That is Father Tony. This is Saint Mary’s.
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 http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0807.html 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.
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?
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 email@example.com or text Alfonso at 206-830-0667 or leave a message for Gudelia at Gudelia@stmarysseattle.org.
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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.