – or simply place a check in the collection basket. If you choose a simplified manner of giving (electronic funds transfer from checking, savings or credit card), you may use the “EFT Offertory Participation Card” also available at the church entrances.
Last weekend we prayed for our bishops who gathered in Baltimore for their annual meeting. They addressed a number of matters involving the overall governance of the Church. They also sounded a warning on issues that we will be facing as Americans. While praying for our new president-elect, they also expressed concern about some of the campaign rhetoric – specifically Obama’s statement that as president he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), “a bill so sweeping and draconian that it would not only repeal every single state restriction on abortion, it would seriously jeopardize the right of Catholic hospitals and doctors to opt out of performing abortions.”
Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Bishops, Cardinal George labeled FOCA “an evil law that would further divide the country.” He noted that at stake are two issues: a) the rights of the unborn and, b) religious liberty.
First, those who admit that abortion should be rare unwittingly acknowledge that there is a reason to limit its frequency: as Cardinal George said, ‘abortion kills.’ By contrast, no one maintains that root canals should be rare, and that is because this medical procedure—unlike abortion—does not result in the total denial of someone else’s rights.
Second, religious liberty is enshrined in the First Amendment and cannot be trespassed upon lightly, and certainly not by abortion zealots. Those who support FOCA must realize that if Catholic hospitals are ever required to perform abortions, the bishops will close every one of them; no one would be hurt more than the poor.
This is a serious matter that I am sure our own Washington State bishops will address. It should be part of all of our prayers. All of us are praying for President-Elect Barack Obama and for his administration. He faces enormous problems regarding our country’s economy and international policy. We need to pray that he will unite us to work together. At the same time, we have to recognize that some issues are foundational. Unless we build on a foundation of respect for dignity of every human life, we can never construct a just society.
My niece’s husband – Major Robert Lindenau – had that perspective. He was a strong man, who used his strength to defend those who were weak. That is the basis of what we call a “culture of life.” This week we will have a “one-month Mass” in honor of Bob. On November 20, a month will have passed since his death. In some ways it seems like an eternity: His death has changed everything for my niece and her four children. I invite you to join our school children this Thursday at 8:30 a.m. for the Mass to pray for Bob’s eternal rest. I also ask your prayers for the eternal rest of Fr. Richard Roach, S.J., who died on November 7. As pastor of St. John Vianney on Vashon Island, he was our “neighboring pastor.” I got to know Fr. Roach in our deanery meetings and enjoyed his sense of humor. Fr. Roach was a supporter of Human Life International – and was present at the Mass when Dr. Scott Hahn was received into the Catholic Church. May Fr. Roach hear the words of today’s Gospel: “Well done, my good and faithful servant….Come, share your master’s joy.”
Quisiera agradecerles por su respuesta a la Campaña de Co-Responsabilidad. En la entrada del templo hay una lista de los que llenaron la Tarjeta de Compromiso. Si usted entrego una tajeta el domingo pasado y su nombre no esta en la lista favor de llamar a Monica, 2006-767-6220. Si no hemos recibido su compromiso este domingo, esta semana le enviaremos una carta recordatoria.
Para los que estan haciendo un compromiso por primera vez, deben recibir unos sobres provisionales dentro de dos o tres semanas. Se puede usarlos hasta que lleguen los sobres permanentes en enero. Se puede donar en una forma simplificada (transferencia electronica de la cuenta corriente o de ahorros – o de tarjeta de credito. Los que donan en esta forma puedan usar la “EFT Offertory Participation Card.” Hay una foto en la seccion en ingles.
Este miercoles a las 7 p.m. habra un “Misa de un Mes” por Robert Lindenau (el esposo de mi sobrina Tonya). Pido sus oraciones por el descanso eterno de Bob y por la consolacion de Dios por Tonya. Muchos de ustedes conocen la tristeza del fallecimiento de un ser muy querido y me han prometido oraciones por Bob y Tonya. Abajo hay una foto de ellos de Navidad de 2007.
Camano Lutheran Cemetery (November 10, 2008)
Melvin & Mary Bloom's Graves