Bulletin (November 12, 2006)

Last weekend Deacon Ted gave a very good explanation of the importance of Stewardship - in relation to the great commandments of love of God and neighbor. Deacon Ted particularly emphasized the Stewardship of Time. I want to thank those who have already turned in their Stewardship cards. Many more of you will be turning in your cards this Sunday. This Sunday I will be giving a brief homily which will be followed by a testimony from Holy Family parishioner, Steve Hance.

If you have already made a commitment of Time and Talent, it should be easy to make a commitment of Treasure. Time is the most precious gift we can give back to the Lord in service to our brothers and sisters. Treasure (financial resources) is obviously also essential. At the beginning of October, I sent a copy of the Annual Report to all identified donors explaining how we use the financial resources which you contributed to Holy Family Parish. We need your support to carry out our mission of bringing Christ’s saving love through the sacraments, religious education and service. It is important to also recognize our own need to give. This Sunday we hear about the widow who made what seemed like a small donation. Even though wealthy people made much larger contributions, Jesus praised the widow who gave two small coins. Why did he single her out? Jesus tells us: "She, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood." Jesus asks the same from us: not just a tithe, but that we place one hundred percent of our Time, Talent and Treasure in his hands.

In the bulletin last weekend, I mentioned that we will have a small change beginning the First Sunday of Advent (December 3). We will no longer have missalettes in the pews with the current Sunday readings. This will help us balance our parish budget, but more important, it can actually enhance participation in Sunday Mass. With an improved sound system, I hope that parishioners will be able listen attentively to the Scripture readings. But also, I would like to encourage all parishioners to obtain their own Sunday Missal. The New St. Joseph Sunday Missal can be purchased by phone from Vercillo’s (253-471-8399) and other local Catholic bookstores. You can also purchase the Missal from Amazon. Along with the complete three year cycle of Scripture readings, the Missal provides short introductions to those readings. In addition it contains the Mass Propers, Stations of the Cross, the Mysteries of the Rosary, Examination of Conscience for Confession, an overview of the Catechism and a Treasury of Catholic Prayers - all for less than twenty dollars. It is a great value to help in your participation in Sunday Mass and in your daily prayer life.

This past week Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests For Life, attended the Supreme Court hearings on partial birth abortion. He wrote an interesting reflection, which I have posted on the bulletin board. Here are a few excerpts:

In one of his few remarks during the two hours of arguments in the Supreme Court today about partial-birth abortion, Justice Scalia responded to Justice Stevens' assertion that we should say "fetus" rather than child.. Justice Scalia said, "half-fetus, half-child." The point was clear. This is not simply about abortion. This is a hijacking of the delivery process for the purpose of killing the child. This is infanticide... In regard to safety (of the mother), one of the key questions from Chief Justice Roberts was that if, as the abortionists claim, partial-birth abortion is safer because it requires fewer insertions of instruments into the woman's body, why would it not then also follow that the safest method is live birth altogether, with the killing of the child outside the womb? The pro-abortion side did not have an answer to that specific question, which proves the point that Congress and the Bush Administration make, namely, that this procedure must be banned so that society has a clear barrier against infanticide. Isn't it just amazing that in our highest court in this great nation, this debate occurred today about the legality of "dismemberment" and "pulling the arms and legs off" a child. In the end, it's not a matter of which version of killing should be used. It's a matter of stopping the killing altogether.

I would like to recommend several intentions for your prayers this week. We, of course, pray for newly elected officials and all those who govern our nation that they will find paths to durable peace and the defence of the most vulnerable, beginning with unborn children. Also, we pray for our bishops who are meeting this week in Baltimore. The agenda will include: approval of a reorganization plan for their national conference; approval of a revision of the Lectionary for Mass for selected days in the season of Advent, and a directory for music and the liturgy for use in the dioceses of the United States; approval of two documents from their Doctrine Committee- a proposed statement on receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist worthily, and proposed guidelines for ministry to persons with a homosexual inclination; and a document from the Pro-Life Committee offering pastoral guidance on the Church’s teaching concerning contraception, linked with a culture of life. In addition to praying for our bishops, we pray for our local church. The sudden deaths of Deacon Joe Krempl and Michael Foy, long-time principal of Seattle's Assumption-St. Bridget School, have made us feel a sense of great loss. As we pray for their eternal rest and God’s comfort for their families, we also remember all those who are serving in the Lord’s Vineyard. And we pray for our own parish, that we will put our gifts to the service of the Lord and to one another.

El domingo pasado hemos escuchado un buena presentación de parte del Diacono Abel y nuestros hermanos Ernesto y Sonia. Estoy agradecido a todos que han llenado sus tarjetas de Tiempo, Talento y Tesoro. Hoy es Domingo de Compromiso. En el evangelio de hoy, oímos sobre una viuda que dio una pequeña donación al templo. A pesar de las contribuciones impresionantes de los ricos, Jesús alabó a la viuda que dio dos moneditas. Por que le alabó? Jesús nos dice: "Esta, en su pobreza, ha echado todo lo que tenia para vivir." Jesús quiere que tengamos un cambio total de corazón. Eso es esencial para la Mayordomía. Este año nuestro tema es: Dios lo da todo - y nos llama a compartir. Algo impresionante sucede cuando reconozcamos que Dios da todo, es decir, nuestra inteligencia, nuestra energía, las oportunidades para estudiar y trabajar. Todo viene de Dios. Cuando devolvamos la primera parte a El, las cosas empiezan a cambiar. Conozco a personas que han salido de su deuda por medio del diezmo. Dieron el primer diez porciento a Dios - y lo demás se cayó en su lugar correcto.

Como pueden ver en otra parte del boletín, el Cónsul Peruano (Miguel Ángel Velázquez) está enviando un contendor bienes para los necesitados del Perú. Los niños de nuestra escuela parroquial están recolectando juguetes en buena condición (no rayados o manchados) - y sin necesidad de pilas. Favor de traer su donación de juguete para el próximo domingo. Se puede dejar en el templo o a la rectoría. Muchas gracias por sus oraciones, ayuda y generosidad.