Pastors Corner

October 14, 2018

October is Respect Life month. We are reminded that all human life from the womb to the tomb is to be treated with dignity. One of the ways that our parish is concretely exemplifying this respect is through our safe car parking venture. After our 11:30 am mass this morning we will be blessing a site on our parking lot which will be reserved for the cars of those homeless who will be permitted to stay here from 9 pm to 8 am seven days a week. I realize that this is a first step for them to find permanent housing. Each of these individuals have been vetted by  Catholic Community Services in order to be a part of the program. CCS will continue to help them find housing. If you would like to volunteer to help out please contact Andrea Mendoza who is our outreach staff person or Nancy Huntington who has spearheaded this program from the beginning. Many thanks to her for seeing this through. Please pray for those who are in desperate need of housing. May we show respect for them by doing all we can for their well-being.

October 7, 2018

Next weekend we will be kicking off called to Serve as Christ campaign which is an Archdiocesan wide program to raise funds to help with priest pensions and retirement funds for women religious. Fifteen percent of the funds collected will come back to the parishes. Pledges are made over a three year period. The Archdiocesan goal is 100 million dollars. Our parish share of that goal is $1,482,139. I realize that this seems like an insurmountable goal especially in light of the stewardship of treasure campaign that we are in the midst of. But I have faith that the goal we ask of each of you can be achieved over a three year period. As a priest who is currently receiving a pension I am truly thankful for your prayerful and reflective response. This is uniquely extraordinary stewardship. Thank you for your response. May the Lord bless each of you.

September 30, 2018

When I was growing up my family owned two cats, Tuffy and Missy, as well as several gold fish,- not the best mix of pets. In the morning when we found one less fish in the bowl and a happy smile on a cat’s face we realized what happened. And still the fish would jump out of the bowl. I have never been a pet owner myself. When I’m asked why not I respond, “I have a hard enough time taking care of myself!” and yet I do enjoy our annual pet blessing which is held on the Sunday nearest the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Oct. 4th. This year the blessing takes place next Sunday, Oct. 7th at 12:45 pm near the McMullen Center. Be sure to have non-retractable leashes for dogs and carriers for cats. We will have snacks for both human and pets. May the Lord bless both the great and the small.

September 23, 2018

At the commissioning service of our catechists during the Life Teen Mass last week, I was astounded when at least forty people came forward. All I could say was “Wow!” I realized that this was but a portion of all those who are to serve in this position this year. I am so thankful for their ministry to people of all ages in our parish community. And yet they are complementing the role of parents in their roles as the “first teachers of their children in the practice of the faith” (Rite of Baptism). Once a month on Wednesday evenings, we will have different speakers for our adult faith formation series talking on various topics. I would invite you parents who drop off your children for their middle school classes to stay those evenings for some good faith formation. What a gift that would be for your children to have you pass on to them what you’ve learned! As I am fond of saying: “We are all in this together”.

September 16, 2017

The root word of disciple is the Latin word discipulus which means one who grasps. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ means that we live our life in such a way as to grasp his teaching and way of life. To live in his way is to be strong, loving, and wise. The Gospel is not complicated but it is difficult. In other words, to be a Christian in today’s society calls for more then a little daring. Our parish mission which begins tonight is entitled Dare to be a disciple. Dr. Sharon Callahan of Seattle University will lead us on Sunday evening and Monday morning and evening as to what makes up a disciple and how we might be one in our own environment. Tuesday morning and evening we will have our new staff describe their faith journey. Please join us as we continue to discover the difficult but joyful journey of disciples of Christ.

September 9, 2018

When my father married my mother back in August of 1941he had to promise that he would raise his children as Catholic. He was a young lapsed Catholic at the time (my mother was non-Catholic) like most of his siblings. He held true to his promise as well as becoming more involved in the church. When we moved from the Chicago area to Seattle in 1956 we joined the new Sr. Luke Catholic Church in Shoreline. Wouldn’t you know it?! My Dad became an usher at the 7:30 am Sunday Mass. As we left home (thankfully only two blocks away) I would often exclaim: “Why does Mom get to sleep in!” So began my learning of stewardship. My Dad’s conscientness as an usher and his consistent practice of handing in his weekly envelope opened my eyes and heart to the importance of stewardship of talent as well as of treasure. Over the years I’ve grown in my appreciation of God as gracious and generous in bestowing all that we need for a fulfilling life. I have a genuine need to share a portion of what I have for the benefit of those who have less. My favorite saying of what stewardship means comes from the late Archbishop Thomas Murphy “I am not in control.” In other words, this is God’s world and we are privileged to play a role in it. I have felt for many years that I as a pastor am called to set an example regarding living stewardship as a way of life. I too make a pledge to give a portion of my salary to ensure that our parish has suitable ministries that are life-giving for this community and beyond. We must move from a consumer mentality to one of discipleship. This means we move from a “me” mentality to one which looks to serve the other. This movement does not come overnight but is part of sustained journey of following Jesus Christ.

Thank you for being part of this community of faith. Yes, it takes faith to realize that when giving as a way of life we will not be deprived but rather will grow in our capacity to receive so much more of God’s bounty.

August 26, 2018

I imagine all of us have been dismayed by the news coming out of Pennsylvania of the more then three hundred priests who have sexually abused one thousand children dating back to the 1940’s. One would think that by now transparency would have happened. It is only when bishops are called to task for covering up these abuses that true justice will occur. When the late Archbishop Hunthausen in 1985 heard the same message that his fellow bishops heard regarding the breadth of priest sexual abuse he immediately acknowledged that he had made mistakes regarding this and set up a blue ribbon committee to advise him on the matter. It wasn’t long before a priest was convicted and sent to a correctional facility. Pope Francis recently wrote: “Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such abuses from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of them being covered up and perpetuated.” May we pray for the victims of sexual abuse throughout the world. And may the culture of clericalism which helps to create a chasm of power between clerics and laity come to an end.

August 19, 2018

I would like to thank those of you who have chosen to be volunteers in the upcoming Called to Serve As Christ Campaign. This archdiocesan Campaign aims to help with priest pensions and the retirement of women religious. For those of you still on the fence about helping with this I would have you make a firm decision to back this campaign with you becoming involved as a volunteer and/or as a financial contributor. This campaign comes right on the heels of our annual parish stewardship of treasure campaign. You might say that this is uniquely extraordinary stewardship. I have every belief that you will come through. This will take a great amount of faith that we will not be diminished but instead grow in our capacity to give. Thank you for your generosity.

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.