Pastor's Page


Father Peter Mactutis
Parish Priest 

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

 

 

 

3/31/19

Dear Parishioners,

There is a video on FORMED.ORG called “Crux”, which is part of the ANIMA series. In the video Bishop Joseph Hying says, “that if there is no God, if there is no fundamental purpose to life, if there is no love at the heart of the universe, then I have to be my own god, I always have to be right, I always have to be strong.” Basically what he is saying is that if there is no God, then we are truly alone in a world that is intrinsically chaotic. But our hearts tell us that this is wrong. Our desire for order, companionship, love, unity and peace all betray the lie that says there is no God.

One of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit is Fortitude. Fortitude is courage and strength. This is a great gift that God gives to us each day. With it we can speak boldly to the world that has become blind to the beautiful truth that God is real, He is present to all of us, and that He loves us.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/24/19

Dear Parishioners,

It is really neat how we celebrate the Solemnity of St. Joseph and the Annunciation of Mary within a few short days of each other. The Solemnity of the Annunciation is this Monday, March 25th. To celebrate this event, we will have a bilingual Mass at 6pm on Monday.

There was an article in the National Catholic Register newspaper several years ago by John Clark in which he said that the Annunciation is the moment in history when “even the angels held their breath”. Everyone was complicit in the fall, in some manner. You could imagine that even the good angels felt bad for the fall of their brethren. But there, in that little house in Nazareth, God placed all his love and hope for the new beginning of his people, of all creation, on Mary’s shoulders. From the moment Gabriel uttered the wishes of God upon her, there was a deep hushed silence that came over the heavens. The angels waited…... What would she say? What would she do? And then, almost as though Mary knew that all the angels in heaven were rooting for her, that God was loving her, that all the peoples to come would be eternally grateful, she said, “may it be done to me according to your word”. And in that moment she, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became the Mother of the living God. And the angels rejoiced!!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/17/19

Dear Parishioners,

First, thank you all so much for your participation in our Lenten holy hours of Adoration that you are all doing in church. Every time I go into the church there are people praying. It is so beautiful. This is the remedy for so many things going on in our world. It will bring peace to our world and to our parish and to your families.

Second, this coming Tuesday, March 19th, is the Solemnity of St. Joseph. We will celebrate it with Mass at 6pm and then a little Ice Cream social after Mass. I don’t know why the monks at the seminary I attended always did this for St. Joseph’s feast day, but it seems like nice way to celebrate him. I think it is partly because his feast day is always during Lent, so we celebrate it as a break from the Lenten sacrifices. Also, St. Joseph is a model for all parents, especially our dads, in purity and tenderness toward their children. It is just a nice way for the whole family to be together.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/10/19

Dear Parishioners,

Last week I talked about the power of each of us spending time in silent prayer in the church, praying before the Blessed Sacrament. I also shared how that impacted my life. There is a quote from St. Augustine that also captures the powerful effect of this quiet prayer.

He said in his Confessions:

“Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.”

In other words, we are not at our best when we are asking God for all of our own wants and desires, but we are at our best when we are seeking what God wants and what God desires. For many years I never asked God what He wanted, I always prayed for what I wanted. It was not until I spent time in quiet sitting with Jesus in the church that I began to even think about God as God, and me as his servant. In fact, before I treated God like my personal servant, He was supposed to do everything I wanted. The deeper we go in prayer, the closer we come to the burning and purifying truth of God’s love, and know His awesome wants and desires for us.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

3/3/19

Dear Parishioners,

Lent is almost here! This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday! As we are all planning how we can truly enter the season, I would like to propose something we can do together as a parish family.

First, let me explain a little bit. Many years ago, before I was even thinking about becoming a priest, a person in my parish asked me to commit to spending one hour in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I agreed, not really knowing what I was supposed to do, or why I was doing it, but it seemed a bit adventurous, so I was excited to try. My time was 2:00 am every Friday night. At first, in Adoration, I was like a distracted little child. I could not sit still, I felt like I was wasting my time, or worse yet, wasting God’s time. After 10 minutes I had run out of things to say. And so, there I sat blankly looking at the Tabernacle. Despite my spiritual immaturity, I wanted to keep trying. I came back week after week. Slowly, and I mean slowly, my spiritual ears began open. As I sat there, in the middle of the night, I began to hear Jesus speaking. It was no longer me just sitting there, but each Friday night, it was my turn to sit next to Jesus. My heart slowly began to soften. The silence in the chapel was no longer filled just with my distracted thoughts, but became a truly wonderful peaceful time with Jesus. I now know, without any doubt, that if I had never accepted the invitation to do this, I never would have become a priest. This is for one very simple reason; I never would have heard God speaking to me.

This Lent, I would like to propose that all of us commit to pray one hour a week before the Blessed Sacrament in our Church at St. Mary. What this means is that each family, or each individual, will sign-up on a slip of paper that will be provided at Mass to commit to coming to the church at a specific time on a specific day of the week for the duration of Lent. You can pick any time you want. It is fine that we could have multiple people signed up for the same time. Actually, that is part of the beauty, to be in a silent church with others offers a certain feeling of comradery in that silent prayer.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

2/24/19

Dear Parishioners,

With the Abuse Summit this weekend at the Vatican, I have been fighting the temptation to think that nothing will change and no good will come from it. I truly hope that the leaders of our beloved Church will create a system of holding bishops, and all those responsible, accountable for their grave mistakes. The damage and hurt done directly to the victims is horrible, but our leadership’s lack of ability to hold bishops and other leaders accountable is terribly frustrating and makes it that much more hurtful.

 

St. Ignatius of Loyola has some good advice in his Spiritual Exercises; he says that one of Satan’s favorite lies is to convince us that nothing will ever get better. By doing this, Satan hopes we will give in to despair, or just wallow in frustration and anger. Therefore, we must fight that temptation, and not give up fighting for the same thing Jesus Christ desires, that the Church is a place that all people can come close to God and encounter His peace, truth, justice, mercy and love.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

2/17/19

Dear Parishioners,

I want to offer a word of encouragement to all of our families that are in the Faith formation program and preparing their kids for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Thank you all for the hard work you have been putting into teaching your children. I am so impressed by your efforts. Once you complete packet #4, your child will be ready to do their First Reconciliation (Confession). If there are some families that are having difficulties, I would suggest just slowing down and letting your kids and you learn at the speed that works for you. I know that you all are very busy and your time is precious. There is no rush. As we get closer to May, we will set dates in June, July and beyond for First Communion. Your child will make it!

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

2/10/19

Dear Parishioners,

This Monday, February 11th, is the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. I have always been impressed by the events of our Lady’s appearance to St. Bernadette many years ago.

One detail from the apparition that seems very unique is the command that Mary made of Bernadette. In front of everyone watching, Mary told Bernadette to “eat of the plants and to wash.” The only plants were the weeds growing next to her. So, out of complete obedience she started to eat the weeds. To wash she was going to go down to the river, but Mary corrected her and told her not wash in the river but to do it right there. There was not water, but only a patch of really wet mud. So, out of complete obedience she started washing herself with the mud. Everyone thought she was going mad. In washing herself she was being washed clean of any pride, or concern what other people thought about her. She became a hero of true humility. It would only be a short while before people began to understand how powerful was her faith and beautiful her obedience. Soon a spring of water grew from the muddy spot that she washed. That spring of water is still flowing today.

St. Bernadette, pray for us.

Blessings,

Fr. Pete

 

 

 

2/3/19

Dear Parishioners,

There is a Catholic tradition to pray the “Angelus” prayer at 6:00am, noon, and 6:00pm. There is a famous painting that depicts this moment in the life of two farmers out in the field. You can see the church bell tower in the background. Using your imagination, you can hear the church bell ringing at noon. The two farmers have their heads bowed in prayer, saying the Angelus and listening the bells tolling in the distance. This was one way the people were united in prayer even when they were working.

  • V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
  • R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
  • Hail Mary, full of grace etc...
  • V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
  • R. Be it done unto me according to Your Word.
  • Hail Mary, full of grace etc...
  • V. And the Word was made flesh,
  • R. And dwelt among us.
  • Hail Mary, full of grace etc...
  • V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
  • R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
  • Let us pray:
  • Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord, Your Grace into our hearts;
  • that as we have known the incarnation of Christ, your Son
  • by the message of an angel, so by His passion and cross
  • we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
  • Through the same Christ, our Lord.
  • Amen.  

 

 

1/27/19

Dear Parishioners,

The evening of February 8th we will be having our One Faith, One Community celebration. One part of this will be to learn how to say some of our prayers in the native languages of your fellow parishioners. There are many people here that would like to learn the prayers in English and others that would like to learn the prayers in Spanish, or Vietnamese, or Tagalog. What better way is there than to practice with each other… There will also be games for the kids and great food. Please mark your calendars. St. Pope John Paul II was fluent in many languages. He had a gift that many of us do not have. But the most important thing he had was a desire to share Jesus with others and not let different languages be an obstacle to that. Let’s share in that desire to reach out to each other.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

1/20/19

 

 Dear parishioners,

Here is a beautiful addition to our memorial to the unborn.

The statue of Mary and the angel were donated by some very generous parishioners and was installed just recently by the Knights of Columbus.

Thank you all, it is very beautiful.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter 

 

 

 

1/13/19

Dear Parishioners,

Facility update: We are looking into the possibility of cutting down the really tall trees that are on the backside of our property. This will only include the trees that are along the property line between us and the mobile home park that is directly behind us. The pastoral council has already discussed this issue and has agreed to move forward with it. We have also received consent from the owner of the mobile home park to do this. Also, we had a survey firm come in and survey the property line to make sure we know exactly where the property line is. We are now getting a second estimate on the logging of the trees. We will make $10,000-15,000 in doing this, although that is not reason for it.

There are several reasons we are looking into logging the trees. First, they are very tall and a danger to the mobile homes, the rectory and the food bank, especially during wind storms. Because of this they are a liability. Second, the trees cast a constant shadow over the property in the fall, winter, and spring. It is quite depressing living in the rectory and never seeing the sun except in the summer. Third, safety is a concern on our property. The wooded area in the back has been a place of illegal activity and is difficult to monitor. Finally, the food bank and the rectory may be ideal locations to use solar power. The food bank is discussing this as an emergency back-up alternative. We are also looking into the possibility of installing a solar system for the rectory. The rectory does not have gas, therefore the heating/electricity bills can be quite high. Removing the trees would make these options possible. After the logging and clean up we are planning to plant a hedge along the property line to act as a visual barrier. Also, with some of the proceeds we are looking into installing fencing on the property in a few locations to cut down on the cross traffic through our property. I will talk about that issue later.

Blessings,

Fr. Peter

 

 

 

1/6/19

Dear Parishioners,

Like the shepherds that encountered the host of Angels and went to see the baby Jesus, so too do the Magi go to see the baby Jesus. Both return back to their homes changed by the encounter. They did not stay there, at the Nativity scene in Bethlehem. But they carried the experience with them for the rest of their lives. This is what we call an “Epiphany event”.

Our own encounter with Jesus changes us. We continually change, by God’s grace. So even though we continue to live in the ordinariness of our daily lives, we change what we do and how do it and why we do it, as long as we carry the Nativity event with us.

Epiphany Blessings,

Fr. Peter