Bulletin (March 11, 2001)

Most of us still feel a little shaky inside after the Ash Wednesday earthquake. At the same time we are grateful that God has given us structural engineers and other such brilliant people to enable us to be better prepared for the next quake. Now is the time to support our Holy Family Renovation Project so we can do the necessary seismic retrofitting to make our school safer for children and other who use it. Please give generously to the the two-bit collection this Sunday for that project - and consider using one of the envelopes to make a pledge.

And I encourage to continue your participation in Lenten devotions. Daily Mass and Friday evening Stations of the Cross have been well attended. Also we had good numbers for First Thursday confessions. The next opportunity will be April 5, although we also have weekly confessions Saturday, 9 to 10 a.m. and Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. after the Spanish Mass. I've been most impressed by the numbers at Eucharistic Adoration in our Ailbe House chapel. Some hours, such as during the night. late afternoon or Saturday morning, are still sparce - call Joe Vandemark, 242-7487, for informationn or to sign up for an hour.)

Next Saturday we celebrate the second anniversary of our parish Courage group, which meets every Friday evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at Holy Family Rectory. Founded in 1980 by Cardinal Cooke, Courage is a spiritual support group for men and women striving to live chaste lives in accordance with the Catholic Church's Pastoral Teaching on Homosexuality. The anniversary Mass will take place at 11 p.m., March 17, in Holy Family Church. Anyone may attend.

I ask your prayers for our Catechumens and Candidates who will be received in the Church at the Easter Vigil (April 14). The weekend of March 23-25 there will be a retreat for adult and teenage RCIA members at St. Mary's Conference Center in Toledo. Featured speaker will be Mark P. Shea, himself an Evangelical who became Catholic several years ago. Mark has written an excellent book titled By What Authority? which tells his reasons for joining the Church.

Last week we received a lovely donation from the estate of Cecilia Dease who passed away on November 30, 2000. She was the aunt of Mrs. Harold (Lorraine) Foster. Celia's remembrance of the parish should remind us of the importance of making a will and contributing part of ones estate to God's work. Holy Family is blessed by so many parishioners who have been faithful through thick and thin. We remember them in our prayers, especially the souls of those who have departed this life.

Speaking about finances I was most heartened by our collection last weekend. Please continue to be generous. We have great needs in terms of parish programs and buildings. Your support is essential to continue this work.

No one has asked me yet, but, yes, the Sara Bloom in this month's Columbia magazine is my niece. She wrote a letter to the editor commenting on the excellent January article concerning Natural Family Planning. Both because of its content and as a proud uncle, I produce the full text here:

Dear Editors,

As a student midwife, I read with great interest your article on NFP. While your information was accurate, I was surprised and disappointed at the photo you chose to accompany the text (a father bottle-feeding his baby). While studying NFP I found many resources on how exclusive breastfeeding is used worldwide as a natural method of child spacing. If some simple steps are followed, women can delay ovulation for six months to two years. While breastfeeding, NFP can easily be used to detect the return of fertility.
Every mother I have worked with who used NFP has also breastfed to help her body naturally delay ovulation. They saw it as God's way of allowing their bodies to recover between pregnancies. This benefit of breastfeeding is in addition to the countless health benefits to babies and the important mother-child bonding that takes place. Both Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II stressed how important breastfeeding is to both mother and child and urged all Catholic women, if possible, to feed their babies this way.
For further information on using breastfeeding as a natural method of child spacing, a wonderful resource is the Couple to Couple League (http://www.ccli.org) or any NFP instructor.
I am sure your publishing of this photo was just an honest mistake. I hope that in the future you can make an effort to print photos of women breastfeeding their babies (almost every photo I have seen is very discreet). It just might encourage families to follow the churches teaching on this topic as well as honor all the mothers who have made this important choice.

In Christ,
Sara Bloom

The next presentation on the Billing Method of Natural Family Planning will be: March 29, 7 - 9 p.m. at Providence Hospital Dr. Jan Hemstand, M.D., his wife Darcy and Katherine Eames will be available for individual chart reviews as well as giving a slide presentation

Picture of Sara Bloom (June 1999 fishing trip w/ cousins & uncles)