Bulletin (September 24, 2007)

First of all, I want to thank St. Martha’s Sodality for hosting the Open House last weekend. Various parishioners wrote down their comments about the new hall, rest rooms and class rooms. Here is a sample: “Congratulations on an excellent job! The school looks great. Money well spent.” Another said: “This change has made everything shine! Congratulations and thanks for all the efforts that make the school look as its spirit: alive, cheering, happy.” And: “This Holy Family School and Church rox my sox! Yeah!” I couldn’t agree more. Thank you to all who are supporting the Capital Campaign, which has made possible this and other improvements to our parish facilities. In the new Tice Hall, you will find a memorial plaque listing all the donors to the Campaign, as of September 15. When we complete the Campaign in April of 2008, we will have a permanent plaque. Between now and then, I will be offering a Mass on the first Thursday of each month for the donors and their families.

As you know, we not only renovated the ground floor of our parish school, but - thanks to grants from the Shea and Fulcrum Foundations - were able make great improvements on the upper level. This week Rogelio Andrade beautified the upper hall with murals of the Holy Family and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Rogelio, who is a parishioner and school parent, donated this work honoring Jesus, the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, who are the principal patrons of our parish. Mr. Andrade works nationwide as a professional artist, so we are very blessed to have him as part of our parish and school family. Here is a picture of Rogelio as he was finishing the mural of the Holy Family.

I also want to acknowledge the role of Archbishop Brunett and the Archdiocese of Seattle in supporting our renewal effort. The principal way we in turn support the work of the Seattle Archdiocese is through the Annual Catholic Appeal. It perhaps sounds strange to talk about the Annual Appeal in September, but I have a special reason. In 2005 we had a shortfall of $6,477 below our parish goal. In consideration of the Capital Campaign and the dedication of many Holy Family parishioners, Archbishop Brunett wrote off half of our shortfall. Through two-bit collections, we raised $1,530, which meant we were still about seventeen hundred dollars short. Last week I talked to Annual Catholic Appeal director, Rick Fersch, and he offered to eliminate that debt, if we would work hard to meet our 2006 goal. Currently, we have pledges totaling $58,639, which puts us close to our goal of $59,968. By having a two-bit collection this weekend for the Annual Catholic Appeal, and once again in December, I believe we can meet our goal - and even receive a small rebate. Of course, I also must encourage everyone to fulfill their pledge - and, if someone has not yet made a pledge, consider doing so. Last May 348 parishioners pledged to the Appeal, which was an increase of 31 from the previous year. I thank all those who support the pastoral and charitable work of the Archdiocese and ask every Holy Family parishioner to be part of this effort.

We are living in times when it is so important for us to stand together as Catholics. The violent reactions to the Holy Father’s discourse on the interrelation of faith and reason underscore the importance of maintaining our unity. Last Sunday Muslim extremists murdered a religious sister in Somalia. As I read about her decades of service to the needy in Africa, I was reminded of so many beautiful sisters I have known over the years. Here is a picture of Sister Leonella and a description of her death: On Sunday September 17, 2006 at around 12.00 am (-4 GMT), Sr. Leonella Sgorbati was ambushed while crossing the road that separates the SOS hospital from the SOS village where the five Consolata Sisters live. Her two assailants waited for her, hidden behind the taxis and kiosks that are found on that stretch of road at the entrance of the hospital. She was shot first in the thigh; when her bodyguard fired back, they shot and killed him, hitting the sister with two extra bullets, one of which entered her back and severed the femoral artery, causing a massive hemorrhage. Taking promptly to the theater, she died shortly after. Her dying words were uttered in Italian: pardono, pardono (I forgive, I forgive).

Sr. Leonella stands together with another heroic Italian Missionary, Father Andrea Santoro, who was killed by a young jihadist last February in Turkey. I understand there is a movement for Fr. Santoro’s canonization. It would be beautiful to see Fr. Santoro and Sr. Leonella officially recognized as heavenly intercessors. Meanwhile, there is nothing to prevent us individually to ask for their prayers that we might be helped in our own struggles to be faithful to the Lord.

Quisiera agradecer a la Sodalidad de Santa Marta y todos que participaron en la Casa Abierta del domingo pasado. Hubo muchos lindos comentarios, por ejemplo: “Gracias a Dios y a nuestros padres por guiarnos y no abandonarnos, darnos esperanza para seguir adelante. Gracias de nuevo.” Y de otra familia, “Gracias a Dios por sus bendiciones y porque siempre está con nosotros, porque nuestros hijos vienen a esta escuela y sus remodelaciones.” Pues, gracias todos que apoyan nuestra Campaña Capital que ha hecho posible estas renovaciones. Al mismo tiempo quisiera agradecer al Sr. Rogelio Andrade por donar los lindos murales de la Sagrada Familia y Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Aquí hay una foto de la imagen de la Virgen que él pinto en nuestro salón parroquial. En la parte en ingles hay una foto de Rogelio mismo.

Mientras pido su apoyo constante para nuestra parroquia, no podemos olvidar que somos parte de la arquidiócesis de Seattle - y que tenemos responsabilidad para contribuir para la obras pastorales y caritativas del Arzobispo Brunett. Este fin de semana la segunda colecta es para la Petición Anual Católica. Como explico en la parte inglesa, estamos un poco atrasados. Tengo la esperanza que, con esta colecta y otra colecta en diciembre podemos lograr nuestra meta para 2006. También quisiera reconocer los 348 feligreses que hicieron compromisos para la Petición Anual. Obviamente dependemos de su cumplimiento fiel para realizar este deber tan importante. Gracias a todos.