Bulletin (March 9, 2008)
Like many other people, I was stunned by the death of Fr. Paul Dalton. He died suddenly on February 29 at the age of 56. Fr. Paul had served as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and some of you knew him from those years. At our Masses last Sunday, we prayed for his eternal rest. A number of people came up to me after Mass to express grief at the death of this dearly loved priest. After serving at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Fr. Paul became pastor of Queen of Peace Parish in Sammamish (1991 to 2005). He had many accomplishments during those years. One, which I particularly remember, was the blessing of Mary’s Family Medicine, a clinic that emphasizes natural means of family planning and that does not prescribe “the pill” or other contraceptive methods. In July of 2005, he became pastor of Holy Disciples in Puyallup and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Eatonville. As we pray for the eternal rest of Fr. Paul, we also remember the parishioners who grieve at the loss of their pastor.
I was personally closer to Fr. Paul’s older brother, Fr. Jim Dalton. I have been offering special prayers for him and for the two other Dalton brothers (Denny & Michael) and the sisters (Marilyn & Suzie). Fr. Paul’s sudden death made me aware of something that many of us fear, perhaps more than our own death: the death of a loved one – spouse, child, brother or close friend. I think of that in terms of this weekend’s Gospel about the resurrection of Lazarus. When Jesus stood before the tomb of his friend, Lazarus, he allowed his emotions to break through. He wept.
Jesus not only experienced the bitterness of death – he did something about it. We get a glimpse today as we hear about him calling Lazarus from the tomb. This is a foretaste of what Jesus would accomplish definitively by his Passion, Death and Resurrection. By doing this, Jesus gives us the possibility of putting our greatest fear in his hands. Jesus does not want us to live in fear about what will happen in the future, especially our fears for those we most care about. He has already conquered the greatest and final enemy – death itself. Jesus gives us the gift of living in the present moment – not anxious about what will happen tomorrow, not consumed with guilt about the past – but simply asking for our “daily bread,” what we need to do God’s will today.
Next Sunday we begin Holy Week with the celebration of Palm Sunday. We will have an opportunity to reflect on these mysteries, but even more important, we receive an invitation to participate in them. The events we read about in the Gospels are not just things that happened two thousand years ago. They happen now in us by faith and by the sacraments. Holy Week is the most intense time to participate in those mysteries.
Recently, a lady asked me to recommend a book that would help her son who is struggling with his faith. After finding out something about the young man’s specific questions, I made these recommendations: A good book to start with is C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters. It is a fun book, easy to read, and it helps a young person understand what is at stake in the spiritual battle going on in his own heart. After finishing Screwtape Letters, a person might be drawn to read other C. S. Lewis books, for example, Mere Christianity, which lays out the basic Christian teachings in a clear and compelling manner. Beside C. S. Lewis’ books, there is another great resource that has been underused: The Prove It series by Amy Welborn. In the first book (God), she answers objections such as: “I don’t believe in God because people could have just made the stuff in the Bible up,” or “I don’t believe in God because people have so many different ideas about him,” or “I don’t believe in God because people do such horrible things in the name of religion.” A book that takes up similar objections is What’s So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D'Souza.
For the more intrepid, I recommend Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal's Pensees by Peter Kreeft. It begins by analyzing our basic human situation. What does it mean that we are so wretched (unhappy) yet have such a desire for greatness? Pascal then unmasks our different vanities. He makes us face the reality of death and sin, which we try to run away from by constant diversion. After exposing man's basic problem, Pascal asks if there is a solution. There is. In fact, there is only one that fits. It's like a very odd shaped lock, which requires a strangely formed key. The only key that works is Christ. Pascal explains why that is so. With that, he arrives at the most famous part: The Wager. We have to place a bet: Either that God exists or he doesn't. If he does, and you bet on him, you have won everything. If you bet against him, you risk losing everything. The Wager can sound calculating and self-seeking. Kreeft goes to some length to show that it is not. Rather, it is a dramatic attempt to shake us out of our indifference and complacency. As Pascal demonstrates: “Men despise Religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true.” We have a natural resistance to God that increases with each sin. Pascal offers the Wager as a way of overcoming that resistance. For most of us, there are obstacles to making such a decision. Kreeft lines up Pascal's response to the most common ones: faith and science (reason), why God hides, the obscurity of Scripture, miracles, etc. He gives some strong reasons for trusting the reliability of the Bible. I believe this short section would help those who have been upset by what they hear coming from some modern Scripture scholars. In the final chapters, Pascal speaks movingly about the personal relationship with Jesus and his Body, the Church. That, of course, is Pascal's ultimate goal. Not just to make a wager that God exists, but to give one’s life over to Jesus.
A final note: Last Sunday I made an announcement regarding the Capital Campaign. As usual, I managed to confuse some people. I mentioned that at the end of this month we would finalize the names for the memorial plaque. Some were unclear about their status in relation to the Campaign. This bulletin contains an updated list. Please check to be sure your name is on it. If there is an error, let us know. And most important, if you have not yet donated, please use the envelope to make a donation. I am asking parishioners who have not yet donated to the Campaign to consider a $100 donation. Of course, any amount will be gratefully received. I would love to have the names of all Holy Family parishioners on the Capital Campaign Memorial Plaque.
En este Quinto Domingo de Cuaresma escuchamos de Jesus resucitando a Lazaro de la muerte. Y hoy nuestros catecumenos recibiran el Tercer Escrutinio (exorcismo pre-bautismal). Tiene estas palabras maravillosas, "No permitas que queden detenidos por el imperio de la muerte." Para entender mejor el exorcismo, quisiera contarles de un hombre que no deje el imperio de la muerte lo detenga. Su nombre era Robert Schuman. Nacido de un padre frances y una madre luxemborguesa en Lorraine, el territorio disputado entre Alemania y Francia, Schuman era un verdadero "ciudadano de Europa." En 1900, cuando tenia solamente catorce años, su papá murio. Dentro de una decada mas, su mamá fallecio en un acidente de coche. Con la muerte de sus papas, Robert Schuman consideraba la vida religiosa, pero decidio en favor del apostolado laico. Como un joven abogado y politico, combation la corrupcion de las industrias de acero. En 1940 el Gestapo lo arresto por actividades anti-Nazi. Dos años despues, se escapo de la prision y se unio de la resistencia subterranea francesa. Despues de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Schuman contemplo la devastacion de Europa. En vez de recriminaciones, ayudo a Francia, Alemania e Italia encontrar un base para una paz perdurdera. El 9 de mayo, 1950, hizo un llamado publica para la unidad europea. Su llamada se conoce ahora como la Declaracion Schuman; llego a la formacion de la Comunidad Europea de Acero y Carbon y luego la Union Europea. El 9 de mayo se observa ahora como Dia de Europa y el Parlamento Europeo declaro a Schuman como el "padre de Europa." A causa de la vision de Robert Schuman - y otros lideres cristianos como Alcide De Gasperi y Konrad Adenauer - la naciones europeas has logrado seis decadas de paz y prosperidad creciente. Considerando su historia de guerra perpetua, parece un milagro. Robert Schuman podia haber succumbido al poder de la muerte - como hicieron muchas personas que volvieron amargas despues de los ultrajes de la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Pero no hizo. Schuman saco fuerza de la asistencia diaria en la misa y un estudio profundo de la Biblia. La diocesis de Metz esta promoviendo su causa para canonizacion. Hace unos años presentaron mas de cincuenta mil paginas de testimonio a la Congregacion para Santos. Espero que un dia podremos decir, "San Roberto Schuman, ruega por nosotros." Aun ahora cualquier cristiano puede pedirle a Dios por un milagro en nombre de el. El mayor milagro, desde luego, es superar la muerte. Jesus lo hizo cuando llamo a Lazaro de la tumba. Robert Schuman lo hizo dedicandose al apostolado laico. Como lider politico cristiano, ayudo a su generacion enfrentar el poder de la muerte. En ese espiritu podemos rezar el tercer y final exorcismo sobre los catecumenos: "No permitas que queden detenidos por el imperio de la muerte." Como Robert Schuman reconozcamos que solo uno puede triunfar sobre el poder de la muerte. El que nos dice, "Yo soy la Resurreccion y la Vida."
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Just a reminder that we are accepting new students in all grades, Pre-Kindergarten through Grade eight for the 2008 – 2009 year. If you are interested in enrolling a child, please contact Mrs. Laforga @ 206-767-6640 or email, Maribel@HFSeattle.org
As per my announcement last week, ‘seniors’ are cordially invited to the first annual St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon given in your honor on Monday, March 17 in the Tice Hall. Seating begins at 11:45 A.M. and lunch will be served at 12:00 noon.
Please fill out this RSVP and drop it in the collection basket or the school office. It will help us to plan accordingly.
Glen t. Lutz
Please register me for the St. Patrick’s Day Luncheon. Print Name: ________________________________ ________________________________ Daytime phone number: ______________________ Please put in the collection basket or bring to the school office (by March 12). Thank you. Mr. Lutz ************************************************************************Building a Better Parish Capital Campaign
Thank you to all those who have given to our Capital Campaign this past week! We have added about 11 more donors, both identified and unidentified. If you are not sure if you have donated to this important cause, please check the bulletin insert for your name. Also, thank you again to all those who have been faithful givers throughout this three-year effort. Your generosity and on-going stewardship has enabled us, in our united efforts as a parish, to accomplish many important projects and has allowed us to carry on our mission of worship, evangelization, and service for the greater glory of God.
The projects that we have completed, and those we still hope to, will benefit every parishioner who calls Holy Family Parish their church home. In light of this, we are asking all families who have not yet contributed to make a donation of $100.00 during this month. If you have been financially blessed this past year, please consider a greater amount in accordance with your blessings. An envelope has been included in the bulletin for your convenience. You may return it to the parish or simply place it in the offering basket.
If you have already fulfilled your pledge, please consider making an additional act of generosity by giving a one-time gift at this time.
Not only do we need the generosity of all parishioners in order to be able to complete our goals, but it is vital that we remember that each of us is an integral part of the body of Christ and that he is asking each one to play his or her part in fulfilling his purpose at Holy Family. Without the help of everyone, we cannot hope to accomplish all that he desires.
First Collection Stewardship for Wk. 36 of Fiscal Year (July 1, 2007 – March 2, 2008) Amount Needed Each Sunday: $ 12,289.00 March 2 Check/Cash Envelope: $ 8,334.00 March 2 Palm Sunday Envelope: $ 9.00 March 2 Easter Envelope: $ 9.00 March 2 EFT(Automatic Deduction):$ 637.05 March 2 Loose Cash: $ 3,252.15 March 2 Total Offering: $ 12,241.20 Weekly Income Difference: (-) $ 47.80 Budgeted Year to Date: $442,404.00 Collected Year to Date: $432,554.49 Income Difference Year to Date: (-) $ 9,850.00 Some of the Gifts from the Other Half of our Stewardship 2-bit Collection (Catholic Relief Services): $ 2,078.00 St. Vincent de Paul: $ 195.00 Capital Campaign Total Households Pledging: 693 Total Pledged: $1,196,409.02 Total Paid: $ 999,591.97 Balance: $ 196,817.05