Bulletin (June 2, 2002)

We have some great events coming these first two weeks of June. On an archdiocesan level, the second Saturday of June is always set aside for priest ordinations. This year Archbishop Brunett will ordain three young men, including Armando Perez who has been part of Holy Family Parish for the past six years. The ordination will take place at 10 a.m. on June 8, at St. James Cathedral (9th and Marion, take the James Street exit, go up the hill to Ninth, turn left, drive three blocks Ė you canít miss it). Perhaps you have never attended an ordination ceremony. Now is your chance. Bring the whole family. It is one of the most moving rites in the Catholic Church. In addition to Armando, David Mulholland and David Young will become Catholic priests.

Deacon Armando will preach at our English Masses this weekend. It is always a delight and an inspiration to listen to him. A special joy: at the 5 p.m. Mass Armando will be the celebrant of the marriage blessing of Teresa Gomez and Marco Felix. Also we will have the honor of Fr. Armando celebrating his first Mass of Thanksgiving at Holy Family, next Sunday, June 9 at 11 a.m. Later in the month Fr. Armando will be moving to Chehalis where he begins his assignment as parochial vicar of that cluster of parishes.

Some other good news on an Archdiocesan level: Five young men will be ordained to the transitional diaconate. Included in that number is Thanh Dao whose parents are active members of Holy Family. His ordination will take place on July 14, 2 p.m. at the Church of Vietnamese Martyrs in Seattle. After being ordained deacon, Thanh Dao will come to our parish to preach at our Sunday Masses. The Progress article on Thanh Dao mentioned how he began his discernment while growing up in Hue, Vietnam. Unable to enter a seminary due to government restrictions, he became an ďunderground seminarianĒ taking weekend classes offered by a priest and attending monthly retreats. One of seven siblings, he came to the United States in 1995.

As I enter my fourth decade of priesthood, it is a great encouragement that such fine men as Armando, Thanh Dao and Peter Mactutis from Holy Family are embracing this life of service to God and his Church. I have mentioned to some of the boys in grade school that they need to think about the priesthood because I am going to need someone to take my place here at Holy Family when I am ready to retire. A couple of them have told me they are thinking about it. All of us need to pray for vocations and encourage young people who sense God might be calling to the priesthood.

Speaking of grade school students, we will have our Graduation on June 11. The Mass at 8:30 a.m. will be celebrated for their special intention and the graduation ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. on that Tuesday. All are welcome to attend. The two-bit collections this weekend and next will be directed toward school needs: This weekend for the Renovation Project and next for School Scholarship Fund.

This Friday, June 7, is the Feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus. We will have Mass at 8:30 a.m. in English and 7:30 p.m. in Spanish. Perhaps more than any other moment we need to draw near to the Mercy of God, made visible in the Heart of Jesus. On the First Thursday, June 6, Fr. Ramon and I will be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On June 13 we will inaugurate a series of Parish Listening Sessions. Together with various members of our parish council, I desire to listen to specific groups in the parish. Parish Administrator Tom Weber formed a task force which has developed some specific ideas for how we should advance in terms of our parish and building needs. The first listening session will be directed toward Filipino members of our parish. It will include a Filipino potluck, beginning at 6 p.m. in the school hall, followed by a presentation and opportunity for feedback. The session will last till 9 p.m.

Other sessions have been scheduled for July 11 (for choir members, lectors, servers, and other parish Liturgical Ministers) July 27 (for those involved with Eucharistic Adoration) August 29 (for Hispanic parishioners) and September 25 (Parentsí Club). The date for Vietnamese parishioners has not yet been set. In October we will have an All Parish Listening Session, coordinated by representatives of the Archdiocese. On October 24 our parish council will begin bringing together the results of these listening sessions. On the bulletin board at the Roxbury entrance, I have posted a picture of parish council members. (I took the picture with my digital camera so the print is not super quality, but at least you can tell who is who.)

This Monday I will be going fishing with my brothers and nephews and niece. When I mentioned the fishing trip last year, I was amazed how many Holy Family parishioners commented on it. We are going to Neah Bay where we will spend the night and then get up very early to fish for Chinook salmon and bottom fish. The halibut season has already ended since the quota has been reached.

Speaking of getting up early, I have been rising at 3 or 4 a.m. to walk Samwise. His primary caregiver, Vernon Wells, has been down in California this week. I can tell Samwise is missing Vernon. I donít know what will happen later this summer when Vernon leaves permanently to enter the Dominican novitiate. I have been getting plenty of advice on how to raise a puppy. I appreciate it all, though some of it is contradictory. Someone did recommend to me good books for dog training. Interestingly Benedictine Monks wrote one of the most popular: The Art of Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete. They also have a book called How to Be Your Dogís Best Friend. I wonít begin with those however, but the Complete Idiotís Guide to a Well-Trained Dog. (Thatís the real title.)

Vernon Wells not only cares for Samwise; he has organized Vacation Bible Schools for our children. Please take advantage of this opportunity. As I mentioned, Vernon is entering the Dominican novitiate in August, so the Vacation Bible Schools will benefit from his great energy and deep commitment to the Catholic faith.

The clergy child sex abuse scandals have perhaps muffled the Catholic voice during these past six months. However, it is important to recognize that failure to live up to Christís teachings does not invalidate the teachings themselves. If that were the case, the Ten Commandments would no longer apply. In spite of our own failures and shortcomings, we need to continue to put forth those teachings, with humility as well as clarity. One of the great issues we face in our society is Human Cloning. I am making available in the vestibule, a pamphlet entitled What the Church Teaches about Human Cloning. Published by Our Sunday Visitor, it gives clear and concise answers to some questions about this topic: What is Cloning? What is the Problem with Cloning? Is the Destruction of Human Life the Only Moral Problem with Cloning?

Finally, talking about Church teaching, I want to encourage all who support Sacred Heart Radio. It has been such a blessing to have a twenty-four hour a day Catholic radio station. Besides educational and inspirational programs, Sacred Heart Radio has given in-depth reporting on current news, including the recent scandals. The problem with the secular media has not been so much their coverage of embarrassing news, but that they have left so much out. By listening to our local Catholic station (1050 AM) you will get a broader perspective. Please read and save the bulletin insert for the full schedule of programs for the month of June.