Bulletin (Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008)

On behalf of Fr. Ramon Velasco, Deacons Ted & Abel, Holy Family Principal Glen Lutz, Parish Administrator Gary Samaniego – and all the parish & school staff – I want to wish you a Blessed Easter. Easter arrived very early this year. In fact, it will not come this early again until 2160! For those wondering how the date of Easter is calculated, this is the formula: Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox (the moment when the Sun is positioned directly over the Earth's equator). That is the reason for the variance in the date of Easter. In 2011 Easter will fall on April 24, which is about as late as it can be.

Because of the early Easter, our Knights of Columbus did their annual Spring Clean at an earlier date. I am sure you noticed how good our grounds looked this Holy Week. I want to thank the Knights and all other volunteers for helping us maintain our buildings and grounds. Parish Administrator Gary Samaniego has put a lot of effort in parish maintenance, but our budget is limited so we greatly rely on the help of volunteers such as the Knights.

Also, the Knights deserve a big thank you for erecting the Silent No More billboard. The picture shows Grand Knight Macabe Mooney with the rope supporting the sign and below the sign, Dominic Parmantier, Don Marty, Dan Knelleken, Steve Stillwell, Bob Youngs and Rex Youngs. Special thanks to Rex for doing the welding work on the platform.

“Silent No More” is a brave group of women (and men) who are speaking out about the harm done to them by abortion. The billboard shows Jennifer O’Neill (star of Summer of 42 and author of Fallen to Forgiven) who has joined hundreds of women who have publicly stated “I regret my abortion.” More and more studies are showing the deep emotional damage caused by abortion. Recently, the Royal College of Psychiatrists published a study on these risks. They recommended that women considering an abortion be given a pamphlet warning of the potential risks to mental health. On one of the bulletin boards, I posted an article about that study.

I know that it is controversial to speak about the emotional damage done by abortion. You might remember that last May someone defaced the “Silent No More” sign by painting the word “Impeach” on it. About a week later (May 21), we woke up to find the sign violently shredded. In light of that vandalism, our Knights constructed a platform and installed a plexiglass shield to protect the sign. As I mentioned to them, the sign will be worth the cost and effort if it causes one woman to think about the long-term consequences of abortion. Or if it makes one man to think before pressuring his girl friend. Or if it makes one woman – or one man – seek the healing available in confession or a Rachel Vineyard Retreat.

Very appropriately, we are now at the beginning of the Divine Mercy Novena. It will culminate next Sunday, which is now known as Divine Mercy Sunday. One of the important requirements of the Novena is to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Fr. Ramon and I will be available on Wednesday evening and will remain in the confessionals until all are heard. Also, on Saturday morning from 9 to 10 a.m. we will be available for that healing sacrament. If there are penitents still waiting at 10 a.m., be assured that one or the other of us will stay until all have the opportunity for confession.

Speaking of defending human life and supporting women in time of pregnancy, the Mary Bloom Center in Peru is in the process of purchasing an Obstetric & Vascular Doppler (like the one pictured below). About ten years ago, Fr. Gary Gordon (he is now the Bishop of the Whitehorse Diocese) spent a few weeks volunteering at the Center and at that time donated a Doppler. It has gotten very good use and now needs to be replaced. Obst. Luz Marron (director of the Mary Bloom Center) is hoping to purchase a clinical Doppler, which costs 1800 Peruvian Soles (at the current exchange, about $650). If you would like to donate to this project (or to purchase the Doppler in memory of someone), just make out a check to “Holy Family Parish” with “Doppler Peru” in the memo. The Mary Bloom Center also needs new speculums and other clinical equipment. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Back here at Holy Family, we of course need your ongoing support to maintain and improve our parish programs. Above and beyond your regular weekly support, many of you have donated to the Capital Campaign. This month the Campaign completes three years, and we are finalizing our permanent memorial plaque. If you have not yet contributed, please consider using a Capital Campaign envelope to make a hundred dollar donation. For sure, any donation – small or large – will be gratefully received, and your family will be memorialized on the plaque, which will remain permanently in the Tice Hall.

Regarding parish finances, about a month ago Gary and I requested a professional review of our financial procedures. The Archdiocese has supported us in obtaining the services of a Certified Public Account who has done similar reviews for many parishes. At our school and parish, we receive donations from a variety of sources. We want to do our best to insure that every donation is properly handled. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Gary, Glen or me. We want to be good stewards of your trust.

Finally, a note for your calendar and prayers: March 25 in many countries is the Day of the Unborn Child. The date coincides with the Annunciation, which is the beginning of Jesus’ earthly existence as a tiny embryo. This year March 25 falls during Easter Week so the Feast of the Annunciation will be celebrated on Monday, March 31. It happens that March 31 is also Terri’s Day, the third anniversary of the death of Terri Shiavo. As you might remember, she was the young woman who died by starvation and dehydration. Her death raises important questions about end-of-life issues. In next week’s bulletin, I will give a brief summary of Jesus’ teaching in that area. Meanwhile, I invite you to attend Mass on March 31, either at the 8:30 a.m. English Mass or the special 7:30 p.m. Latin Mass.

De parte del Padre Ramon, el Diacono Abel y todo el equipo parroquial, quisiera expresar el deseo que todos tengan Felices Pascua de Resurreccion. Ya estamos en el tiempo de la Divina Misericordia. Les invito rezar la Coronilla de la Divina Misericordia durante estos dias hasta el proximo domingo, que ahora se llama Domingo de la Divina Misericordia. Durante este tiempo es bueno recibir el Sacramento de Reconciliacion. El Padre Ramon y yo estaremos disponibles el dia miercoles, despues de la misa de 7 p.m., hasta que todos hayan tenido la oportunidad de confesarse y el sabado, de 9 a 10 a.m. Como preparacion para la Pascua de Resurreccion mucho de ustedes participaron en la Peregrinacion a la Catedral. Abajo hay una foto de un grupo en el Parque Delridge.

Seguro que han notado la nueva cartel de “Silent No More” (No Mas Silencio) con Jennifer O’Neill - una actriz famosa que nacio en sudamerica. Ella y otras mujeres están diciendo “I regret my abortion” (me arrepiento mi aborto). Seguro que se acuerdan que en mayo de año alguien violentamente atacó la cartel. Nuestros Caballeros de Colon han erigido una nueva cartel con mas proteccion. Espero que puede hacer pensar a las personas que están pensando en abortar a su niño pequeño – y a los hombres que están presionandoles a hacer ese pecado terrible. El 25 de marzo es el Dia del Niño Por Nacer. Es el dia la Anunciacion – el momento cuando Jesus comenzó su vida como un embrion pequeño. En la parte en inglés hay mas información – y una invitación a los que quieren apoyar el Centro Mary Bloom en la compra de un nuevo Doppler.

Finalmente quisiera agradecer todo su apoyo economico, espiritual y voluntario a la parroquia. Sin su ayuda en las colectas, la Campaña Capital, la Peticion Anual, etc. – y todo los ministerios que ustedes llevan a cabo – no sería posible mantener nuestra parroquia y sus programas.