Bulletin (February 15, 2009)

In preparing for Lent, I have been reading a book titled, “Best Practices in Parish Stewardship” by Charles Zech. It is not so much about fund-raising, as person and community transformation. Zech contrasts a “very good parish” with a “Stewardship parish.” The former has this goal: “To bring people into a relationship with our parish and with the work it does in a way that makes them want to support it.” On the other hand, a Stewardship parish strives “to bring people into a closer relationship with God through the experiences of giving time, talent and treasure…”

This Lent I will be inviting you to a closer relationship with God by a conscious dedication of time to Him. On Ash Wednesday, I will be asking every person (including young people and children) to fill out a Stewardship of Time card. It contains a number of possibilities such as attending an adult education class, making a retreat and reading the Bible/Catechism in a year. As was observed in our last Parish Council meeting, some of it is “Catholicism 101” such as attending Mass every Sunday/Holy Day and personal daily prayer. Of course, all of us (including your pastor) must review the basics and make sure our relationship with the Lord is a top priority. The card also contains suggestions for commitment of time to family and community.

On the first three Sundays of Lent, we will have witness speakers at the end of Mass. For the First Sunday of Lent (March 1), I have invited Vernon Wells to give a short presentation on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Vernon will motivate parishioners to make a good confession during Lent. The following Sundays we will have witness talks on Scripture reading and Eucharistic Adoration.

A person who exemplified prayer and Stewardship died last week. Many of you knew long-time parishioner, Delores Hill. She always radiated joy, even in her declining years. I visited her about a week before she died, and even though she was in much discomfort, she showed her trademark smile as she received the Anointing of the Sick. Deacon Ted, who brought Holy Communion to Delores each week, also commented on her constant cheerfulness. We will be remembering Delores in a special at this 8:30 a.m. Ash Wednesday Mass with our school children. Also, I will be offering the March 3 Latin Mass and the 8:30 a.m. Masses on March 12 & 13 for Delores.

Lent is a good time to pray for a deeper respect for the dignity of each human person – especially when we see that dignity so trampled on today. You might consider joining Loka and Joseph (pictured below) in prayer in front of the Planned Parenthood on Roxbury and 28th Ave SW. They are there Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Also, there is a “40 Days for Life” in Renton (http://www.40daysforlife.com/renton/). And all parishioners are welcome to join the Friday morning vigils that leave from the Ailbe House at 7:15 a.m.

Joseph and Loca

West Seattle Planned Parenthood, 28th Ave and Roxbury St. SW

Vigils: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

With Steve Stilwell, Sr. and Samwise

There are many other activities during Lent that we will list in the bulletin and on fliers, but I would like to dedicate the remaining space to the questions about Fr. Tom McMichael – the first married man ordained to the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Seattle. He was a former Lutheran minister who converted to Catholicism and received a special dispensation to study for the priesthood. In the United States, there are about a hundred former Protestant ministers who have become priests. These exceptions do not change the normal celibacy requirement. Celibacy has a more complex history than people imagine. It did not begin in the Middle Ages, but goes back to Jesus himself. He called some to renounce everything (including the blessing of a wife and children) for the sake of the Kingdom of God. St. Paul followed that example as did many Christians, including the early monks. From their number came many of the priests and bishops in the first centuries of the Church. Celibacy is not easy, but its practice has always been a “sign of contradiction” as well as a source of grace for God’s people. As I have become very aware from years of hearing confession, abstinence is a common and necessary part of good marriages. And of course for our young people, abstinence prepares for a successful marriage and prevents untold regret. For sure, priests are weak and flawed human beings, but I am convinced that celibacy will always be a vital part of this calling. It cannot happen without the prayers and encouragement of all Christians. As we thank God for the beautiful gifts that Fr. McMichael and others like him bring to the priesthood, I ask your prayers for me and all of our priests.

Este miercoles (Miercoles de Ceniza) es el comienzo de la Cuaresma. Les invitare a una relacion mas profunda con el Señor por medio de un compromiso de tiempo. Habrá tarjetas con varias sugerencias. En los primeros tres domingos de la Cuaresma tendremos testimonios sobre el Sacramento de Reconciliacion, lectura de la Biblia y Adoracion Eucaristica.

Quisiera hacer una invitacion especial de participar en la vigilias pro-vida. En la foto se puede ver dos hombres, Loka y Joseph, que rezan los dias martes, miercoles y viernes, de 10 a.m. a 3 p.m. ante el Planned Parenthood de Roxbury y 28 Avenida.

En la parte en ingles he escrito sobre el nuevo sacerdote, Padre Tom McMichael – un pastor luterano que se hizo catolico y recibio una dispensacion especial para estudiar para el sacerdocio. Les invito leerlo y si tienen alguna pregunta, favor de hablar conmigo o el diacono Abel. Que Dios los bendiga abundantemente durante este tiempo de Cuaresma.

Stewardship Reflection:

In today’s Gospel, the four men with the paralytic showed great perseverance in order to have their friend healed. Financial problems – whether an overload of debt or a lack of savings – don’t just happen overnight, and they won’t be fixed overnight. They will take perseverance and consistency of wise behavior to resolve. Ask the Lord for the gift of perseverance. Faith and Finances with Phil Lenahan © – www.VeritasFinancialMinistries.com

Stewardship Reflection:

Parish Stewardship Giving Summary:
Wk. 33 of Fiscal Year, February 15, 2009

Registered Parishioners:	   	1242	
Parishioners Using Envelopes: 	  333	  	

Amt. Needed 1st Collection Each Sunday:  $ 14,100.00	     Weekly Comparison		
1st Week  (Feb. 1)	$12,558.77
2nd Week (Feb, 8)	$13,054.62
3rd Week (Feb 15)	$13,032.51
4th Week (Feb. 22)	
Rcvd. Monthly to date	$38,645.90
Check/Cash Envelope:		       $   9,177.66
EFT (Automatic Deduction):	       $   1,064.88    
Loose Cash:			       $   2,789.97  
Total Offering:			       $ 13,032.51
Weekly Income Difference:		     - $ (1,067.49)

Some of the Gifts from the Other Half of our Stewardship:
Feb. 15 – SVDP/Madre Teresa:		       $  2,186.22

For on-line donations to parish or school: www.HFSeattle.org  
For on-line donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal: http://www.seattlearch.org/ACA

Annual Catholic Appeal Update

As of this month, we have reached our 2008 Annual Catholic Appeal Required Donation Amount of $62,759! Thank you to all our generous donors. At this point, all monies collected over our goal will be returned back to us in a rebate check and will be used for our Appeal project of purchasing a new personalized, hand-carved church sign and reader board (see possible designs in the vestibule).

With our current pledge total of $84,642, we have the possibility of receiving a rebate of close to $18,000! The church sign will cost approximately $7,800 and all additional money collected will be used for other landscaping projects. Our hope is to hire a professional landscape designer to assess our properties and give suggestions.

We ask all of you to remain faithful to your pledge so that we can accomplish these goals. If you have fallen behind, please consider dividing up your balance between these last three months or possibly making a one-time gift for a portion of the balance. The Archdiocese will receive payments through April 20.

Any donations made strictly for this project will also be most gratefully received. Please make the check out to Holy Family with “Church Sign” in the memo.

Total Pledged:		$80,642
Required Donation:	$62,759
Possible Rebate:	$17,883

Total Paid to Date:	$62,832
Rebate to Date:		$       73