Today we begin a week to remember, not just in the sense that memorable things will take place - that even in a humble, low-budget parish like ours, we will experience powerful liturgies. This is a week to remember in another sense: remembering is the activity we engage in; we attempt to focus on what really counts. When all is said and done, we celebrate the one thing we must never forget. As Fr. Richard Neuhaus said, “If what Christians say about Good Friday is true, then it is, quite simply, the truth about everything.”* A poignant story will bring home this point.
It is about a man suffering from Alzheimer’s. Sometimes we joke about the disease - it is natural considering how much forgetfulness is part of our human condition. But Alzheimer's is more than forgetting birthdays and where the keys are. For the person's family it is a wrenching burden. In this case, the family watched in pain as the man lost different aspects of his memory. First, he began forgetting ordinary things like how to turn on the shower or to use a toaster. Soon he could no longer remember people who were his old friends or close work associates. Then he began to forget even who his children were and, finally, his wife. As the man’s life was drawing to an end, his family gathered around the sick bed. He knew none of them. His wife placed a small crucifix in his hand. At first he seemed puzzled, then looked intently and said, “Jesus.”
That man had forgotten everything, but he did remember the one thing which matters – the event which includes everything else. From his childhood he had closely followed the activities of Holy Week. He became convinced that it enacted the most important happening in human history. And that it was also the most important happening in his life - and yours and mine. The day Jesus took our sins away. This morning we listened to the Passion of our Lord, according to Matthew. We will hear it once again on Good Friday, according to John. May we not miss the graces God wishes to pour out upon us – that this will indeed be for us a week to remember.
*From Death on a Friday Afternoon, Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross.
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Bulletin (Holy Week, Loan Request from Archdiocese, Terri Schiavo, Prayer Focus on Embryos & Cloning)
Good Friday Service for Life
Letter to Dr. Leroy Hood
From Bishop Wuerl:
While stem cell research may not be at the top of the list of concerns that many of us face in our day-to-day life, it is nonetheless of such significance that we all need to understand fully its realities as well as its consequences. Decisions made now could establish a principle that asserts and endorses that we are free to use the drastic means of taking another human life, if we deem that the end result justifies that dire action. To concede that the end – even if it is potential relief to long-standing illnesses and injuries – justifies the means is to send our children and grandchildren headlong down a slippery slope on a moral toboggan with neither a steering bar or brakes.
And from Peter Singer (a Yale professor who wants to lead us further down the slippery slope):
The dispute is no longer about whether it is justifiable to end an infant's life if it won't be worth living but whether that end may be brought about by active means, or only by the withdrawal of treatment.
Jimmy Akin: What To Do When You're Incensed (at Mass, by a priest, deacon or acolyte)
Toying with Evil: May a Catholic Advocate Torture? by Mark Shea
From Dom: Barabbas actor had major conversion
Pope John Paul II vs. Million Dollar Baby
Amy asks, Where's my check?
New York Press Jokes about Pope's Death (I include this link only as an indication of the sickness which has invaded our media)
Archeologist Believes He Has Found St. Paul's Tomb
About Ashley Smith
my bulletin column
Parish Picture Album - April 2011
40 Days for Life (Everett, WA)
Q&A about Planned Parenthood
Another sting by Live Action: Planned Parenthood CEO’s False Mammogram Claim Exposed
Reasons Young People Leave Their Faith - Presentation for Monroe Christian Pastor. (For pdf format click here)
Background for presentation on "Reasons Young People Leave Their Faith": High School Course – World Civilization - Section on origins of Christianity. (For pdf format click here)
Parish Picture Album
Laetare Sunday: the old & the new (March 2012)
Al Kresta at Rally for Religious Freedom: "We want this to be an enduring victory for American religious liberty...The way we ensure this does not become a political tempest in a teapot: Psalm 51 'Create in me a clean heart, O God..."
Please take time to read what our bishops are saying about Religious Liberty & Conscience Protection
The Archdiocese of Seattle also has helpful resources regarding the defense of marriage and family
Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish
Parish Picture Album
(view slide show of Men's Conference Volunteers)
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru
(new, professional website)
photos of Diego
(teenager with eye disease helped by Mary Bloom Center)