Bulletin (September 28, 2008)
40 Days for Life, Seattle
Last weekend we had a fine presentation by Deacon Juan Lezcano at English, Spanish and Filipino Masses. He spoke about Christian acceptance of death, even the longing to “be with the Lord” that St. Paul expresses. At the same time, Deacon Juan clearly stated our conviction that life is a gift from God. While we do all we can to alleviate suffering and we are not obliged to accept any and all medical procedures, God commands us not to directly take a human life – either by suicide or euthanasia.
With our national economic crisis and all the other issues we are facing this fall, the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide may not get sufficient attention. That would be a tragedy. This is something we really need to think through because it defines the type of society we will become. I do not believe we want to communicate to our children that suicide is a legitimate option. Involving our medical profession in the deliberate taking of human lives would have terrible consequences.
As Christians we can never sanction the deliberate taking of an innocent human life. “You are not your own,” says St. Paul, “Jesus purchased you at a great price.” Every human life has value and dignity – no matter what its condition. Even those who do not share our Christian faith sense that inherent dignity. We know that we Christians are a minority in Washington State, but we pray that enough fellow citizens will join us in November so that we can resist the push to legalize physician assisted suicide.
Acknowledging life as a gift from God is the basis of everything else that we do. In the coming weeks you will be hearing more about Stewardship – which is our grateful response to God’s generosity. This past year our Parish Council has been studying what it means for Holy Family to become a Stewardship Parish. On Saturday we had an all day retreat to bring together the results of this discernment. We have a plan that elaborates our mission and goals, as well as setting specific objectives for the next three years. This plan will provide a framework for us as a parish and as individuals in becoming disciples of Christ. I ask your support and prayers as we implement this plan.
Regarding parish stewardship, this week I will be sending you the Annual Report. It contains a letter from me, highlight of the year 2007-2008, a financial overview and some basic information on stewardship. In the financial section, you will notice that – thanks be to God and your generosity – we have balanced our budget in the past two years. This does not mean that we are free from past debts and liabilities, but we are making progress. In our current year we are trying to do more in the areas of liturgy and faith formation. Also we are addressing some urgent maintenance needs (for example, leaks in our water pipes). For that reason we have significant increase in actual expenses. At the recent meeting of our Finance Council, the members observed that in July and August giving did not match our expenses. We are studying some possibilities for reducing expenses, but most of them would have negative consequences. Only your stewardship and generosity makes it possible for us to realize our mission of bringing Christ’s love through sacraments, religious education and service.
Some personal notes: On October 6, I will be going to Peru to visit the Mary Bloom Center. Also I hope to take your aid to the Vincentian Sisters (Daughters of Charity) to help in their work with orphans and victims of last year’s earthquake. I will be here for First Thursday Confessions (Oct2) and will return in time for First Thursday Confessions on Nov 6. Last Sunday I attended the 100th Anniversary Mass at my home parish, St. Cecilia’s in Stanwood. After the Mass some of the priests gathered at their Shrine to the Unborn. The picture shows Archbishop Brunett, Carmelite priests Frs. Laurence Poncini, David Centener and James Geoghehan, Maryknoll Father Tom Marti and my fellow diocesan priests Frs. Ron Knutson and Bernard Jonientz.
Frs. Laurence Poncini, Ron Knutson, David Centener O.C.D.,, Phil Bloom, Archbishop, Jim Geoghehan, O.C.D., Tom Marti, M.M., Bernard Jonientz
El domingo pasado el Diacono Juan Lezcano nos dio una buena presentacion. Hablo de la aceptacion cristiana de la muerte, aun el deseo de “estar con el Señor” que San Pablo expresa. Al mismo tiempo, el Diacono Juan afirmo claramente que la vida es don de Dios. Mientras hacemos todo posible para aliviar el sufrimiento y no estamos obligados a utilizar todo procedimiento medico, Dios nos manda no directamente tomar la vida humana – aun por suicidio o eutanasia.
Reconocer que la vida es don de Dios es base de todo lo que hacemos. En las semanas que vienen escucharemos mas sobre la Mayordomia (Co-Responsibilidad) que es nuestra respuesta agradecida a la generosidad de Dios. El año pasado nuestro Consejo Parroquial ha estudiado lo que significa ser una Parroquia de Co-Responsibilidad. El dia sabado tuvimos un retiro para juntar los resultados. Tenemos un plan que elabora nuestra mision y metas, y obejetivos para los proximos tres años. El plan dará un marco para nosotros como parroquia e individuos en ser discipulos de Cristo. Pido su apoyo y oraciones en la implementacion de este plan.
En cuanto a la mayordomia parroquial, este semana les enviare el Reporte Annual. Contiene una carta de su servidor, eventos importantes del año 2007-2008, un reporte financiero e informacion basica sobre la co-responsibilidad. El Consejo Financiero notó que durante los meses de julio y agosto del año actual, los ingresos no cubrieron los gastos. Estamos estudiando posibilidades para reducir gastos, pero la mayoria tendria resultados negativos. Solamente su co-responsibilidad y generosidad hacen posible nuestra mision de traer el amor de Cristo por medio de los sacramentos, educacion religiosa y servicio.
Unas notas personales: El 6 de octubre ire al Peru para visitor el Centro Mary Bloom. Espero llevar conmigo su ayuda para las Hijas de la Caridad para asistir en su trabajo con huerfanos y las victimas del terremoto del año pasado. Estaré aquí para las Confesions del Primer Jueves (2 de oct) y regresare para las del 6 de noviembre. El domingo pasado asisti al centenario de mi parroquia nativa de Santa Cecilia en Stanwood. Aquí una foto con la Sra Ana Murphy, que nacio en el mismo año que mi mamá (1918).
100th Anniversary, St. Cecilia, Stanwood; September 21, 2008
Fr. Laurence Poncini, O.C.D., Pastor
Fr. William Treacy
Archbishop Brunett with longtime parishioners
Pete and Sally McDougall
Fr. Paul Koenig, O.C.D.
(pictures courtesy of Pete McDougall)
Where should your charitable giving go? The Church teaches that we should fulfill our obligation to give by being generous toward divine worship, apostolic works, works of charity, and for the decent sustenance of ministers. In addition, we are obliged to promote social justice and assist with the needs of the poor. Have you thought about your giving lately?
Faith and Finances with Phil Lenahan © – www.VeritasFinancialMinistries.com Parish Stewardship Giving Summary Wk.12 of Fiscal Year (July 6, 2008 – September 21, 2008) Amt. Needed 1st Collection Each Sunday: $ 14,100.00 Sept. 21 Check/Cash Envelope: $ 7,099.00 Sept. 21 EFT (Automatic Deduction):$ 746.07 Sept. 21 Loose Cash: $ 3,137.38 September 21 Total Offering: $ 10,982.45 Weekly Income Difference: (-) $ 3,117.55 Fiscal Year to Date Goal 1st Collection FY to Date: $ 169,200.00 Collected 1st Collection FY to Date: $ 129,113.41 Difference 1st Collection FY to Date: (-) $ 40,086.59 Some of the Gifts from the Other Half of our Stewardship Second Collection: St. Vincent de Paul: $ 1,785.14 Build Hope: $ 507.10 The Minimum Wage is now $8.07 an hour. Would you consider giving to the Lord at least one hour per week of the Minimum Wage? Or, if you are making above that, would you consider giving one hour per week of your hourly wage? For on-line donations to parish or school: www.HFSeattle.org For on-line donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal: http://www.seattlearch.org/ACA