Pastor's Page


Father Peter Mactutis
Parish Priest 

12/8/19

Dear parishioners,

The four seasons of Advent are linked in the following way:

The first week is a week of hope. Hope is focused on the future, not the past. Thus, this week we prepare for the second-coming of Christ. This is like a week of a cleaning before your guests come over. In this case the guest is Jesus coming back for you. What in our lives still needs fixing, cleaning, or straightening up?

The second week is a week of peace. Peace is the ability to relax because we trust others better than ourselves to protect us and take of us. This week we see in the first reading from Isaiah a world at peace. All creatures are concerned for each other. It is nice to not have any enemies, thus, our hope for peace.

The third week is a week of joy. Joy is because at this point, we are halfway through the season! But also, in the readings we join that moment in history when all of creation rejoiced that their hope has been realized, the Savior is coming! The wait is finally over.

The fourth week is a week of love. Love is now, because Jesus, who is love, is almost here. He invites us into his home and into his heart. He never wants us to be separated. It is here where our hope is fulfilled and we know peace, joy and love in Jesus Christ.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

12/1/19

Dear parishioners,

Let’s pretend it took the Magi four weeks to journey to Bethlehem. That means that we are beginning the journey with them today. They are going to be crossing through deserts and wilderness, facing long days of travelling and countless interactions with foreigners, all in the attempt to follow a vague notion that God has come as a child….and to meet this child. WOW! What an adventure!

What faith! To risk much on what was probably no more than a vision or vague prophecy that they heard…and a star. Can you imagine the feelings of doubt they must have had along the way? ”We must be crazy, why did we embark on this wild goose chase?” No doubt there were countless people along the way that laughed at them or scoffed at their foolishness when they heard about their mission.


Thank you, Jesus, for the foolishness and courage, for the doubts and struggles, for the moments when we have nothing but faith….as we journey to you!

Blessings,
Fr. Peter

 

 

 

11/24/19

Dear parishioners,
This weekend is the feast day of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. That is quite the title. No one else in the world can claim to be king of the universe. It sounds almost like a superhero title, like superman. The difference between Jesus and all the fictional superheroes that we know, is that Jesus is real, obviously, and that he does not wear a mask. All the superheroes seem to wear some type of mask or costume. Jesus does not do either. The mask of the superheroes is to protect their real identity from the villain, so their loved ones are safe. Jesus does the opposite. Jesus does not want to protect us or shield us from Satan. He wants us to share in his victory by sharing in the battle. But how?

The costume that the superheroes have are usually to set them apart from everyone else. This is how they are different. With their costume they are above and beyond everyone else. They seem to be immortal. Jesus does the opposite. We share in his victory by marching into battle to die. He destroys death and raises us up. We know this. This is the victory. But can we trust him to point of death? What great faith it takes to do this. What an awesome universe we live in!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

11/17/19

Dear parishioners,
In 2 weeks, we will begin the Advent season. This is not Lent, so it is not a season of mortification or penance. However, Advent is about preparation for the coming of Jesus.
This is a great time to seriously reflect and incorporate the two commandments of Jesus in our lives. They are:

TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, MIND, SOUL, AND STRENGTH.
TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOUR SELF.

For your pre-advent preparation come up with one way that you can love God more with your:

Heart – I will commit to doing a specific act of charity or mercy for Advent.
Mind – I will find a spiritual book, podcast, or other source of information that will nurture my mind through Advent.
Soul – I will prepare to make a good Confession and attend Mass and receive the Eucharist more than once a week during Advent. (Or other spiritual practices – I will pray with my spouse every day, or I will pray the rosary every day, etc.)
Strength – I will do at least one act of penance to grow in discipline and offer it for someone I know that is suffering, during the season of Advent.

Blessings,
Fr. Peter

 

 

 

11/10/19

Dear parishioners,

Here is the basic format of Confession and the Act of Contrition:

 

How to Go to Confession

First, examine your conscience. (What is it that weighs heavy on your soul?)(Spend time before Jesus in the Tabernacle asking him.)

In the Confession:
Say: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Say to the priest: “Forgive me Father for I have sinned.”
And then say: “It has been ……..….since my last Confession.” (How many weeks, months or years)
Then tell the priest what sins you have committed. (Be humble and honest. Don’t hold back. Jesus wants to forgive you.)
The priest will give you some encouragement and a penance.
Then say the Act of Contrition prayer.
The priest will then absolve (forgive) you of your sins. (The priest is acting in the person of Jesus Christ; it is Jesus who is forgiving you. Take courage in this.)
After the priest says, “go in peace” you say “thank you”.

 

After Confession:
Go and do your penance.
Come up with ways to change your habits with the sins you are struggling with.
Everyday ask God for His help so that you can grow in the virtues that are opposite your sins.

 

Act of Contrition

My God,

I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,

I have sinned against you

whom I should love above all things.

I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,

and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.

In His Name, my God, have mercy.

Amen.

 

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

11/3/19

Dear parishioners,

Confession is a great sacrament. We all need it….and we all need it regularly. I go to confession every time I meet with my spiritual director, which is about once a month.

I have been very impressed by how many people do come to Confession regularly, here at St. Mary. I keep adding time for Confessions and, it seems that more and more people then come. I also know that there are people that really struggle and are intimidated by Confession. There is a lot of fear. “What will the priest think of me when he hears my sins?”…. “Doesn’t God already know my sins…why do I need to confess them to a priest?” These are two questions that come up when some one is struggling with it.

I always tell people, my admiration for people goes up, not down, when they sincerely confess and repent of their sins. This is especially true of people that have done some really bad things but truly want to change their life.

With regard to the second question above, Yes….God knows your sins…..He knows everything, but He desires to for you to repent and ask for his mercy. He wants the love that should be between you and Him to be real, not just one sided. This requires us taking responsibility for our thoughts, words and actions and entrusting them to Him completely…just like in any other relationship.

Also, if it has been a long time since your last Confession, don’t worry, there is only one way to solve that problem….come.

If you have ever felt that your prayer life, or your relationship with God was stuck in a rut. Often it is because we forgot hove to be truly open to him and humbly trust him and his church. Confession can help pull us out of that rut.

Next week I will include the basic format of Confession.

Blessings,
Fr. Peter

 

 

 

10/27/19

Dear parishioners,

Catholic parents have many different reactions to Halloween. Some see the side that glorifies…..or at least makes light of…. evil, death, and all kinds of vices; thus, should be avoided at all costs. That reaction is justifiable. Other parents see it as harmless fun that should not be taken so seriously.

I would like to offer a different thought about it. Our society is looking for something that gives life some meaning and excitement. Without some direction it will slowly slide down the path of the secular and banal. People will get so excited about sports, movies and political intrigue….but when it comes to God….it is boring for them.

Halloween used to be the celebration of the saint-heroes that helped us to strive for Heaven and God, and to boldly act with courage to stand up for all that is good and right. We still see a version of that desire when the kids dress up as Iron Man and Batman and other superheroes. But those superheroes are fiction, they are just the fruit of our imagination. The saints are real people that wanted what we want, to be heroic, and believe in something that raises the world up, rather than something that slowly degrades to superficiality and emptiness. Halloween was born out of the desire to celebrate Divine greatness. It was meant to be a day that celebrates “all the hallowed ones”; or in other words, all the saints.

One of the beautiful consequences of celebrating our saints is that we begin to feel the excitement of trying to become one ourselves!!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

PS

  • All Saints Day - Friday, November 1st: (This is a Holy Day of Obligation): 10:30am Mass & 6pm Mass
  • All Souls Day – Saturday, November 2nd: 9am Mass & 7:30pm Blessing and lighting of the Cemetery

 

 

 

10/20/19

Dear parishioners,

Here is an update on a few things happening at St. Mary and St. Anne.

At St. Anne, we are moving forward with the plans to install a storage building next to the existing hall. This building will be installed in the beginning of December.

Also, at St. Anne, we are moving forward with the retrofit of the bell tower. This means that the original bell will be restored to the tower. The tower will be structurally reinforced and restored. This is to be done in November.

At St. Mary, we are having problems keeping the boiler working for the office and hall.

We lost heat last week because the pump went out. We are looking at possible options for a new heating system for the building.

Also, at St. Mary, we are working on the fence/wall by the cemetery. I gave a detailed explanation of this project several months ago. We are trying to control pedestrian, bicycle and car traffic through our property. Also, we have an incredible amount of trash that is thrown into the cemetery. This is going to help with these things.

Also, all of our programs are up and running….this is going to be a great year!!!

 

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

PS:

All Saints Day - Friday, November 1 st : (This is a Holy Day of Obligation)

  • 10:30am Mass
  • 6pm Mass (Bilingual)

 

All Souls Day – Saturday, November 2 nd :

  • 9am - Mass (Bilingual)
    7:30pm - Cemetery blessing and lighting

 

 

 

10/13/19

Dear parishioners,

For about a year now, our parish has had a group of parents meeting to discuss the possibility of creating a homeschool program for children here at St. Mary. This program is a bit different because it will be a combination of being home-based and will have some components taught at the parish. This format is attractive to the families that want to do homeschooling and have an opportunity for their children to interact with others in a Catholic faith-based learning environment.

The committee is making progress in their discernment and planning process. Currently, we are calling it a Discipleship Academy. I mention it just so that you can pray for them, and so that, if you had questions about it, you can contact myself or Daniel Roberson. Daniel is the chair of the committee.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

Ps Upcoming events: Sept 25th – Nov. 3rd - 40 days for life, (Peacefully praying for an end to abortion at the Planned Parenthood in Everett.) Every Wednesday 3pm-4pm (If you would like to carpool, we leave St. Mary at 2:30pm). Every Saturday our Hispanic group prays from 2pm-3pm. (For carpooling, they leave St. Mary at 1:30pm.)

 

 

 

10/6/19

Dear parishioners,

First, you have or will be getting mailings from the Archdiocese of Seattle about the Called to Serve Capital campaign. I talked a little about it this last week at Mass. This campaign to raise funds for the endowment for supporting our priests in their retirement, for their medical insurance, and for the support of our retired Religious sisters that served in our Archdiocese. Please consider making a financial commitment to this campaign.

Second, we have a lot of things going on right now. I have listed a few things below so you can include them in your prayers.

Please pray for:

The adults that are beginning the RCIA inquiry phase of classes next week.

Pray for there discernment and commitment to the process.

The youth in Confirmation. That they can see Christ’s love for them and that internal beauty of their ability to love Him in return, that so often seems hidden to them.

For the 40 Days for Life and for all moms and dads that are considering abortion.

For the Grupo de Oracion prayer group and for their continued openness to growing in holiness.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter PS

Upcoming event:

Sept 25th – Nov. 3rd - 40 days for life, (Peacefully praying for an end to abortion at the Planned Parenthood in Everett.) Every Wednesday 3pm-4pm (If you would like to carpool, we leave St. Mary at 2:30pm). Every Saturday our Hispanic group prays from 2pm-3pm. (For carpooling, they leave St. Mary at 1:30pm.)

 

 

 

9/29/19

Dear parishioners,

When I was 16 years old, I chose St. Francis of Assisi to by my Confirmation saint. I loved animals and so I thought I had a connection with St. Francis. But it would not be for another 25 years before I would discover the real beauty of St. Francis’ life.

My love for animals, in many ways was a very selfish thing. As a teenager struggling to fit in in life, I would see animals as being safe, nonjudgmental, totally accepting. In loneliness and depression for many people this is a great comfort. However, this is not St. Francis at all. His source of comfort was not in animals, nor any other earthly thing. His love would come to reflect Christ’s love and see Him in all things.

St. Francis could not look at a single thing without seeing the love of the One who created it. His love for God had no barriers. He saw God and his love in everyone and everything.

His love was truly magnanimous. Because of this he had a deep love for detachment and poverty. He did not what to possess things or own things. As soon as he felt the desire to own something, to posses it, to control it, he would lose the ability to see God shining through it. Poverty was his way of protecting this great freedom. This was the source of all his joy.

St. Francis could see Christ in a sparrow chirping in the trees and in a hardened sinner beating him and leaving him on the side of the road. He could see God in the littlest flower and in a person disfigured by leprosy. He saw God in all things. His feast day is October 4th .

Blessings, Fr. Peter

P.S: Upcoming events:

  • Friday, Oct. 4th - St. Francis feast day blessing of the animals at 4pm, outside the church.
  • Sept 25th – Nov. 3rd - 40 days for life, (Peacefully praying for an end to abortion at the Planned Parenthood in Everett.) Every Wednesday 3pm-4pm (If you would like to carpool, we leave St. Mary at 2:30pm). Every Saturday our Hispanic group prays from 2pm-3pm. (For carpooling, they leave St. Mary at 1:30pm.)

 

 

 

9/22/19

Dear parishioners,

In one of our meetings a couple of weeks ago a person in the group mentioned a famous phrase that says, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, freedom; in all things, charity.” I have been thinking a lot about this quote, lately. These three important movements that we try have as Christians in our lives are all dependent on humility.

  • First, it is really hard work to keep unity and to keep striving for unity, especially in matters of faith and morals. This is not where we can compromise or bend to differing opinions. This is where we beg God for wisdom to keep us on track with the truth and try to keep our unity centered on that.
  • The second part needs humility also. This is because we must allow for freedom in the non-essential things. This means not trying to over-control others when there should be an openness. Cult groups often get this wrong.

And lastly, we need humility so that we always show respect and charity, no matter what the situation is.

Here is an example of these three in action:

  • First, whether a person has the right to live or die is up to God, not us. We must be united in this belief. (Therefore, we must have unity on issues of abortion, infanticide, Physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, etc.)
  • Second, within reason, each person in living their life, must have the freedom to make their own choices in pursuit of happiness. Choice of career, spouse, property, where their kids go to school, etc.
  • Third, we are all different, and we are all sinners, and we are all children of God, and we are brothers and sisters in Christ; thus, we must have charity if we want to be a loving family that lives this unity and freedom.

Let us pray for humility.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

P.S. Upcoming events:

  • Tuesday, September 24th - Showing of Unplanned (movie about Abby Johnson and her conversion): after the 6pm Mass, in the hall.
  • Friday, Oct. 4th - St. Francis feast day blessing of the animals at 4pm, outside the church.
  • Sept 25th – Nov. 3rd - 40 days for life, (Peacefully praying for an end to abortion at the Planned Parenthood in Everett.) Every Wednesday 3pm-4pm (If you would like to carpool, we leave St. Mary at 2:30pm). Every Saturday our Hispanic group prays from 2pm-3pm. (For carpooling, they leave St. Mary at 1:30pm.)

 

 

 

9/15/19

Dear parishioners,

I mentioned St. Therese in my homily this last week. I wanted to share with you something I found on her written by Thomas McDonald. St. Therese’s parents are the only married couple to be canonized saints in modern history. In his article Thomas says, “[Her parents], saints Louis and Zelie Martin maintained a faith-filled household of love and joy, raising five daughters who became nuns, among them St. Therese of Lisieux. Zelie died of breast cancer at age 45, leaving Louis with five daughters aged 4 to 17. He created an ordered and stable life for them, filled with games, prayer, and spiritual reading. In time, though, his mental state began to decline, perhaps caused by strokes, and he would display erratic behavior, sometimes disappearing for days.

His strange behavior and wandering became a problem for the family, ultimately leading them to institutionalize him in Caen, where the Daughters of the Good Savior operated a psychiatric hospital. Louis and his family met the challenge with faith, believing this was a trial sent to purify them. In a moment of clarity,

Louis told a doctor, “I know why the Good God has given me this trial: I have never had any humiliations in my life, and I need to have some.”

Of this time, St. Therese would write, In Heaven, we shall enjoy dwelling on these dark days of exile. Yet the three years of my Father’s martyrdom seem to me the sweetest and most fruitful of our lives. I would not exchange them for the most sublime ecstasies, and my heart cries out in gratitude for such a priceless treasure: “We have rejoiced for the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us.” Precious and sweet was this bitter cross, and our hearts only breathed out sighs of grateful love. We no longer walked—we ran, we flew along the path of perfection.”

With so many families today struggling to help and care for family members with mental health issues it is beautiful to see how their family, full of the love of God, came to see God’s love even more in this affliction.

The feast day for St. Therese is October 1st. Her autobiography is called, “A Story of a Soul”.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

P.S. Upcoming events: We will be doing our St. Francis feast day blessing of the animals on Friday, Oct. 4th at 4pm outside the church.

 

 

 

9/9/19

Dear parishioners,

On Monday, September 9th, we celebrate the life of St. Peter Claver. He was a Jesuit that lived in the early 1600’s. When he was early in his studies he came to know a very holy man named Alphonsus. Alphonsus, who would become known as St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, would tell him that God was going to send him to the new world, so he should prepare himself. This did happen. He was sent to Colombia. At that time Colombia was a major port for the trafficking of slaves from Africa. St. Peter would dedicate his entire life to serving the slaves in any way he could. Sometimes it was just bringing them fresh food, clothing, or medicine. But he brought more than that. His love for them brought them to the feet of Jesus. It is estimated that he baptized and catechized nearly 300,000 slaves during his lifetime. Sometimes, because of not having translators, he would teach with pictures. He became quite good at it. His love also awoken the consciences of many people to reject the cruelty of the slave trade. It was only after his death that many people began to change their attitude on slavery.

Holiness shines brightest when it is surrounded by darkness. Perhaps the greatest spiritual victory of St. Peter was not giving in to discouragement and doubt when very few helped him during his life. But because he refused to quit, eventually the victims and the perpetrators of the slave trade were impacted by Christ’s presence on the docks in Cartagena, Colombia.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

PS: It is official, as of September 3rd,2019, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Peter Sartain and so Archbishop Paul Etienne is now the official Archbishop of our Archdiocese of Seattle.

 

 

 

9/1/19

Dear parishioners,

On September 5th there is a feast day that is not on your church calendars that you received from the parish at the beginning of the year. I am not sure why. It is the feast day of Saint Teresa of Calcutta. While on her way to a retreat when she was a young Loretto sister she experienced a call from God to start a new order that would help the poorest and forgotten.

As I was reading a little bit on her life, I came across the following quote. I think her words here help us realize that even when someone receives a clear message from God it is not the beginning of something easy, but it is the beginning of taking up the cross.

“Teresa wrote in her diary that her first year was fraught with difficulty. With no income, she begged for food and supplies and experienced doubt, loneliness and the temptation to return to the comfort of convent life during these early months:

Our Lord wants me to be a free nun covered with the poverty of the cross. Today, I learned a good lesson. The poverty of the poor must be so hard for them. While looking for a home I walked and walked till my arms and legs ached. I thought how much they must ache in body and soul, looking for a home, food and health. Then, the comfort of Loreto [her former congregation] came to tempt me. "You have only to say the word and all that will be yours again", the Tempter kept on saying ... Of free choice, my God, and out of love for you, I desire to remain and do whatever be your Holy will in my regard. I did not let a single tear come.”

Even for a great saint, there is no escaping moments of desperation and difficulties. To persevere and surrender all to Jesus is the only way in these moments.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

8/25/19

Dear Parishioners,

This next week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, we celebrate a mother and son combo, St. Monica and St. Augustine. Many mothers (and fathers) have struggled with a son or daughter that leaves the faith. This often causes the parents distress and anxiety. This is were St. Monica teaches us a better path.

Augustine was, like many kids, adventurous and rebellious. St. Monica prayed and prayed for the conversion of her son. He eventually did come back to the faith and would go on to become one of the greatest and influential theologians that the Catholic church has ever had. 

The legacy of St. Monica was not like her son’s which was to influence the entire church for last 1500 years. Her legacy was to bring one person back to the faith. But because her faith and love helped bring the one person back, he helped countless people come to faith. So, in sense, she helped start it all by helping one person come back.

I mention this because we have many parishioners that are struggling with one or more their kids having left the faith. True faith is knowing that God is at work and there is no room for fear. In other words, her desire for the conversion of her son was not motivated by fear, but by complete faith and love of God.

We should not fear anything, even when things are not going as planned. If we are following God and living in complete trust and love of Him there is nothing to fear. This means that nagging, begging, threatening are not the best way to help bring their child home. These are all done out of fear. Instead, live with persistent joy of the Gospel, authenticity of one’s love and faith and complete confidence in God’s will.

St. Monica and St. Augustine, pray for us!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

8/18/19

Dear parishioners,

Our human nature is to hide our problems. We do this because of the shame and embarrassment that often follows. As children we did this when we “got caught” doing something our parents told us not to do. What was our response to the phrase, “Junior, did you do this….?” “No, that wasn’t me!”.

This temptation is true in our families. Instead of confronting bad behavior we try to ignore it or “sweep it under the carpet” and hope it does not happen again.

I say this because with all the shootings we have been having there were always warning signs. The friends and family saw signs that these individuals were thinking about doing something really bad.

True love is helping others even when it is difficult. Sometimes this means talking to professionals about things going on in our families, especially when there are signs of disturbing behavior that could lead to self-harm or worse.

If your conscience is telling you that something is not right with a friend or family member, don’t be afraid to get professionals involved. This may start with talking to your parish priest, deacon, teacher, trusted friend, or parent. From there, there can be other avenues for more professional help if needed. Never hesitate to call 911 if there is ever a serious abuse or a threat to life. It is always better to be too careful then not careful enough. My own personal experience is that law enforcement and medical personnel really do want to help us when we are in need.

Also, spiritually speaking, feel free to bring questions to the sacrament of Confession. Here, you can ask anonymously and get some guidance.

And lastly, always, always, always bring all these things to Jesus in your daily prayer. The Holy Spirit wants to guide us on the right path when we are not sure what to do.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

8/11/19

Dear parishioners,

This coming week, in addition to our big parish feast day of the Assumption of Mary on Thursday, August 15th, we have the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe on August 14th .

St. Maximilian Kolbe, as a child, had a vision in which our Blessed Mother offered him two possible crowns, the white crown of purity or the red crown of martyrdom. His response was, “I choose both!”. As a Franciscan brother he faithfully pledged his life to purity by living his vows of chaste celibacy. As a prisoner of war under the third Reich of the Nazis he would die by giving his life in exchange for the life of another prisoner, thus receiving the red crown of martyrdom. Both are crowns of love.

But perhaps there is another crown that he received, the crown of creative wisdom. He had an uncanny ability to create ways to reach people with the teachings of our faith. He founded a publication that would reach thousands of people in a time that would be filled with the darkness and death of the war. Also, the Militia Immaculatae, “Mary’s Army”, a group he founded, is still a group that operates throughout the world today.

I suppose I owe my own vocation to him. The retreat that I attended in 1997 was the retreat in which I first began my discernment to the priesthood. It was organized by the Militia Immaculatae.

On August 14, 1941, St. Maximilian entered heaven, the day before we celebrate Mary entering Heaven on August 15th .

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

P.S. Mark your calendars for our parish feast day coming up! Thursday, August 15th, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

 

 

 

8/4/19

Dear parishioners,

I would like to inform you about some changes to our staff. These are being made in anticipation of next year’s programs and based on improvements we are trying to make.

Last year, we had two staff members relocate out of state quite suddenly and so we needed a quick solution. I am very happy with how everyone helped to pull everything together.

This coming year we need a more complete solution, especially with regard to some administrative tasks in the office, organization of our RCIA program, and our very large Confirmation program.

Because of this, Selena Vergara-Valdez, who is currently our receptionist, will be changing positions. She will be assisting Daniel Roberson with doing most of the bookkeeping tasks while he remains as an overseer of those tasks. Selena will also oversee the organization of our RCIA program and Confirmation program. In addition to this Selena will be directly in charge of the teaching of RCIA for the Hispanic community.

Because of these changes, we are currently hiring for the position of Receptionist. We will have the details of this position in the bulletin and in our Sunday announcements.

I would like to thank Ann Velasco for her time working with us on staff this last year. She has been an incredible help. She will no longer be on staff but will be helping us as a volunteer with our faith formation testing.

I would also like to thank Liana Pricer for all her time and care that she has shown in teaching the RCIA program for our Hispanic community. I truly appreciate everything that she has done.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

PS Mark your calendars for our parish feast day coming up! Thursday, August 15th, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

 

 

 

7/28/19

Dear parishioners,

I would like to offer some thoughts about protecting yourself and your family members, especially your kids with internet usage.

The internet can be incredibly useful and good for our world; however, it can be incredibly dangerous for our young people. Here are some rules that can be very helpful about protecting your kids. These rules are especially important if your child is spending too much time on the internet or if their behavior is changing in a negative way.

  • 1. Have all the passwords and pins of all the devices and apps that your kids use.
  • 2. Periodically check content of social media that they are using.
  • 3. Set limits on their screen time. This can help prevent an addiction from forming.
  • 4. Do not allow any use of electronic devices in the kid’s bedrooms, they should always be where there are other members of the family.
  • 5. Teaching your kids why they need to be careful in an age appropriate way. Children are often very trusting and can be naive to the ways of the world and can get hurt very quickly. Teaching about what types behavior are bad, or what types of conversations or topics are not good is important.
  • 6. If you feel like you need help with this in your family there are some great resources.

Here is one example: https://www.covenanteyes.com/support-articles/tips-for-parents/

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

7/21/19

Dear parishioners,

This Friday is the feast day of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary. Like several other notable couples in the Bible, they struggled to conceive a child. Mary’s coming was not planned. In being open to God’s creative designs, they needed to surrender their plans. Everything in our lives these days seems to be planned.


Recently there was a movie released about the story of Abby Johnson’s life that was called “Unplanned”. It is a story about how she worked for Planned Parenthood and would later come to oppose the abortion movement. Her change of heart was not planned, on her part, but was the process opening up to God’s creative design.


When we pray, we can pray that God will complete our plans. But our plans are usually stale, boring and involve no trust or faith in God. Instead, pray for an adventurous heart in bringing God’s creative designs to completion. There is such freedom in “unplanning” our lives and instead living by God’s creative and grace-filled designs.

Blessings,
Fr. Peter

 

 

 

7/7/19

Dear parishioners,

I have referred in several of my homilies to a movie called, “Risen”. We just ordered a couple of DVD copies of the movie. These are for you to borrow, so that you can watch it at home. They should be available in the next couple of days.

Cemetery update: There is a large pine tree in the cemetery that is leaning quite badly. A tree expert was brought in to assess the danger. He verified that the tree needs to be cut down. The tree is pulling up its roots and is only a matter time before it falls. Cemetery funds will be used to remove the tree.

Please mark your calendars: Thursday evening, August 15th! This is our parish feast day of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We will have an evening Mass and a big parish party after.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

6/23/19

Dear parishioners,

We are entering back into a time in the year called “Ordinary Time”. It is tempting to think of ordinary time as “nothing” time, because there is nothing special happening; or as “vacation” time, because we are not doing much, the kids are done with their church classes and are done with school, etc. However, “Ordinary” should be more like “ordinary work-week” time. This is the time that we do what we ordinarily would want God to be doing; namely, working in our daily lives. We don’t want God to do “nothing” or to be on “vacation”. This is the time to do the normal routine of living our faith, just like the routine of Monday-Friday. This is the time for us to do the normal work of living our faith every day. That routine is marked by some time each day of praying alone, with one’s spouse, and with the family; every day doing the little acts of charity that a good Catholic should be doing at work, home, school, in the car, or on vacation; reading and learning something about the faith; and bringing Jesus with you where ever God may lead you this summer.

For those traveling: www.Masstimes.org is a great website to find the nearest Catholic church where ever you may be this summer. It helps kids to grow and mature in their faith when parents include faith on vacation. Praying the rosary together when driving is also a great way to pray together.

Please pray for our kids camp this week. It is being led by Dominican sisters from Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, community in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

6/16/19

Dear parishioners,

There are countless examples of God sending his people on a long journey. These were often journeys to re-orientate their hearts back to God. Adam and Eve sent into the wilderness; Noah and his family in the ark; Abraham and his descendants from the land of Ur to Israel; Moses and the thousands of Israelites in the Egyptian desert for 40 years; Joshua, with the Ark of the Covenant into the promised land; Jesus, to Calvary; the Apostles to the end of the earth; are all examples of these journeys.

With the feast of Corpus Christi next Sunday, June 23rd, we will be doing a procession of our own. We will be walking with the Eucharist (the Body of Christ) in the gold Monstrance in our neighborhood. We will be beginning at 1:30pm just outside the Church. I would love to have you be a part of our little journey with Jesus in our neighborhood. We will be walking approximately 2 miles.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

6/9/19

Dear parishioners,


I have only been to the horse races a couple of times in my life, one such time was in Boise, Idaho when I was visiting a priest friend. I have never cared for the gambling aspect but watching the horses racing was always incredibly impressive. They are such powerful creatures. I love the way the horses charge out of the starting gates with an explosion of energy. Once the race begins the horses are giving it 100% effort the whole way. Because of
this there are great risks.

One thing that surprised me during the races was that an ambulance would follow the horses as they raced around the track. This was presumably to be right there for an injured jockey if there was an accident. It is very dangerous, to say the least!

Last week I talked about how Pentecost gives us grace to take risks, in the Christian sense of the word. Can you imagine having a job that was so risky that an ambulance was following you everywhere, just in case, just like the jockey on a racehorse? Pentecost is the moment the disciples receive the grace to charge out with the love of the Gospel with the same abandonment as a pack of racehorses. There was no more fear. They no longer cared what
people would think of them. After Pentecost the disciples gave 100% effort, not holding anything back, regardless of the risks.

May we have that same joyful abandonment to bringing God and his love into the world.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

6/2/19

Dear parishioners,

I just have two things to mention.

First, thank you all for your generous donations to the Annual Appeal for the Archdiocese of Seattle. The funds are helping support the many good things the Archdiocese is doing for us and the whole diocese.

Second, next Saturday, June 8th at 5:30pm we are having our great celebration of Pentecost. We would like everyone to come together. The Holy Spirit is one that unites us when there many things that can divide us. After the Mass we will have our One Faith, One Community celebration. This is a great time for us to receive and show the love of the Holy Spirit to each other. This is when the disciples opened their hearts to the power of God’s love and mercy and they radiated it out to the whole world. We will be offering Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the church after the One Faith, One Community.

We will begin Exposition at 8pm and it will go all night, and end just before the 11am Sunday morning Pentecost Mass.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

5/26/19

Dear parishioners,


As I was reading a reflection in the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours on Wednesday last week, I could not help but think of our current struggles with the immigration issue. I think this text could give us a good spiritual perspective. We are all spiritual immigrants and brothers and sisters on the same journey, after all. (This was written for the Catholics in 2nd century AD when it was illegal to be Catholic. So, by being Catholic one was a criminal, in a sense.)

“Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they
happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.

Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world.”

Blessings,
Fr. Peter

 

 

 

5/19/19

Dear parishioners,

At the Holy Thursday Mass several weeks ago there was a collection taken up. With some of the proceeds we purchased two reproductions of paintings that are now in the parish hall.

The first is a version of the Last supper with Jesus and his Apostles.

The second painting is of Pentecost. It is a very dramatic scene with Mary and the disciples receiving the Holy Spirit. I hope that these two images help us have a sense that we participate in both of those mystical realities every week here at St. Mary.


Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

5/12/19

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Mother’s Day!!

It seems that the most precious things in our lives are things we never had say in. In today's case, our moms. They are pure gift to us. God chose them for us. If we were to ever try to pay back our moms for their time and energy and love it would seem rather silly. Their is no earthly way to measure the value of everything our mothers give to our world. When we think that most everything good in our world came because our moms (and dads) formed us to be good, loving, and faith-filled people, we can see why God then chose this same path, through Mary, to bring us our Savior.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

5/519

Dear Parishioners,

There are two items I would like to comment on today:

First, many of our programs are coming to their completion for this year. Our little ones are beginning to finish their packets for First Communion preparation, our youth and adults have finished preparation for Confirmation, and many of our young couples are finishing their preparation for marriage. Because of this, I want to thank everyone that has helped with all the many events and programs in our parish. The Holy Week services and events were beautiful. Also, it has been truly inspiring to see our families growing in their faith.

Second, this last week Pope Francis appointed a new Archbishop for our Archdiocese. His name is Paul Etienne and he is currently the Archbishop of Anchorage. Archbishop Peter Sartain has been struggling with his health because of some major issues with his back. He made a request to the pope last year for the possibility to retire early because of this. Archbishop Paul will be a coadjutor for the mean time. This means that Archbishop Peter will remain as Archbishop for Seattle for the time being and Archbishop Paul will assist him until an undetermined date when he will officially take over. This also means that, for the time being, we will have four bishops here in the Seattle Archdiocese; Archbishop Peter Sartain, Archbishop Paul Etienne, Auxiliary bishop Eusebio Elizondo, and Auxiliary bishop Daniel Mueggenborg.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter 

 

 

 

 

4/28/19 

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Easter!

Easter is the season of sharing the victory of Jesus Christ with the world! We share the Gospel, not because we are the best disciples in the world or because we are super holy, but because, like Peter running to the tomb, we need him so much!

Blessings on our Divine Mercy Sunday,

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

4/21/19

Dear Parishioners,

Happy Easter!

There is a silence that refuses to be silenced, in the Resurrection. It is the silence of overwhelming awe and glory that overcomes us, and we have no words to utter. Jesus, in his usual humble ways, did
not rise to trumpets, nor processions of disciples; but rather, in the silent moments of Mary Magdalene, Peter, John and others that came to believe. Slowly that silence would become the grandest proclamation the world will ever hear. HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN!

And the world will never be the same because of it!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

 

4/14/19

Dear Parishioners,

This coming week we have the holiest week of the entire year! There are no short cuts through it. All of the parts are equally necessary, just like all of the parts of Jesus’ mission are equally necessary. Holy Thursday we, as a church, receive a model of leadership as servants and disciples through the washing of the Apostles feet (see John Chapter 13.) We receive the same Body and Blood of Jesus that he offered his disciples and would offer on the cross. We journey into the garden that fateful night and pray with Jesus. On Good Friday we walk with Jesus. We fall with Jesus. And we get back up and continue to the end. We adore Jesus side-by-side with Mary and John. At the Easter vigil and Easter day we share in the fruits of faithfulness having persevered and loved Jesus to the end, and now to the new beginning. Please come.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

4/7/19

Dear Parishioners,

Every once and while I will read a Wikipedia article on a particular topic about the faith. The other day I wanted to get an insight into Jesus’s triumphal entry in to Jerusalem, also known as Palm Sunday. Wikipedia quotes a couple of different theologians that say that the waving and throwing down of the palms before Jesus is reminiscent of the Maccabean victory procession into Jerusalem after liberating it from their oppressors. So, there is a feeling of power, victory, success in this moment of Jesus life. But, we must remember that Jesus is different. This is not a victory won by the sword.

There is another quote in the article that states that there is a reason Jesus rode in on a donkey, as opposed to a horse. The horse is an animal used in war. If he had ridden in on a horse it would have been a declaration of war to the earthly forces opposed to Jesus. However, the donkey often symbolized peace, and was the animal Jesus instructed his disciples to bring. Thus, we have the two realities of palm Sunday, namely, that Jesus will be victorious and it will be brought by peace.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter