Bulletin (August 5, 2007)

When I told people about my 35th-year class reunion in Salt Lake City, it brought up images of a dry, barren climate. That was not entirely the case because our host, Monsignor Bob Bussen, is pastor of Park City, a resort area about forty miles from Salt Lake City. Being at a higher altitude, Park City has a very pleasant climate. The picture shows us at Mirror Lake, where we went one day for a picnic. If you are interested in seeing some other pictures from the class reunion, you can find them at: /nacreunion0707.html.

Standing: Frs. Paul Fitzmaurice, Phil Bloom, Richard Duncanson, Joe Donnelly, Stan Ulman, Norm Bauer, John Armistead, Bob Sims, Greg Holicky, Joe Kleppner; seated: Steve Payne, Bob Bussen, Benny the Hound, John Sarge, Bill Dietsch (not pictured: Ed Hoffmann)

Many of you had the opportunity to meet Jose Alvarez. Jose is a new seminarian of the Archdiocese of Seattle, who spent the month of July with us. Last Tuesday Jose went to Mexico City to apply for a visa. He has an appointment at the U.S. Consulate on August 7. Please say a prayer that this goes well. Even though Jose has the support of the Archdiocese, the process can sometimes be capricious. I wrote last week about the experience of Luz Marron (director of the Mary Bloom Center in Peru) and her daughter Melani. In November of 2001 they were granted a ten-year visa to the United States. However, when they had their passports stolen last year, they found themselves caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare which ended in the denial of a replacement of the visa they had been previously granted. Things should be more straightforward for Jose, but you never know. It sometimes depends on the mood of the person interviewing the applicant. So keep Jose in your prayers. We need young men like him to serve in our Archdiocese.

In April of 2008 we will complete our three-year Capital Campaign. I am most grateful for the faithful support of Holy Family parishioners and friends from outside the parish who have supported this effort. You can see the fruits of the Campaign in the Tice Hall, new roofs for our church and school and other improvements to our parish facilities. Currently, we are tuck pointing the south wall of the parish school in order to prevent leaks in the classrooms. We have a lot of other work to accomplish, including the replacement of the church boiler, a new roof for the Ailbe House and repairs of the water damage inside the church building. Your ongoing support makes these projects possible.

This last week we sent out letters to those who are behind on their pledge to the Capital Campaign. I understand that there are a variety of reasons why someone has not been able to keep up with their pledge. By sending out letters and calling these households, it has made us aware of pastoral needs. We will also be contacting parishioners who have not yet made a pledge or contribution. Currently, we have 535 of our 1190 registered households on record as making a pledge to our Campaign. I will be asking the others to consider a pledge for these final eight months of the Campaign. I should note that, even though the Campaign comes to a formal conclusion in April of 2008, some parishioners have made a four-year pledge and others will continue to contribute after we formally conclude the Campaign.

As we begin the month of August, I would like to recommend some summer reading. If you have not already done so I encourage you to read three excellent books: Jesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI, Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To by Anthony DeStephano and Mother Angelica’s Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality by Ramond Arroyo. The last two are easy reading, accessible to the general public. The pope’s book presumes some familiarity with modern Scripture scholarship, but it is clearly written and will richly repay a careful reading.

Besides these three books, I would like to mention two other books: The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright and The Man Who Warned America: The Life and Death of John O'Neill, the FBI's Embattled Counterterror Warrior by Murray Weiss. They are not specifically Catholic books, but they help understand the new world we are living in. The first book tells about the events which led to the September 11, 2001, attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. The second book is about the FBI agent who was very close to uncovering the conspiracy behind the 9/11 attacks. As the title indicates, John O’Neill was an embattled man: He battled the bureaucracies which were more interested in defending their own interests than in defending the county. He also battled personal demons that led him to relationships that brought destruction to himself – and to the others involved. Those close to O’Neill turned a blind eye to his destructive behavior, but when some of the consequences came to light, O’Neill’s superiors tossed him in the garbage can. It has been said that we live in a society that tolerates everything, but forgives nothing. O’Neill’s life illustrates that saying. In his case the result was the removal of the man who could have prevented the 9/11 tragedy. As we approach the sixth anniversary of 9/11, it is worthwhile to read The Looming Tower and The Man Who Warned America.

En la parte en inglés he escrito sobre el aniversario 35 de mi clase ordenación sacerdotal. Aquí hay otra foto de unos compañeros: por casualidad los cuatro son “monseñores”: Paul Fitzmaurice (Greensburg, PA), John Armistead (Stockton, CA), Bob Bussen (Salt Lake City, UT) y Ed Hoffmann (Denver, CA). Al lado del Monseñor Hoffmann está “Benny” el perrito del Monseñor Bussen que era el anfitrión del encuentro.

Monseñores Paul Fitzmaurice, John Armistead, Bob Bussen & Ed Hoffmann (and Benny)

Esta semana he enviado cartas a los que están atrasado en su compromiso a la Campaña Capital. Entiendo que puede haber varios motivos y quizas unas necesidades pastorales. Queremos ponernos en contacto personalmente con todos. Vamos a enviar cartas también a las familias inscritas que todavía han hecho un compromiso o donación. En abril de 2008 vamos a tener la conclusion formal de la Campaña. Hay algunos que tienen compromisos de cuatro años y naturalmente seguiremos recibiendo donaciones después de la conclusión formal.

Favor de rezar por el seminarista José Alvarez que tiene una cita con el consulado americano en México este martes. Debe ser bastante fácil, pero nunca se sabe. La semana pasado les conté el caso de la Sra. Luz Marrón, directora del Centro Mary Bloom en Perú, que fue negado el remplazo de su visa de diez años, después de un robo. Pues, ustedes saben que el sistema puede ser muy caprichoso. También pido sus oraciones por el papá de dos estudiantes de Holy Family, que fue detenido por ICE hace unos meses. Sigue en el centro de detención en Tacoma y ahora está en la parte final de su proceso de apelación. Rezamos por todos nuestros hermanos que quieren visitar este pais o quedarse aquí – y por sus familias.