Bulletin (May 24, 2009)

This last week our children did a marvelous performance of the play, “Romeo and Harriet.” I was impressed that Holy Family middle school students (along with other children from the parish at large) could do such an excellent presentation of this high school level musical comedy. Special thanks go to Mrs. Anca Wilson, Mr. Frank Cantwell and all those who assisted them in making possible this production. It was wonderful to see how they could bring out the hidden talents of our children. May the Lord reward them and all who helped them in this work.

I am also grateful to the members of our parish transition team, who are assisting me in the difficult process of saying good-bye and aiding Fr. Horacio Yanez in getting to know you and the many needs of our parish. The names of the transition team are in the bulletin. If you have a question or suggestion, please contact any member of the team. Mary French, who is the point person for the team, may be contacted at the parish office.

I want you to know that I am not breaking ties with Holy Family. These past fourteen years have been the most beautiful years of my life, and I am grateful to you for your support, affection, prayers and fidelity. We have been through a lot together, and those common experiences are a basis for friendship and prayer. There are a number of projects that I will continue to be very interested in, such as the Randy Terlicker Endowment Fund and the St. Michael Chapel memorial plaque.

Also, as part of our parish council Stewardship Plan, I will be taking a delegation to Peru at the end of September. Last week we purchased our tickets in order to take advantage of an excellent fare. We will leave on the morning of September 28 and the delegation will return on October 9. The delegation will take your prayer intentions to the shrines of St. Rose of Lima and St. Martin de Porres. We will be staying with the Daughters of Charity so that we can witness and help out in any way with their work with orphans and other needy children. And of course we will spend time learning about the work of the Mary Bloom Center in Puno. The delegation members from Holy Family are Gaye Jensen, Presentacion Zaballero and Ines Medina. You can talk to any of them about the details of this mission trip. Also, Dan and Annie O’Rourke, a married couple from Queen of Angels in Port Angeles, will be part of this delegation. I am hoping also that a representative or two from St. Mary of the Valley in Monroe will accompany us. If you want more information, please talk with Gaye, Ines or Pressy.

Other parishes have also made mission trips, including St. John the Evangelist in Seattle. The picture below shows their pastor, Fr. Crispin, with Maryknoll Father Robert Hoffmann, at a blessing ceremony at the Mary Bloom Center. Fr. Hoffmann is spiritual advisor at the Mary Bloom Center. He also periodically reviews the finances of the Center. Fr. Hoffmann has supported this work from its beginning in the early nineties. Along with him, I am deeply grateful for your prayers and donations toward this work. In the Spanish section you will see a picture of some families receiving a special Mother’s Day gift. It was a plastic wash basin filled with some food items such as rice, cooking oil, canned milk, etc. As you can imagine, the moms were very happy to receive this help for their children. Your recent donations at our Mother’s Day Masses enable the Mary Bloom Center to give material and moral support to struggling families in Puno.

I want to thank Vernon Wells for his wonderful presentation last weekend on our newly forming Youth Group. They will have their first meeting this Sunday evening at 7 p.m. All those who will be in high school this coming school year are encouraged to attend. I hope to maintain some ties with our parish youth by taking a delegation to World Youth Day (Madrid 2011). We have scheduled an information meeting for June 2 at 5 p.m. in the Ailbe House.

This weekend we will have a presentation regarding Lighthouse CD’s. Many of you have discovered this marvelous resource. For a small investment of money and time, one can learn a lot about the faith. Also, to help you grow in your understanding of the faith, we will have Mark Shea with us on the weekend of June 5-6. He has written an outstanding trilogy titled “Mary, Mother of the Son.” I have almost finished reading the third volume and will write more about it in next week’s bulletin. Let me say now that it is one of the most beautifully written and inspiring works that I have read in a long time.

I want to thank those who joined me on Monday for the prayer vigil in relation to the NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) fund raising luncheon – that featured many local politicians, including, unfortunately, some who say that they are Catholic. As the events at Notre Dame brought out, you simply cannot be pro-abortion and Catholic at the same time. Supporting the destruction of innocent human life not only goes against our faith, but the basic moral law written on the human heart. Below, is a picture of Fr. Peter Mactutis who joined us at the prayer vigil. Many of you remember Fr. Mactutis from his years with us here at Holy Family.

Finally, it is not too late to join the Pentecost Novena. We had this novena in last Sunday’s bulletin and there are some additional copies in the vestibule. Just as the Apostles spent nine days in prayer before the coming of the Holy Spirit, these are great days to open our hearts to this greatest of all gifts.

Estos han sido dias dificiles. Estoy agradecido por su apoyo y cariño. Los ninos de Holy Family me ha tocado particularmente estas ultimas semanas. "No quiero que usted vaya," algunos me han dicho. La impresion mas profunda fue de un feligres de muchos años. Confieso que era un hombre que no conoci bien, pero siempre estaba fiel en asistir a la misa dominical. Despues de la mis, se me acerco con lagrimas en sus ojos, "Padre Bloom," me dijo, "usted ha sido un buen lider espiritual." Me hizo pensar en mi papa. Era un hombre trabajador, sencillo, no dado a expresiones de emociones. Tuvo su demonios personales, pero por la gracia de Dios, los supero - y hizo su eleccion para su senora, su familia y Dios. Cuando llego su hora, tuvo dos dias buenos - relativamente comodo y libre de dolor - para decir adios. Pero fueron dias llenos de otro tipo de dolor - un dolor que corta como hierro. Pero habia momentos bellos, que siempre guardare como un tesoro.

En las semanas que vienen, tendremos la oportunidad de expresar nuestros adioses. Hay una dimension humana a esto y esa parte es dolorosa. Puedo entender que algunos no quieren hacerlo. Pero somos un pueblo de fe. Jesus nos ensena lo que significa adios. Lo vemos en la Fiesta de la Ascencion. Ascendo, pero tambien descendio. Por ser tan alto, lo adoremos como Dios. Pero - precisamente porque es Dios - puede estar con nosotros en una forma poderosa y duradera. Como discipulos de Jesus, sabemos lo que adios significa. No voy a separarme totalmente de la parroquia. En Septiembre voy a ir al Peru con una delegacion de Holy Family. Ya hemos comprado boletos para salir el 28 de septiembre y la delegacion volvera el 9 de octubre. Sus miembros incluyen a Gaye Jensen, Presentacion Zaballero e Ines Medina. Visitaremos las tumbas de San Martin y Santa Rosa; nos quedaremos con las Hijas de la Caridad y aprenderemos de su trabajo y el trabajo del Centro Mary Bloom. Estoy bien agradecido a ustedes por todas las oraciones y todo su apoyo para ese centro medico y educacional. Abajo hay una foto de unas donaciones de comida para el Dia de la Madre, para ayudar unas familias pobres en Puno.

Hay mas informacion en mi columna en ingles, tambien del Dia Mundial de Juventud en Madrid 2011. Espero que algunos jovenes de nuestra comunidad hispana me acompañan para este evento. Habra mas el proximo domingo, Pentecostes. Que Dios los bendiga abundantemente con su mayor regalo, el Espiritu Santo.