Bulletin (December 10, 2006)

This month got off to a good start with the blessing of a new crucifix for the Tice Hall. The picture shows Principal Glen Lutz placing the crucifix on the west wall next to the donor memorial plaque. In spite of the glare from the two bald pates, I think you can see the crucifix well enough. It depicts Christ at the moment of handing over his spirit to the Father. His mission on earth completed, the Father’s voice says, “Well done.” Hopefully, the crucifix will be an inspiration to all as we make use of the Tice Hall for social and educational purposes.

The crucifix has a special meaning for me as I complete thirty-five years of priesthood. Not that I have suffered greatly, in fact, I feel that the Lord has borne my weaknesses and that I have had a relatively easy time. I am grateful to the Lord for these years of priesthood and to all the beautiful people I have been privileged to serve - especially these last eleven years at Holy Family Parish. Since I was ordained December 17, 1971, next Sunday marks the exact 35th anniversary. I am grateful to St. Martha’s for hosting a breakfast/reception after the 8, 9:30 and 11a.m. Masses next Sunday.

I invite you to join in the celebrations this week in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. On Monday evening at 6 p.m., we will gather in the parking lot of St. Bernadette’s Church (128th and Ambaum) for a procession to Holy Family. Last year around two hundred people took part, and it was a beautiful event. When we arrive at Holy Family, we will begin the traditional celebration of the “Mañanitas” - songs, dances and prayers in honor of the Blessed Virgin. Our youth will present a re-enactment of the appearances of Mary to Juan Diego in 1531. The Mañanitas will last until 10:30 or 11p.m. All are welcome. The next day, December 12, we will have Mass in English at 8:30 p.m. and in Spanish at 7 p.m. in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. You might also want to see the movie Guadalupe which will be at the Royal Meridian in downtown Seattle, as well as the Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue. Along with The Nativity Story, this looks like a good movie bet for Advent and Christmas time.

You might be surprised that we are taking up a collection for the Annual Catholic Appeal. We still have a small shortfall in reaching our 2006 goal of $59,968. The Annual Catholic Appeal makes possible 63 programs of service in our Archdiocese. In recent years there have been significant reductions in archdiocesan programs, but many cannot be reduced much more since they are vital to our overall mission: religious education, youth ministry, marriage tribunal, service to the homeless and families in crisis, as well as education of seminarians and support for retired and infirm priests. Like every parish Holy Family must do its part. In turn we receive significant help from the Archdiocese in many areas. I have to say, that we do receive back a greater amount than we give, which makes it even more vital that we support the Annual Catholic Appeal. This will be the last second collection to make up our 2006 shortfall, but, of course, I would welcome any special gift toward the Appeal.

One of the areas the Archdiocese has supported us in is our overall building and renovation efforts. Last week Dominic Parmantier gave an excellent update on what we have achieved and the remaining projects of our Capital Campaign. I would like to report on one financial benefit of this renovation: the new bathrooms in our school have resulted in a significant savings to our Seattle Public Utilities Bill. Last year during the months of October and November, our parish school consumed 269 CCF’s of water. (A CCF is 748 gallons.) This year during the same time period, we consumed 68 CCF’s! All of you who pay utility bills realize what a great savings that is. Also, the use of more efficient lights in our school, church, and rectory has brought additional savings as well. Any savings on our heat, water and light bills are most welcome.

In another part of the bulletin, you will see an appeal from St. Vincent de Paul for help with Christmas gifts for the poor. For your donation we encourage you to purchase Scrip gift certificates from our school. Scrip is available for many stores in our area, and it makes the perfect gift because the recipient can purchase what they most need for their family and children. To paraphrase the Gospel, needy children are many, but gift certificates are few. Gifts will be distributed next Saturday morning, so we need your Scrip certificate by this Thursday, December 14. You may drop off the certificate at the rectory or give them directly to a St. Vincent de Paul member.

Speaking of gifts for the poor, we have now received a total of $388 in memory of Dorothy Jensen for needy children in Peru. I will be going to Peru at the end of this month in order to review the work of the Mary Bloom Center and establish the budget for the coming year. The Mary Bloom Center is a medical clinic and education center serving the needy in Southern Peru. Although the Mary Bloom Center receives a small income from services to patients who are able to pay, it relies on the generosity of donors to be able to serve those who are indigent (which includes a large number in the city of Puno and surrounding area). It will be wonderful to visit the Mary Bloom Center at the time of Epiphany and be able to share your generosity with the poor. The two-bit collection next weekend will be for the Mary Bloom Center.

In conclusion here is a picture of the lovely group of parishioners who attended the December 1 blessing and placing of the new crucifix in the Tice Hall.

En la parte en inglés he dado una descripción de la bendición del nuevo crucifijo para el Salón Tice. Aquí hay algunas fotos. También mencioné algo sobre la Petición Anual y porque tenemos una colecta especial este domingo. Finalmente hay algo sobre mi aniversario 35 de sacerdocio - y ayuda a los pobres aquí en nuestra parroquia y en el nivel mundial por medio del Centro Mary Bloom.