Normally at this time I would be presenting my spring reading list but I’m still plugging along with the winter literature. Much of my selections come from four reference books. I really enjoy the suggestions from Seattle librarian Nancy Perl’s Book Lust series. I’m currently in her second book More Book Lust, focusing on Science 101. I will choose one book she recommends from that sections as I’ve done for all her sections. I also like 1000 Books to Read Before You Die by James Mustich. I’ve read 279. And going alphabetically by author I’m up to Voices from Chernobyl by Svetland Alexievich. The third book is Great Books of the Century which are New York Times Book Reviews of the 20th century. I’m up to A Passage to India by E. M. Forster written about a hundred years ago. Finally there is The Top Ten edited by J. Peder Zane. He asked 25 leading British and American writers to “provide a list, ranked in order of what you consider the ten greatest works of fiction of all time- novels, short stories collections, plays, or poems”. He received 544 separate titles. He gave ten points to each writer’s number one selection and one point to their tenth. From this he came up with the top ten list. Anna Karenina, Madame Bovary, and War and Peace were the top three. I’ve read 166 of the list. I’m up to Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens which is number 68. If you have any references you draw from let me know. Happy spring reading!
We welcome Fr. Chuck Palluck as the presider at our masses this weekend. He is a senior priest of the Archdiocese. Fr. Chuck and I go way back. He taught me and my classmates the Art of Celebration in my last year in the seminary. He taught us how to celebrate mass as well as all the sacraments-baptism, weddings, the rite of penance, anointings, funerals, etc. After that year (1975) he served as pastor of St. Barbara’s in Black Diamond for thirty five years. May the Lord bless him in every way.
“He is risen, even as he said”. Alleluia! Resurrection is more then a new phase of the old life. Jesus invites followers to rise with him into a strange, upside-down world where apparent irreversible are reversed: life, defeats death, love trumps evil, weakness means power, humility wins out, last comes first, and “nothing will be impossible for God” (Luke 1:37). We are beginning to experience new life emanating from this difficult time of COVID-19. May we know the joy of the Risen Christ.
I will be taking time off this coming week and next weekend. Part of the time I will be staying with friends in Bellingham. It will be the first time I will spend a night away from my home in more than a year. Fr. Chuck Palluck will be here next weekend. Have a blessed Easter season.
No other Sunday in the liturgical year reflects such dramatic contrast as today – Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. What begins with songs of triumph quickly shifts into remembrance of the Lord’s passion. We enter into Holy Week which marks the apex of the liturgical year. The Triduum (the Latin word for three days) is celebrated as one liturgy over a three day period. On Holy Thursday we celebrate the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (7 pm). Because of COVID-19 we will not have the foot washing in the church but invite you to do this as a family afterwards in your home. The altar of repose this year will be set up near the Lady of Guadalupe shrine in the corner of the sanctuary. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will take place until 10 pm. On Good Friday we celebrate the Passion of the Lord (7 pm). The Veneration of the Cross will take place at the end of the service. On Holy Saturday the Easter Vigil will take place at 8 pm and lasts for about three hours. We will live stream all our Triduum and Easter services. I will speak about Easter next weekend. I hope that all of you may enter into these days with the mind of Jesus who emptied himself so that he might be filled with the powerful love of the Resurrection. Have a blessed Holy Week!
I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel as more and more of you are returning to church because of your precious vaccination shots. We are adding another twenty chairs to the sanctuary in line with phase three of the COVID guidelines. That will bring the total of seats to 145. We still ask that you wear a mask and practice social distancing between households.
Thanks to the more than 400 of you who have returned your updated information to us. This helps us to clean up our records regarding addresses, phone numbers and email. There is still time to return your letter if you haven’t done so already. It just takes a few minutes and you can return your letter in the business reply envelope that came with your letter or by dropping it by the office or in the collection box.
I hope you’ve had an opportunity to focus on the Operation Rice Bowl calendar during this Lenten season. We are invited to study the difference that Catholic Relief Services has made in the countries of Madagascar, El Salvador, and Timor-Leste (one of the newest countries in the world). I was surprised to learn that the Timorese are 98% Catholic. Our generous gift to Operation Rice Bowl as well as the CRS collection helps provide the resources for people thoughout the world to help themselves. For example Edwin Carlos, a 17 year old living in El Salvador, decided to join a group of 220 students who are learning it is possible to farm while restoring the environment. Like so many others he and his family have started a home vegetable garden which helps cut down on deforestation. Thank you for widening your vision of the world during this time of isolation.