Bulletin (December 2, 2007)

Welcome to Advent! As we light the first candle of the Advent Wreath, we remember the One who came as light in our world of darkness. Each Sunday the light increases until we arrive at the Birth of Jesus. One of the great Advent figures, who helps us prepare our hearts for Jesus’, coming is St. Nicholas. The clipart shows St. Nicholas holding an Advent Wreath. He was the fourth century bishop and martyr that popular tradition transformed into Santa Claus. On December 6 we celebrate his feast day. The 8:30 a.m. Mass this Thursday will be in honor of the great saint.

This Thursday is a great opportunity to make an Advent Confession. Fr. Ramon and I will be available from 6 to 8 p.m. in the church confessionals. December 7 is First Friday. Our seventh grade class will provide music for the 8:30 a.m. Mass. The students of our school will be bringing cans of food that our St. Vincent de Paul Society will distribute to the poor. Any parishioner may join our children in that effort. After the Mass, Principal Glen Lutz has invited parishioners to a reception and bake in the Tice Hall. On Friday evening we will have Vigil Masses for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception: 6 p.m. in English and 7:30 p.m. in Spanish.

December 8 is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Since it falls on Saturday, it is not a Holy Day of Obligation. Nevertheless, you are highly encouraged to attend Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Right after the 8 a.m. Mass, we will have the formal blessing and dedication of the statue of Our Lady of La Vang. The Very Rev. Fr. Phuong V. Hoang, chaplain of Seattle’s Church of Vietnamese Martyrs, will concelebrate the Mass along with Fr. Ramon and me. Please join us for this important event. The Mass will be in English, and the prayers after the Mass will be English, Spanish and Vietnamese. All are welcome.

This Sunday’s two-bit collection is for Deanery Prison Ministry. Perhaps you saw the beautiful Seattle Times article on Pat King, who has ministered to inmates of King County Jail for twenty years. Below, is a picture of Pat handing a prayer booklet to one of the inmates. Your donations to this two-bit collection enable Holy Family Parish to fulfill its commitment to support Catholic chaplains at King County Jail.

Next weekend our second collection will be for Catholic Charities. We can be proud of the work of Catholic Charities – the second largest service provider in Washington State (after DSHS).

Recently, I have been reading 33 Questions About American History You’re Not Supposed To Ask by Thomas E. Woods Jr. In one of the chapters, he talks about the immigration debate, which evidently has been going on for a long time. I couldn’t help smile at the quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us, instead of us Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language and customs any more than they can acquire our complexion?” Benjamin Franklin was a luminous mind, but if his opinion on immigration prevailed, we would not have Deacon Ted Wiese with us. In fact, probably most of the rest of us would not be here. Now, I don’t mean to make light of the immigration issue. It has become a Gordian Knot, which no one seems able to unravel. Meanwhile, it affects the lives of so many people, especially here at Holy Family Parish. This is a good month to do some extra praying for our leaders - that they can find solutions that are wise, just and merciful.

Finally, this weekend we join with the family of Deputy Steve Cox in remembrance and prayer. You are invited to attend the First Anniversary Mass in memory of Deputy Cox at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday.

Esta semana comenzamos la Novena de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Espero que todos participen en esta preparación para la gran celebracion en honor a la Virgen Maria. Durante la novena tenemos una oportunidad especial este año. Seguro que han notado que nuestros hermanos vietnamitas han puesto una linda estatua de Nuestra Señora de La Vang. Muy apropiadamente está a las espaldas de la imagen de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Es la misma Virgen Maria que se les apareció al pueblo de Vietnam en el añor 1798. El dia 8 de diciembre, después de la misa de 8 a.m., tendremos la dedicación y bendición de la estatua Nuestra Señora de La Vang. La foto abajo muestra los jóvenes del sexto grado ante Nuestra Señora de La Vang.

Les invito también a recibir el Sacramento de Reconciliación durante el tiempo de Adviento. El Padre Ramón y yo estaremos disponibles en los confesionarios este jueves, 6 de diciembre, desde las 6 a 8 p.m. El dia viernes a las 7:30 p.m. habrá misa en honor a la Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción.

Finalmente quisiera mencionar dos colectas importantes: este fin de semana para el Ministerio a los Encarcelados en King County Jail. Muchos de nuestros hermanos están allá y por medio de nuestro apoyo reciben los servicios de capellanes católicos. El próximo fin de semana la colecta es para Catholic Charity (Caritas or Caridad) para ayudar a los mas pobres de nuestra sociedad, por ejemplo, familias e individuos que viven en las calles. Les agradezco sus donaciones como parte de su Mayordomia Cristiana.