Bulletin (July 1, 2007)

One of my priest friends commented that every year he expects things to slow down in the summer, but it never seems to happen. Even though most courses and meetings are suspended during July and August, it seems like other activities and crises fill the void. Families in the parish often comment on the same phenomenon. Be that as it may, I hope that you are finding some time for relaxation and enjoyment of family and friends.

Fr. Ramon and I have been able to set some time aside. Fr. Ramon (at the request of Fr. Dick Gallagher) signed up as a cruise ship chaplain. He will be gone this weekend, but will return to Holy Family on Wednesday. This week I am going to Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival. I look forward to seeing three Shakespeare plays (As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest), as well as two modern plays. I will be leaving Monday morning and returning Friday evening.

This weekend we conclude the fiscal year 2006-2007. During the next weeks, we will be preparing our Annual Report to the Archdiocese, which includes an account of all of our parish income and expenses during the past fiscal year. After finishing the report to the Archdiocese, I will be working with our parish administrator, Gary Samaniego, and others to provide a summary for you. It is important that you know how your financial stewardship is invested. The financial report includes your contributions to the first collection, all of the two-bit collections, the Capital Campaign, tuition payments to Holy Family School, Parents’ Club and other fundraising activities of our school and overall parish.

The report to the Archdiocese involves not only finances, but also a summary of Sacramental ministry (baptisms, first confessions and communions, RCIA, marriages, funerals, anointings, etc.), parish school, religious education, parish activities and projects.

Besides working on the annual report, we are laying plans for the coming year. The Archdiocese has presented us with three broad concerns: 1) discernment and commitment to becoming a Stewardship Parish, 2) the loss of Catholic identity, especially among our young people and 3) the integration of the Hispanic Pastoral Plan in all parishes of the Archdiocese. I will be working with the parish staff and will be forming a new Parish Council, which will focus on those three concerns. The concerns are very basic and will in some way involve all our consultative bodies, our school, parish groups, and ultimately all parishioners of Holy Family.

One important aspect of parish ministry is Communion to the Homebound. Deacon Ted overseas this ministry in the English speaking community. I ask that if you know someone who is homebound, please notify the parish office or speak to Deacon Ted, Fr. Ramon or to me. Sometimes people assume that we know that someone is in need. That is not always the case. We rely on family members and friends to let us know if a parishioner is homebound.

During the next weeks, we will have a seminarian staying at the parish rectory. His name is Jose Alvarez. Jose has been studying at the seminary in San Antonio, Texas, but has relatives here in the Seattle area. He recognizes the great need for bilingual priests in the Seattle Archdiocese and is discerning the possibility of becoming a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Seattle. Please give Jose a warm Holy Family welcome.

Finally, I would like to conclude with a reflection for the Fourth of July. It comes from Fr. Frank Pavone, MEV, who is National Director of Priests for Life. After reflecting on what Independence Day meant to him as a boy, Fr. Frank made this statement:

As I got more involved in the Pro-life Movement over the years, it became clear that I liked the 4th of July even more, because this celebration really is about the cause for which we fight in this movement. Our Founding Fathers wanted to have a nation where people could live free from the oppression of human tyranny. How would they secure that freedom? They would do so by establishing a government that recognized God as the only source of our freedom and rights. Government, in their view, could not tamper with human rights – starting with Life – because the Creator himself was their source.

And so they expressed their vision in these well-known words: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men…” (Declaration of Independence).

We celebrate a day, and we celebrate a vision which that day represents. There is a special liturgy for the Fourth of July. In the prayer called the Preface (before the “Holy, Holy, Holy”) we pray these words on Independence Day: “[Jesus] spoke to men a message of peace, and taught us to live as brothers. His message took form in the vision of our fathers, as they fashioned a nation where men might live as one. This message lives on in our midst as a task for men today and a promise for tomorrow. We thank you, Father, for your blessings in the past and for all that, with your help, we must yet achieve.” Friends, we live in the greatest nation on earth, because it was founded on a vision inspired by the Gospel. The “task for men today” includes the pro-life movement, and “all that…we must yet achieve” includes restoring protection to the unborn… Let us continue striving for freedom for our youngest brothers and sisters!

Este miercoles es el Cuatro de Julio, Dia de Independencia de los Estados Unidos. El 4 de julio de 1776, los fundadores firmaron la Declaración de Independencia que contiene estas palabras: "Sostenemos como evidentes estas verdades: que todos los hombres son creados iguales; que son dotados por su Creador de ciertos derechos inalienables; que entre éstos están la vida, la libertad y la búsqueda de la felicidad." Recemos por nuestro pais que haga una rededicación al valor de toda vida humana – y que formemos una sociedad donde cada persona pueda buscar la libertad y felicidad verdaderas.

Voy a celebrar el Dia de Independencia en Oregon. Esta semana voy al Festival de Shakespeare con mi amigo, el Padre Jaime Coleman, que trabajó varios años en Bolivia y actualmente es párroco de San José en Salem, OR. El día miércoles el Padre Ramón Velasco regresa de ser capellan del Cruzero de Alaska.

Como menciono en la parte en inglés tenemos un seminarista con nosotros por algunas semanas. Se llama José Manuel Alvarez. José es de Michoacan y durante los últimos años ha estudiado en el seminario de San Antonio, Texas. Esta averiguando la posibilidad de estudar para la Arquidiocesis de Seattle. Le damos un bienvenida muy cordial al seminarista José.