Bulletin (May 17, 2009)

Last weekend was difficult for me as I know it was for many of you. To announce my change of assignment was one of the most painful things I have had to do. The past fourteen years at Holy Family have been the best of my life. I thank each of you for your support, affection and fidelity during these years. I had looked forward to more years with you, but God has other plans.

I am very happy that Archbishop Brunett has appointed Fr. Horacio Yanez as pastor of Holy Family, beginning July 1. I have known Fr. Horacio for many years since he joined the Archdiocese of Seattle, after some years of service in a missionary order. He is a good man, a good priest and a good friend. As Archbishop Brunett said in the letter I read to you last Sunday:

“Father Yanez comes most recently from St. Mary Church in Marysville, a thriving, multi-cultural parish. Father Yanez is fluent in both English and Spanish. He comes with excellent administrative skills.”

Before becoming pastor of Marysville, Fr. Yanez served for many years as pastor of St. Louise in Bellevue – one of the two or three largest parishes in the Archdiocese. He did an excellent job administering that parish with its elementary school.

I remember conversing with Fr. Horacio back in the eighties when I was responsible for Hispanic ministry in King County. I was struggling with my Spanish, and I asked Fr. Yanez if he would consider becoming more involved with ministry to Hispanics. Like many people brought up in the Southwest, he was modest about his language skills. He eventually did plunge into that ministry and did an admirable job balancing it with all of the other needs of a huge parish. Fr. Yanez will serve and love every parishioner here at Holy Family.

In his letter to us last weekend, Archbishop Brunett also spoke about some of the things we have accomplished together at Holy Family. As he wrote, “the parish has seen tremendous growth and has met difficult challenges in both church and school.” I am grateful for your support and proud of all that we have achieved during these years. Before leaving Holy Family, I hope to summarize part of that history. Some of the things that come immediately to mind are the establishment of twenty-four hour Eucharistic Adoration and the renovation of our main buildings and parking lot.

We have also responded together to major changes in our society. To give one of the most dramatic examples: Fourteen years ago the idea of two men marrying each other would have seemed like a great joke - the stuff of a Shakespeare comedy. Now, those who do not accept same-sex "marriage" are called bigots - or worse. In the face of this attack, some people say that we have lost our sense of spirituality. I say the opposite: We have lost our sense of physicality. How else could we see being male or female as something accidental - like having blue eyes or brown eyes? How else could we see someone's "right to choose" as more important than the physical reality of a tiny baby - with legs and arms, ears and eyes, lungs and a heart?

As a witness to the sanctity of each human life, many of you have joined me in weekly prayer before the West Seattle Planned Parenthood Clinic that opened here in White Center in the summer of 2004. Below, is a picture from a recent prayer vigil. This effort – like our nation’s struggle against slavery – will continue for years to come. I ask you not to become cynical or discouraged in the face of growing attacks on these “least of our brothers and sisters.” I would like to invite you to join me and other parishioners in a prayer in front of the Sheraton Hotel this Monday. NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) is hosting a fund raising luncheon that features Governor Christine Gregoire as main speaker. While we make no judgment on those who take part in this event (judgment belongs to God, not us) we want to meet them with prayer and the reality of the procedure they are promoting. If you are able, please join us at 11:30 a.m. this Monday at the downtown Sheraton Hotel.

Fr. Armando Red will return this week from the visit to his brother and sister in the Philippines. Obviously, I am very anxious for him to be back. I will be with you at the English Masses for next Sunday’s Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord. Meanwhile, I am deeply grateful to Fr. Jim Williams for his wonderful help during these weeks.

I am very happy that Vernon Wells will be addressing us at the end of Masses regarding our new youth group. Next weekend we will have a presentation from Lighthouse Media and on June 5-6, local author Mark Shea will speak to us about his new book: Mary, Mother of the Son.

A final invitation: Don’t miss the school play, “Romeo and Harriett.” As the title suggests, it an adaptation of Shakespeare’s famous play with lots of good humor and music. Student will present the play this Wednesday and Friday evenings. You will find full information in another part of the bulletin.

El domingo pasado fue muy difícil anunciar mi cambio de asignación después de catorce años con ustedes. Les agradezco por todo su apoyo, cariño y fidelidad durante estos años. Y estoy contento que el Arzobispo Brunett ha asignado al Padre Horacio Yañez como párroco, comenzando el 1ero de Julio. Como dijo el arzobispo en su carta:

“El Padre Yañez viene recientemente de la Iglesia Santa María en Marysville, una floreciente parroquia multicultural. El Padre Yañez habla con fluidez el idioma ingles y español. Viene con excelentes habilidades administrativas.”

He conocido al Padre Horacio por muchos años. Es un buen hombre, un buen sacerdote y un buen amigo. Ante de ir a Marysville, fue párroco de Santa Luisa en Bellevue. Durante su tiempo allá, el superviso su escuela parroquial y sirvió una comunidad hispana que creció enormemente.

En estos años hemos pasado por muchos retos parroquiales, comunitarios y familiares. Y durante los últimos años, hemos visto enormes cambios en nuestra sociedad. Para dar uno de los ejemplos más dramáticos: Hace catorce años el "matrimonio" para dos varones o dos mujeres parecería como un gran chiste. Ahora los que no aceptan "matrimonio" del mismo sexo son llamados "fanáticos" - o peor. En relación a estos cambios algunos dicen que hemos perdido nuestro sentido de espiritualidad. Digo el contrario: Hemos perdido nuestro sentido de fiscalidad. Si no, como podemos ver el ser varón o mujer como algo accidental - como tener ojos azules o cafés? Si no, como podemos ver el "derecho de escoger" como más importante que la realidad física de un bebito - con piernas y brazos, orejas y ojos, pulmones y un corazón?

Algunos de ustedes han rezado conmigo ante clínicas de aborto, como hicimos cuando el Padre Francisco Pavone nos visito en abril (ver la foto abajo). Este lunes vamos a tener una oración ante el Hotel Sheraton, comenzando a las 11:30 a.m. Es en relación a un almuerzo para recaudar fondos para NARAL – un grupo que promueve agresivamente el aborto. Si usted no puede estar presente, favor de ofrecer una oración para la conversión de corazones de los que promueven el aborto – y por la protección de nuestros hermanos más pequeños – los niños no nacidos.

Stewardship Reflection:

Can Catholic tuition be included as part of one’s tithe? In short, yes. Catholic education fits within the apostolic works described in section 222 of the Code of Canon Law. While the cost of Catholic education may limit your ability to give as much as you would like in other areas, make sure you continue to support divine worship and assist the poor.

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

Parish Stewardship Giving Summary:
Wk. 45 of Fiscal Year, May 10, 2009		 
Amt. Needed 1st Collection Each Sunday:  $ 14,100.00	     
Check/Cash Envelope:		       $  8,398.56
EFT (Automatic Deduction):	       $     818.11    
Loose Cash:			       $  3,145.22  
Total Offering:		      	       $ 12,361.89

Weekly Income Difference:	    - $ (1,738.11)            

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

Gifts from the Other Half of Our Stewardship:
Mary Bloom Center:		  	       $    2, 075.62	


Your gift to the Annual Catholic Appeal. Thank you to all who have responded to the needs of our Church in Western Washington through the 2009 Annual Catholic Appeal. One person or parish could not possibly accomplish all that needs to be done in the 63 ministries and services of the Annual Catholic Appeal. Your gift, no matter the amount, can, will, and is making a difference! It is not too late to return your pledge envelope if you haven’t already done so – please do so today. Thank you!

We are asking that ALL our parish families participate by completing an envelope. If you cannot make a financial commitment at this time, please fill out an envelope and pledge to offer a prayer (write “prayer” in the pledge amount box). Doing this will also prevent you from receiving a follow-up letter from both the Archbishop and me.

For easy pledging, you can go to our web-site at www.HFSeattle.org and click the link to make a pledge! For those who have already made a pledge, thank you for your generosity!

~ Father Bloom

Registered Parish Households:  		1,276
Pledge Envelopes Returned:	   	   459
% of Participating Households:		  36%

Our Annual Catholic Appeal Goal:	$71,868
Total Pledged To Date:			$52,529
% Of Goal Reached So Far:		     73%