Bulletin (September 7, 2008)

This weekend we will have some important presentations. At the end of Mass, Susan Purcell and others from our Catholic Bible Study will give information on this exciting program. Each year they focus on a single of book of the Bible. This year they will study the Book of Genesis. This is obviously a key book of the Scriptures because it gives an account of the creation of the world and of the human race. It tells how we fell from intimacy with God and descended into a miserable state. But most important the Book of Genesis describes the beginnings of God’s plan of salvation through Abraham and his descendants. You will not want to miss this opportunity.

For youth and those interested in youth activities, there will be a slide show on World Youth Day after the Sunday morning Masses. As you know, three high school students and one mom from our parish went to World Youth Day in Australia. I have seen some of their slides and highly recommend this presentation. It will last about fifteen minutes.

School got off to a good start this week. We had a wonderful assembly on Tuesday morning with students, teachers, parents, grandparents and other relatives. Our new principal, Mr. Frank Cantwell, spoke about some of the basic goals of our school and announced the virtue and the saint for the month of September. The virtue we are focusing on is “respect” and the saint is Pope Gregory the Great. Each month we will emphasize a particular virtue and saint whom we can take as a model and intercessor.

At the assembly the children sang “Happy Birthday” to me. It was a nice coincidence that the opening of school was also my 62nd birthday. I had a good birthday celebration. I am grateful for all of your kind remembrances and prayers – particularly your kind donations to the Mary Bloom Center in memory of my mom. Besides the warmth of Holy Family parishioners, I also had a nice family celebration. My brother Greg baked a salmon that one of his sons had caught in British Columbia. It was delicious, and it fit with my goal of following a healthy diet so that I can have more years of service.

Speaking of family, this week we had the funeral of a Camano Island neighbor – Charles “Chuck” Morrissey. Back in the fifties, Chuck brought his family to my dad’s resort each summer. Since they had children close to the ages of my sister and brothers, we got to know them well. When my dad sold the resort, Chuck and Catherine bought a lot and retired there. Chuck passed away on August 29 after a prolonged and difficult illness. When I met with Catherine and her older daughter to plan the funeral, they told me things about Chuck that I either did not know or had forgotten: that he was a crew chief on night fighter planes during World War II, that he had worked most of his life as a lithograph pressman for L & H Printing and that he was the 1999 Knight of the Year for the State of Washington. I asked Catherine what she thought was Chuck’s outstanding characteristic. Modestly, she replied, “I guess he was just your average guy.”

One of the beautiful things about our American society is that it has provided a context for “average guys” like Chuck Morrissey to raise a good family (five children) and enjoy dignity in their final years. For the funeral Mass, they chose the reading from the Book of Wisdom – “the souls of the just are in the hand of God and no torment shall touch them.” The reading also speaks about God purifying us “as gold in a furnace” so that he might take us to himself “as sacrificial offerings.” Chuck certainly experienced that in his final years as a debilitating illness rendered him incapable of communication. He could only make the smallest gestures with his eyes or hands. This was particularly hard for Chuck since he was always a great talker. It was also very hard for his family. Still, I never had the sense that this trial was futile or that they desired to end their dad’s existence. On the contrary, Chuck had importance for his wife, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Like every human being, his life was precious – and belongs to God.

This fall we have an important opportunity to reflect on end of life issues as our state faces Initiative 1000. The Coalition Against Assisted Suicide has produced an excellent DVD (about fourteen minutes long) that I will make available to parishioners, along with other materials. You might also consider attending the Forum on I-1000 hosted by 36th District Democrats this Tuesday, Sept 9, at the NW Senior Center in Ballard. The forum begins at 7 p.m.

There are many questions surrounding the issue of “Assisted Suicide.” This week I would ask you to consider this question: Why Are Persons with Disabilities opposing this law?

Society often dismisses the value and quality of the lives of people with disabilities, making many disabled people vulnerable to pressure and manipulation. People with new disabilities often feel despondent and even suicidal. But over time they typically find satisfaction in their lives. Working through this initial despair usually takes far longer than the brief two-week waiting period in Oregon's law. In that critical early stage, many disabled people could easily take this irrevocable fatal step. And, as Dr. Jack Kevorkian taught us, the line between a terminal illness and disability can be easily crossed.

Felicidades y agradecimiento a todos que participaron en el Kermes el domingo pasado. Abajo hay algunas fotos de la rica comida – y la buena musica. He puesto otras fotos a: /bulletin7sep08.html

Espero que hayan leido los materiales en relacion a I-1000, la iniciativa que quiere legalizar el suicidio asistido. Hay mas informacion en la parte en ingles. El domingo pasado les dije esto en la homilia:

Es mal mensaje para nuestros jovenes: la idea que si uno esta sufriendo y se siente inutil, es mejor terminar la vida. Seguro que como cristianos tratamos de aliviar el sufrimiento - pero siempre hay algo de sufrimiento que no se puede evitar. Jesus habla de la cruz y dice que ella tiene poder de transformar aun el sufrimiento mas terrible en algo de valor. Como seguidores de Cristo nunca podemos aceptar que el suicidio es la solucion al sufrimiento y desprecio.

Finalmente quisiera agradecerles por los buenos deseos y oraciones en la ocasión de mi cumpleaños, especialmente las donaciones en honor a mi mamá al Centro Mary Bloom. Es una forma de decir “Si a la Vida.”

Stewardship Reflection

A Steward of Providence saves to meet future needs, but avoids hoarding. Proverbs 30:8-9 says, “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny thee, and say, “Who is the Lord?” or lest I be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.”

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

Parish Stewardship Giving Summary
Wk.9 of Fiscal Year (July 6, 2008 - August 31, 2008)

Amt. Needed 1st Collection Each Sunday:	$  14,100.00
Aug. 31Check/Cash Envelope:	$    7,248.08
Aug. 31 EFT (Automatic Deduction):$       596.85  
Aug. 31 Loose Cash:			$    2,954.90  
August 31 Total Offering:			$  10,799.83
Weekly Income Difference:		       (-)	$    3,300.17 

Fiscal Year to Date
Goal 1st Collection FY to Date:		$ 126,900.00     
Collected 1st Collection FY to Date:		$   94,203.58
Difference 1st Collection FY to Date:     (-) $   32,696.42

Some of the Gifts from the Other Half of our Stewardship
Second Collection: Mary Bloom Center	$     4,160.71

To make on-line donations to parish or school, go to www.HFSeattle.org.  

To make on-line donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal, go to http://www.seattlearch.org/ACA