Bulletin (January 18, 2009)

This weekend we dedicate the new St. Michael’s Chapel. At the end of each Mass, I will invite you to join in the St. Michael prayer and then process to the new chapel, singing the beautiful St. Michael hymn. After a blessing inside the chapel, I will invite you to file through it so you can appreciate the great work and say a short, personal prayer. Below are before and after pictures of the entrance to the chapel. I am sure you will agree, Noemi Cortez and her crew have a done great job with this renovation project. They still have a few more details to complete, including an entrance grill and the St. Michael Prayer above his statue.

The dedication of the St. Michael Chapel comes at a very appropriate moment. We are involved in a spiritual battle that affects us on a global, national, personal and familial level. Sometimes it seems like the powers of evil are winning. We know, however, that the ultimate victory belongs to God, the good angels and the saints. What matters is that you and I enlist on that side of the battle. St. Michael the Archangel can help us as individuals, families and a parish in this spiritual war. This Sunday I will be placing our parish under the protection of St. Michael. I invite you to say a personal prayer to this great defender and to ask him to safeguard your family.

This is a good week to pray for our nation. I am placing some prayer cards in the pamphlet rack to that end. On one side of the prayer card you will see an American flag with the outline of a man at prayer. On the other side is a prayer for our President, our Congress and for the people of the United States. I encourage you to take one of these prayer cards and pray for President Obama, the Congress and all people of our country.

One of the intentions of our prayer is that we will return to the good values on which our country was founded. At the top of the list comes respect for and defense of human life. This Tuesday Mr. Frank Cantwell and I will be taking our seventh and eighth grade students to the annual March for Life in Olympia. We will attend the Mass at St. Michael’s Church (how appropriate!) and then join several thousand people in walking peacefully to the Capitol steps. Various legislators and civic leaders will address the crowd regarding current human life issues. The March for Life helps our young people understand how our government works and how individual citizens can participate. I am grateful to our parish Knights of Columbus for providing the bus for this important educational outing.

Speaking of respect for human life, one of the great leaders of this movement died last week: Fr. Richard John Neuhaus. Fr. Neuhaus was a Lutheran pastor in Brooklyn, famous for his leadership in the civil rights struggle. He helped many people understand that protection of the unborn is a basic civil rights issue. In 1990 he converted to Catholicism and became a Catholic priest. He edited a magazine called First Things. Because of his pithy and provocative comments on current issues, many people have called him the “original blogger.” In my opinion he was not only the first blogger, but the best. I hope that someone will do an anthology of his commentaries. May he rest in peace and may his insights continue to enlighten our steps as we seek the right course for our Church and society.

By a nice coincidence, this Sunday we have St. Paul’s answer to those who use the slogan, “My body belongs to me – and I can do what I want with it.” On the contrary, says Paul, your body is not your own. “You have been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” (I Cor 6:20) Moreover, when two human beings use their bodies in a certain way, they open the possibility of creating a new, distinct body. That one does not belong to the mom and dad, but to God. The fact that St. Paul makes this argument does not mean this is only a religious question. It is a matter of biology, well known to every modern person. And it ties in with the basic purpose of law: to protect the weaker members of our society from unjust aggression.

This week please pray for Fr. Red, who will be on retreat at the Palisades. (Due to his absence and the January 20 March for Life, on Tuesday Deacon Ted will conduct a Word and Communion Service.) In addition to prayers for Fr. Red, I ask you to remember those facing grievous illnesses – especially Todd Aylard’s mom, Anita. At the end of this month Todd will be leaving his role at our parish to help care for his mom. We will miss Todd and are grateful for the good work and prayerful spirit he has brought to Holy Family.

I want to also ask your prayers for an important parish gathering: On January 29 I will present our Parish Stewardship Plan. During the past eighteen months, I have been working with our Parish Council and other leaders to develop this three-year plan. I am personally asking all staff and consultative body members, ministry leaders and key volunteers to attend but want to extend that invitation to all interested parishioners. (January 29, 7 to 9 p.m.). If you would like to attend, please see the bulletin insert which contains more information about this important work.

Este fin de semana dedicamos la nueva Capilla de San Miguel. Al final de cada misa, les invitaré a rezar la oracion a San Miguel Arcangel y proceder a la capilla para la bendicion. En la parte en ingles hay fotos de “antes” y “despues.” Estoy agradecido a Noemi Cortez (foto abajo) y su equipo por el buen trabajo. Todavia hay unos detalles para completar.

La dedicacion viene en un momento muy apropiado. Estamos en una batalla espiritual que nos afecta global, nacional, familiar y personalmente. A veces parece que los poderes malignos estan ganando. Sabemos, sin embargo, que la victoria final pertenece a Dios, los buenos angeles y santos. Lo que importa es que tu y yo estemos en el lado correcto. San Miguel nos ayuda en esta guerra espiritual. Este domingo pongo a nuestra parroquia y sus familias bajo la proteccion de San Miguel. Les invito rezar una oracion personal al gran defensor y pedirle guardar nuestras familias.

Les invito rezar por nuestro pais esta semana con la inauguracion del nuevo presidente Barack Obama. Rezar especialmente que volvamos a los valores basicos, especialmente respetar y defender cada vida humana. En relacion a esta intencion, el Sr. Frank Cantwell y yo iremos con los niños del septimo y octavo grado a Olympia para un misa especial y la Marcha Pro-Vida el dia martes. Dos otras intenciones: Por el Padre Armando Red, que irá a los Palisades esta semana para ejercicios espirituales. Y por la Presentacion del Plan Parroquial de Co-Responsabilidad, el 29 de enero. Todo feligres esta invitado, pero les pido que notifiquen a la Sra. Monica Orozco en la oficina parroquial.