Bulletin (April 27, 2008)

A week ago I made my annual retreat at the Benedictine monastery (Westminster Abbey) in Mission, B.C. Basically, it was three full days dedicated to prayer and reflection. With so much happening in our parish and school, it was a little difficult to get away, but at the same time, it was good to be able to step back and focus on the big picture: our relationship with God through Christ in the Communion of Saints.

While at the monastery, I was able to ask some of the monks to pray for us. They assured me that they would. One in particular stands out: Brother Joseph. He was a five-year-old child when his parents worked with me in Peru, a few decades back. Now he is a Benedictine monk in temporary vows. Besides many hours of prayer each day, his job is to teach woodshop to their high school students and to help care for the farm. The monks raise cattle, chicken and vegetables to provide food for themselves and for the seminarians.

Among the seminarians is a boy from our parish – Anthony Shipley. The photo shows me with Brother Joseph and Anthony. Also, I happened to be talking a walk during the high school recess and took a picture of Anthony playing hockey with another student.

Among the recently ordained here in Seattle, is Fr. Mel Strazicich, who received his formation from the Benedictines at Mission, B.C. In addition to Americans who have studied there, we have also been blessed over the years with Canadian priests who received their basic formation from the monks: for example, Fr. Fabian McDonald, Fr. Tim McKenna and, our neighboring pastor, Fr. Jack Walmesley.

The topic of priestly formation leads nicely into the Annual Catholic Appeal. A significant part of your donations goes to seminary formation. Our parish goal of $62,759 includes $7,834 for training of seminarians and for medical care of retired priests. Besides the support of seminarians and retired priests, the Annual Catholic Appeal supports some 63 agencies that provide pastoral care and services for the needy in Seattle and throughout Western Washington.

One of the agencies supported by the Annual Appeal is the Marriage Tribunal. They assist those who have gone through the trauma of divorce and who are struggling to put their lives back together, especially in relation to God in the sacraments. Perhaps you have noticed on the front of our bulletin that Jim Postel has taken the training and is now our parish Advocate to the Marriage Tribunal. This is one more example of how the Annual Catholic Appeal helps people in our parish. Rica Herrera, who is Chair of our Parish Council, will speak more about this in her testimony this weekend.

I have to admit that I am partial to this Appeal because over the years our parish has probably received a disproportionate amount of assistance from the Archdiocese. Besides supporting archdiocesan agencies, which benefit all of us, we hope to once again exceed our archdiocesan goal and receive a rebate. As I mentioned in last Sunday’s bulletin, this year our parish project is to beautify our grounds. We hope to hire a professional landscaper who can make suggestions for improving our planters, beds, sidewalks and other areas. We would also like to purchase a new Reader Board to replace the old one on the northwest corner of the church.

I started this column talking about my retreat. When I returned from the retreat, I received a great deal of encouragement from the annual School Auction. It seemed like the best organized in my years here at Holy Family. Especially encouraging was the great response to the Al Pricco Scholarship Fund: about thirty thousand dollars was raised to enable parents of lower income to send their children to our parish school. I am very grateful to the Pricco family for this commitment to the future of our school. Along with this and other scholarship funds, we are making a major effort to promote the Randy Terlicker Scholarship and Endowment Funds. As we have completed three years of our Capital Campaign, the Randy Terlicker Fund will be one of our major focuses. In relation to these efforts, I would like to conclude with these words of encouragement from our Holy Father:

Dear friends, the history of this nation includes many examples of the Church’s commitment in this regard. The Catholic community here has in fact made education one of its highest priorities. This undertaking has not come without great sacrifice. Towering figures, like Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and other founders and foundresses, with great tenacity and foresight, laid the foundations of what is today a remarkable network of parochial schools contributing to the spiritual well-being of the Church and the nation. Some, like Saint Katharine Drexel, devoted their lives to educating those whom others had neglected – in her case, African Americans and Native Americans. Countless dedicated Religious Sisters, Brothers, and Priests together with selfless parents have, through Catholic schools, helped generations of immigrants to rise from poverty and take their place in mainstream society.

Denis & Liane Bruneau - Parents of Brother Joseph

Denis holding Guineau Pig (traditional food source in Peru)

Antes de todo, felicidades a todos los jovenes que recibieron el sacramento de Confirmacion el 21 de abril. Tambien a sus papas y padrinos, muchas felicidades. Abajo hay una foto del Obispo Joseph Tyson con los nuevos confirmados, los diaconos Abel y Cal – y su servidor. Ademas una foto con una de los jovenes y su madrina con el Obispo Tyson. Este evento subraya la importancia de apoyar a nuestros obispos. El obispo Tyson celebró el sacramento en una forma muy devota y su mensaje llegó al corazon de todos. La presencia de los obispos y todos los programas pastorales y caritativas de la arquidiocesis dependen de nuestro apoyo a la Peticion Catolica Anual.

Bishop Joseph Tyson with Yaksi Andrade & Irerick Magaña

Dia del Niño Por Nacer, Puno, Peru - Luz, Irma, Eugenia e Isaias

Billboard prepared for observance

Mary Bloom Center - Puno, Peru

Holy Family Eighth Graders making icons, April 25, 2008

Blessing of Nitkey Kitchen, April 24, 2008 Capital Campaign Celebration

Mrs. Budde & Fifth Graders returning from Week at Camp Waskowitz