Bulletin (March 30, 2008)

Spring has arrived, but we are having a hard time shaking off the winter. It was odd to see snow mixed with rain this past week. The snow seems to be part of a pattern of cold weather. I certainly noticed it when we got the heating bills for our four large buildings. For example, it cost $1,511.69 to heat the school during the month of February. The statement from Puget Sound Energy indicated that the average temperature per day was five degrees colder than last winter. That difference led to about a 50% increase in the amount of natural gas needed to heat the school building. The picture is similar with our church, rectory and Ailbe House bills. So I am particularly grateful for your support – knowing that you are facing similar increases in the cost of utilities.

March 28, 2008

In spite of the cold weather, we had a wonderful Holy Week with good turn-outs for Palm Sunday and Easter Masses, as well as the Stations, Mass of the Last Supper and Good Friday Services. At the Easter Vigils, we received into the Church some 44 people (adults and children of catechetical age) by the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. It is a special joy to receive an entire family – in this case, the Funai’s, who are on the left of the

At the reception after the English Easter Vigil, I had the pleasure of meeting two well-know local families: the Strausses and Currans. Many of you prayed for Gloria Strauss, the 11 year-old girl who died of cancer last September. Her dad, Doug Strauss, has established a foundation to help families facing a similar crisis. I hope to have Doug give a presentation at Holy Family some time in the future. He already has many connections with our parish, including being a student of Mr. Glen Lutz when Glen taught and coached at Kennedy High School.

It was also a real pleasure to meet Dr. Tom Curran. Tom does a radio program called Sound Insight. Keep your radio dial tuned to 1050 AM, and you will hear him live at 8 a.m., Tuesday through Friday with the “encore” at 11 p.m. Tom also hosts the “Archbishop’s Hour” Thursdays at 4 p.m. with rebroadcasts Saturdays at noon. I have posted the full Sacred Heart Radio schedule on the bulletin board.

You will want to tune in to Sacred Heart Radio when Pope Benedict visits our country from April 15 to 20. The pope will speak at the United Nations and visit the site of the September 11 attacks. Also, he will gather Catholic university presidents for a major address. Besides praying for Pope Benedict, I encourage you to read some of his important writings. His books are available at local bookstores and libraries. One that I found particularly helpful was Values in a Time of Upheaval. It contains a brilliant essay on conscience. According to space, I would like to quote some sections in the next few bulletins. Here is how he lays out the issue:

“It is of course undisputed that one must follow a certain conscience or at least not act against it. But whether the judgment of conscience or what one takes to be such, is always right, indeed whether it is infallible, is another question.”

Pope Benedict (then Cardinal Ratzinger) tells about a debate in which a university professor argued that Hitler and his accomplices were surely saved because they acted according to their sincere convictions, that is, according to their consciences. The professor asserted that “since they followed their, albeit mistaken consciences, one would have to recognize their conduct as moral and, as a result, should not doubt their eternal salvation.” In the essay of Conscience and Truth, Pope Benedict points out what is wrong with that understanding of conscience. Next week I will say more on how the pope responded to this vexing subject.

The question of conscience – and the correct formation of conscience – relates to issues regarding care of those with disabilities. This Monday we have a particular opportunity to reflect on those questions because March 31 is now observed as “Terri’s Day” in memory of Terri Schiavo, a young woman who died of enforced dehydration (thirst) three years ago. The full title of the commemoration is "International Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Terri Schindler Schiavo, and All of Our Vulnerable Brothers and Sisters." The organizers hope that “Terri’s Day” will foster education, prayer, and activism regarding discrimination against the disabled. They hope the day will also encourage advocacy for those in situations similar to that of Terri Schiavo and her family. President of Priests for Life Father Frank Pavone said, "Those of us who were with Terri will never forget her life and her death. For the sake of all the vulnerable, it is critically important that those who never knew Terri likewise remember the lessons that God taught us through her."

I have posted on the bulletin board some Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Terri Schiavo case. Also, you will find the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith’s “Response to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration.” Monday is a good day to reflect and pray on these important matters: what basic care we should give to the disabled – and to those who are terminally ill. We will have an English Mass at 8:30 a.m. and a Latin Mass (extraordinary form) at 7:30 p.m. Finally, I want to say it has been wonderful to send letters to so many people who have fulfilled their Capital Campaign pledges. Thank you, all! Also, a special thank-you to new donors who gave one hundred dollar donations. It is not too late to make a contribution. We will finalize our donor list on Friday, April 4.

Las celebraciones de la Semana Santa han sido muy impactantes. Quisiera agradecer a los jovenes por su presentacion de la Via Crucis el dia viernes (ver foto). Ademas estoy profundamente agradecido a todos que organizaron y participaron en las liturgias de Jueves Santo, Viernes Santo y Domingo de Pascua de Resurreccion: los coros, lectors, ministros extraordinarios, monaguillos, sacristanes, hospitalidad, colectas, limpieza y todas las otras donaciones de tiempo y talento para hacer posible estas celebraciones sagradas. Un agradecimiento especial al Padre Ramon y Diacono Abel por haberse levantado tan temprano el dia domingo para la Vigilia Pascual. En la foto abajo hay uno de los jovenes iniciados en la vida de Cristo por medio del Bautismo, Confirmacion y Eucaristia.

Finalmente un agradecimiento a los nuevos donadores que han dado su donacion de cien dolares para la Campaña Capital. Y gracias a todos que hicieron sus compromisos. Como van a ver en la placa memorial, el Grupo de Eventos Sociales ha recaudo mas de cuarenta mil dolares y una familia de la comunidad ha dado un total de veinte mil. Hay muchas familias de la comunidad hispana que han hecho donaciones mayores y muchos otros que han apoyado esta Campaña según sus capacidades y sobre todo con sus oraciones. Que Dios nos bendiga todos en este tiempo de Pascua de Resurreccion.

Dear Parishioners,

I want to take this opportunity to encourage new families who are considering Holy Family Parish School, to be sure and enroll your child during the week of March 31 – April 4. The office is open, daily from 8:00 – 4:00. Mrs. Laforga, my Administrative Assistant can be reached at: (206) 767-6640 or SchoolAdmin@HFSeattle.org.

For those seeking financial aid, we have a process in place that involves first applying to the archdiocesan Fulcrum Foundation. They of course require that parents present their financial records, including their income tax statements. Now is the time to apply!

Easter Blessings,

Glen t. Lutz

Fostering Stewardship As a Way of Life

Stewardship Reflection Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ leads naturally to the practice of Stewardship. These linked realities, discipleship and stewardship, then make up the fabric of a Christian life in which each day is lived in an intimate, personal relationship with the Lord.

~ US Bishops’ Letter – Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response

Stewardship Salute
Thank you to Tab Perry for providing much needed software for our Parish Office!

Parish Stewardship Giving Summary
Wk. 39 of Fiscal Year (July 1, 2007 – March 23, 2008)

Amount Needed Each Sunday:		$  12,289.00
March 23 Check/Cash Envelope:	$    7,614.97
March 23 Palm Sunday Envelope:	$         34.00
March 23 Easter Envelope:		$    2,365.00
March 23 EFT(Automatic Deduction)$      637.05
March 23 Loose Cash:		$    4,172.26
March 23 Total Offering:			$  14,823.28 

Weekly Income Difference:		       + $      2,534.28 

Budgeted Fiscal Year to Date:		$479,271.00
Collected Year to Date:			$470,428.20
Income Difference Year to Date:            (-) $    8,842.80

Some of the Gifts from the Other Half of our Stewardship
Maundy Thursday/SVDP & Madre Teresa:	$       672.58
2-Bit for Easter (Deanery Hospital):		$    1,654.55
Rice Bowl/CRS:				$       621.00

Capital Campaign
Total Households Pledging:			718
Total Pledged:					$1,204,767.02
Total Paid:					$1,026,262.12
Balance:					$   178,504.90

West Seattle Planned Parenthood, Good Friday 2008:

Samwise at Onamac Point, Camano Island, March 24, 2008:

Sit, Sam, Sit

Toys for Peru, Fourth Grade - Mrs. Anca Wilson