Bulletin (January 27, 2008)
Holy Family Seventh & Eighth Grade Students at State Capitol
This last Tuesday we had a great field trip to Olympia for the annual March for Life. The picture shows our seventh and eighth grade students with Principal Glen Lutz, various faculty members, as well as school parents and parishioners - and of course Samwise, who is fast becoming the most pro-life dog in Western Washington. This year the March for Life was bigger than I had ever seen. I was especially impressed by the number of young adults and college students. The Seattle Times had a good article on the pro-life movement. They noted the youth of the pro-life movement:
A decade of Pew Research Center polls shows that 18- to 29-year-olds are consistently more likely than the general adult population to favor strict limits on abortion. A Pew survey over the summer found 22 percent of young adults support a total ban on abortion, compared with 15 percent of their parents' generation. Looking specifically at teens, a Gallup survey in 2003 found that 72 percent call abortion morally wrong, and 32 percent believe it should be illegal in all circumstances. Among adults surveyed that year, only 17 percent backed a total ban.
Kennedy High School was well represented at the March for Life. The picture below shows part of their contingent. I was pleased to see Holy Family students so well represented in Kennedy's pro-life group. Many young people recognize that they are survivors of abortion. During the seventies and eighties, one out of every three pregnancies ended in abortion. On some level every two young adults sense that there should be a third standing with them. It is a great tragedy that America can reverse. In fact, there are indications that we are reversing that terrible trend. According to statistics, the number of abortions has declined in our nation. The abortion rate is now at one out of every five pregnancies. That is still way too many, but at least the trend is going in the right direction. Many of our young people identify with the message of Bishop Eusebio Elizondo. At the Mass before the March, he said, "Abortion is not a choice, it is a mistake." Women and men, who are suffering as the result of abortion, agree that their abortion was a terrible mistake. Christ holds out healing and forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation - and through a Rachel's Vineyard Retreat.
Kennedy High School Students for Life
At the March for Life, Democratic and Republican legislators addressed the crowd. They spoke about issues currently before our state legislature. I mentioned to you last Sunday that former governor Booth Gardener is promoting a "Death with Dignity" bill, also called Physician Assisted Suicide. He wants to end his life not in some quiet way, but by implicating the rest of us and the medical profession in his suicide. This is very sad. The former governor's children have said that they do want their dad to commit suicide. A person who takes his own life is sending a terrible message to his family and friends. While none of us can judge the mental state of someone who commits suicide, please God, may we not make suicide a part of medical care.
Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, tells about a man who confronted him, saying, "Father, I have a right to die." Fr. Pavone assured the man that he would not miss out on the experience, but also reminded him that none of us created our own life. Ultimately our lives do belong to us. Our lives belong to others and to God. And we have a duty to help and support those who find life terrible and difficult. While we do not run away from death, we recognize that she is our "sister." We accept death when she comes for us, but we do not control her.
I think of my mom in this regard. After my dad's death, she was very sad and talked about how she wanted to join him. I would gently chide her, "But what about us, mom?" Of course, she never contemplated taking her life in her own hands. She realized that the pains and illnesses she was suffering were a sign of God's plan, which she accepted. I remember in her last Lent, she gave up desserts and took on other forms of self-denial. I told her it was not required at her age, but she knew that voluntary self-denial is a good thing. In the end my mom died very peacefully. This Sunday is the eighth anniversary of my mom's death. Fr. Ramon and I will be offering Mass for her. I ask your prayers for the eternal rest of my parents. If you wish, you can join in asking them to pray for us, especially that all of us will embrace a true culture of life.
Speaking of embracing a culture of life, this an important week to support our Catholic Schools. Principal Glen Lutz has written more about this in his School News column. I want to particularly invite everyone to First Friday Mass (Feb. 1) which will be in honor of Grandparents. After the 8:30 a.m. Mass, there will be a reception for grandparents and parishioners in the Tice Hall. Please also consider attending the Pancake Breakfast next Saturday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. For the first time in many years, Holy Family School is closing on its operating deficit. The School Annual Fund Drive is vital for this effort, which will not only benefit our school, but our overal parish. Finally please consider attending the Open House next Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Next Sunday at our 11 a.m. Mass we have two beautiful events: the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Rite of Sending for our Catechumens and Candidates. Also next Sunday we will have a wrap-up of the Stewardship Drive. The bulletin will contain the list of all those who have made a pledge of Time, Talent and/or Treasure. I am grateful for the Stewardship of each and every praishioner. This past week we sent a financial statemet to all those who donated to Holy Family Parish in 2007. You can use this statement in preparing your Income Tax. If there is any discrepancy or error in your statement, please notify Mary French at our parish office.
Finally, I want to call your attention to the Lighthouse CD's and pamphlets in the vestibule. They provide a way of deepening one's understanding of the faith. Catholic Digest sent a number of free copies of their magazine. You are welcome to pick up a copy and consider subscribing. In coming weeks, we will also have available copies of our archdiocesan newspaper, the Catholic Northwest Progress.
El dia martes, algunos alumnos, profesores y papás de la Escuela de Holy Family participaron en la Marcha Pro-Vida en Olympia. La foto muestra algunos de ellos. En mi columna en inglés hay unos datos interesante que aparecieron en el diario Seattle Times que indica que los jóvenes de hoy son más pro-vida que sus papás. Es una tendencia bienvenida, especialmente el hecho que la tasa de aborto ha bajado en los últimos años. Pues, un solo aborto es una tragedia. Como dijo el Obispo Eusebio en la Misa, "abortion is not a choice, it is an error." El aborto provocado es siempre un error.
Alumnos de Holy Family
Para los que están sufriendo a causa de un aborto provocado, la Iglesia ofrece sanación y perdón: En primer lugar por el Sacramento de Confesión, pero una sanación mas profunda en el Retiro de Viñedo de Raquel. Al final de las misas este domingo, habrá presentaciones sobre el Retiro que se llevará a cabo del 28 al 30 de marzo.
El próximo domingo habrá la Celebración de Escuelas Catolicas. Desde las 9 a.m. a la 1 p.m. habrá "Casa Abierta" en nuestra escuela parroquial para que todos puedan obtener información sobre la educación católica. En la misa de 9:30 a.m. habrá unas presentaciones especiales. En la misma misa también tendremos el Rito de Envio para nuestros catecumenos. Finalmente, quisiera recordarles que del Curso de Planficación Familiar Natural el 10 de febrero a la 1:45 p.m. (después de la misa de 12:30). La Dra. Gina Landicho, M.D., que fue criada en España y habla castellano, dará la presentación y unas instructoras del Método Billings estarán con nosotros para ayudar con diferentes preguntas. El costo es solamente $25 que incluye las materiales y las dos clases de seguimiento en abril y junio. Jóvenes adultos también pueden participar por un costo de $15. Es la mejor inversión que uno puede hacer en su salud, su tranquilidad personal, su matrimonio y familia. No pierdan esta oportunidad unica.
The End of Year Tax Statements were mailed to all identified donors this past week. If you did not receive yours, please contact the Parish Office. There are some parishioners in our database for whom we either have insufficient addresses or addresses which are no longer valid as well as no current phone number. If you did not receive your statement, please be sure to leave your current address and phone number so we can correct our records if necessary.
First Collection Stewardship for Week 30 of Fiscal Year (July 1, 2007 – January 20, 2008) Budgeted Year to Date: $368,670.00 Collected Year to Date: $354,594.01 Income Difference Year to Date (-) $ 14,075.99 Amount Needed Each Sunday: $ 12,289.00 Last Sunday’s Offering: $ 10,198.31 Weekly Income Difference: (-) $ 2,090.69 Some of the Gifts from the Other Half of our Stewardship 2-bit Collection (SVDP): $ 591.66 2-bit Collection (Madre Teresa): $ 798.25 Capital Campaign Total Households Pledging: 678 Total Pledged: $1,189,031.63 Total Paid: $ 976,233.50 Balance: $ 212,798.13 Delinquency Amount to Date: $ 133,594.24