Pastors Corner

February 17, 2019

As I write this I am in my parish office in-between Masses on Sunday (Feb.10th). Usually I drive to my home between masses (I live only three minutes away). But today I don’t want to chance it because of the snow and ice. To be snowed in disrupts all our plans and forces us to slow down and just be. It’s helpful that I like to read but this forced isolation can lead to cabin fever. This is a good lesson that all are precious plans sometimes do not matter all that much. It’s a reminder that God is in charge. May we turn our lives over to him. Who knows? It may force us to enjoy each others’ company in new and refreshing ways.
 

February 10, 2019

I find it hard to believe that I have just turned 70 (Feb. 8). When I was a kid I thought that was pretty darn old. I’ll never forget how angry my Mom got with me when I revealed to someone that she was 75. And yet I still feel like my same old self. And I do love those senior discounts! Now that I’m entering the third age I’ve moved from either/or to both/and. What caused me to be riled I now shrug my shoulders at. With the Lord’s help I am more patient and perhaps a little wiser. Hopefully this next decade will find me becoming less stubborn and more accepting of another’s kindness and help. Thank you for your prayers. I couldn’t be prouder of all of you.

February 3, 2019

Next weekend we will be having Commitment Sunday for the Called to Serve as Christ campaign. You are being asked to make a three year pledge to help and the priest pension and the women religious retirement funds. Each parish will receive a share of what is given to go toward a particular program or cause. Our share will go towards various social outreach ministries. I would ask each parish household to make a three year pledge. If you can give the amount requested that is fine. If not do what you can. On commitment Sunday everyone will receive an envelope to fill out. Those who have already made a pledge simply fill out your name and check the box that says you’ve already pledged—and that’s it. For those who have not yet made a pledge please reflect on an amount. If you are unable to make a pledge at this time please check the proper box and pray for the success of the campaign. May God bless each of you.
 

January 27, 2018

This week I will be on my annual personal retreat at Seaside, Oregon. I’m ready for some down time, reflecting on God’s great love for me and ways of sharing that love with others. My days will consist of prayer, reading spiritual literature, hopefully some walking on the promenade, and eating some fine food. I must admit that I do have my favorite haunts in the area. My motivation for walking has been lacking the last few years. Pray that I do more of it this time around. I will also pray for your needs. I will be back on Friday afternoon.
A belated thank you for all of your generous gifts at Christmas. I appreciate your kindness. May the Lord bless you all.

January 13, 2018

Congratulations to all of us as we celebrate our twenty-eighth Anniversary as a parish this weekend. And to celebrate it on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord is especially touching since our patron St. John the Baptist has a pivotal role in this scene. It was in the Jordan river that Jesus became aware of his child of God identity. And we are continually growing in that same knowledge that we are beloved daughters and sons of God. Our parish has been established in the principles of stewardship, namely that everything we have has been given us by God and that we are called to share a portion of our time, talent, and treasure with the wider community. Thank you for doing this so well. May the Lord bless our community with all we need so as to make him credible in our world today. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us. They have built the foundation along with our God and we continue to do so today. May we gather in God’s name, grow in God’s time, and go in God’s Spirit.

December 30, 2018

It’s consoling to realize that even the holy family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph had their problems. Jesus’ parents inadvertently left him in Jerusalem as they made their way north to Galilee. A holy family is not a perfect family. It is one which knows the love of God and allows that same love to be radiated to others. As we are on the brink of a new year may we allow the Lord to touch our families with wondrous peace and blessings. On behalf of our parish staff may you have a blessed and happy new year.

December 23, 2018

This Fourth Sunday of Advent focuses on the  Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth who blesses  her as the mother of God. She is so thankful  that Mary decided to visit her. As Christmas fast approaches may each of us appreciate more fully the coming of Jesus into our world. May we make room for him and allow him to guide our lives and be our moral compass. On behalf of our pastoral staff I wish you a blessed Christmas season. May you be abundantly blessed by our new born Savior. 

December 16, 2018

From Fr. Jim
I would like to thank Rose Kinsella who has served as our Pastoral Assistant for Administration for almost twenty-two years. She has been through the ups and downs of parish life and handled them all with great equanimity. As Sue Ray put it in her exit letter last May as she stepped down as Pastoral Assistant for Stewardship and Evangelization “Rose is the glue that holds the parish together.” Rose is retiring effective Friday, Dec. 21st. A special celebration honoring her takes place on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 from noon to 4 pm in the McMullen Education Center. May our good and gracious God bless Rose with every good thing.

December 9, 2018

It never takes long before our patron John the Baptist turns up for Advent. He is the one who cries out in the desert, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John well knew that his role was to point the way to Christ. He often would say, “He must increase while I must decrease.” Our role is the same. We are called to be evangelizers, to lead others to Christ. We are called to make straight the paths that people walk, to fill the valleys so many others find themselves trying to crawl out of, and making the rough ways smooth for those in difficult patches. May this Advent season be a good and holy one for you and your family.

December 2, 2018

Advenire, the Latin from which Advent is derived, translates, “to arrive” or “come to.” Advent recalls God’s first coming in Christ’s birth and looks toward his return at the end of time, while we prepare to celebrate that first coming on Christmas. We are called to prepare the way of the Lord as we follow the example of our patron St. John the Baptist. This weekend‘s readings have us look at the Cosmic occurrences at the time of the coming of the Son of Man. We hear from Luke’s gospel and will continue to do so for the rest of this new liturgical year. We are called to watch and to pray, a foreshadowing of the instructions Jesus will give them in the Garden of Gethsemane as he faces the chaos and suffering of death on the Cross.

November 25, 2018

We warmly welcome Kathryn Wickward as our new Pastoral Assistant for Administration. For the past several years Kathryn has served in a similar position at St. Mary’s parish in the Central District of Seattle which coincidentally was my first pastorate (1982-1986). She and I know many of the same people. Kathryn is eager to begin working here on Monday, Dec. 3rd. She will be replacing Rose Kinsella who has served here for nearly 22 years. Words can’t begin to express what Rose has meant to our community. We will give her a fitting tribute in the weeks ahead.

November 18. 2018

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving Day is right on our doorstep. With so much on our plate it is a good and holy thing to pause and reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives. As one who tends to be a loner it is beneficial for me to be aware that I am part of a loving and vibrant community. Thank you for the many ways you show your care for me. I also am thankful for my siblings and nieces and nephews. We have always gotten along so well. I can’t help but categorize an ungrateful person as an unhappy human being. They are so tied up with themselves that they fail to realize that joy comes from giving of one self to the other. May we grow deeper in our understanding of God’s gracious love for us. Our God is a gift giver. May we always be thankful.

Please join us for our Thanksgiving Day Mass at 10 am this Thursday. If you would like dinner items to be blessed please place them on the table near the baptismal font. Also bring food items or financial donations for those in need. These will be brought up in our offertory procession. Have a blessed day! There will be NO Mass on Friday, Nov.23rd.

November 4, 2018

November is a good month to reflect on death, not in a morbid way, mind you, but in a healthy, straight forward manner.  Having just celebrated All Souls Day we have had the opportunity to reflect on our loved ones transition from this life to the next. What about our own death? Have we written our will and last testament, a power of attorney, made out a living will, and planned our funeral? I have noticed this last item gets little attention. It always surprises me when a family says, “By the way, Father, Mom/Dad picked out the scriptural readings they wanted for their funeral. What a gift that is to the family who do not have to guess what their loved ones wanted! Myself  or another parish minister would be happy to assist with planning your own funeral. I would hope that this would give you a greater sense of peace is we look to the future. As for those who have you before us marked with the sign of faith- “Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.”