Bulletin (April 22, 2007)

Like many of you, I have been offering prayers for the families and loved ones of those killed at Virginia Tech. It is hard to imagine the grief they are experiencing. May the Lord extend to them his compassion and healing grace. Likewise, we pray for the eternal rest of the students and teachers who died. None of them knew that April 16 would be their last day on this earth. We ask God to have mercy on them and to receive them into eternal life.

We also pray for the young man who perpetrated these murders. None of us can judge the state of anyone else’s soul. We can, however, learn something from the tiny glimpses we do receive: how jealousy, envy and anger can lead to horrible actions – and even to the destruction of one’s inner being. St. Peter said that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking to devour souls. Let us ask the Lord to protect us from the devil’s destructive power.

We live in a society which often glorifies violence – and sees it as a quick solution to problems. Thirty-four years ago the U.S. Supreme Court legalized one of the most horrendous forms of violence by making it legal to take the life of an unborn child at any stage of gestation. Last week they took a tiny step toward rectifying that unjust law by allowing the possibility of legal protection for a partially born child. Kortney Blythe, who is Director of Campus Life Tour, made this statement:

"We appreciate that 5 Supreme Court justices recognized the barbaric nature of the partial birth abortion procedure. However, any procedure that systematically dismembers a human child is horrific and should be outlawed. The partial birth abortion procedure kills a partially born baby by sticking scissors into the skull and vacuuming out the baby's brains. Equally horrifying are other earlier abortion procedures which rip a baby's body limb from limb - and all forms of abortion should be banned in this country."

Last Sunday I told you about a parish family whose dad was picked up by Immigration. He remains separated from his wife and children. I ask your continued prayers for this family. At the same time, we pray for the leaders of our country that they will find a solution to the immigration crisis which affects all of us. And we must pray for the home countries that they will resolve the root problems which drive so many people to leave their homes. None of this will happen overnight. Meanwhile, we need to support all those who are part of our parish family.

A concrete expression of your support is the way you have responded to our parish Capital Campaign. I was quite pleased that last week we passed the $800,000 mark. Thank you! We have just under a year to reach our overall goal. In another part of the bulletin, you will find a summary of the progress to date.

One of the important ways we support each other is the Annual Catholic Appeal. Some people see this as just another collection, but it has a deeper meaning. The Annual Catholic Appeal expresses our catholicity – that we are not just members of a congregation, but of the Church which Jesus founded. Archbishop Brunett, who is chief shepherd here in Western Washington, needs our support in carrying out his pastoral ministry. When you step back and take a look at the work of the Archdiocese of Seattle, it is breathtaking. The Archdiocese provides education, counseling, housing and health services to needy people. Next Sunday a family from our parish will speak about why they support the Annual Catholic Appeal. This Sunday we will hear a short announcement about the Appeal and pray together the Annual Catholic Appeal prayer. Also this Sunday you will find a flier from Principal Glen Lutz with detailed information about Holy Family School. Please read it carefully - and pass it on to anyone you know in our area who might be considering sending their child to a Catholic School. Our two-bit collection next weekend will be for tuition assistance. Your contributions and prayers will not only help our parish school, but will benefit our entire parish.

Speaking of prayer, this week I will be going to the Brigittine Monastery in Oregon for an annual retreat. Below, is a picture I took of the monks during a previous retreat. You may recognize one of them: Brother Simon, a former Holy Family parishioner, who was known to us as Roger Thibodeau. Brother Simon is in the bottom row, on the right side.

I will be back for the First Communion Mass next Saturday at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome to attend the Mass. I ask you to pray for the children who will be receiving the Lord in Eucharist, as well as for their parents and family members.

Esta semana ha sido bien dificil. En la parte de ingles he escrito sobre el masacre en el estado de Virginia. Hay mucho que rezar y mucho que reflexionar. Seguimos rezando por nuestra sociedad que muchas veces glorifica la violencia y la ve como solucion a los problemas.

Escribi tambien de una forma horrible de la violencia: el matar de un niño no-nacido. En contraste a los paises de Europa, este pais no tiene nada de proteccion legal para un niño por nacer. Por fin, la Corte Suprema ha abierto la posibilidad de hacer leyes que protegen al niño en el momento de nacer. Es un paso pequeño pero significativo en la lucha para defender los mas pequenos.

Igualmente necesitamos leyes que favorecen a los imigrantes. En la homilia del domingo pasado hablé una familia cuyo papá ha sido detenido por la Imigracion. Tenemeos que seguir rezando por ellos y por los lideres del pais para que hagan leyes justas. Tambien rezamos por las patrias que necesitan un cambio profunda para mejorar las condiciones que presionan a tantas personas a dejar su hogar y arriesgar tanto para buscar una vida digna. Durante las proximas semanas vamos a rezar en una forma especial por estas intenciones.

Les pido que lean los informes sobre la Campaña Capital y la Peticion Anual. Este domingo comenzamos la oracion por el exito de la Peticion Anual. Tambien en el boletin encontarán informacion sobre nuestra escuela parroquial Les pido que consideren la posibilidad de enviar a su hijo o hijos a la Esucela de la Sagrada Familia (Holy Family School).

Y hablando de oraciones, esta semana voy a estar en Oregon para ejercicios espirituales. Regreso el dia viernes. Que Dios los bendiga.