Bulletin (June 18, 2006)

First of all, I want to wish all our dads a Happy Father’s Day This weekend, we will be praying for our dads, whether they are far or near, living or deceased. By our faith, we know that the model human father is St. Joseph. Although he was not the biological father of Jesus, he was his father in every sense that really matters. He is a marvelous example for all dads - and for those of us who aspire to spiritual fatherhood. Joseph exercised his fatherhood by caring for the Holy Family, providing protection and sustenance. He showed his fatherhood in simple ways, teaching Jesus the skills of carpentry and by just being present to the boy Jesus. Most of us recognize that we fall far short of the example of St. Joseph. The important thing is that we never throw in the towel, that we keep asking for the grace to realize our purpose here on this earth. I take encouragement from one of the sayings of St. Augustine: “Limping along the road is better than running off it.” (Sermon 169, on the Letter to the Philippians)

Of course, I am thinking about my own dad these days. It has been over ten years since his death, and I have to say, that I think about him often. It was only after his death that I became aware of some of the little things he did. One of his habits was to always pay bills punctually. It took a long time for my mom to develop a system and bills would pile up on the kitchen table. It is perhaps amusing, but another thing my dad did was to be the one to change the toilet paper. When it got near the end of a roll, he removed the few remaining sheets and placed them on top of the next roll. It was a small thing, but I have known families - and religious communities - where such small things become sources of resentment. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said, “There are no great things, only small things with great love.”

It is a nice coincidence that this year Father’s Day falls on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Body and Blood of Christ. The Blood of Christ brings us healing; it cleanses us of our failings. The Body of Christ nourishes and strengthens us for this life - and for eternal life. One of the most precious moments in my life was to give my dad Communion as Viaticum, about an hour before he died. What a great gift Jesus has given us, his very Body and Blood This is a good week to visit Jesus, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. You can find him in the Divine Mercy Chapel of our Ailbe House. On the altar is a monstrance, like the one depicted here.

This week, from Monday through Thursday morning, Father Ramon and I will be at Ocean Shores for the annual Priests’ Days conference. It involves a series of talks and workshops, health checks and a banquet for jubilarians. During these days, Deacons Ted and Abel will celebrate Word and Communion Services.

Also, this week our principal, Mr. Glen Lutz, will oversee the demolition of the rest rooms on the ground floor of our school. This demolition will make way for new rest rooms, two new classrooms, a kitchen, tutoring spaces and a medium size parish hall, accessible to the elderly and to those with disabilities. I am excited about this and other projects we will realize, thanks to your support of the Capital Campaign.

On the vestibule bulletin board, you will find the minutes of the June 8 meeting of our Parish Council, School Commission and Finance Council. Also present were Ed Williams and Bob McLaughlin from the archdiocesan “Study Group” for Holy Family School. Mr. Lutz gave a presentation on the budget and current financial situation of our parish school. It is notable that, due to the economic shortfall in our school, our teachers have volunteered not to take an increase in salaries for the coming year. Also in the minutes, you can read Gary Samaniego’s report on the overall parish budget. You will notice an item for “Annual Appeal Shortfall.” If more parishioners respond to the Appeal, we can eliminate this item from the budget - and perhaps even have a rebate to address parish needs. In next week’s bulletin, I hope to provide more information about this important meeting.

Final note: It is great to have Fr. Ramon back. He had a great time as chaplain on the cruise to Alaska. I want to thank Fr. Ramon for designating the chaplain’s share of the final collection to Holy Family Parish. It won’t solve our budget deficit, but every bit helps.

Felicidades a todos nuestros papás hoy en el Día del Padre. Estamos rezando por los papás, cerca o lejos, vivos o difuntos. Tenemos el gran ejemplo de San José. A pesar de no ser padre físico de Jesús, el cumplió cabalmente todos los deberes de paternidad, cuidando por y guiando a y la Sagrada Familia. Es un ejemplo para todos nosotros que aspiramos a la paternidad verdadera. A pesar de nuestras debilidades, tenemos el Cuerpo y la Sangre de Cristo que nos limpia de nuestras fallas y nos sostiene en el camino de esta vida hasta la vida que perdura. ¡Que Dios bendiga a nuestros papás y les de fuerza para su misión!