Bulletin (August 24, 2008)

On August 15 – Feast of the Assumption – we had a wonderful procession and rosary in honor of Our Lady of LaVang. Fr. Phuong Hoang, Pastor of Vietnamese Martyrs Church, and Fr. Than Dao, Pastor of St. Philomena’s in Des Moines, joined us – along with the Vietnamese Sisters in residence at the St. Bernadette’s Convent. At the 6 p.m. Mass, Fr. Than Dao gave a homily explaining the role of Mother Mary in our lives as Christians. Besides a large group from our Vietnamese community, many Filipinos, Hispanics and Anglos took part in the event.

Procession & Rosary in Honor of Our Lady of LaVang (August 15, 2008)

A lot of people are praying hard for our parish school – and those prayers are being answered. In the past couple of weeks we have added around twenty students to our enrollment. You will notice the thermometer in the vestibule marking that growth. We still have about ten days before classes begin. If you know someone who has a child – age four through eighth grade – please let them know about Holy Family School. Contact information is on the front of the bulletin.

The Faithful Citizenship booklets have arrived. You can pick up your copy after Mass for only two dollars. It is a concise summary of what it means for us to form our consciences to become faithful citizens. One of the big issues you and I will face this fall is euthanasia. The November ballot will have an initiative (I-1000) to legalize “physician assisted suicide.” Our bishops point out that “direct attacks on innocent personas are never morally acceptable, at any stage under any condition.” That includes the taking of one’s own life by suicide or the taking of another’s life by euthanasia. (#44)

I am very concerned about the message I-1000 could send to our young people – the idea that our medical and legal system can give a seal of approval to the act of suicide. I sometimes speak with adolescents who are tempted to end their life. I try to help to see that no matter what they are going through, their life is a gift from God – and that their lives belong to God. The same applies to the elderly. We of course want to do everything we reasonably can to alleviate their suffering, but at the same time we recognized that what they suffer has genuine value – that it is part of God’s redemptive plan for themselves and for others for whom they offer their suffering. You will be hearing more about I-1000 in the coming weeks. I ask you to see the announcement explaining how can make a contribution to effort to defeat this pernicious initiative.

This Sunday you will be asked to support an important pro-life effort: Birthright. As you know, Birthright has a satellite office in the Ailbe House and many of its volunteers are Holy Family parishioners. I am proud of their work – and ask your support that they may continue to save young people from the tragedy of abortion. Birthright provides caring, non-judgmental support to girls and women who are distressed by an unplanned pregnancy. Using its own resources and those of the community, Birthright offers positive and loving alternatives. Birthright presents many services and refers for many more. All Birthright services are free, absolutely confidential, and available to any woman regardless of age, race, creed, economic or marital status.

Next Sunday I will be asking you to support another important work – the Mary Bloom Center in Peru. You might remember that last year we took up a collection for the victims of the Peru earthquake. When I went to Peru in October of 2007 I had the opportunity to visit families whose lives were affected by that terrible natural disaster. Here is a picture of young woman named Roxana with her small child. She was seeking help because her mother was undergoing a hernia operation – and they had no covered place for her mom’s recovery. Their home was destroyed in the earthquake and like many people they were sleeping outside. Thanks to your support, I was able to help the local priest in obtaining shelter for Roxana, her mom and child. The Mary Bloom Center works with people like Roxana who find themselves in desperate situations. Your donations will enable this work to continue. I will be going to Peru in October – and hope to bring your prayers and generosity with me.

We received some good family news this week. On Wednesday my niece Sara gave birth to a 7lb, 2oz baby girl – Esther Josephine Temba! This is my older brother Mike’s first grandchild – and I believe he is the happiest man in the Puget Sound area. I have shared with you photos of Sara and her husband Julius. I was honored to do their wedding and am looking forward to the baptism of their first child.

Next week we have an important national holiday. For Labor Day weekend we will have the American and Vatican flags in our sanctuary area, as we did on the Feast of the Assumption. Our school principal, Mr. Frank Cantwell, carried the American flag in the procession. (If you look very carefully, you can see him in the back of the picture above.) It was very appropriate since Frank is 20 year veteran of the Air Force. Roger Thibodeau (baker of the delicious JMJ Hearth Breads) carried the Vatican flag with its two keys. We will hear more about those keys this Sunday as we listen to the Gospel of Peter receiving the “keys of the Kingdom” from Jesus.

This weekend our Pastoral Assistant for Music, Anca Wilson, will give an important presentation at the conclusion of our English Masses. Please give her your full attention and fill out the survey so we can have beautiful music that will enhance our worship of God through Jesus in the Holy Spirit!

En la parte en ingles he escrito algo sobre el documento de nuestros obispos sobre “Ciudadanos Fieles.” Habrá tambien en venta la versión castellana. Favor de conseguir su propia copia y leerla. Aun si uno no es ciudadano todavia, es importante estar al dia sobre lo que significa participar en esta sociedad. Una iniciativa que puede tener mal efecto para todos es I-1000, que podra legalizar el suicidio asistido. Les pido leer el aviso del arzobispo y considerar la posibilidad de apoyar este Llamando Especial a la Colaboracion – “Si a la Vida 2008.”

Hablando de donaciones, este fin de semana habra una colecta para Birthright (Derecho de Nacer). Tiene su oficina en la Ailbe y ayuda a mujeres que se encuentran en un embarazo de crisis. El proximo fin de semana la segunda colecta sera para el Centro Mary Bloom. Como ustedes saben, el Centro Mary Bloom ha ayudado a las victimas del terremoto del 15 de agosto de 2007. Como se puede imaginar las necesidades siguen. Aquí hay una foto de las Hermanas Vicentinas (Hijas de la Caridad) que sirven a los pobres. Su escuela en Pisco fue dañado a tal punto que tuvieron que demolerla. Ahora estan en el proceso de reconstruccion. Necesitan nuestro apoyo para esta obra y para su servicio diario a los pobres. El Centro Mary Bloom colabora con las Hermanas en ayudar a los mas necesitados. Gracias por su apoyo.

Clergy: Fr. Than Dao, Deacon Ted Wiese, Fr. Armando Red, Fr. Phil Bloom (also present - Fr. Phuong Hoang)