Bulletin (July 6, 2008)

This weekend we welcome Fr. Armando Red. He will preach at the English Masses and, during the homily, will have the opportunity to introduce himself to you. Fr. Armando comes to us with a great background. Born in Libon Albay in the Philippines, he studied at Libon Elementary School and then went to St. Gregory the Great Minor Seminary in Tabaco Albay for high school. He did his college and theology studies at Holy Rosary Major Seminary and Theologate. In 1974, Fr. Red was ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Legazpi City on Luzon Island. He served for four years as a parochial vicar, then for twenty-one years as pastor. Those were turbulent years in the Philippines and, in addition to his pastoral duties, Fr. Armando worked with credit unions to help establish small businesses. He also helped fishermen, pedicab operators and others to better organize themselves. Coming from an agricultural family, he enjoyed farm work, for example, the production of coffee, sugar and coconuts. Father Red’s parents are deceased. He has two siblings: an older sister, Germelina, mother of four boys, who is a retired elementary principal in Manila and a younger brother, Isagani, who never married and who continues to live in the Philippines.

Fr. Armando came to the United States in 1991 as part of a mission appeal for his diocese. In 1999 he began year-around work in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was based in the parish of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Rowland Heights, where he served for seven years. Fr. Felino Paulino (the current pastor of St. Edward, St. Paul and St. George Parish in Seattle) invited Fr. Armando to come and visit our archdiocese. After a lengthy interview process, he was assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Issaquah and then here to Holy Family. Among his favorite aspects of pastoral ministry, Fr. Armando is devoted to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He used to hear confessions before and after daily Masses. He has worked in preparation of children for First Confession and First Communion. He has helped young couples prepare for the Sacrament of Marriage – for example, by administering the Pre-Marriage Inventory. Of course, he had a great deal of experience in Hispanic Ministry in Los Angeles. He has worked with Prayer Groups, Youth Organizations and other apostolic groups. Fr. Red has an engaging and gentle personality. We are very happy to welcome him as parochial vicar of Holy Family – and hope that he will be with us for many years.

Speaking of marriage preparation, I ask you to pray for our engaged couples and newlyweds. Last year we had 58 weddings in our parish and it is always an honor to witness the beautiful Sacrament of Marriage. On June 29, I had a wedding that was particularly meaningful to me since the groom was a graduate of Holy Family School. In the picture you will see James Keppler with his gorgeous bride, Allison Barth. To young people who are thinking about getting married, I can only reiterate Jesus’ words: “Be not afraid.” Here at Holy Family we want to help you make that step and to prepare well for the life-long union of marriage.

This weekend we are celebrating our nation’s Independence Day. It is very appropriate that we are offering Voter Registration after Mass. Abraham Lincoln noted that the United States has government “of the people, by the people and for the people.” To belong to this country is a great blessing, but it seems like we often take our nation for granted. It is amazing, for example, how many U.S. citizens do not even bother to vote. In recent national elections (let’s not even talk about primaries) of all those eligible, only around fifty percent cast their ballot. It gets worse if you break it down by age groups: only 32% of those ages 18 to 24 voted – compared to 68% of those over 65. When you think about, 68% is not that great. It means that almost one of three seniors don’t take the time to fill out a mail-in ballot or go to the polls on election day. I am not saying that voting is the most important thing a person does. It is not, but it does have its importance and as good citizens, we should make the time to do it. I think of my Aunt Katherine who died in November of 2000. She was blind the last month of her life, but she had her daughter read the ballot and fill it out for her. Aunt Katherine was careful to sign the ballot and make sure it was mailed. It was one of the last things she did before she went to the Lord. She knew that Our Lord will ask us whether we cared about other people or cared only about ourselves. So the bottom line is that, as Christians, the Lord expects us to be good citizens and part of being a good citizen is to vote.

A final note: from Monday through Friday of this week I will be attending the Ashland Shakespeare Festival with my friend, Fr. Jim Coleman. Fr. Armando will be in charge of the parish during my absence and will celebrate the full schedule of daily Masses.

En la parte en ingles, escribí sobre nuestro nuevo vicario parroquial, el Padre Armando Red. Este fin de semana, el Padre Armando estará disponible para confesiones y el proximo fin de semana, celebrará las misas en castellano. Tendrán la oportunidad de conocerlo y darle la bienvenida. También quisiera mencionar que tenemos un nuevo director de nuestra escuela parroquial – el Sr. Frank Cantwell. Les invito a inscribir a su hijo en la Escuela de la Sagrada Familia. Como se puede ver en la foto tenemos alumnos de las diferentes comunidades etnicas de nuestra parroquia. Si su niño tiene cuarto años, puede participar en nuestro pre-Kinder. Además hay cupos para niños en las clases de Kinder hasta el octavo grado. Para mayor información y formularios de inscripción se puede hablar con Mónica en la oficina parroquial, 206-767-6220. Mas tarde en el mes de julio, habrá alguien en la oficina de la escuela (206-767-6640).

Esta semana voy a estar en Oregon para el Festival de Shakespeare con mi amigo, el Padre Jaime Coleman. El Padre Jaime es sacerdote de la arquidiocesis de Portland y actualmente está siriviendo en Bolivia. Durante mi ausencia, el Padre Armando estará responsable para la parroquia.