Bulletin (December 17, 2006)

This week we had a lovely celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In spite of the wind and rain, about a hundred people participated in the procession from St. Bernadette’s to Holy Family. When we arrived, the church was already quite full. Children from our religious education program led a living rosary and a couple of children and adult groups performed traditional dances in honor Our Lady. In addition to our youth choir, Mision Divina, a Mariachi and a brass brand also sang hymns to the Virgin Mary. In the picture you can see members of our young adult group presenting a re-enactment of the apparitions of Mary to St. Juan Diego. In our parish school, one of the classes also re-enacted these events.

Here in Seattle there is now a movie called Guadalupe. The plot line involves a young man from Spain who is so engrossed in his anthropological studies that he neglects his wife and two young children. He and his unmarried sister come to Mexico to do research which draws them into a study of the scientific mysteries involved the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. They meet other anthropologists, including a Moslem from the United States. In that context the movie, little by little, tells the story of the apparitions. I won’t reveal how the movie ends, but I will admit that I was crying. The movie has English subtitles and of course English and Spanish subtitles for the parts spoken in the native Indian language, Nahuatl. I saw the movie together with Fr. Ramon, Deacon Abel and Gary Samaniego. All of us agreed that Guadalupe is well worth seeing.

I want to thank St. Martha’s Sodality for providing the free breakfasts this Sunday on the occasion of my 35th ordination anniversary. You might see some pictures of a much younger version of your pastor. Here is a picture taken in 1970 when Pope Paul VI visited North American College. With Pope Paul is Bishop James Hickey who performed the ordination ceremony on December 17, 1971.

As some of you might remember, I celebrated my 25th anniversary here at Holy Family, but a snow storm made it impossible for many parishioners to attend. I was looking back through some files and found this summary of what happened:

The winter storm pretty well snowed in my twenty-fifth anniversary celebration yesterday. This was a great disappointment for me, but also for people such as Fr. Pete Peterson who did so much work in preparing for the event. In spite of the eight inches of melting snow we decided to have the Mass, even if only a tiny group could come. To my great surprise and joy, about three hundred people arrived. They were mainly from the White Center area, but a few friends from Canada braved the storm to join us. Our church was surrounded by icy slush. Many, like my friend Fr. Vince Pastro who came from Tacoma, got their feet soaked in the ankle deep ice water. Still the Mass was beautiful with our Hispanic group singing their hearts out. Afterwards, we had a nice reception in which the Vietnamese choir made a moving presentation. They also gave me a beautiful plaque which hangs proudly in our parish office. The Hispanic and Filipino communities combined to give me a traveling Mass kit which will be most handy. From the parish as a whole, I received a wonderful red chasuble. It has a reversible stole so it can be used on feasts of the Holy Spirit as well as those of our Lord's passion. The vestments were made by the Mercedarian sisters of Peru. I am grateful for the many remembrances during this time. Any monetary gifts will be used to support the Mary Bloom Center in Peru. The help is greatly needed as this Center continues to aid families and children.

Next week we celebrate the great feast of the Nativity of Our Lord. This year the Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve fall on the same day. On Sunday morning our Mass will take place at the normal times: English Masses at 8 and 11 a.m. That evening we will celebrate English Christmas Masses at 5 p.m. (Children’s Mass) and 8 p.m. (Adult Choir). On Christmas morning (Monday) there will be Mass in English at 10 a.m.

You may pick up a 2007 parish calendar this weekend. I would ask you to consider marking two events on your calendar: January 22 is the annual March for Life at the state capitol in Olympia. Holy Family middle school will be participating in the Mass at St. Michael’s Parish and the March itself. Please consider joining us. Also note on your calendar that March 24 will be the Archdiocesan Day of Reconciliation at St. James Cathedral. This is part of the 100th anniversary of the Cathedral. It will involve the presence of a good number of priests so that all those who wish may receive the Sacrament of Penance (Confession). On that morning we will have our annual Cathedral Walk from Holy Family to St. James.

Tuvimos una linda celebración de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. En la parte en inglés di una descripción de la procesión, los bailes, los grupos musicales y la presentación por los jóvenes de los eventos de las apariciones. Estoy especialmente agradecido a los niños de nuestra educación religiosa por guiarnos en el Santo Rosario. Aquí hay una foto de la Sra. Raquel Aldrete y el Diacono Abel Magaña que les preparó para esta devoción. Hubo muchos niños vestidos de traje típico, incluyendo el niño Alfredo que está en la foto conmigo.

El próximo domingo es el Cuarto Domingo de Adviento y al mismo tiempo, la Nochebuena. Las misas dominicales serán a las horas normales: 9:30 y 11 a.m. La misa de Nochebuena será a las 6:30 p.m., con la Adoración del Niño Jesús al final. El día de Navidad (lunes) habrá misa a las 12:30 p.m.

Hoy celebro 35 años de sacerdocio. Estoy agradecido a todos que hayan ayudado con la preparación de la comido y convivencia - y a todos que están participando en este evento.