Pastors Corner

August 12, 2018

On the last day of my recent road trip as I was driving past Anaconde, Montana, I  couldn’t help but think of my personal  hero, Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen. I briefly hoped to visit him but wasn’t sure where he was living. Chances are that he would not have been able to do so, for he died two days later. I was the deacon at his installation as Archbishop of Seattle in 1975 and two days later I was ordained a priest by him. I would have to characterize him as the holiest person I have ever met. As Father Mike Ryan mentioned in his funeral homily, Archbishop Hunthausen lived the beatitudes. And because he did so he suffered persecution at the hands of those who were rigidly ruled by laws and regulations. In the midst of the Vatican investigation in the mid 1980’s, Dutch ( as he was nicknamed) prayerfully and gently endured it all. What a wonderful example he was to the people he lovingly shepherded! May he rest in peace.

July 22 2018

I am happy to announce that Andrea Mendoza has been hired as the Pastoral Assistant for Social Outreach and Ministry. Andrea and her family are in our parish. Her eight years working for Catholic Community Services as well as her fluency in Spanish will help our parish community network with other  churches and organizations to help those living in poverty and coping with hunger and homelessness. Andrea will help our parish be a model for living out the response to Who’ My Neighbor?, The Washington state bishops pastoral letter.  Andrea will begin her ministry here on August 8. Lord, bless her in every way.

July 8, 2018

Tomorrow (Monday) I head out on another road trip. I originally planned a “staycation” but when Sue Ray our retired pastoral assistant for stewardship and evangelization decided to move to Lincoln, Nebraska it gave me the excuse to visit her there. After spending a few days in Lincoln, I will travel through Iowa and on up into Minnesota before heading back through the Dakotas and Montana. I will be back in the parish on August 4th. Pray for me as I will for you.

Fr. Justin McCreedy, a Benedictine priest will fill in for me the following three weekends. Fr. McCreedy is the prior of St. Martins Abbey in Lacey.

June 24, 2018

Happy patronal feast day! This weekend we celebrate the Feast Day of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. This celebration comes six months before the Lord’s birth. St. Augustine found this date (near the summer solstice ) appropriate for, after the birth of John, daylight begins to grow shorter, whereas after Jims’ birth, it begins to increase. This trivia goes along with John’s statement: “He must increase while I must decrease” John printed the way to Christ. We must do likewise. After all that is part of what evangelization is all about.  May we allow Christ to increase within us so that we might share his presence with others.

June 17, 2018

Just a reminder that I am always open to an invitation for lunch or dinner either at your home or at a nearby restaurant. Summer offers a good time for visiting in this way. These meals are an opportunity for me to get to know the parish community in a deeper way. May the summer months be restful and invigorating for you. I leave for the annual Priest Days at Ocean Shores this week, I will be returning on Thursday afternoon. It’s always good to see those priests who I rarely meet during the course of the year. This year’s theme has to do with how to counsel those with a pornography addiction which has taken on pandemic proportions in our society today. Pray for me as I will for you.

June 10, 2018

Congratulations to all of our graduates whether it be eighth grade, high school, or college! Whatever your transition might be know that God very much wants to be a part of the celebration. If your going elsewhere to college, please connect with the Newman Center or parish church nearby. You have a wonderful opportunity to share your faith and gifts with others who perhaps are hungering for more depth in their lives. You have so much to offer our world today. Know that you are in our prayers. May the Lord bless you in every way. 

June 3, 2018

I think it is quite fitting that we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ as we bid farewell to Sue Ray who for the past eight years has served as our Pastoral Assistant for Stewardship and Evangelization. Sue indeed is a Eucharistic person, breaking open herself for so many in our church community and beyond. Originally I was impressed by her marketing resume of having opened several Target Stores throughout the country. But where was the theological training? I soon learned that Sue’s marketing expertise was just what was needed to sell the Good News to others . Her good-natured smile, positivity, and enthusiasm has inspired so many in their own faith. I consider her a dear friend and will dearly miss her as she travels to Lincoln, Nebraska to take up the next phase of her life. Her stepson and family will keep her active.

Thank you, Sue . May the Lord bless you in every way!

May 20, 2018

Last Wednesday, I was very much blessed to accompany fifty some members of our parish community to the Grotto of the Sorrowful Mother in Portland. I found the experience to be Church at its best. The praying on the bus, the Mass we attended, the beautiful statuary and gardens plus the wonderful lunch and conversation all spoke to me of a gathering of disciples who give praise and thanks for what God has wrought. I’m thankful for all who made this happen.

This Pentecost weekend we celebrate the beginning of the Church. The Holy Spirit enabled the apostles and Mary to be strong witnesses of Christ in not only Jerusalem but subsequently to the entire world. Do we allow that same Spirit to touch us? Or are we so set in our ways and idealogies that we leave no room for the Spirit to enlighten and inspire us with new ways of living and thinking? Come, Holy Spirit, come!

May 13, 2018

Back in the 1970’s I remember hearing of a parish in Virginia celebrating the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord by the pastor driving a forklift down the aisle of the church. I don’t remember if he was being lifted up or not but the assembly got the point. I thought this was apocryphal until several years later having related this story to a parish assembly a man coming out of mass reported that he was there to witness this event in that Virginia church years before. He even cited the actual date. And yet the Ascension isn’t so much about Jesus leaving us in bodily form as much as his commissioning his disciples to continue his mission of proclaiming the Gospel. Their commission is ours today by virtue of our Baptism. The Lord worked wondrous signs through them as they spread the Word. On this Solemnity, may we look around and see the amazing signs the Lord continues to work through those who witness to him throughout the world in the twenty-first century!