The month of May presents us with specific Marian themes. It begins with the May Crowning of the Virgin by our school children and concludes with the feast of Mary’s Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. That mystery is beautifully depicted in the second stain glass window on the east side of our church. To contemplate that stain window – and the others depicting the life of the Holy Family – makes for a profound prayer.
If you wish to understand more deeply the role of Mary in the Christian life, I encourage you to read Hail Holy Queen by Scott Hahn. Dr. Hahn is a former Presbyterian minister who converted to Catholicism. He has written several other books explaining the Catholic faith, including The Lamb’s Supper, a marvelous reflection on the Book of Revelation and the Eucharist.
In Hail Holy Queen, Scott Hahn gives a concise presentation of the biblical and patristic teaching regarding the mother of Jesus. He shows the roots of Catholic doctrine about her sinfulness, perpetual virginity, assumption and role as mediatrix. He does not do so in a polemical way, but by honestly presenting the evidence and quoting such towering Christian authors as Augustine and Newman. And, as always, he writes with an entertaining – and disarming – style. This is a good book to give to a fellow Christian – Catholic or Protestant – who is unsure about the significance of Mary. He has a final chapter on the ecumenical implications of Marian doctrine.
For me personally one of the most beautiful parts of Hail Holy Queen was the appendix on praying the rosary. That alone is worth the price of the book ($19.95). It can be purchased locally by calling Aquinas Book, Art & Gift Store: 425-828-4413
An intention for which we ask Mary’s intercession is vocations. Perhaps you noticed the archdiocesan vocation poster in our vestibule. We need to pray for those young men – and others whom God might be calling to serve him as priests. Of the twenty-six men pictured, three are from Holy Family: Peter Mactutis, Than Dao and Armando Perez. Armando will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on July 15. Archbishop Brunett and Bishop George Thomas will come to Holy Family to do the ordination. That morning we will combine our 9:30 and 11 a.m. Masses into one 10 a.m. Mass for the ordination of Armando. Please plan on participating.
Speaking of prayers for vocations, did you notice the recent article in the National Catholic Register on the vocation turn around in Atlanta? That archdiocese, which like Seattle is rapidly growing, has experienced a surge of vocations. The Archbishop of Atlanta attributes it to Eucharistic Adoration. It is becoming evident that one of the great blessings of prayer to Jesus, present in the Blessed Sacrament, is vocations to the priesthood. He himself said the first thing we should do if we lack workers for the harvest is, “pray to the Lord of the Harvest.” Those who take part in Holy Family’s Perpetual Adoration Apostolate not only experience great benefits personally, but for the entire Church.
Prayer is the most important way support the Church to which we belong. Also important is giving of our time, talent and treasure. In his letter, which Archbishop Brunett sent to past donors to the Annual Catholic Appeal, he reminded us “You, then are the body of Christ.” (I Cor 12:27) By giving to the Annual Catholic Appeal we support the charitable and apostolic work of the Archdiocese and we also benefit our own parish. I was most please by the response last weekend to the excellent presentation of John Walicki. John reminded us of the central value of compassion, working toward relieving the sufferings of others and how giving to Annual Catholic Appeal furthers that work.
This year we have a parish goal of $90,000 and a participation goal of 900 families. If we reach this goal, we will not only be able to do our part for the Archdiocese, but also meet to receive a forty thousand dollar rebate, which we can dedicate to urgent building requirements here at Holy Family. As you know we continue the seismic work on our school building. This summer we hope to remove the temporary wood canopy and replace it with the permanent glass one. The next steps are the interior seismic retrofit and the required handicap access by installing an elevator. Your support is needed if we are to meet these important goals. May the Virgin Mary intercede for you and your loved ones during this month of May.