This Sunday I have made available copies of a letter from the Archbishop which contains some much-needed encouragement. On the back you will find an outline of the proper postures at Mass. While Holy Family Parish is pretty much on target, I would call your attention to four things:
1. During the Profession of Faith, please remember to bow your head at the words “…by the power of the Holy Spirit…and became man.”
2. Please stand after the “Orate, Fratres” (Pray, brothers and sisters). The official Ordo Missae states: Populus surgit et respondet: “Suscípiat…” (The people stand and respond, “May the Lord accept this sacrifice…”)
3. Before receiving Communion (including the Precious Blood) bow your head while the person before you is receiving.
4. Remain standing from the start of the Our Father until the Communion Procession or assembly’s Communion Hymn is completed (whichever happens first). Then you may kneel for a period of Religious Silence.
Thank you for your support for Deanery Hospital Ministry last weekend. This Sunday our two-bit collection is for our School Scholarship Fund. A number of our families are unable to pay full tuition. Your donations will help those families and will help our school and parish balance its budget.
Our parish bookkeeper, Vicente Bolisig, gave me the financial report for the first two months of the fiscal year (July & August). It contains both good news and bad news. The bad news is that our Sunday collections have been below the $10,577 we need each week to meet our payroll and other expenses. Hopefully, these collections will pick now that people are back from summer vacation. On the positive side, sacramental stipends (for baptisms, weddings, etc.) were above budget – a total of $9,115 which was three thousand more than what we projected. Also on the positive side, our overall expenses were $5,177 less than what we budgeted. Although our receipts for school tuition is less than budgeted, several families have brought their payments up to date with the beginning of the new school year. With the help of everyone we will balance our school and parish budget this year and be able to reduce some of our debt to the archdiocese.
Next week we will have two Masses on September 11: at 8:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. (bilingual). It is hard to believe two years have passed since the shocking attacks on the World Trade Center. Subsequent events, especially the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, have made us aware this not simply a military struggle. We are involved in a spiritual struggle which will mark the twenty-first century. Please join us in one or other of these special Masses.
Our own society is involved in a great spiritual struggle. A great part of it today has to do with marriage and family. Fr. Kurt Nagel gave a series of homilies on this topic. They are available on the Internet: http://www.cityofgod.net/courage-seattle/nagel-mark7.htm Here is part of what he had to say:
Although I've just noted scriptural passages, this understanding of marriage is part of natural law, open to human reason, not a matter of the Catholic faith alone. Non-Catholic Christians and non-Christians alike can, and do, hold the same beliefs. Marriage pre-dates Christianity. It predates our government or any government. Therefore, marriage is not the state's to redefine. For a government to define marriage to include homosexual unions is like passing a law making 2+2=5. It doesn't and can't change reality. It would just force us to pretend, and live a lie.
Next Saturday Archbishop Brunett will ordain some twenty-five married men to the permanent diaconate. Among them is Abel Magaña, Pastoral Associate here at Holy Family. Abel will be present at all Masses next Sunday morning (September 14).
Finally I ask your prayers for a dear priest friend – Fr. Jack Branche. He spent many years in Peru, during which time he cared for and adopted a number of abandoned children. When he returned to the United States in the 1980’s, he brought fourteen Peruvian children with him. They lived a number of years here in the Archdiocese of Seattle. Although a couple of them had problems which alienated them from the family, when Fr. Branche died on September 3, all fourteen were with him. May he rest in peace and receive a reward for his labors.
Gracias por sus donaciones para el ministerio de hospitales. $1002 fueron donados en las segunda colectas. Cada parroquia en el Sur de Seattle da un por ciento de sus ingresos para apoyar los capellanes católicos en Virginia Mason, Harborview, Swedish y Providence. También los sacerdotes (incluyendo al Padre Ramón y su servidor) tomamos una noche para responder a emergencias. Un laico coordina este ministerio. En general escucho cosas positivas sobre el cuidado pastoral que pacientes reciben, pero si Ud. ha encontrado problemas, favor avisarme a mí o al Padre Ramón para que podamos informar a nuestro “Deanery.”
Otro ministerio esencial es a las cárceles, especialmente King County Jail. Su contribución este fin de semana ira a este ministerio en cumplimiento de las palabras de Jesús, “estuve encarcelado y me visitaste.”
Como les he mencionado, nuestro apostolado más visible es nuestra escuela primaria. Esta semana los niños vuelvan a sus clases. Tenemos un buen numero, pero me gustaría tener unos más. No es tan tarde para contactar la oficina de la escuela, 767-6640, sobre la posibilidad que su hijo asista a la Escuela de Sagrada Familia.
Mientras tanto, tendremos una rifa para apoyar nuestra escuela y parroquia. Los premios son: $3,000, $1,000 y $500. Los boletos cuestan $2 o $35 por un librito de 20. Espero que toda familia compre al menos un librito. La rifa se llevará a cabo 3l de octubre a las 8 p.m. en el salón parroquial.
El próximo sábado, el arzobispo Brunett ordenará al Sr. Abel Magaña (y 24 otros hombres casados) al diaconado permanente. Un diacono puede bautizar, leer el evangelio y dar la homilía en la misa, celebrar bodas y funerales. El próximo domingo, el diácono Abel predicará en las misas de 8 y 11.