Dear parishioners, .
Here is a great quote from St. Ambrose, on prayer: "The Lord Jesus, in his divine wisdom, taught you about the goodness of the Father, who knows how to give good things, so that you might ask for the things that are good from Goodness itself. He urges you to pray earnestly and frequently, not offering long and wearisome prayers, but praying often, and with perseverance. Lengthy prayers are usually filled with empty words, while neglect of prayer results in indifference to prayer. .
Again, Christ urges you, when you ask forgiveness for yourself, to be especially generous to others, so that your actions may commend your prayer. The Apostle, too, teaches you how to pray; you must avoid anger and contentiousness, so that your prayer may be serene and wholesome. He tells you also that every place is a place of prayer, though our Savior says: Go into your room. .
But by “room” you must understand, not a room enclosed by walls that imprison your body, but the room that is within you, the room where you hide your thoughts, where you keep your affections. This room of prayer is always with you, wherever you are, and it is always a secret room, where only God can see you. .
You are told to pray especially for the people, that is, for the whole body, for all its members, the family of your mother the Church; the badge of membership in this body is love for each other. If you pray only for yourself, you pray for yourself alone. If each one prays for himself, he received less from God’s goodness than the one who prays on behalf of others. But as it is, because each prays for all, all are in fact praying for each one. .
To conclude, if you pray only for yourself, you will be praying, as we said, for yourself alone. But if you pray for all, all will pray for you, for you are included in all. In this way there is a great recompense; through the prayers of each individual, the intercession of the whole people is gained for each individual. There is here no pride, but an increase of humility and a richer harvest from prayer." .
This is a question from the book, “Resisting Happiness” by Matthew Kelly. He says that tourists try to cram in as much as possible, racing from one place to another, stopping only long enough to snap a few quick pictures (selfies), buy some useless trinket in the gift shop and race off to the next place. Tourists get very upset when things don’t go according to plan and bump and push their way past others when they get delayed.
Pilgrims, on the other hand, notice how God is working, even in the delays. The pilgrim takes time to pray and enter into each place. The pilgrim notices people as individuals in the crowds, especially if that person needs some attention.
Lord, teach me patience, kindness, and humility so that I can be a better pilgrim on this path you have prepared for me.
For the next six weeks we will be participating in 40 Days for Life. This is an international movement of people, like yourself, to pray for an end to abortion and the conversion of all hearts to cherish and protect life. We do this by praying peacefully in front of abortion clinics around the world. We will be praying in front of the Everett Planned Parenthood clinic at 1509 32nd St.
Myself and the staff of St. Mary parish will be praying there from 2pm-3pm every Wednesday until November 1st.
I ask you to please join us! It is one way that we witness to the world that innocent life is worth defending.
As I am getting familiar with the routine of our parish and the activities of all the different ministries and groups as we head into the new school year, and as I see what I can maintain for the long run, I have decided to add a few things and make one more change, in order to maximize opportunities for our people to participate in the weekly sacramental life of the parish, and for me to get a slightly longer opportunity to rest after the weekend
(Here are the 5 changes:)
This change will be permanent. I am hesitant to do this because I love how faithful the daily Mass attendees are I do not wish to hinder their routine of daily Mass, however, I would also like to give the parishioners that work during the day a chance to attend Mass during the week
Right now, I do not have enough time to hear all the Confessions on Saturdays. I have even started weddings late because of the line of people for Confession I love that fact that more people are coming for confessions, therefore, we will have confessions from 4pm-5 45pm every Tuesday before the evening Mass in addition to our normal Saturday confessions
3 We will also have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament during the Confession times on Tuesday from 4prn-5:45pm.
Thursday evenings are very busy for the parish when our faith formation program is up and running. While the kids are in faith formation classes we will provide the parents an opportunity to attend Mass We will keep the Thursday morning Mass at its regular 10 3Oam time
Some days it will be teaching from myself or other persons, other times it will be a video presentation.
These changes will go into effect beginning October 3.
Here is one of my favorite quotes on prayer. It is from St. Theresa of Avila. She was known for saying that we tend to “over think” prayer. She would often say that prayer is, first-and-foremost, the movement of the heart, not an exercise of the mind.
“Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.”
Because we have been celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and because we just celebrated the Birth of Mary on September 8th, I wanted to share with you some words from St. John Paul II that he gave in a homily in the year 2000 that I found to be inspirational:
“…Therefore, O Mother, like the Apostle John, we wish to take you into our home (cf. Jn 19:27), that we may learn from you to become like your Son. "Woman, behold your son!" Here we stand before you to entrust to your maternal care ourselves, the Church, the entire world. Plead for us with your beloved Son that he may give us in abundance the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth which is the fountain of life. Receive the Spirit for us and with us, as happened in the first community gathered round you in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14). May the Spirit open our hearts to justice and love, and guide people and nations to mutual understanding and a firm desire for peace. We entrust to you all people, beginning with the weakest: the babies yet unborn, and those born into poverty and suffering, the young in search of meaning, the unemployed, and those suffering hunger and disease. We entrust to you all troubled families, the elderly with no one to help them, and all who are alone and without hope.
5. O Mother, you know the sufferings and hopes of the Church and the world: come to the aid of your children in the daily trials which life brings to each one, and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all, the darkness will not prevail over the light. To you, Dawn of Salvation, we commit our journey through the new Millennium, so that with you as guide all people may know Christ, the light of the world and its only Saviour, who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.”
One of my favorite books is called “Letters From The Desert,” it is written by Carlo Carretto. Carlo Carretto was a member of the Little Brothers Religious Order, which dedicated themselves to living amongst the poorest of the poor, to pray for them and love them as their brother and sister. I want to share with you a quote from the book.
“I have come into the desert to pray, to learn to pray. It has been the Sahara’s great gift to me, and I should like to share it with my Friends. It is immeasurable and contains every gifts within itself. It is the sine qua non of life, the treasure buried in the field, the Pearl of great price discovered in the market.
Prayer is the sum of our relationship with God.
We are what we pray.
The degree of our faith is the degree of our prayer.
The strength of our hope is the strength of our prayer.
The warmth of our charity is the warmth of our prayer. No more nor less.
Our prayer has had a beginning because we have had a beginning. But it will have no end. It will accompany us into eternity and will be completed in our contemplation of God, when we join in the harmony of heaven and are “filled with the flood of delights.”
Thank you to all that came and made the feast day of the Assumption of Mary a most enjoyable evening. I truly enjoyed the experience of us all being together.
I would like to also repeat the announcement I made at the end of the Masses this last weekend. First, we are no longer charging fees for any of the Sacramental celebrations of baptisms, marriages, quinceañeras, and funerals. Yes, we still gladly accept donations. Also, we encourage the people to remember that we pay our musicians for these celebrations, and so we hope that they can donate enough to offset those costs. The reasons for this change are that, we never want the people to see the mystery of God’s grace in their lives to be limited by a financial cost or value. The sacraments are free but not cheap! We are not the masters of God’s grace, just its servants. But also to remember that the reason we can make this change is because everyone in the parish is practicing stewardship. We are all contributing to the mission of the parish. This way, when a family comes for a particular need, there is no need for that family to have to pay for it like a transaction at the store, but rather receive it as a gift from the whole parish and God, for which it truly is.
Second, it is difficult to transition back to having only one priest assigned to the two parishes. The difficulty is I have to draw a line because there are limits to what I can do and still remain healthy. One of my limits that I have discovered is how many Masses I can celebrate on Saturday and Sunday. According to the Code of Canon Law (the law governing the Catholic Church) I am only allowed to say two Masses each day and then three Masses on Sunday for special feast days. The reality, because of the priest shortage, we often celebrate more than that number. There is wisdom in this rule by the Church. When priests get burned-out they cannot serve anyone well. Because of this, I think it is best that, at this time, that we will not be celebrating funerals on Saturdays. It is a common request to have the funeral on Saturday. I understand this, it is more convenient for the family. But in order to keep my sanity and show up to Sunday Masses not completely worn-out we will not have funerals on Saturday. This will help me and the parish staff and support volunteers have time to give our energy on the weekends to the Saturday vigil and Sunday Masses. Thank you for being understanding in these matters.
If you have any personal concerns, please feel free to contact me.
I wanted to give an update on an important ministry that we provide as a parish. That is, Holy Communion being brought to the homebound and infirm. This is a beautiful ministry that trained Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion from our parish do for others. This ministry has not always been well organized, and just seemed to happen as needed. We are in the process of organizing this ministry in a more formal way, so that we can serve those in need better. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind about this ministry:
If you know someone that would like to have a minister bring Communion to them, please call the parish office and give all the necessary information to our receptionist, Selena. This information is confidential, and will only be shared with the Diane Navicky, who is charge of our Homebound Eucharistic ministers.
We will be presenting updated policies and training for all our ministers to the homebound.
We will be creating a way for any Catholic person to be able to bring Holy Communion to their loved one at home, and do it in a way that is monitored and done in an appropriate manner.
Tuesday, August 15th we are celebrating the Assumption of Mary into Heaven, body and soul.
In the Holy Land there is a church called, “The Dormition of Mary”. It is dedicated to that last moment Mary was with us on earth, the moment before she was “Assumed” into heaven. In the crypt (the downstairs chapel) there is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been. You can imagine yourself there….in the middle of the room is a life size statue of Mary lying down “sleeping” for the last time. The only light in the room is from the candles lit by people that are kneeling and praying quietly all around her. You cannot help but feel like you are really there the moment she went to heaven. I like to believe that Mary’s journey to heaven was a quiet and peaceful event. Sometimes God surprises us or dazzles us with a loud, lightning, thunder-like event to mark something significant, like the death of Jesus. But the Assumption of Mary shows us how God normally works, peacefully, quietly, lovingly.
Please join us at 5pm for the Rosary Procession, and 6pm for the Mass to celebrate this beautiful event in Mary’s life and the life of the Church.
I want to thank you all for being so gracious in welcoming me to our community over the course of the last month. I have been hard at work trying to make sure that things go as smoothly as possible. We just hired a new bookkeeper, her name is Megan Rivallier-Kirk. I would like to welcome Megan to our staff.
A small, permanent change that we are making regarding the office hours is the office will be closed during daily Mass, Tuesday - Friday. Therefore, the office will be closed daily from 10:30am-11:15am approx. We will be putting a sign on the front door to invite people to come to Mass during that time. The celebration of the Mass is highlight of our day and week. It will be great that the staff will be able to pray with the community every day at Mass. The other change will be that the office will remain open from 12pm-1pm every day. This should help with people that can only drop by on their lunch hour to do business. The staff is really excited about this change because they really want to pray together at Mass every day.
Remember to join us for the feast day of the Assumption on Tuesday, August 15th with the Rosary procession at 5pm, Mass at 6pm and the fiesta following Mass!!
I would like to provide an update about a few things happening here at St. Mary’ and St. Anne’s.
I have had several meetings with some of our parish groups and it is great getting to know you all. At our pastoral council meeting we talked about the security of the buildings. I expressed a desire to find a way to have 24-hour access for the parishioners to visit the Blessed Sacrament. I asked them if it would be better to do that in the chapel in the office building or in the church. The council is strongly in favor of having the 24-hour access to be in the church. We are working on a way to make that happen, while also making sure that the church is safe and our parishioners are safe. It will be a few more weeks before we have a plan in place. Thanks for your patience.
Also, it has been great getting to know the staff. They have been very helpful during this transition. Our Administrator/bookkeeper Rudy de la Cruz is retiring this week. This has meant that we need to have a plan in place. The Archdiocese offered the idea of having a temporary bookkeeper fill-in until we hire a permanent one. There is a person that the Archdiocese recommended, and she said she is willing to do it. Therefore, it looks like we will be doing this.
I will keep you posted as things develop. We are still accepting applications for the part-time bookkeeper position.
*Please put Aug. 15th on your calendars. It is our feast day and a holy day of obligation.
Thank you for the very warm welcome that you have shown me the last few days. I am looking forward to settling in and getting adjusted to our community here.
This last weekend in my homily I talked about how important it is to build relationships before starting to get to work and accomplishing tasks. One way that I would like to build my relationships with you is to have "meet and greet" dinners through the summer with groups of 10-15 people. The idea being that you will have the opportunity to sign your family up for one of the dinners where we will have time to get to know each other in a small, family-like setting. These opportunities will be announced in the coming weeks.
A second point, sometimes people want to know what is the best way to get a hold of me in the coming weeks and months. I have found that it is best just to call the parish office and leave a message for me with the secretary. Doing this is much better than emailing me or leaving a voicemail for me. But, having said that, I will do my best to respond promptly however you contact me.
One last point, for the last year I have recorded my homilies on YouTube. I have found this to be a great way to stay connected to past parishioners and to help new parishioners get to know me, and much more importantly to get to know Jesus. Please feel free to use this as a resource. Just go to YouTube and search for my name, "Fr. Peter Mactutis".
My name is Fr. Peter Mactutis. I am thrilled to be coming to St. Mary’s and St. Anne’s. I have been praying that the Holy Spirit will help me to be a good pastor and spiritual father for all of you. I look forward to getting to know you and continuing the journey of faith with you. I am truly grateful for everything Fr. Tom has done here, and I hope I can continue it.
Here are a few words about myself, so that you can get to know me. I am one of six kids and I was raised in El Paso, TX. Both of my parents were in the Army in Texas where they met and got married.
My dad later became a lawyer and also a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church. My dad died fairly young at the age of 49. This was a very difficult time for us, so we moved to Kent, WA to be near my mom’s family. My mom was raised in Ballard, so all her family still lived in the area. There are times I miss Texas, but I truly love living in Washington, we have been here now for over 25 years.
I did not want to be a priest when I was young. I wanted to be married and have 10 kids! I always loved living in the “loving chaos” of a big family. I received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the UW. But while I was in my last year there, I knew that I wanted to spend my life helping people and I had developed a true appreciation and respect for our police officers. I began to look into becoming a police officer and I tested with a police department. At the same time I was really growing in my faith. A person at our parish introduced me to praying in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. This quiet time with Jesus changed my life forever. I fell so in love! Because of this, I asked God for the first time in my life what He wanted me to do with my life. This was the scariest question I ever asked God. Before that I had never asked God what He wanted, I always just told Him what I wanted. Thankfully God is very patient with us!
I eventually began to see God nudging me to become a priest. He opened my heart to the beauty of being a different kind of father. I graduated from the UW and worked as an engineer for two years while I continued to pray and pay off my student loans.
Eventually I applied to the Archdiocese of Seattle and entered Mount Angel seminary in Oregon. I studied there for seven years and was ordained a priest on June 10, 2006.
I have been a priest for 11 years. Wow, time goes by so fast! My first assignment was as an assistant (parochial vicar) in the six parish cluster of Chehalis and Centralia. I was there for two years and was then made pastor of St. Frances Cabrini in Lakewood, WA near Tacoma. After four years there the Archbishop asked me to also be the pastor of St. John Bosco in Lakewood and the missions that are connected to it in Steilacoom and Anderson Island. For an additional four years I was pastor of all those parishes and missions. The last three years of that time Fr. Armando Red was the parochial vicar with me. My time in Lakewood was beautiful and very challenging. In 2016 I came to the Skagit valley as a parochial vicar. I needed a year to rest and heal. Which leads us to the present moment.
I have no doubt that there will be challenges along the way, but I am excited to be here in Marysville and Tulalip. I was hoping that I would have a parochial vicar to assist me, like Fr. Armando Red has done for Fr. Tom. But the Archdiocese is really struggling with a shortage of priests and has said there are none available. Therefore I will be the only priest serving both communities. This presents some immediate challenges with the timing of Masses but nothing that cannot be handled. I do not anticipate any changes for the Masses at St. Mary’s and I am already in communication with the leadership at St. Anne’s to find the best possible solutions.
Please pray that our time together will truly be a blessed time,
Fr. Peter Mactutis
Today--with sadness and gratitude--Fr. Armando and I say goodbye to you, God's people at St. Mary and St. Anne. Next Sunday, July 2, we begin our new assignments in the Skagit Valley Catholic churches and Fr. Peter Mactutus begins his time as your pastor. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers this past 1 1/2 years. You have been a blessing to us. I am confident that you will welcome Fr. Peter with the same openness as he begins his ministry here.
It is at times like these that we are reminded that our Catholic faith is more than a single priest or parish community. To be Catholic is to trust that the Lord Jesus, through Archbishop Sartain and all his pastors, cares for and guides his flock. It has been a privilege to walk with and work with you as we have sought to continue the Lord's mission in Marysville and Tulalip. I especially appreciate all those volunteers and staff who stepped forward in so many ways-- big and small--to help our communities heal and move forward from the hurts and challenges of these past couple of years. We are in a much better place now. A special thank you to all who have supported and helped with the facilities improvements at St. Mary: the roof resealing, the new tabernacle, the restroom and plumbing renovation, the security system, and the major exterior repainting projects--all are important and very visible ways we have shown our love and care for this community. Less visible, but no less important, are the many ways we have upgraded our financial and sacramental records processes and behind the scenes ministries. The St. Mary Cemetery Committee deserves our special thanks for their dedicated work in restoring order and sustainability to this important ministry.
On a more personal note, thank you for the way you have welcomed Karin and me into your church families. Though we won't be here with you as often, we value your friendship and witness as we begin this new chapter in life and ministry. We trust we will see you from time to time. You will be in our prayers, and we appreciate your prayers for us. May God continue to richly bless you all, build you up as his holy and gifted people, and bring us all, at last, to our eternal home.