Bulletin (August 26, 2007)

Thank you for the great response to the special collection for Peru Earthquake Relief: $6,847.59 was donated! This includes donations from members of my family (we had an annual family reunion last Sunday afternoon). Also, a lovely group of religious sisters here in Seattle made a kind donation. I appreciate your ongoing support and prayers for the Mary Bloom Center in responding to this tragedy.

As I mentioned last Sunday, the August 15 earthquake had a special poignancy for me. A dear friend Sister Elizabeth Ore Ventura was one of those killed when a church in Pisco collapsed. Sister Elizabeth worked for many years at the orphanage in Puno. The picture shows her with the three other Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul caring for orphan girls in Puno. Sister Elizabeth is second from the left. The Mary Bloom Center rents a corner of their property, which we use for our medical clinic and educational center.

As you have seen on the news, conditions in Peru continue to be very difficult. Many people lost their homes and are awaiting assistance to help them rebuild their lives. One of the most urgent needs has been for blankets. Seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere, so people in Peru are still in winter. For most of South America, this has been the coldest winter on record. The cold winter added to the suffering caused by the destruction of homes in the earthquake. Right after the earthquake struck, someone gave me a $200 donation. I notified Obst. Luz Marron, director of the Mary Bloom Center, who used the donation to purchase 28 blankets that were rushed to the people affected by the earthquake on the Peruvian coast.

Speaking of blankets, perhaps you remember that in July I asked for help in purchasing blankets for people in Puno suffering from the extremely cold winter. Puno is at an altitude of 12,500 feet above sea level. With nighttime temperatures dropping well below freezing, Luz used those donations to purchase thick woolen blankets, which cost about fifteen dollars each. (The blankets for earthquake victims on the coast were lighter and cost a little over seven dollars each.) Below is picture of Luz distributing blankets to a needy family in Puno.

Next weekend we will have the scheduled collection for the Mary Bloom Center itself. This will go for the basic operation of the Center, which is necessary in order to continue its service to a very needy population. During October I will be visiting Peru and will bring your encouragement to people there.

Because of the Peru Earthquake collection, we postponed the St. Vincent de Paul collection to this weekend. We of course cannot forget the needs of the poor right at our own doorsteps. In September we will have the collection for Birthright, which originally had been scheduled for this Sunday.

This is the last week before the beginning of our new school year. Parish Administrator Gary Samaniego and I will be meeting with school staff and teachers to join in the planning for the coming year. I am encouraged that our parish school is doing so well in terms of enrollment and the involvement of parents.

This level of involvement contrasts with what seems to be a growing apathy in our society. I noticed that last week only 16% of King County’s registered voters bothered to vote in the primary election. If you hear someone complain about the conditions of our roads or our public schools, ask them if they voted in the last election. Chances are they are among the five out of six who did not. If they did vote, congratulate them. And speaking of congratulations, Holy Family parishioner Maria Ramirez did well in the campaign for the Seattle School Board: she was second in a field of five. No matter what one’s political affiliation or feeling about Seattle Public Schools, we can feel proud of Maria for stepping up to the plate and her desire to make a difference for our children.

On a more local level, next weekend I will be asking for nominees for our Parish Council. The council will tackle three big issues: 1) discernment of the meaning and role of Stewardship at Holy Family 2) the loss of Catholic identity, especially among our young people and 3) the next steps in the renovation of our parish facilities.

Gracias por su respuesta generosa a la collecta especial por las victimas del terremoto en Peru: $6,847.59 fueron colectados. Les agradezco por su apoyo y oraciones para el Centro Mary Bloom que esta haciendo su parte para ayudar a niños y familias afectados por el sismo. Como les mencioné el domingo pasado, una persona muy querida murió cuando se derrumbó el templo de San Clemente en Pisco. Su nombre es Sor Elizabeth Ore Ventura, una Hija de la Caridad de San Vicente de Paul. Antes de ser tranferida a la ciudad de Pisco en la costa del Peru, ella trabajó varios años en Puno. El Centro Mary Bloom aquila su lugar de oficina, clinica médica y centro educativo de las Hijas de la Caridad en Puno y trabajemos con ellos para el bien de familias en el altiplano. En octubre yo iré al Perú y voy a llevar conmigo las oraciones y buenos deseos de ustedes.

Encima del sufrimimiento causado por el terremoto, los peruanos todavía sufren los efectos del invierno más frio en memoria. Al saber del terremoto alguien me dio $200. Notifiqué a la Obst. Luz M. Marron y ella compró 28 cobijas para ayudar a las personas que perdieron sus casas en el terremoto. Y hablando de cobijas, quizas ustedes se acuerdan que durante el mes de julio pedí ayuda para comprar cobijas para familias de Puno. La ciudad de Puno está a una altura de 3,800 metros sobre el nivel del mar y durante este tiempo muchas personas han sufrido enfermedades a causa del frio extremo. La foto muestra a la Sra. Luz repartiendo frazadas.

A causa de la colecta por las victimas del terremoto, hemos postergado la colecta de Madre Teresa para este fin de semana. Habrá una colecta para “Birthright” (Derecho de Nacer) en septiembre. El primer domingo de septiembre habrá una colecta para el Centro Mary Bloom.

El proximo domingo voy a pedir sugerencias para miembros del nuevo Consejo Parroquial. El Consejo enfocará en tres cosas fundamentales: 1) discernimiento de lo que significa la Mayordomia para nosotros como parroquia, 2) la perdida de identidad católica, especialmente en nuestros jóvenes, y 3) los próximos pasos en la renovación de la parroquia.