Forum on Children at the Border~Foro Sobre los Niños a la Frontera

St. Mary’s Parish
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo – Parochial Administrator

Tricia Wittmann-Todd – Pastoral Associate

Jorge Quiroga – El Comité de Amnestia y Justicia Social
611 – 20th Ave. South
Seattle, WA 98144
Thursday, August 28, 2014
7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Welcome – Bishop Eusebio                                                                              Bienvenida – Sr. Obisbo Eusebio
I. Story of Moses’s mother                                                                                 I. Cuento de la Madre de Moisés
II. What caused this crisis?                                                                               II. ¿Qué ha causado la crisis?
III. What is happening to the children now?                                             III. ¿Qué pasa con los niños ahora?
a. What is the current situation?                                                                      a. ¿Cómo está la situación actual?
b. Why not just send them back?                                                                     b. ¿Por qué no mandarlos de vuelta?
c. What is the Catholic Church doing?                                                           c. ¿Qué está haciendo la iglesia?
IV. Meaningful pathways to respond                                                            IV. Vías significativas para responder
a. Compassionate care for the children                                                         a. Cuidado compasivo para los niños
b. Legal assistance                                                                                                   b. Ayuda legal
V. Questions and Answers                                                                                   V. Preguntas y Respuestas
VI. Goodwill collection for CCS border efforts                                          VI. Colecta de buena voluntad
VII. Closing prayer                                                                                                VII. Oración final

More Information/Mas Información: St Mary’s Church 206-324-7100 x10 or Tricia Wittmann-Todd ext 13

Youth Migrant Project


The teens who participated in this year’s Youth Migrant Project, were an open, cheerful, and energetic group. They were deeply moved and surprised to see the poverty right next door in the Skagit Valley. They say St. Ignatius of Loyola had the gift of tears; well, this group had the gift of laughter. From this joy and support for each other, they threw themselves into the work. You can see their enthusiasm when they are playing soccer with the children or handing out food. On Sunday (8/2), the youth told us how grateful they are for their gifts, and challenged our community to continue helping our poor farm worker brothers and sisters.

Housing crisis

Currently, the farm workers have been taking Mr. Sakuma, owner of Sakuma Brothers Farms, to court over wage theft, union busting, and refusing to allow families to stay in worker housing. They won, but it is a pyrrhic victory. Mr. Sakuma has been refusing to hire until sometime in August, which means the families are coming here and cannot stay in worker housing. To be fair, Mr. Sakuma claims the housing improvements, and court costs are endangering his business and driving his refusal to hire. In the end, the reality is that many migrant farm workers have no home. Thankfully, Washington State has stepped up and contributed $61,000 for temporary worker housing. That amount is a good beginning, but it is not enough.

Youth desire change

The youth of our parish want everyone to see the poverty in our area, help the farm workers’ immediate needs, support them financially, and advocate for change with the government. They encourage you to visit José Ortiz at St. Charles in Burlington, volunteer for his food bank, and join with him as he visits those in need. They thank you for the support that made this trip possible, and encourage you to really look at your finances and see what you can actually give. St. Mary’s has always been involved with petitions and speaking for the powerless; keep up the good work and continue speaking as prophets to the government in favor of compassionate change. As Eduardo said on Sunday, ‘this is not a Latino problem, this is a human problem.’

Meet Our Parochial Administrator


Most Reverend Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S. is a native of Monterrey, Mexico.

He received a bachelor’s degree in theology and a canon law degree from the Gregorian University in Rome. In 1984, he was ordained a priest of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit, a religious congregation of men consecrated to God for the service of the Church, who provide spiritual direction for priests and consecrated religious.

He was assigned to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Bothell, Washington in the year 2000 to provide ministry to the growing Hispanic community in Western Washington upon the request of Archbishop Alex Brunett. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle by Pope Benedict XVI on May 12, 2005 and was ordained by Archbishop Brunett on June 6, 2005.

Bishop Eusebio is the first Hispanic bishop in Seattle. He is appointed Vicar General ,Vicar for Hispanic Ministries and Vicar for Vocations of the Archdiocese. He will celebrate his first mass as parochial administrator at St. Mary’s July 6th, 2014.

What is a parochial administrator? When a parish is ‘vacant,’ meaning in our case that the pastor has retired and the pastoral coordinator has fulfilled her term, the bishop must appoint as soon as possible a parochial administrator. In general, an administrator has the same duties and scope of authority as a pastor; however, these may be limited by the bishop. The bishop may decide to appoint the administrator as the pastor depending upon a number of conditions. ( see for more information) The typical length of appointment for a parochial administrator is 3 years.

Because the bishop will continue to fulfill his duties with the archdiocese, Fr. Bryan Dolejsi, who is also director of vocations at the archdiocese and chaplain for Kennedy High School, has been appointed parochial vicar. His biography will be posted shortly.

Town Hall Meetings June 1

After the 9:30 and noon Masses on June 1 there will be a Town Hall meeting. If you are unable to attend the meetings, you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts about the upcoming transition at St Mary’s at all masses that weekend. Please think about the following questions.

1. What do you value most about St Mary’s?
2. What worries you most about the changes?
3. What is hopeful to you?


Pastoral Change at St. Mary’s

The Jewish Tradition includes a practice of “counting Omer”.  It is a practice that includes praying the psalms and reflecting on various aspects of God.  It is done daily  from Passover to the Festival of Weeks. (the Jewish Feast of first fruits which the disciples were celebrating at Pentecost.)  I want to share a practice from the first week by Rabbi Yael Levy.

The beginning of wisdom is awe.   Psalm 111:10

 The strength of the spiritual warrior who remembers

 she is not the source of her power

She is the channel through which the Divine power flows.

Our lives are conceived in mystery,

Our strength comes from the Most High.

We bow to the Source of All

As we yield to the power that flows through us.

Practice for today:

Reflect on something you believe to be true.

Feel the rightness,

The truth of this idea, this thought.

Then say to yourself: I could be wrong.

Sit with the sensations that arise.

As we move through this time of transition over the next months, I encourage each of us to engage in this practice.  It is very important that we claim what we believe to be true, that we cherish these truths, that we are willing to share them  and not pretend or try to fool ourselves.  At the same time, I encourage each of us to accept that what is good and true for me, may be destructive or wrong for someone else.   Some of the changes that we welcome, another may find very disturbing.  Bishop Eusebio and Fr Brian will bring their own sense of truth.  Gudelia and I met with Bishop Eusebio this week to discuss how liturgy is celebrated at St Mary’s.  He shared his high value of reverence and symbolism in Eucharist.

The Transition Committee is meeting for the first time next Thursday under the leadership of Shaughn Gorman and Alfonso Blanco (co-chairs of the Pastoral Council) and Gudelia Alejo as staff.  Anyone is welcome to serve on this group that will be critical to the transition over the next 6 months.  If you would like to join, please contact Shaughn at or  text Alfonso at 206-830-0667 or leave a message for Gudelia at

On Tuesday evening (May 20), the Pastoral Council would like to invite you to come from 7-8pm    (the first hour  of the Council meeting)   to share your thoughts , reflections, concerns and questions regarding the upcoming changes.  Your input will provide the Transition committee (most of the Pastoral Council are members) with valuable insights. We will also share notes  from that first meeting with Bishop Eusebio.


The Tridium

The Tridium, the 3 days of Holy Thursday to Easter, is an opportunity to enter what the Irish call a “thin place”
What is a thin place? A thin place is a place of energy. A place where the veil between this world and the eternal world is thin. A thin place is where one can walk in two worlds – the worlds are fused together, knitted loosely where the differences can be discerned or tightly where the two worlds become one.   Mindie Burgoyne
Holy Thursday we sing  Psalm 116 . It starts as  the cry of someone deeply afflicted-a person  who doubts friends and foe, who is snared by death.   The first part concludes with “Deliver me, O God, I beg you” The psalm moves then to how this one sees God as ” merciful, tender, God looks after the simple, and when I was brought low, God gave me strength.”  In the final verses the one crying out declares with a heart full of hope and peace: ” I shall fulfill my vows to God, witnessed by all God’s people”.  All things are possible again.
In such a thin place, one sees the glory of God.  In the Passion and Resurrection, we hear Jesus enter thin space, from “let this cup pass” to “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me” to “it is finished”. On Easter morning, the women  come  to the tomb expecting to anoint a dead body.  There is nothing quite like death to ground us in this world.  But they encounter the empty tomb!  a sign of eternal life where miracles are everywhere. The angel says ” why are looking for the living among the dead?” The veil has been torn.  The glory of God shines!
Why should we take this annual trip to the thin place?  Because during the year, we are often forced to confront life in this world as we face trials, disappointments, death and losses.  Walking from Holy Thursday thru Easter Sunday helps us to experience the move to the empty tomb where the glory of God is brilliant.  Then, as we find ourselves standing in this world with all it’s challenges, we can know  how thin the veil to eternal goodness  really is.  “my heart, be at peace again, for God has treated you generously.” psalm  116:7
This Holy Week I ask you to keep in your prayers particular people in our community who are suffering from mental illness, addictions, the loss of a child, heart surgery, grief, challenges of aging and imprisonment.   May each of us see the glory of God.
Blessings, Tricia

Holy Week April 13-20th

Sometimes it is believed  that Holy Week is only for the super holy religious types. But Holy Week is for all of us who learn best by doing.  It is full of opportunities to carry banners, process around, wash feet in church, see the passion enacted, feel the water sprinkling on our heads, see the candle lights dance, be sorrowful and joyful and most of all, be together with our faith community.  Here are a few of the highlights:

April 13, 9:30 am-English and Noon-Spanish: Procession from the corner with palms waving.  (Twisting your palm into a cross or the pieta is up to you!)

7-8:30pm. Wash feet, bring in all the new oils we will use in sacraments this year.  Fr Tony will preach. In addition, the archdiocese is leading a Pilgrimage of young adults around the neighborhood with Archbishop Sartain and Bishop Elizondo.  A group of 200+ s) begin at St James, come to St Marys, and continue on to Immaculate Conception, Seattle Univ Ignatius Chapel and to St James, concluding their walk around midnight.  What a powerful thing to walk and pray with our Bishops and other young adults through the central area of Seattle. No need to register.  Just stay in the church and the group will arrive around 9:00pm on Holy Thursday.
Good Friday                                                                                                                                                                                                                 April 18  Noon:  reading of the passion and veneration. 7-8:30pm: Our youth will present the Passion in shadows.  Teens will  share a few reflections on suffering, the passion and faith. Veneration of the cross to follow.


April 19, 8:30-11:00pm:  In the early church, this was the night when new people were baptized and joined the Christian movement.  We start with a big fire outside on the north side of the church.  We listen to poetic and bilingual readings of our faith history-Genesis, the Beginning. Exodus-passover to freedom. Isaiah-hope in the midst of trial, Ezekiel-call to be prophetic.   Then we hear the story of the s way of telling us to stop worrying so much about death.  27 people will receive Easter sacraments and become fully initiated into the church through baptism, confirmation and eucharist.  Fr. Tony will preach.

Celebration of the Resurrection: 9:30am -English.  Baptisms of small children and infants.  Tricia Wittmann-Todd will share a reflection.  Noon-Spanish:  Martina Canu-Adams will share a reflection.