Sixth Sunday of Easter – May 21, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Last weekend the Holy Father Pope Francis celebrated the 100th anniversary of our Lady of Fatima by canonizing Jacinta and Francisco Marto, two of the three shepherd children to whom the Virgin Mary appeared in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children, appearing six times to Lucia, 9, and her cousins Francisco, 8, and his sister Jacinta, 6, between May 13, 1917 and October 13, 1917. According to the testimony of the children, the Blessed Mother said, “Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not going to harm you.” Lucia asked her where she came from and she responded, “I come from Heaven.” The children testified that the Virgin Mary wore a white mantle edged with gold, held a rosary in her hand, asked them to pray and devote themselves to the Holy Trinity, and to “Say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.” At the last apparition, Mary revealed her name, saying, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” 70,000 people had turned out to witness the apparition. According to thousands of eye witnesses, the sun made three circles, moving around the sky in an incredible zigzag movement. This left no doubt in their minds about the veracity of the apparitions. By 1930 the Bishop had approved these apparitions and subsequently they were approved by the Church as authentic.

Many of us relate the apparitions of our Lady of Fatima with the three prophetic secrets. The first two were refer to the vision of hell and the souls languishing there, the request for an ardent devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the prediction of the Second World War, and finally, the prediction of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism. The third “secret” was not revealed until the year 2000, and referred to the persecutions that humanity would undergo in the last century, “The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.” The suffering of popes in the 20th century has been interpreted to include the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981, which took place on May 13th that year, the 64th anniversary of the apparitions. The Holy Father attributed his escape from certain death to the intervention of Our Lady, “… it was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of death.” (Catholic News Agency)

The message of Fatima is actually quite simple: Prayer, Penance and Conversion, the royal road to holiness. Fatima is, above all, a source of hope that through Mary we can always find and approach Jesus, as Pope Francis beautifully reminded us of in his homily for the canonization of Saints Jacinta and Francisco, “According to the belief and experience of many pilgrims, if not of all, Fatima is, more than anything, this mantle of Light that protects us here, as in almost no other place on earth. We need but take refuge under the protection of the Virgin Mary and to ask her, as the Salve Regina teaches, “Show unto us … Jesus.”

Queridos Parroquianos,

En la semana pasada, celebramos el centenario de nuestra Señora de Fatima. Nuestro querido Papa Francisco dijo en su homilía de la canonización de los tres niños pastores a quienes la Virgen se les apareció en 1917; “Queridos Peregrinos, tenemos una Madre. Aferremonos a ella como hijos, vivamos de la esperanza que se apoya en Jesús…Cuando Jesús subió al cielo, llevó junto al Padre celeste a la humanidad ¿nuestra humanidad? que había asumido en el seno de la Virgen Madre, y que nunca dejará. Como un ancla, fijemos nuestra esperanza en esa humanidad, colocada en el cielo a la derecha del Padre (cf. Ef 2,6). Que esta esperanza sea el impulso de nuestra vida. Una esperanza que nos sostenga siempre, hasta el último suspiro.” Es un recuerdo que siempre tengamos una fuente de esperanza en nuestra Virgencita porque ella siempre nos dirige a nuestro Señor; este es el mensaje principal de Fatima.

Estos dos nuevos santos hermanos, Francisco y Jacinta, junto a su prima Lucía, fueron testigos de las apariciones de la Virgen María en Cova de Iría, Fátima, que se produjeron entre mayo y octubre de 1917. Francisco tenía entonces nueve años, Jacinta tenia siete anos y Lucía tenia dies. La Virgen se les apareció en seis oportunidades. En la tercera aparición, del 13 de julio, les reveló el Secreto de Fátima. Durante aquel período, los tres niños tuvieron que hacer frente a las incomprensiones de sus familias y vecinos, y a la persecución del gobierno portugués, profundamente anticlerical. Pero aceptaron esas dificultades con fe y valentía: “Si nos matan – decían – no importa. Vamos al cielo.” (Radio Vaticano)

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Father’s Update from the Holy Land – May 10, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Shalom! It has been a blessed pilgrimage thus far and more and more and more pages of the Gospels are coming alive for us each day. I’ve sent some pictures that highlight our pilgrimage so far … a picture inside the Church of the Nativity, a most blessed place to visit and attend Mass as this is where Jesus was born. We celebrated Mass at the Holy Sepulchre and then we walked the path Jesus took to Calvary along the Via Dolorosa. Another picture is me with Fr. Jacques Philippe! You just never know who you might bump into on a Pilgrimage! Please continue to pray for us as we are most certainly keeping you in our daily prayers.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Shalom! Saludos! a sido una gran bendicion estar en esta peregrinacion tan lejos y aun major, vivir los evangelios cada dia. He incluido tres fotos que me gustaron demasiado de nuestra peregrinacion de esta semana… Hay una pintura adentro de la iglesia de la Natividad, es uno de los mas hermosos lugares y bendecidos que yo halla visitado y celebrar la misa donde cristo nacio. Tambien celebramos misa en el Sepulcro Santo y caminamos en el camino donde Cristo camino en el Calvario con la Via Dolorosa. La tercera foto es con el P. Jacques Philippe! Uno nunca se imagina a quien vas a encontrar cuando vas en peregrinacion! Por favor les pido que continuen orando por todos nosotros como nosotros tambien los guardamos en nuestras oraciones diarias.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

For those of you who are unable to follow Father Cal’s updates on our Facebook Page or in our parish app, here are some of the pictures and descriptions Father Cal has posted since he sent us the message above from the Holy Land. Enjoy!

5/6/17 Our walk with the Lord continues to deepen during this blessed pilgrimage! Yesterday we visited the Jordan River where we renewed our baptismal promises. We also visited the Church of the Nativity where we experienced the place where our Lord was born. Keeping all of our SPX family in prayer.

5/9/17 On our final full day of pilgrimage in the Holy Land, our pilgrimage group visited and prayed at the Western Wall, carried the cross on the Via Dolorosa and celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Continuing to keep our our SPX Parish in prayer!!!

Fourth Sunday of Easter – May 7, 2017

World Day of Prayer for Vocations & Good Shepherd Sunday

Dear Parishioners,

Shalom! Greetings from the Holy Land! I am currently writing this weeks’ column overlooking the Sea of Galilee from our hotel in Tiberias. It has been a blessed pilgrimage thus far and more as more and more pages of the Gospels are coming alive for us each day. I’ve included three pictures that highlight our pilgrimage so far this week … a group picture in the ancient ruins of Caesarea, Mass at the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth and the renewal of marriage vows for five couples at the Wedding Church built over the site of the miracle at the Wedding of Cana. Please continue to pray for us as we are most certainly keeping you in our daily prayers.

Queridos Parriquianos,

Shalom! Saludos de la Tierra Santa! Estoy escribiendo esta carta mirando el Mar de Galilea, donde nuestro Señor llamo los primeros discípulos. Esta peregrinación había estado para nosotros una gran bendición y seguramente las páginas de la Biblia están ya en vivo para mi, bendito sea Dios! Estoy incluyendo tres fotos de nuestra jornada esta semana, un foto del nosotros peregrinos en Ceasarea, celebrando una Misa en la Basílica de la Anunciación y renovando mas promesas matrimoniales de 5 parajes en el lugar donde Jesus celebró el milagro de Cana. Cada uno de ustedes están en nuestras oraciones continuamente durante estés días de nuestra peregrinación por la Tierra Santa.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Check out Father Cal’s pictures from the first few days on pilgrimage!

 

The Sea of Galilee

Third Sunday of Easter – April 30, 2017

Dear Parishioners / Queridos Parroquianos,

This weekend with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Deacon John and Mina. With gratitude, we as a parish community, thank him for his nearly four years of service and ministry here. I know we will hold Deacon John and his family in our hearts and prayers as they continue their life and ministry in Bremerton.
And so, from myself and all of us at St. Pius X …

Divine Mercy Sunday – April 23, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

After taking a couple of essential days off following an intense and blessed Holy Week, I am refreshed and ready to launch into yet another Easter Season with all of you! Easter is all about renewed hope, joy and new life and I’m excited to announce that we’re taking modern technology to new heights at St. Pius X! On Easter Sunday, we officially launched our new parish app called MyParish App. You can download it easily for both Android and iPhone devices. Please let us know what you think and give us any feedback that you think might be helpful to improve it. I have to say that I am quite impressed. Many thanks to Alane Howard, our in-house tech guru for all the time she devoted to developing this app over the past few months. We hope it will be an important tool for all our parishioners to stay connected with parish life; and also be helpful to continue our work of evangelization. Also, don’t forget to go to Formed.com in order to access a world of online evangelization resources for you and your entire family, completely free of charge.

This weekend is Divine Mercy weekend. During his homily during the canonization of St. Faustina, through whom the message and devotion to Divine Mercy was communicated, St. Pope John Paul II declared the second Sunday of Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday. He said, “It is important that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.” The message of Divine Mercy is as profound as it is simple, and can be explained through using the first three letters of the alphabet. A – Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world. B – Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us. C – Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive. At 3:00 p.m. here in the church this Sunday we’ll be celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday. Included in this devotion will be exposition and benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, and praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet as well. We hope to see you there.

Queridos Parroquianos,

En la semana pasada tomé dos días de descanso para recuperarme del labor de la Semana Santa. Ya me siento muy recuperado y listo para celebrar este tiempo bendito de la Pascua con ustedes y sus familias. Me gustaría anunciar que ya tenemos un app parroquial nuevo para los iPhones o Androids de ustedes y se llama myParish app. Puedan descargarlo sencillamente en las tiendas de apps y ojalá y le ayude a profundizar su fe y también al mismo tiempo, mantener un sentido de connection con nuestra parroquia durante la semana. Yo lo he descargado y me gustaria decir que es muy util y también profundo como una fuente de evangelización.

Este fin de semana es el Domingo de Divina Misericordia que San Juan Pablo II inició en 2000. La devoción de la Divina Misericordia brotaba por las inspiraciones de Jesus a la hermana religiosa Polaca, Sor Faustina. Jesus comunicó a ella el mensaje de divina misericordia de Dios para nosotros y podemos entender este mensaje así; A; pide su Misericordia. Dios quiere que nos acerquemos a Él por medio de la oración constante, arrepentidos de nuestros pecados y pidiéndole que derrame Su Misericordia sobre nosotros y sobre el mundo entero. B- sé misericordioso – Dios quiere que recibamos Su Misericordia y que por medio de nosotros se derrame sobre los demás. C- confía completamente en Jesús – Dios nos deja saber que las gracias de su Misericordia dependen de nuestra confianza. Mientras más confiemos en Jesús, más recibiremos. San Juan Pablo II dijo: “Yo le doy gracias a la Divina Providencia porque he podido contribuir personalmente al cumplimiento de la Voluntad de Cristo, a través de la institución de la Fiesta de la Divina Misericordia. Yo rezo incesantemente para que Dios tenga misericordia de nosotros y del mundo entero.” (Santuario de la Divina Misericordia, Cracow, Polonia, 1997) Ojala que esta devoción crezca continuamente entre nuestra comunidad porque a través de el, podemos encontrar la misericordia y amor de Jesus si mismo.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of Our Lord – April 16, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

In Orthodox Christian Tradition, the faithful have a joyful Easter tradition as to how they greet one another during the Easter Season called the Paschal greeting.  When someone says, “Christ is Risen!,” the response is, “Indeed He is Risen!”  I greet each of you and your families today as we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection with these same joyful words, “Christ is Risen.  Indeed he is Risen!”  Today we joyfully celebrate the central mystery of our Catholic Christian Faith.  Everything about our Faith stands or falls upon this central mystery – our Christian joy, hope, and real meaning for our lives.  St. John Paul II once said of Easter,  “We do not pretend that life is all beauty.  We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain.  But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection, and we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection.  We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”  In spite of the many challenges, sufferings and difficulties that come our way, we know that when we view all of life’s events through the lens of the Resurrection, both good and bad, everything has meaning and will, in one way or another, lead to a greater good and to our own resurrections one day.  Because of the Resurrection, a Christian has no choice but to be a perennial optimist.  All things, no matter how challenging, will lead to a greater good.   As St. Paul reminds us, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.” (Romans 5:20)

The Easter Vigil this year is especially joyful for me as Pastor of St. Pius X, the celebration of the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion and Confirmation, with more than 35 members of our parish family.  This is something for which we can all be proud and grateful.  The presence of these newly initiated brothers and sisters in Christ within our parish family should not only fill us with joy, but also provide a moment of reflection:  What is it about our Catholic Faith that so many are willing to leave their former faiths and ways of living behind in order to become members of the Body of Christ?  Some of us who have been life-long Catholics can, at times, overlook the tremendous treasure that we have inherited in being baptized Catholic Christians.  Together as we celebrate the joy of Christ’s Resurrection, especially with the newly initiated members of our parish family, I hope this will be a time for us to rediscover, or perhaps discover for the first time, the immense wealth that is ours in being children of God.  “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”  Happy Easter!

Queridos Parroquianos,

¡Feliz Pascua! Hoy celebramos el misterio central de nuestra fe Católica; la Resurrección de nuestro Señor. Es un hecho que no puede ser una Fe Cristiana sin este misterio. San Pablo en su primera carta a los Corintios nos dice “Pero si se predica que Cristo ha resucitado de entre los muertos, ¿cómo es que algunos de entre vosotros dicen que no hay resurrección de los muertos? Si no hay resurrección de los muertos, tampoco Cristo a resucitado. Y si Cristo no a resucitado, inútil es nuestra predicación, inútil también nuestra fe. Resultamos ser además falsos testigos de Dios, porque, en contra de Dios, testimoniamos que resucitó a Cristo, a quien no resucitó, si de verdad los muertos no resucitan. Pues si los muertos no resucitan, tampoco Cristo ha resucitado; pero si Cristo no ha resucitado, vana es vuestra fe, todavía estáis en vuestros pecados. E incluso los que han muerto en Cristo perecieron. Y si tenemos puesta la esperanza en Cristo sólo para esta vida, somos los más miserables de todos los hombres.” (I Co 15:12-19) El hecho de que nuestro Señor este presente ya en nuestras vidas, en nuestra Iglesia y en nuestros sacramentos quiere decir que es gracias a Resurrección. Es por eso que lo celebramos con tanto gozo y alegría.

Me gustaría pasar mi agradecimiento a todos los voluntarios que nos ayudaron a celebrar el Triduo Pascual este año. Muchas personas habían trabajado muy fuerte durante la semana pasada preparando nuestra Iglesia y la comunidad para esos servicios de la Semana Santa; ¡Gracias! También, agradesco a nuestros hermanos misioneros por su trabajo dirigiendo el Via crucis y la Presentación de la Resurrección en el Domingo de Gloria este año; ¡Muchas gracias! ¡Les deseo que pasen felices Pascuas!

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord – April 9, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

This past week in eighth grade religion class, the topic was the Sacred Triduum. We explored the different components of this most sacred week of the year and saw how we actually accompany Jesus, in an intimate way, through all the amazing liturgies we will be celebrating. Liturgically, Holy Week is the most important week for us as we celebrate the central mysteries of the Christian Faith – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. It is a time in which we spiritually and physically enter into these mysteries upon which our Catholic Christian Faith are founded upon.

During our class, we spent some time reflecting on Pope Francis’ homily from his Holy Thursday Mass which was celebrated at a refugee camp near Rome with immigrants from many parts of the world including Catholics, Coptic Christians, Muslims and others. In his homily, the Holy Father said these powerful words: “Two gestures, the same – Jesus washes the feet; Judas sold Jesus for money. You, we, all together, different religions, different cultures, but children of the same Father, brothers. And there, those poor people who buy weapons to destroy brotherhood. Today, at this moment when I will perform the same action of Jesus washing the feet of twelve of you, all of us are performing a gesture of brotherhood, and we all say: “We are different, we are different, we have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace.” For me, this sense of unity and peaceful communion with each other, should be a powerful spiritual fruit for us as a parish family as we begin this sacred time together, journeying hand in hand with the Lord. We are truly a diverse and profoundly multicultural parish, but our faith in our one Lord, and our celebration together of the Paschal Mystery of Our Lord, will draw us together as the one body of Christ.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Hoy iniciamos la grandísima celebración de la Semana Santa con el Domingo de Ramos. Con esta Misa, nos acercamos con el Señor en su entrada en Jerusalem para iniciar su pasión y muerte por nuestra salvación. Esta Semana, celebramos los misterios centrales de nuestra fe Católica; la Pasión, Muerte y Resurrección del Señor. Lo mas central de esta Semana Santa es el Triduo Pascual, el Jueves Santo, el Viernes Santo y la Vigilia Pascual.

En la liturgia de Jueves Santo, nos acercamos con el Señor y celebramos la institution de la Eucaristía cuando el celebró la Ultima Cena con sus discípulos. También celebramos el lavatorio de los pies y recordamos el momento cuando Jesus lavó los pies de sus discípulos en esa acción humilde. También celebramos la institution del sacerdocio y es por eso que esta Misa es muy importante para nosotros los sacerdotes.

En la liturgia de Viernes Santo, nos acercamos con el Señor por su cruz y entonces por su muerte. Este servicio actualmente no es una Misa propia pero un servicio de comunión. La comunión esta ofrecida a la comunidad por las Hostias consagradas a la Misa de Jueves Santo. No olvidemos que otra vez este año vamos a celebrar el via cruces en vivo inmediatamente antes del servicio del Viernes Santo.

El apojeo de estos días es la Vigilia Pascual cuando celebramos el misterio mas profundo de nuestra Fe Católica; la Resurrección del Señor. En esta Misa solemne, damos la bienvenida a los elegidos que vamos a bautizar y los candidatos que van a recibir los Sacramentos de Iniciación que faltan y están recibido a plena comunión con nosotros y en la Iglesia Universal. Esta Misa es tan larga pero al mismo tiempo muy linda y profunda. Me gustaría inviter a cada miembro de nuestra comunidad personalmente a estas tres Misas bilingües porque vamos a entrar con el Señor en estos tres misterios mas profundos de nuestra Fe, su Pasión, Muerte y sobre todo, su Resurrección; ¡nos vemos ahí!

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Fifth Sunday of Lent – April 2, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

At the heart and center of the Lenten Season is conversion, which the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines as a radical reorientation of taking life away from sin and evil and move toward God. This change of heart, or conversion, is the central element of Christ’s preaching, of the Church’s ministry of evangelization, and of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. The central part of Jesus’ preaching and ministry was to move men’s and women’s hearts toward conversion to return to a life-giving and salvific relationship with God the Father. Although this process for Catholics and all Christians is life-long, we enter into this process with more urgency and spirit during this blessed Season. This is why making a good confession, or several, during Lent, is absolutely central in how we faithfully live these days of preparation.

Preaching about the importance of Confession, Pope Francis recently said; “Everyone say to himself: ‘When was the last time I went to confession?’ And if it has been a long time, don’t lose another day! Go, the priest will be good. And Jesus, (will be) there, and Jesus is better than the priests – Jesus receives you. He will receive you with so much love! Be courageous, and go to confession…” When we encounter our merciful Savior within confession, we are going to make incredible progress along the path of not only conversion, but most importantly, where conversion of our hearts leads us; towards holiness; frequent confession is the secret to holiness.

If it has been a long time, even years, since making your last confession, don’t let another moment or day pass by – now is the time! If it’s been awhile, you may have forgotten the nuts and bolts involved in making a good confession. To begin with, we need to acknowledge the fact that we are not quite the saints that Our Lord wants us to be! Having a ‘sense of sorry’ for the ways we’ve not lived up to our baptismal covenant is an important first step. Next, we need to make a good examination of conscience. There are many good tutorials available online, or you can reflect on the one included in this weekend’s bulletin. Next, with courage and humility, enter into the confessional (or wherever confessions are being offered), and simply and directly name your sins to the priest. Listen to the advice or counsel he gives, receive penance with humility and His final absolution with joy! It’s just that simple! I’m looking forward to seeing you at one of our scheduled confession times (Friday, 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 5:30 p.m.) Also, don’t forget about the Lenten Penance service on Tuesday, April 11th, during Holy Week.

Queridos Parroquianos,

El espíritu central de estos días cuaresmales es el espirito de conversion del alma humana; que el Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica nos dice es un “cambio radical de orientación de toda una vida para huir del pecado del mal, y dirigirse a Dios. Este cambio de corazón, o conversion, es un evento central de la predicacion de Jesucristo, del ministerio de evangelizacion de la Iglesia, y del Sacramento de la Penitencia o Reconciliación.” Toda la vida cristiana esta orientada a la conversion del corazón del pecado y al Señor.

A veces, especialmente si había estado mucho tiempo entre nuestra ultima confesión, olvidamos como hacerla. Estos son los elementos fundamentals para hacer una buena confesión; Examen de conciencia: Que consiste en recordar todos los pecados que hemos cometido desde la última confesión. Arrepentimiento: Que consiste en sentir sincero dolor de haber ofendido a Dios; y detestar el pecado (Para alcanzar el arrepentimiento hay que pedírselo a Dios). Propósito de la enmienda: Que consiste en decidirse firmemente a no volver a pecar; en estar dispuestos a evitar el pecado, cueste lo que cueste. Confesión: Que consiste en decirle al Sacerdote todos los pecados que hemos descubierto en el examen de conciencia.

El Papa Francisco dijo esto; “Confesarse con un sacerdote es un modo de poner mi vida en las manos y en el corazón de otro, que en ese momento actúa en nombre y por cuenta de Jesús. Es una manera de ser concretos y auténticos: estar frente a la realidad mirando a otra persona y no a uno mismo reflejado en un espejo.” Hay muchas oportunidades de confesarse durante esta Cuaresma, como los dias Viernes, Sábados, y Domingos y en el servicio comunitario durante la Semana Santa (Martes, 11 de abril a las 7pm). Ojalá todos nosotros podamos aprovechar estas oportunidades para ser reconciliados con Dios, con otros y con nosotros mismos.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) – March 26, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

[IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Lenten Mission with the Missionaries of the Word has been postponed. The new date for the Lenten Mission will be April 3-5.]

We are extremely blessed this weekend to welcome the Missionaries of the Word to our parish community. Sr. Lucia and Sr. Bernadette will be leading our parish Lenten mission Monday through Wednesday. The Missionaries of the Word have a special charism in working with youth and young adults and will be giving simultaneous Lenten presentations to our junior and senior high youth groups as well as spending some time with our school children. The Mission will take place at 7:00 p.m. each night and will include Mass, confessions, the mission talk and most important, prayer. I know the Missionaries of the Word have a deep passion for Jesus and are looking forward to stirring up that passion within each one of us.

The charism of the Missionaries of the Word is “to respond unreservedly to God’s Love, by forming disciples of Jesus for the New Evangelization to save souls through Prayer, Presence and Proclamation of the Gospel, in a spirit of total abandonment to the Father’s Love with faith and joy.” They are a new community, just having been declared a Public Association of the Faithful in 2014. According to their website, the founder of the community, Mother Mary Catherine, entered the Missionaries of Charity in June 1988. She spent almost 10 years with that community before being sent home just before her final vows due to health reasons. Beginning in 1998 until 2008 the stirrings of her heart to do something more for Our Lord continued to be present in her discernment process. It was only through much time and prayer that His desire for a new community became clearer to her. In 2008, Mother Mary Catherine met with His Excellency Bishop David Ricken and brought up the initial desire to form, be it God’s will, a religious order of women who would answer the call to love Christ and to follow Him unreservedly in the ministry of discipleship. This desire – this “drawing pull,” was steadily present. Bishop Ricken encouraged her to continue to seek God’s will. On May 1, 2014, the Missionaries of the Word were founded as a Public Association of the Faithful destined to become a religious institute by the Most Reverend Bishop David Ricken at St. Pius X Parish in Appleton, Wisconsin. At this time, Mother Mary Catherine had the joy of professing final vows. Our visitors for the missions this year, Sr. M. Bernadette and Sr. M. Lucia, entered novitiate at that time. Upon completing novitiate, on the feast of the Annunciation (April 4, 2016), the Sisters professed first vows at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay, WI. Welcome Missionaries of the Word!

Queridos Parroquianos,

[IMPORTANTE: La Misión Cuaresmal con los Misioneros de la Palabra ha sido pospuesta. La nueva fecha para la Misión de Cuaresma será del 3 al 5 de abril.]

Me siento muy bendecido de saber que el proximo fin de semana las Misioneras de la palabra a nuestra comunidad parroquial, van a acompanarnos. Sor Lucia y Sor Bernadette dirigirán a nuestra mission cuaresmal esta próxima semana, de lunes a viernes. Los misioneros de la palabra tienen un carisma especial en trabajar con jóvenes y adultos jóvenes y estarán dando una presentación simultánea de Cuaresma a nuestros adolescentes en los dos clubs juveniles, de secundaria y preparatoria. También, ellas visitarán nuestra escuela para promover vocaciones religiosas allí. La misión de Cuaresma se realizará a las 7:00 p.m. e incluye Misa, confesiones, charla cuaresmal y la oración (lo más importante).

Sé que las Misioneras de la Palabra tienen una profunda pasión por Jesús y están mirando adelante agitando esa pasión dentro de cada uno de nosotros a través de esta misión cuaresmal. Todo estará en ingles pero me gustaría invitarlos a todos ustedes, los Hispanos para escuchar las predicas de nuestras hermanas consagradas.

Se que hay tanto temor en nuestra comunidad sobre las cuestiones inmigratorias. Es importante saber que la Iglesia esta de tu lado, mano a mano, siempre. Me gustaria compartir con ustedes un ‘link’ de la pagina del Arquidiócesis de Seattle sobre los recursos y derechos que a ustedes les ayudaria mucho para obtener mas informacion en estos tiempos difíciles;

http://www.seattlearchdiocese.org/Ethnic/Hispano/Migración.aspx

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Third Sunday of Lent – March 19, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend, those of us at the 11:00 a.m. Mass will witness our catechumen (now Elect, those preparing for baptism at the Easter Vigil) experience the first of the three Lenten ‘Scrutinies’ which are an important part of the RCIA process. According to Jeannine Marino, the Scrutinies are, “… Rites of conversion and repentance. They include prayers of intercession and exorcism and are intended to deliver the Elect from sin, protect them from temptation and invite them closer to Jesus and his Church. The three Scrutinies are always celebrated on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent. After the first Scrutiny, those in RCIA are entrusted with the Creed and after the third Scrutiny, the Lord’s Prayer. The Creed professes the faith, and the Lord’s Prayer teaches believers to call upon the Father as Christ did. At the Easter vigil, those in RCIA will, for the first time, publicly profess the Creed and participate in the Liturgy of the Eucharist to pray the Lord’s Prayer.” What a joy for us as a parish family to journey with these adults and children as they move even closer to the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil and become fully initiated members of our Catholic Faith and our parish family.

As we continue our Lenten practice, it is interesting to note that the Season of Lent, as it is practiced today, actually emerged from the ancient catechumenate. In the early Church, during the period immediately following Jesus’ Ascension, individuals and families were brought into the Christian Faith through baptism, confirmation (reception of the Holy Spirit) and then joined the community. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “… From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion.” (1229) As time passed, the period of conversion and preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation developed. By the fourth century, the 40 days leading up to the celebration of Easter became a time of final preparation, penance and conversion for those being baptized. This practice became universalized over time for all the faithful as a way to prepare to celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. This was reinstated with the reintroduction of the modern RCIA process, the catechumenate by the II Vatican Council, and the ancient process of preparing adult and adolescent converts for baptism at the Easter Vigil (the source of the Season of Lent) Let’s keep all adults and adolescents in our RCIA and RCIC programs in our prayers as they journey ever closer to the joy of their baptisms in just a few short weeks!

Queridos Parroquianos,

Ojala que todos ustedes esten experimentando muchas bendiciones y gracias del Señor durante estos días de la Cuaresma. Como sabemos, hay algunos adultos y adolescentes en nuestra comunidad que se están preparando para recibir sus Sacramentos de Iniciación (Bautismo, Confirmación y Primera Comunión) en la Vigilia Pascual.

Durante el segundo, tercero y cuarto Domingo de la Cuaresma en la Misa a las 11am, ellos van a celebrar los escrutinios que forman parte del tiempo de Cuaresma, inmediatamente antes de la celebración de su bautismo en la Vigilia Pascual. La finalidad de los escrutinios es primordialmente espiritual, y se completa con ayuda de los exorcismos. Porque el objetivo de los escrutinios es purificar las almas y los corazones, proteger contra las tentaciones, rectificar la intención y mover la voluntad, para que los catecúmenos se unan más estrechamente a Cristo y prosigan con mayor decisión en su esfuerzo por amar a Dios. La celebración de los escrutinios puede realizarse dentro de la Misa Dominical o dentro de la Misa de los días de entre la semana, o en su defecto en una celebración.

Durante los primeros siglos de la historia de nuestra Iglesia, el tiempo que ya entendemos como la Cuaresma fue totalmente enfocada sobre los catecúmenos (estan preparando para recibir el bautizo a la Vigilia Pascual). Durante el transcurso del tiempo, la practica de preparación a celebrar la Resurrección del Señor fue extendido como una tradición a todos los fieles en este tiempo que se llama la Cuaresma. Como una comunidad de fe, debemos mantener esos jóvenes y adultos que ya están en los últimos pasos de preparación a recibir sus bautizos en la Vigilia Pascual en nuestros corazones para que reciban la luz y el gozo de Jesucristo resucitado en sus corazones.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

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