Bulletin (December 1, 2002)

Stewardship: Thank You!

I want to thank all those who filled out Commitment forms for Sacrificial Giving. We received a very encouraging response to our Stewardship Campaign, both in terms of time and talent, as well as financial resources. The testimonies this year from Fred and Sandy Cavazos, and from Mike Curtis, deeply touched many people. I believe there is a growing awareness among Catholics regarding Stewardship – all we have and are comes from God and that he asks us to make fitting return to him. We live in an imperfect world – and even the Church is formed from sinful human beings – but if we pull together we can accomplish great things and a better future for our children.

On Commitment Sunday (Nov 17) over two hundred families filled out Sacrificial Giving cards during our English Masses. As a result of the follow-up by Deacon Ted Weise, we received quite a number of cards last Sunday. Last weekend we had Commitment Sunday at our Spanish Masses. Their response was also most encouraging.

We received new volunteers in almost every area: religious education, choir, ladies sodality, Knights, St. Vincent de Paul, altar servers, CYO, building & landscape, money counters, ushers, perpetual adoration, lectors and Eucharistic ministers. In addition Deacon Ted mentioned an area not listed on the commitment form – the need for office help (as receptionists, answering phone, stuffing envelopes, etc.) Several people signed up for that area as well. If you are able to give of time and talent, please drop a note in the collection or contact Tom Weber (parish administrator) or Monica Orozco (secretary).

Parish Council Update

In light of our annual Stewardship Campaign, I would like to bring you up to date on the work of our Parish Council. At recent meetings we have been discussing the results of the seven parish listening sessions in order to form a strategic plan for our parish.

After the October meeting, Nell Wheeler and I sent a letter to Archbishop Brunett to alert him of our needs and to get his approval for the next steps in this process. Also at the October meeting we nominated Mike Riley to work with me and Leigh Stringfellow (consultant from the Archdiocese) to address some of the underlying issues raised during the listening sessions. Mike and I met with Leigh on November 20 and Mike gave a report to the Council at our November 21 meeting. After hearing feedback from different members, Mike will be preparing a purpose statement as a basis for a January or February gathering of selected parents from school, religious education (Spanish & English) and home school families.

At the same November 21 meeting, we listened to representatives from Guidance in Giving to help us understand what would be involved in a Capital Campaign. They explained as well the possibility of doing a Feasibility Study prior to the campaign. It would indicate how much money we could expect to raise, but also would serve to communicate to parishioners the various needs to be addressed and would surface names of people who could serve as volunteers in the campaign, as well as who might be major donors. There seemed to be a general interest among council members in doing such a study before launching a campaign. It is theoretically possible that a feasibility study could determine there is not enough support to do a campaign. However, given the urgency of our building needs (leaks in the Church and Ailbe House roofs, seismic and ADA requirements in the school, as well as the great need for a new multi-purpose facility) I am confident that the response of parishioners will be positive.

Blood Drive

You cannot get blood out of a turnip, but you and I do have that precious liquid moving through our arteries. My brother maintains that giving blood is a relatively easy way to lose a pound of body weight. I don’t know if that is true, but in his case it definitely does not work because afterwards, he treats himself to a large bowl of buttered popcorn. Anyway, whatever your motivation, please give the gift of life. The Bloodmobile will be here this Tuesday, December 3 from 1 to 7 p.m. You may call Mrs. Helene Romero at the school, 206-767-6640, to make an appointment.

If you are unable to give blood, consider bringing an unwrapped Christmas gift for our Annual Giving Tree. Take a tag and donate a gift before Dec. 15.

Advent Wreath

Do you have an Advent Wreath in your home? They are simple to make. Just get four candles and some greenery to make a circle. The candles can either be purple of white with a purple ribbon. If you want to get fancy, get a pink one for the Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday). Light a candle for each week, as you will see us doing at Mass, and say a prayer as a family, for example grace before meals or the Our Father. There are booklets which give more detailed prayers for a family Advent Service.

Fr. Ramón

Please keep Fr. Ramón and his family in your prayers. As you know, his mom, Rosa, died on November 16. He and his sister (also named Rosa) returned to the Philippines for the funeral. He should come back to Holy Family this week. Of course, I miss his presence, as I am sure you all do.

Welcome, Fr. Ernie!

This weekend we were fortunate that Fr. Ernie Brunelle, M.M. is able to be with us. Fr. Brunelle is a retired Maryknoll priest who lives at their development house here in Seattle. Fr. Brunelle was featured in a Maryknoll film The Field afar: Shinyanga, Tanzania. The film description states: “Fr. Ernest Brunelle, a Maryknoll Priest from Avon, MA, faces the dilemma of the life and death struggle of the Sukuma people in the midst of a severe drought. Why must the innocent suffer? Ernie's faith does not offer him simple answers. Still, with down-to-earth compassion and creativity, he uses whatever is at hand, from seeds to scrap metal, to help. In young catechist John Mabula, Ernie encounters the tireless hope of the African people.” Welcome, Fr. Brunelle!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Speaking of visiting priests, Fr. Salvador Salcedo will be with us for the Novena of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Even if you do not know Spanish, you are cordially invited to participate, especially in the “Mañanitas” on Wednesday evening, December 11 and the Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12 at 7 p.m. There will be a Mass in English that same day at 8:30 a.m. On December 14 we will have a delicious Mexican dinner to raise funds for the parish. The dinner will feature authentic enchiladas and other delicious food. There will be two seatings: from 5 to 7 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. You can purchase your ticket after Mass. The cost is economical, $6.50, and it is a great way to support your parish.

Advent Reconcilation

December 5, is First Thursday. Please take advantage of this opportunity to make your Advent confession. Our school children will be receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation during the day. The Sacrament will be available for all from 4 to 8 p.m. in the church.

Vocation Discernment

This coming Saturday (Dec 7) there will be a Come and See program for young men interested in exploring the priesthood. It will be at St. Edward’s Church here in Seattle from 2 to 5 p.m. See me or the bulletin board for more information. We also are having a Vocation Day in Spanish on the following Saturday. Please pray for those young people God is calling to his service in the priesthood and religious life.

Meaning of Sexuality and Integrity

The following event is great opportunity for all who desire to know Jesus’ full teaching on the meaning of Human Sexuality and Integrity. If you are able to attend, I highly encourage you to take part in this program.

5041 - 9TH NE, SEATTLE
Friday, December 6th
6:30-7:00 pm      Registration
7:00 - 8:30pm     Marriage Prep:  Pastors, Parents & Couples 
                               Rev. Joseph Hattie, OMI
8:30-9:30           Discussion & Social with Light Refreshments
Saturday, December 7th
8:00am               Mass
10:00am             Registration, Continental Breakfast
10:45-12:00       Theology of the Body    
                           Mary Shivanandan, S.Th.D. 
12:15- 1:15        The Christian Formation of Young People  
                          Julia Fogassy
1:15- 2:00          Lunch Provided
2:00 - 3:15pm    Sexual Integrity, What Is It and How to Live It  
                           Carrie Abbott
3:30 - 4:15         Chastity in the Light of Ultimate Goodness, Beauty & Truth  
                            Ron Belgau
4:30- 5:30         Fasting & Feasting God's Plan of Formation in Humans Sexuality
                          Katherine Eames
5:45                   Vigil Mass for Sunday
Dinner               Transforming Power of Human Love
                            Rev. Joseph Hattie, OMI

Cost is $30 single registration/$50 Couple/ Clergy NC/ Saturday Dinner $25 additional - pre-register please/at the door add $10 to admission. Registration forms are available at Aquinas Catholic Bookstore 425-828-4413 or by contacting Katherine Eames: 206-230-0455 or jreames @aol.com

Women’s Study Group

You are invited to participate in a unique six-week study group entitled "A New Language". The purpose of the study group is to understand better the Church's teachings on marriage and human sexuality through the perspective of the Holy Father's teaching on the "theology of the body". Participants will read a core text, reflect on relevant Scripture passages and share their own lived experiences of self-giving love. The study series is a project of Women Affirming Life in cooperation with Dr. Mary Shivanandan, S.T.D., professor of theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. Registration, including the cost of the text and study guide, is $25.00. The core text is Crossing the Threshold of Love by. Dr. Shivanandan.

For Further Information & registration forms please contact Becky Steffan, via return email becky_aquinas@hotmail.com or at (425)828-4413. “We are hoping to begin the study mid January & will begin with a women only group. The meeting day, time & place will be arranged later - but each person will need to make a commitment to try to attend all 6 sessions of 1 to 1 1/2 hrs each.”

Mark Twain: Joan of Arc

Last week my brother and I watched the PBS special on Mark Twain. It was fascinating, but I was disappointed it did not mention his book on Joan of Arc. Here is what one review had to say about it: “Very few people know that Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) wrote a major work on Joan of Arc. Still fewer know that he considered it not only his most important but also his best work. He spent twelve years in research and many months in France doing archival work, and then made several attempts until he felt he finally had the story he wanted to tell. He reached his conclusion about Joan's unique place in history only after studying in detail accounts written by both sides, the French and the English. This is a fascinating and remarkably accurate biography of the life and mission of Joan of Arc told by one of this country's greatest storytellers.” The book has been published in a recent edition by Ignatius Press and is also available on audio tapes. I think mention of Joan of Arc would have rounded out the PBS program. They portrayed him as a cynical scoffer, but when one reads Joan it is clear he was a much more complex man than he is often depicted.

Mensaje del Padre Felipe

Mis palabras en español van a ser más breves. Como voy a predicar en las misas de español este domingo, quisiera mencionar unas cosas en ellas. Solo aquí quisiera invitarles al Sacramento de Reconciliación este jueves (primer jueves) de 4 a 8 p.m. Es una buena forma de comenzar el tiempo de adviento, preparación espiritual para celebrar el nacimiento de Jesús.

Y también agradecerles por su participación en Mayordomía. Si todavía no han llenado su tarjeta, favor de hacerlo esta semana y ponerla en la colecta. Es una ayuda para la parroquia en su planificación – y para Ud en planificar su mayordomía. Además de las tarjetas de mayordomía económica, hay hojitas para tiempo y talento. Fue lindo que tantos participaron en la Jornada de Ministerios el domingo pasado. Todavía hay tiempo para ofrecer su servicio a Dios y la comunidad cristiana.

Favor de rezar por los jóvenes que Dios esta llamando a su servicio en el sacerdocio y vida religiosa. El 14 de diciembre habrá una Jornada Vocacional para ellos (hombres y mujeres) sobre discernimiento vocacional.