The Triduum

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!)

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, 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.  27people will receive Easter sacraments and become fully initiated into the church through baptism, confirmation and eucharist.  Fr. Tony will preach.
Easter Morning

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.

Saturday Work Party!

No better way to celebrate Lent than with a good day of hard work! Or a hard day of good work. This Saturday, March 15th, 10 am to work in M & M for a remodel project, 11 am to do projects in the church. If you can’t make it, feel free to bring easy-to-eat lunch material for the workers (usually about 10-15 people).

Lent: A Time for Quiet, A Call to Listen

Today, all over the world, Christians begin the season of Lent. This is the season when we trade more for less to end up with more. Crazy economics. It works in all sorts of ways. Spiritually, it is all about making room for God to be a bigger part of our life. So we trade something (usually time) that is filling up our life’s minutes for an empty space. God moves into the empty space. Our hearts are filled with grace (God’s presence) leaving us with a sense of abundance of time. ….ending up with more. Economically we put money into our little rice bowls. So we have less money. But the money we put in goes to teaching and getting clean water and generally making other people’s lives better. We read the paper and see how things are getting better, we feel richer and we…..end up with more.
My Pope Francis app this morning suggested we each find one thing to do each day in Lent that will make the world a better place. Imagine if every Christian in the world did this every day during Lent. How would this impact our classrooms, offices, homes, parks, even the air we breathe and water we drink. If we all try this, just one thing a day, the impact will be amazing.

Upcoming Events:
1. Communal Reconciliation Service: March 14 7-8pm. Are you tired of carrying around the same old sins? Are you ready for that fresh clean feeling of forgiveness? If the communal thing is not to your liking, Fr Tony is hearing confessions every Friday night during Lent from 6-7. Just slip into the church and come out smelling like a rose.
2. Good News People: all folks gathering is April 2.
3. Yoga Stations of the Cross:  Friday April 11 at 7:00pm. You can do them on a chair or the floor, on a mat or a towel. Invite all your yoga friends to this amazing experience.

Mardi Gras March 1!

Mardi Gras 2014

Come feast before you fast! Music by the Gumbo chefs, catered Creole meal, masquerade and contest, dancing, and a coronation!

When: Saturday March 1st, 6:30 pm

Where: St. Mary’s Mini Bourbon Street, 620 20th Ave. S., School Hall

Cost: $20 per person, $15 seniors


Auction February 8!

Auction LogoNo Waste Dinner and Sustainable Auction.  February 8, 2014.  What is this event?  It has 3 purposes:

1. To demonstrate how we can serve 150 people dinner without damaging the environment-everything from decorations to food packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable.
2. To be an auction that is a  statement on sustainability.  Sustainability is created through relationships with our world and with each other. We are striving for fewer items and more services.  For example,  someone cooks and donates 6 dozen tamales.  Someone else buys them at the auction.  They meet.  The buyer serves the tamales to friends or neighbors. They meet. Relationships are formed.  Or, someone has a talent like woodworking.  They offer a class on making a cutting board.  People buy the class and they all meet with the woodworker (or knitter, or cook or gardener).  Or someone offers a service like housekeeping, alterations, landscaping.   It works!
3. To make money so we can continue our many ministries in the church and community.   Many of our members have great talents but limited means to financially support the parish. This gives all of us an opportunity.
   Please consider how you can participate:
a.      Buy tickets ($30.00/before January 25; $35.00 after)
b.      Donate a service or talent for the auction.
c.      Volunteer to assist the youth in putting on the dinner or make decorations
d.     Be one of the accounting wizards who runs the computers that keeps track of credit card purchases.  (good for someone trying to avoid spending money themselves but wants to help)
e.     Be on the set up and take down team.
f.      Go to restaurants and ask for a donation.
g.     Provide childcare.
h.     Catalogue the items and create fun display packards.
I can attest that it really does build relationships-each time I use my purse (created of recycled materials) I think of Javiera who made it; I can still see Martina Sotello’s mom and grandmother at the tamale class years ago, or Thuy at the springroll class, or my gardens that were designed by Nicole Price and Joann Quinn.
How do I buy tickets?  Either at Mass or call St Mary’s at 206-324-7100 ext 10.   How do I volunteer?  For Youth support call youth office at 206-324-7100 ext 29.  For all other volunteering, contact Barb Oswald, Auction Chair.

The Peace of Christmas Day

The garment of life, be it tattered and torn,
the cloak of the soldier is withered and worn.
But what child is this that was poverty-born, the peace of Christmas Day.

The branch that bears the bright holly, the dove that rests in yonder tree.
The light that shines for all to see, the peace of Christmas Day.

The hope that has slumbered for 2000 years,
the promise that silenced 1000 fears.
A faith that can hobble an ocean of tears, the peace of Christmas Day.

The branch that bears the bright holly, the dove that rests in yonder tree.
The light that shines for all to see, the peace of Christmas Day.

Add all the grief that people may bear, total the strife, the troubles and care.
Put them in columns and leave them right there, the peace of Christmas Day.

The branch that bears the bright holly, the dove that rests in yonder tree.
The light that shines for all to see, the peace of Christmas Day.
The branch that bears the bright holly, the dove that rests in yonder tree.
The light that shines for all to see, the peace of Christmas Day.

-Lyrics by Robert Harlan Beers, sung by Fr. Tony Christmas Eve, 2013

Tidings of Great Joy

Joy and gladness, O God
Attend the advent of your reign in Jesus,
For wherever the good news is proclaimed to the poor,
Feeble limbs are made steady,
And fearful hearts grow strong.
Give us strength for witnessing,
That we may go and tell others what we see and hear,
Give us patience for waiting,
Until the precious harvest of your kingdom ,
When the return of your Son
Will make your saving work complete.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who was, who is and who is to come,
Your Son, who lives and reigns with you
In the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

This is how Fr Tony began Mass last Sunday morning. It was a great introduction to the 3rd Sunday of Advent and our celebration of Simbang Gabi:  “Mass at Dawn.”  This year’s advent season has captured the true meaning of the Incarnation-God becoming.  Sometimes I forget the message that Queenie shared so poignantly.  Celebrations such as Simbang Gabi  can be so full of beautiful paroles  and delicious pancit and such that we forget it was a statement of amazing faith in the midst of pain, suffering, rejection and bigotry.  The reason the local Filipinos needed paroles (lanterns) to process through the streets was because the Spanish colonizers refused to allow to worship with the poor farmers, fishermen and market vendors.

But, the good news of Jesus was stronger than all the human sinfulness of those who proclaimed it to the Filipino people.  Jesus arrives and the world changes.  Faith does strengthen our limbs and make our hearts stronger, ourselves more capable of witnessing.  Isn’t that great?

I hope you will join in the Bilingual Communal Reconciliation Service this evening.  It is easy for me, and maybe you, to carry the burden of our failures to be proclaimers of good news  as we struggle with the pain and suffering that we cause in the world.  The service will be 7-8 and there will be an opportunity for individual confessions. Come and receive forgiveness!!  It is free!! No cost!!!  It will set us free.

Upcoming Events

December 17, 19, 21  Food Bank Christmas distribution: If you need food or know someone who does, please encourage them to come and/or if  you want to serve some coffee or cookies, call Tina at 206-324-7100 ext 23.
Wednesday December 18   7:00pm  Communal Reconciliation Service
Sunday December 22   1:15pm  Decorate Church for Christmas  (thank you Kelly and Marty for picking up the tree)
 Christmas Eve Mass with Pageant:   5:30pm (English)
 Christmas Eve Mass with Posada :   7:30pm Posada  8:00pm La Misa (Spanish)
Christmas Morning Mass with Christmas carols:  10:00am  (English)
Stewardship Reminder:
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to St Mary’s this year.  Please complete your 2013 pledge .
Tricia Wittmann-Todd, Pastoral Coordinator