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.
Blessed Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ! Today we celebrate the sacred gift that our Lord Jesus gave to his disciples to sustain us on our way. It is the "source and summit" of our faith and the gift which brings life, grace, and peace. Our opening prayer (collect) today recognizes and celebrates this mystery:
O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament
have left us a memorial of your Passion,
grant us, we pray,
so to revere the sacred mysteries of your Body and Blood
that we may always experience in ourselves
the fruits of your redemption.
Who live and reign with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Today is also Father's Day and we remember and pray for all those men who have blessed us through the holy vocation of fatherhood. May God bless and strengthen all fathers--especially our own--in this important call-ing. We will take a moment at the end of our Masses today to recognize and bless these men.
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity--the profound mystery revealed in our Lord Jesus and contemplated and confessed by every generation of his followers. In case we need a little help to wrap our mind around this mystery, here's what the YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church) has to say: Do we believe in one God or in three Gods?
We believe in one God in three persons (Trinity). "God is not solitude but perfect communion." (Pope Benedict XVI, May 22, 2005)
Christians do not worship three different Gods, but one single Being that is threefold and yet remains one. We know that God is triune from Jesus Christ: He, the Son, speaks about his Father in heaven ("I and the Father are one", Jn 10:30). He prays to him and sends us the Holy Spirit, who is the love of the Father and the Son. that is why we are bap-tized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).
When St. John writes that "God is love" (1 John 4:8), he is saying more than God loves us and our world. That's true! Also true, and much more mysterious, is the communion of love which is at the very center of God's Being. Pope Benedict XVI refers to that "perfect communion" of love in the quote above.
Here's where the mystery of the Holy Trinity becomes Good News for us: We who are united with the Lord Jesus--in Holy Baptism, in his Most Holy Body and Blood, in faith and love--share in this divine communion now in this life and for eternity in heaven.
Blessed feast of the Most Holy Trinity!
Welcome to Mass on this Solemnity of Pentecost. Today we celebrate God's wonderful and mysterious gift of the Holy Spirit. As we hear in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles and in the Gospel reading from St. John, the Holy Spirit--third person of the Holy Trinity--is sent to comfort, equip, renew, and direct those first disciples. Even after 2,000 years, the Holy Spirit continues to do the same for us as present day disciples of the Lord Jesus.
Thank you again to all who have joined me and your fellow St. Mary and St. Anne members in contributing to this year's Annual Catholic Appeal. Our financial gifts to the Annual Catholic Appeal bring hope and support to thousands of families and individuals in Western Washington and are an important witness to our Catholic faith. If you have not yet contributed to this year's campaign, please do so soon. ACA envelopes are available in the pews or you can find a link on both the parish and Archdiocesan websites. Any money raised beyond our goals will be designated for facility improvements at the parish and mission.
Finally, another thank you to all who have been working hard on the continuing projects at St. Mary. The men's restroom and plumbing renovation at St. Mary is well underway. Thank you Dang and Han for all your hard work on the tiles! Last Monday's Memorial Day procession to the St. Mary Cemetery was a great opportunity to gather in our beautiful cemetery, pray together, and remember our loved ones who have died. A special thank you to Clarene Schadee, Mark Gorrell, their fellow Cemetery Committee members, and all who have been working hard to clean up the cemetery after the long, wet, stormy winter. We appreciate your hard work and your faithful witness.
Blessed Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord! Today we conclude our seven Easter Sundays with the celebration of our Lord's ascension into heaven, We profess this mystery in the Nicene Creed Sunday after Sunday:
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
Our Lord Jesus, having completed his mission, now returns to the Father in heaven. Next Sunday, Pentecost, we will celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit who descends on the disciples to enlighten and equip them as they continue to live in and through the risen and ascended Lord Jesus. We too, have received this great gift of the Holy Spirit.
Tomorrow, Memorial Day, following our 10:30 Mass, we will process to the St. Mary Cemetery for a short liturgy remembering and praying for our loved ones who have died. Please join us as we celebrate the profound and eternal communion we have with all those--living and dead--who belong to Christ,
P.S. I need your help! This is the time of the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) in our Archdiocese. The ACA is a one-stop opportunity to support many important ministries beyond our parish: preparation of new priests, faith formation, support for senior priests and religious sisters, Catholic Youth Organization summer camps, and much more. As of May 22 St. Mary has $27,634 pledged of the $70,033 goal. St. Anne's pledges are $1,901 of the $14,358 goal. All contributions above the goal are returned to the parish in the form of a rebate. This year's rebate will be designated for important facility improvements at the parish and mission. Thank you for your help.
Two weeks ago we celebrated Confirmations and First Communions here at St. Mary. Archbishop Peter Sartain was with us on Saturday, May 6, to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on 35 young people and adults from St. Mary, St. Anne, and other local parishes. It was a wonderful celebration and we thank all those who helped prepare these candidates to receive this important sacrament.
Sunday, May 7, we rejoiced to celebrate with the young people of our parish who received their First Communion. Again, thanks are due to all those--parents, catechists, mentors, family members--who helped prepare these children to receive the great gift of the Lord's Body and Blood. We pray that this gift will continue to sustain them throughout their lives as they follow the path of Christ.
Easter is a special time to celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. We have been blessed with all three this Easter season. Please join me in praying for all those who have and will receive these Sacraments of Initiation this spring at St. Mary and St. Anne.
P.S. Have you made your 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal yet? If not, will you join me in supporting this annual campaign to support many, many important ministries around our Archdiocese? This is a "one stop" way to help feed the hungry, house the homeless, support retired priests and religious sisters, provide seminary formation of future priests, help families in need, share our Catholic faith and witness, and much more. Thank you for your support!
Grace and peace to you all! Last weekend the Archbishop shared with us his decision to make pastoral changes at St. Mary and St. Anne. This includes moving Fr. Armando and me to the Skagit Valley cluster of churches and appointing Fr. Peter Mactutis as the pastor of St. Mary beginning July 1. Fr. Peter is a friend and gifted priest who will serve you well--please welcome him as you welcomed me.
Change is seldom easy and I confess some sadness as I approach the conclusion of my time with you. The past few years have not been easy for our two communities, and yet again and again I have witnessed and been blessed by your generosity, kindness, and faithfulness. It has been a joy and a privilege to walk with you for almost 1 1/2 years now. Together, we have worked hard to restore trust and to re-focus our ministries in Marysville and Tulalip. I have come to appreciate more and more all the good folks who are part of our communities and am confident that both St. Mary and St. Anne are now on solid footing and ready to move forward following our Lord's call to serve God and our neighbor.
The next few weeks will be busy ones. Our St. Mary renovation projects begin tomorrow and my aim is to have them completed by the end of June. These projects will make a big difference in how St. Mary looks and functions. Thank you to all who have contributed time, talent, and treasure to this effort. Thanks, too, for your patience as we get these projects done. In Christ,
P.S. Happy Mother's Day to all mothers! All Masses today include both a May crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the blessing of all mothers who are present.
Today, the fourth Sunday of the Easter season, we celebrate two big events. First, Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. at a special vigil Mass, we welcome Archbishop Peter Sartain to St. Mary to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation on young people and adults who have been preparing for this wonderful gift. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us, "Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace:
That's a lot to celebrate! Thank you to all the parents, catechists, and others who have accompanied and helped these young people on their way to this great gift.
Second, we rejoice with all the young people and their families who will be receiving First Communion at our Sunday Masses at St. Mary. The Catechism, echoing Lumen Gentium from Vatican II, reminds us that the holy Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life." (CCC 1324) We rejoice and pray for all who are receiving this great gift and thank all who have helped prepare these young people for this special day.
P.S. Next Sunday, the fifth Sunday of Easter and Mother's Day, we will begin all 3 Masses at St. Mary with a special May Crowning coordinated by our parish Legion of Mary chapter and our faith formation program. Children are invited to come to Mass 15 minutes early to be part of the procession and bring the Blessed Mother and patroness of our parish fresh flowers. We will have some flowers on hand but invite children participating (and others) to bring flowers from their gardens. May is, of course, the month of Mary.
Today we celebrate the third of the seven Sundays in the Easter season. The Scripture readings today remind us of the power of the blood of Jesus and of his presence with us in the "breaking of the bread." (Luke 24:35)
This morning at the 8:00 a.m. Mass at St. Mary we also recognize and bless volunteers who serve in our parish "Backpack Ministry" in cooperation with the Marysville Food Bank. Every week hundreds of children from local schools and their families receive these backpacks full of nutritious food so that they will not be hungry. Thank you all for your faithful ministry in serving some of our most vulnerable neighbors. At 10:00 a.m. we will welcome our sister Joyce Harvey-Heilman into full communion with us as she professes her faith and receives the sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation.
Next weekend we celebrate Confirmations and First Communions here at St. Mary. Archbishop Peter Sartain will join us at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday to confer the sacrament of Confirmation on young people and adults from our parish and mission. On Sunday at St. Mary young people will be receiving their first Holy Communion. Please join us for these joyous Easter sacraments.
P.S. Thank you to all the individuals, families, and ministry groups that have made generous contributions to our restroom renovation and other facility improvement projects at St. Mary. The Filipino Hospitality group donated $3,523 from their wonderful Easter brunch to the effort. The Spanish language lectors sponsored an April food sale--they contributed $1,932 from this delicious fundraiser to the projects. Thank you all!
Happy Easter! Today, the Second Sunday of the Easter season and Divine Mercy Sunday, we continue to celebrate our Lord's Resurrection with a special emphasis on the divine attribute of mercy. God loves us, wants the best for us, and is always--even when we fall away and sin--ready to forgive and restore us.
Thank you to all who worked so hard to make this year's Holy Week and Easter Sunday festivities reverent and meaningful. Sacristans, musicians, lectors, cleaners, altar servers, ushers, decorators, cooks, and many, many others worked hard to help all of this come together in such a wonderful way. Special thanks go to those who prepared delicious Easter brunches at both St. Mary and St. Anne. The Good Friday Via Crucis at St. Mary was well attended and a powerful reminder of our Lord's suffering. Thank you all!
Finally, these past couple of weeks it has been my privilege to report the generous response we've had to our upcoming restroom and plumbing renovation and security system installation at St. Mary--now more than $37,138. Today I can share even more good news from the 2016 Annual Catholic Appeal campaign: both St. Mary and St. Anne have now surpassed our goals and will be receiving rebates that will be dedicated to facility improvements. As of April 12 the total rebate for St. Mary was $1,045 and for St. Anne $656. We'll pass on new totals if these rebates continue to grow. I'm grateful for your partnership in supporting our Catholic ministries and witness here in our parish, our mission, and our wider community.
Christ has risen! This simple profession of faith is at the center of our Christian faith and Easter celebration. When it seemed all hope was lost in the horror and seeming defeat of the crucifixion, God had a surprise in store: He raised Jesus from the dead and so won the ultimate victory over sin, death, and the devil. We truly have reason to celebrate!
Thank you for joining us at St. Mary and St. Anne for these holy and joyous feast days. We invite you to make our parish and mission your spiritual home as we continue to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus in the upcoming Easter season and all those "little Easters"--Sundays throughout the year--when we gather to celebrate Christ's living presence and promises in the Holy Eucharist.
May this Easter be a time of life, hope, and resurrection for us, our families, and our world.
In the Risen Christ,
P.S. A special "thank you" to all the individuals, families, and ministry groups here at St. Mary who have so generously contributed to our facility renovation fundraising campaign. We set an ambitious goal of $30,000 and have now received $37,195. Hallelujah! These gifts will be put to good use on much needed improvements to our church and social hall. Last Sunday our Spanish language lectors prepared and sold delicious food after Mass to support the project. Thank you to all who have contributed!
Christ is risen from the dead,
trampling down death by death,
and upon those in the tombs