Our parish observance of Lent has gotten off to a good start.  Large numbers of people attended the Masses and other services on Ash Wednesday.  In addition to ashes, they received the Rice Bowl calendars and containers.  Placing the Rice Bowl on the dining table helps remind a family of the three basic practices of this season:  prayer, fasting and almsgiving.  On the side of the Rice Bowl is a Lenten Prayer which a family can say before meals.  The calendar contains suggestions for prayer and penance, as well as recipes for each week of Lent. 


As I mentioned in the homily last weekend, this Sunday we are making two changes.  First, when you return from Communion, I ask you to either sit or kneel.  The Cathedral and many other parishes with larger congregations are following this option, and I believe it will help us both personally and communally to reflect on our relationship with Jesus.  During those minutes after Communion, our bodies actually become tabernacles of the Lord.  The second change regards the placement of offertory gifts.  In last Sunday’s bulletin, you will find an explanation taken from Redemptionis Sacramentum.  I will be using that Instruction on March 25 for our Liturgy Orientation Day.  In addition to lectors, extraordinary ministers of Communion, ushers, choirs, sacristans and altar servers, I would also like to extend an invitation to anyone in the parish who wishes to have a deeper understanding of our participation in Sunday Mass. 


Speaking of Lenten events, you have just two more weeks to get in shape for our annual Cathedral Walk.  On Saturday, March 18, at 6:30 a.m., we will leave from in front of the church and prayerfully walk to St. James Cathedral where we will have the celebration of the Eucharist in the Lady Chapel at 11 a.m.  All are welcome.  Teenagers, if not accompanied by a parent, need a note from their parent or guardian (please call the rectory to get a form), and younger children must be accompanied by parents or a responsible adult designated by their parent or guardian.


This Sunday at the 11 a.m. Mass, we will have the Rite of Sending for our RCIA Candidates.  This ceremony refers to our “sending” them to the Rite of Election at St. James Cathedral this coming Friday evening.  On the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent, these candidates will receive the Scrutinies, which are pre-baptismal prayers of exorcism.  Please pray for our RCIA, as well the young people who are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  For them, Bishop Tyson will be with us on May 28 at the 11 a.m. Mass.


For both RCIA and Confirmation candidates, we will have a retreat featuring Mark Shea.  Coming right before Palm Sunday, it is a marvelous opportunity for all of us.  If you have not already done so, please mark your calendars for April 8, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in our Parish Hall.


Special prayers for our school parents during the final week before the Auction.  As you know, the Auction is a major fundraiser for our school.  At our last meetings of Parish Council, School Commission and Finance Council, we discussed the budget for 2006-2007 fiscal year (which begins in July).  The Parish Council Minutes, posted on the bulletin board in the vestibule, summarize the presentation of school principal, Mr. Glen Lutz, regarding efforts to have a balanced budget for our parish school.  The school, of course, will always be a major investment of the parish.  Last year the parish subsidy for Holy Family School came to about $190,000.  We are working on ways to reduce that amount so that we can have funds for other needed programs.  Also, the Archdiocese has given us significant help through the Fulcrum Foundation and the Home Stewardship Grant.  Ultimately, of course, we depend on your Stewardship to maintain our parish and its programs of religious education, sacramental formation and service to those in material and spiritual need.


Perhaps you noticed on the bulletin board the interview which Holy Family parishioner, Ron Belgau, gave regarding “homosexual marriage and Catholic morality.”  Ron, who is studying philosophy at the U of W, debated a university professor on this topic.  The newspaper interview addresses questions many people have about this complex issue.  I hope to make the interview more generally available in the coming weeks. 


Finally, I again want to remind you that we are in a spiritual battle.  It seems so appropriate that, right as Lent was beginning, we received back the statue of St. Michael, which was vandalized last summer.  We are working on an appropriate spot where parishioners can approach this representation of the archangel in order to address their prayers to the heavenly court.  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle.









Como el Diacono Abel y yo hemos mencionado en nuestras homilías, habrá un pequeño cambio este domingo.  En vez de quedarnos parados después de la Comunión, les invito a sentarse o arrodillarse al volver a la banca.  La Catedral de Santiago (St. James, Seattle) sigue esta postura, junto con varias otras parroquias.  Creo que nos ayudará en nuestra devoción al Señor, realmente presente en los que comulgan.  También quisiera recordarles de la Caminata a la Catedral en dos semanas.  Saldremos de nuestro templo (calle Roxbury) a las 6:30 a.m. y habrá celebración de la misa en la Capilla de Nuestra Señora (en la parte sur de la Catedral) a las 11 a.m.  Todos son bienvenidos.  La Caminata que ya es un evento anual es una experiencia de oración y de fraternidad como se puede ver de la foto.  Finalmente quisiera invitarles a participar en la Vía Crucis, todos los viernes de la Cuaresma a las 7 p.m. en nuestro templo.  Hay una comida cuaresmal (sopa y pan) antes de la Vía Crucis.