Bulletin (April 5, 2009)

Welcome to Holy Week! As I will try to express in my Palm Sunday homily, you can sum up the meaning of Holy Week in two words: Divine Mercy. During Holy Week, we focus on Divine Mercy and open our hearts to that greatest of all gifts.

Divine Mercy is a gift: something we could neither expect nor deserve. Because of our sins, we separated ourselves from God and from each other. But God did not abandon us. He identified with our suffering and – in his Son Jesus – he offers a new beginning. We see the Divine Mercy above all in the Easter Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. I invite you to come to the Mass of the Last Supper this Thursday at 7 p.m. The next day we have the Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 6 p.m. Then on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. we have the greatest of all liturgies – the Easter Vigil. Do not miss these great events when God pours out his grace, his Divine Mercy.

As a way of underscoring God’s gracious love, on Good Friday at 3 p.m. we begin the Divine Mercy Novena. To help you in praying this Novena, I am making available two pamphlets: How to Prepare for Mercy Sunday and Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet. You may pick up these pamphlets in the vestibule. They are free, but please consider making a small donation.

This year the novena will be particularly special because on its ninth day (Mercy Sunday) an extraordinary priest will visit us: Fr. Frank Pavone, director of Priests for Life. He will preach at the 8 and 11 a.m. Masses on April 19 and that afternoon will lead the Hour of Mercy Prayers at 3 p.m. in front of the Madison Street Planned Parenthood. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo will also be with us for an opening prayer and blessing. I encourage you to participate in this prayer service. Only the Divine Mercy can overcome the expanding culture of death that threatens our children’s future and the future of our country.

Our response to the Divine Mercy is gratitude – but not a gratitude that simply says “thanks” and then goes on with business as usual. Our gratitude is expressed by giving our lives to the Lord. He doesn’t just want a part of us. He wants all that we are: our time, our energy, our abilities, our relationships and our possessions.

One of the very concrete ways that we express our gratitude to God is by financial generosity. In the Stewardship Column, you will see the results of our First Collections for March and for the past three months. I am greatly encouraged by your generosity. Also, we have some good news regarding the 2008 Annual Catholic Appeal.

I want to take this occasion to address another aspect of our parish Stewardship – the “two-bit” (second) collections. This custom began before I took charge of Holy Family in 1996. It is a way for us as a parish to “tithe,” to support needs beyond the maintenance of our parish buildings and programs.

The two-bit collections follow a pattern: We have a monthly collection for St. Vincent de Paul to serve the poor in our local community. We take up a bi-monthly collection for the Randy Terlicker Endowment Fund to help needy families send their children to our parish school. Also, we have a bi-monthly collection for Deanery Hospital & Prison Ministries. These collections, along with the two collections for “parish grounds” and the three collections for Evangelization, help toward balancing our parish budget.

During the year, we have five collections for Birthright. They support the life-saving work of our parish Birthright organization and they publicize this good work so that young women in crisis pregnancies will be aware of this resource. We take up a quarterly collection for the Mary Bloom Center that aids the needy in Southern Peru and also a collection for the Daughters of Charity for their work with orphans in Puno, Peru. We have one collection each for Priests for Life, Human Life of Washington, Project Rachel (post-abortion healing) and for Fr. John Waldrep’s mission in Tanzania. These collections help the “least of our brothers and sisters” – particularly the unborn. Also assisting the needy in our world are the six archdiocesan collections: Peters Pence, Build Hope, Mission Sunday, Catholic Charities, Black and Indian Catholics and Catholic Relief Services.

I hope this summary gives a broader picture of Holy Family “tithing” by way of the second (“two-bit”) collections. I am gratefully to my predecessors for establishing the custom of two-bit collections. These collections not only aid the needy, but they also make us aware of our connection to less fortunate brothers and sisters in our neighborhood, archdiocese, nation and world. They are taken up during the announcement time at the end of Mass, except during three Sundays in November (so that we can concentrate on Parish Stewardship) and three Sundays beginning the end of April (so that we can concentrate of the Annual Catholic Appeal).

A particular thank-you for last Sunday’s two-bit collection for “parish grounds.” As you can see, it is two pennies shy of sixteen hundred dollars. Yesterday, our Knights of Columbus, together with various volunteers, did a great work in cleaning up and beautifying our parish grounds in preparation for Holy Week. Your support provides tools and supplies for the many volunteers who help parish administrator Gary Samaniego in the upkeep of our beautiful parish campus.

Very appropriately, as we listen to the account of Christ’s Passion, this Sunday’s two-bit collection is for Deanery Hospital Ministry. As part of the South Seattle Deanery, we support the work of Catholic chaplains at Swedish, Virginia Mason and Harborview Hospital. On Good Friday any donations will go to Deanery Prison Ministry to support the chaplains and volunteers who represent us at King County Jail. On Easter Sunday I will be inviting people to support the Randy Terlicker Endowment Fund. We will have brochures and envelopes available for that purpose. And, of course, for Fr. Frank Pavone’s visit on the Sunday after Easter, we will take up a collection for Priests for Life. To round things out, I want to mention that on Holy Thursday, we do not take up a second collection, but that our entire first collection goes to aid the poor by way of St. Vincent de Paul and Madre Teresa.

There are many activities during Holy Week that I encourage you to attend. You will find a schedule on the front of the bulletin. I want to mention particularly the daily Masses on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week at 8:30 a.m. Also, we will have a 6 p.m. Mass on Wednesday and Confessions at 7:30 p.m. as well as Holy Saturday from 3-5 p.m. On Holy Thursday after the Procession with the Blessed Sacrament, we will begin Eucharistic Adoration. I encourage you to give one hour from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Holy Thursday evening. At 10 p.m. our Hispanic Nocturnal Adoration group will have a prayer service lasting until midnight. On Good Friday our school children will present the Living Stations of the Cross at 11 a.m. and we will begin the Divine Mercy Novena at 3 p.m. in the church. From 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. on Good Friday, I invite you to join a prayer vigil before the West Seattle Planned Parenthood Clinic on 28th Avenue and Roxbury. We will leave from the Ailbe House at 1:30 on Good Friday afternoon. Finally, on Saturday our church will be open beginning at 9 a.m. for “Condolences to the Blessed Mother” and quiet prayer. It will conclude at 5 p.m. to give time to set up the church for the most important liturgy of the year: the Easter Vigil. If you haven’t attended the Easter Vigil in a number of years, please consider coming this year. I promise you that the music and ceremony will be beautiful. You will receive great graces – the Divine Mercy.

Bienvenidos a la Semana Santa. Como se puede ver en mi columna en ingles, estamos poniendo énfasis especial en la Divina Misericordia. Es el resumen de lo que Dios ha hecho por nosotros en su hijo Jesucristo.

Les invito en forma especial a la misa bilingüe de Jueves Santo, a las 7 p.m. y la Adoración del Santísimo de 10 p.m. a medianoche. Los horarios de Viernes Santo, Sábado de Gloria, Vigilia Pascuas y Domingo de Pascua de Resurrección están en la portada del boletín, junto con el horario de confesiones.

También en la parte en ingles, he dado una explicación de las segundas colectas. Este domingo, muy apropiadamente, es para el Ministerio a los Hospitalizados y el próximo domingo (Pascua de Resurrección) para el Fondo Randy Terlicker. Habrá folletos y sobres en español para los que quieren apoyar este esfuerzo para el futuro de nuestra escuela parroquial.

El Padre Frank Pavone estará con nosotros el 19 de Abril, domingo de la Divina Misericordia. Predicara en la misa de 9:30 a.m. y en la tarde a las 3 p.m., junto con el Obispo Eusebio Elizondo, guiara la Hora de Divina Misericordia ante Planned Parenthood (clínica de abortos) de la Calle Madison en Seattle.

Quisiera agradecer otra vez a todos que participaron en la Peregrinación a la Catedral. Abajo hay unos de nuestros jóvenes con la bandera del vaticano.

Stewardship Reflection: What Would You Do Differently?

I was recently part of a discussion group where the following question was posed: “If you could go back, what would you tell your twenty year old self about money?” What an intriguing question!

What we do with our money is an outward reflection of what’s going on inside. And chances are good that our priorities today are different (and probably should be) than when we were twenty years old. Holy Week is an especially appropriate time for us to reflect on our interior life, and on how it should be impacted by Christ’s redemptive sacrifice on the Cross. What does his sacrifice mean to us? How should it change us? As Stewards of Providence, this reflection should impact our priorities.

What are some of the things I heard people say they would have done differently if they could go back in time? Here are a few:

•	“Wouldn’t have applied for the first credit card in college.”
•	“Would have paid for own wedding. My poor folks.”
•	“Be more generous.”
•	“Don’t worry so much.”
•	“Live below means.”
•	“Stay as much out of debt as possible.”

One person wondered what their 60 year old self would say to their 40 year old self twenty years from now. Another great question! Of course, the primary purpose of such an examination isn’t about the past, but about the future. So, what financial suggestions would you have made to your twenty year old self? God love you!

Faith and Finances with Phil Lenahan © – www.VeritasFinancialMinistries.com

Parish Stewardship Giving Summary:
Wk. 39 of Fiscal Year, March 29, 2009		 
Amt. Needed 1st Collection Each Sunday:  $ 14,100.00	     
Check/Cash Envelope:		       $   7,391.25
EFT (Automatic Deduction):	       $      830.11    
Loose Cash:			       $   3,309.59  
Total Offering:		      	       $  11,530.95
 Weekly Income Difference:	     - $( 2,569.05)               

For on-line donations to parish or school: www.HFSeattle.org  

Gifts from the Other Half of Our Stewardship:
Second Collection:  Parish Grounds:	       $ 1,599.98	

1st Quarter Comparisons

As you can see by the chart, our 1st Quarter collections have increased approximately $12,000 or an average of $900/week. This is tremendous news as many parishes in the archdiocese have seen their collections decrease. I know that many families have been affected adversely by the current economy, so I am deeply grateful for the increased generosity of those who have been blessed with a more stable financial situation. Thank you all for your faithful Stewardship to Holy Family! ~ Father Bloom

Annual Catholic Appeal Rebate Grows, but Time is of the Essence! There are less than three weeks left to turn in your payments for your 2008 Annual Catholic Appeal pledge! The deadline for all payments is April 20th. If you have not yet fulfilled your pledge, I strongly encourage you to do so in order for us to maximize the final rebate for our parish project. Please send your final payments directly to the Annual Appeal Office at 710 9th Ave, Seattle WA 98104. Thank you and God bless you for your generosity! ~ Father Bloom

As of April 1
Total Pledged:		$80,062
Required Donation:	$62,759
Possible Rebate:	$17,303

Total Paid to Date:	$66,987
Rebate to Date:		$  4,228     

1st Collection 1st Quarter Comparisons

  2008	          		2009 
Jan. 	38,841.85	          47,976.07	
Feb.     55,505.42	          51,674.49	
Mar.	54,744.79	          61,450.41

Total:  149,092.06	         161,100.97

Increase of $12,008.91 for the quarter.  

Mary Bloom Center, need for repairs