Bulletin (November 3, 2002) Parish Council Update

In our last parish council meeting (October 24) we discussed the results of the seven parish listening sessions. The sessions began last January and continued through the summer, concluding with a lively session on October 17. Many different concerns and opinions were brought to our attention. Also we saw great enthusiasm in different groups (Hispanics, Filipinos, Vietnamese, liturgical volunteers, school parents, Eucharistic adoration, etc.) to address the urgent needs of our parish community.

Our Parish Council came to a couple of important conclusions. First we heard loud and clear that Holy Family parishioners wish to address our building needs: seismic retrofit and ADA requirements in the school, leaks in the church and Ailbe house roofs, and the need for a multi-purpose facility. That facility would serve as a gym, social hall and would provide much needed classroom space for school, religious education and other parish programs. This past week we took the first formal step toward those goals by writing a letter to Archbishop Brunett.

Secondly, the Council recognized a variety of issues which need to be addressed. We need to get our parish school on a more solid financial footing. Tuition income, scholarships, fundraising and various donations meet part of the annual cost of running Holy Family School. However, they have been falling far short in recent years. Last year over a third of the parish’s ordinary Sunday income went to subsidizing Holy Family School. That is not a good situation for our school and it has meant the curtailing of other parish programs.

Other issues regarding the parish school are the use of the building by various groups within the parish and from outside the parish. We do have a policy for hall rental which should bring some income into the parish. However, there has been friction regarding use of the school and other parish facilities. Related to this is the need for more dialogue between home school families and school representatives. At the Council meeting we decided to ask the help of the Archdiocese to set up a process for discussing these issues and making necessary recommendations. I will be working with parish council member Tim Riley and a consultant from the Archdiocese to develop this process.

Fr. Corapi Retreat

The retreat last weekend with Fr. John Corapi brought enormous blessing to our parish – and beyond. We had a full church (seven to eight hundred people) for the Masses and talks, people coming from as far away as Sitka, Montana, Northern California and even Prince Edward Island! Those who participated from Holy Family found it to be a call to personal renewal and holiness. The lines for confession were long with Fr. Ramon, Fr. Bob Egan, S.J., Fr. Ernie Brunelle, M.M., Fr. Kurt Nagel and myself receiving those seeking God’s forgiveness and healing. The retreat was also a great financial blessing for Holy Family. After paying Fr. Corapi’s air fare and other conference costs, we wound up with a net revenue of $11,820! Special thanks to Lin Fulwiler and all who worked with her in the organization of this event. Those visiting Holy Family commented on how well everything was organized and the cordial hospitality they experienced. Also people remarked on what a beautiful church we have. All of this made me feel very proud to be pastor of Holy Family.

Visit by Fr. Harvey

This Monday (Nov 4) Fr. John Harvey, founder of Courage, will visit Holy Family. Courage is a nation wide movement to assist those who struggle with same sex attractions and desire to live the teachings of Jesus regarding chastity. As chaplain of our local group, I have been impressed by the members’ desire for holiness and wholeness. The summer before last I attended the Courage conference in Chicago and was deeply impressed by Fr. Harvey and all those working with this important apostolate. Fr. Harvey will celebrate a Mass this Monday at 6 p.m. and give a presentation entitled “Living a Life of Interior Chastity.” His message applies not only to those who deal with same sex attractions, but for all people interested in this vital topic.

Message from Sr. Mary Clare

This week I received a lovely card from Sr. Mary Clare Hall. As you know, she worked many years at Holy Family, helping our children and parents to grow in love for Jesus, especially in Holy Communion. Sr. Mary Clare has been caring for her sister Jackie who is recovering from surgery. Please keep Jackie, Sr. Mary Clare and all her family in your prayers.

Tuesday is Election Day

Speaking of prayers, our country needs them. A few weeks back we heard Moses call to defend those who are most vulnerable: the widow, the orphan and the alien. Although the United States is in many ways a model for other nations, still we have a long ways to go in protecting those who are most defenseless: the terminally ill, the immigrant and the unborn child. Archbishop Brunett has some important reflections for us. Please take them into account as you vote and especially as you pray for our nation.

Reflections of Archbishop Brunett

For many years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have called Catholics to faithful citizenship — to become informed, active and responsible participants in the political process.

The central theme in our statements that encourage faithful citizenship is Catholic social teaching. Our Catholic faith calls us to a special concern for the poor and vulnerable. A central element of Catholic social teaching is the fundamental option for the poor, which calls us to analyze all economic decisions and policies in light of what they do, both for and to the poor. In our 1999 statement, Faithful Citizenship: Civic Responsibility for a New Millennium, we bishops wrote: “Jesus called us to love our neighbors by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and afflicted, and comforting the victims of injustice. Our Lord’s example and words demand a life of charity from each of us. Yet they also require action in a broader scale in defense of life, in pursuit of peace, in support of the common good, and in opposition to poverty, hunger and injustice. Such action involves the institutions and structures of society, economy and politics.”

I, and the three other Catholic bishops of our state, believe those words speak to us very directly as we anticipate the Nov. 5 election. The state ballot includes a measure - Initiative 776 — which, if enacted, would likely mean an annual revenue loss of about $107 million, forcing some county and local governments to choose between reductions in transit services/human services, or seeking additional revenues through new local taxes. I-776 concerns state and local government charges on motor vehicles. This measure would require license tab fees to be $30 per year for motor vehicles, including light trucks. Certain local-option vehicle excise taxes and fees used for roads and transit would be repealed.

Through reflection on Scripture and Catholic social teaching, and in consultation with the Board of the Washington State Catholic Conference, we bishops have taken a position opposing Initiative 776. This position is not intended as a direction to you on how to vote, but rather as a guide to help you reflect on the issues of our day in light of Catholic social teaching and the signs of the times.

Today abortion rights activists are implementing a subtle and incremental strategy to abolish the well-recognized right of conscience of the church, religious organizations, health care professionals and hospitals that are currently protected by law.

For example, they have embarked on a campaign to mandate the coverage of contraception in all employer benefit plans for prescription drugs, claiming that contraceptives are “basic health care.” A number of states have adopted contraceptive mandates, most with inadequate protection of conscience, or none at all.

Abortion activists have also enlisted the support of state and local governments in discriminating against pro-life health care providers. They have intervened in “certificate of need” proceedings to defeat health care facilities that object to abortion. They have engaged state attorneys general to apply theories of law to prevent mergers involving hospitals with pro-life policies, and they have sought to end public financing of Catholic hospitals. Increasingly, too, abortion activists and others are stepping up their efforts to require abortion training for all medical residents.

Should pro-abortion forces succeed in their campaign to abolish the right of conscience of Catholic health care providers, they will be responsible for shutting down the Catholic health care ministry in this country.

We cannot - and must not — allow that to happen!

And a reflection from Archbishop Chaput of Denver:

In his second blunt message in as many weeks on the responsibilities of Catholic voters, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver has insisted the issue of abortion should provide a clear-cut choice.

"I will vote for no candidate -- Republican, Democrat or third party -- who is actively 'pro-choice,'" the archbishop wrote in his regular weekly column for Denver's archdiocesan newspaper.

Archbishop Chaput dismissed the argument that abortion is only one among many issues to be considered in an election year. He explained: "abortion is separated from other important social issues like affordable housing by a difference in kind, not a difference in degree. Every abortion kills an unborn human life -- every time. No matter what kind of mental gymnastics we use, elective killing has no excuse. We only implicate ourselves by trying to provide one."

In this respect, the archbishop drew a distinction between the abortion issue and other political questions, on which reasonable people might differ. The difference, he said, is that "every abortion is a grave act of violence." The archbishop repeated his complaint that proponents of legal abortion are seeking to silence Catholics, and others who are opposed to the practice. "The only way to stop this coercion is to send the right men and women to Congress," he said.

Voters cannot remain neutral on the issue, Archbishop Chaput continued. He reasoned: "No violence is ever private. That includes abortion. What we choose to allow, we choose to own."