Bulletin (December 9, 2007)

Perhaps you have heard the hymn Mary Christmas Mary (Johnny Cash did a version of it). The lyrics say:

“Mary Christmas, Mary. Thank you for the child. Thank you, Mary, for helping give God’s greatest gift to man. Too often we forget to thank you for you part in giving the greatest Christmas gift.”

It is true that too often we forget to thank Mary for her role in our redemption. These days we have opportunities to remedy that ingratitude. On Saturday we celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with the blessing and dedication of the statue of Our Lady of La Vang. This beautiful representation of Mary will help draw many people to Jesus through Mary. And of course on Wednesday we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There will be Mass in English at 6 p.m. and in Spanish at 7 p.m. Besides attending Mass, you might want to join the procession in honor of Our Lady on Tuesday evening (Dec. 11). We will begin in the parking lot of St. Bernadette’s at 7 p.m. and walk in procession to Holy Family.

We need our Lady’s intercession – especially her maternal concern for our children. The enemies of our faith have become more open in their attacks. Last week I talked to you about a movie based on a series of books that combine atheism with the occult. I hope you to took the time to read the a four-page interview entitled “What Every Parent Should Know About The Golden Compass” and the single sheet summarizing the “Six Myths of Atheism.” There are still some copies available at the entrances. I ask parents to read this information so they can properly guide their children.

To understand what is stake, I recommend reading (or re-reading) The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. As you probably know, it contains letters from an experienced tempter named Screwtape, giving advice to his nephew on how to bring a young man to ruin. In the introduction, C.S. Lewis says: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils (demons). One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

By “magician” Lewis is referring to someone who seeks power by manipulating spiritual forces, not all of them good. It would seem like logical impossibility for a person be both a magician and a materialist (atheist) at the same time. Nevertheless, Screwtape dreams about such a combination:

“I have high hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalize and mythologize their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, belief in us, (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to the Enemy [God]. The "Life Force," the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work--the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls "Forces" while denying the existence of "spirits"--then the end of the war will be in sight.”

The author of The Golden Compass seems to embody this contradiction. Parents should know that The Golden Compass is mildest of the three books in the Dark Materials trilogy. Furthermore, the movie tones down the books’ atheism and its attack on Christianity. They are hoping that parents will take their kids to the movie (or permit them to attend) and then gradually draw them into the darker elements of this series. As I said last Sunday, this movie is poison. We need to pray to God and ask the intercession of Mary to protect our children from this attack on their souls.

If you look closely at the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe (above) you will notice that it depicts the unborn Child Jesus inside her. She is the Patroness of the Unborn. This image reminds us of our duty to protect the weakest members of our society. We have a very concrete way of doing that this weekend. Our second collection will go toward Catholic Charities. We can be proud of their work. A representative from Catholic Charities will give a presentation after Communion.

On the next two weekends we will have two-bit collections on behalf our smallest brothers and sisters. Next weekend the second collection will go to the Mary Bloom Center in Peru – a medical clinic and education center, named for my mom. On the Fourth Sunday of Advent the two-bit collection will be for our parish Birthright. More about these organizations next week. May God bless you as we enter this second week of Advent.

Este año el Segundo Domingo de Adviento cae en el 9 de diciembre, que es el dia de la Fiesta de San Juan Diego. El Papa Juan Pablo Segundo lo canonizó el 31 de julio de 2002 en su visita a la Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en México. La mayoría de los estudiosos concuerdan que Juan Diego nació en 1474 en el calpulli de Tlayacac en Cuauhtitlán, el que fué establecido en 1168 por la tribu nahua y posteriormente conquistado por el jefe Azteca Axayacatl en 1467; y estaba localizado 20 kilómetros al norte de Tenochnitlán (ciudad de México). Su nombre de nacimiento fue Cuauhtlatoatzin, que podría ser traducido como "el que habla como águila" o "águila que habla".

De acuerdo a la primera investigación formal realizada por la Iglesia sobre los sucesos, las Informaciones Guadalupanas de 1666, Juan Diego parece haber sido un hombre muy devoto y religioso, aún antes de su conversión. Era muy reservado y de un místico carácter, afecto a largos silencios y frecuentes penitencias, y que solía caminar desde su poblado hasta Tenochtitlán, a 20 kilómetros de distancia, para recibir instrucción religiosa. Su esposa María Lucía enferma y luego fallece en 1529. Juan Diego entonces se translada a vivir con su tío Juan Bernardino en Tolpetlac, que le quedaba mas cerca de la iglesia en Tlatilolco - Tenochtitlán, solo 14 kilómetros.

El caminaba cada sábado y domingo a la iglesia, partiendo a la mañana muy temprano, antes que amaneciera, para llegar a tiempo a la Santa Misa y a las clases de instrucción religiosa. En esas frías madrugadas usaba para protegerse del frío una manta, tilma o ayate, tejida con fibras del maguey, el cactus típico de la región. Juan Diego tenía 57 años en el momento de las apariciones. Luego del milagro de Guadalupe Juan Diego fue a vivir a un pequeño cuarto pegado a la capilla que alojaba la santa imagen, luego de dejar todas sus pertenencias a su tío Juan Bernardino, pasando el resto de su vida completamente dedicado a la difusión del relato de las apariciones entre la gente de su pueblo. Juan Diego muere el 30 de mayo de 1548, a la edad de 74 años. Juan Diego amaba de sobremanera la Sagrada Eucaristía, y por permiso especial del Obispo recibía la Comunión tres veces por semana, algo completamente inusual en aquellos tiempos.

Su Santidad Juan Pablo II alabó en Juan Diego su simple fé enriquecida por la catequesis y lo definió (a aquél que le dijo a la Santísima Virgen: "soy solo un hombrecillo, soy un cordel, soy una escalerilla de tablas, soy cola, soy hoja, soy gente menuda..") como un modelo de humildad para todos nosotros.

Holy Family Sixth Grade, Mr. Charles Secrest

Holy Family Fourth Grade

with teacher, Mrs. Anca Wilson

Holy Family Fifth Grade, Mrs. Kathy Budde

Holy Family Third Grade, Mrs. Monica Wingard

Holy Family Second Grade, Ms. Christi Corbin

Holy Family Seventh Grade, Mrs. Katie Hart

Dedication of Our Lady of Lavang, December 8, 2007

With Fr. Phuong Hoang, Chaplain of Vietnamese Martyrs Church, and Fr. Ramon Velasco

Samwise on Camano, December 10, 2007

Our Lady of Guadalupe altar, December 13, 2007