Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 9, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

For those of you who follow our parish Facebook page or receive “Push” notifications from our parish app (which can be downloaded here), you already know that I had the great privilege of attending the National Convocation of Catholic Leaders, ‘The Joy of the Gospel in America,’ in Orlando, FL.  It was an extraordinary event which included more than 3,000 bishops, priests, deacons and lay leadership from many dioceses across the country. We met as a Church in order to discern and discover practical ways in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be proclaimed within our culture. With six Catholics leaving our Church for every one entering, it’s time for us to act, be proactive and evangelize!  It was also a reminder for me, personally, to remember that each one of us has been given that sacred duty from our baptisms to be missionary disciples of Our Lord, not just the ‘professionals’ of the Church.

The Convocation was based upon Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel). This is an important document in which the Holy Father shares with us his mind and heart of how the Church must be a Church on ‘mission,’ a Church which evangelizes.  This missionary sense of the Church begins with our own personal commitment and encounter with the Lord.  When we truly do this, there is a certain joy which emerges from us and attracts others.  Pope Francis says, “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting Him encounter them.  I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day.  No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her because, “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.”  Our Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk.  Whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that He is already there, waiting for us with open arms.  Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived.  In a thousand ways I have shunned Your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with You.  I need You.  Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into Your redeeming embrace.”  As a parish community of people in love with Our Lord, it is my prayer that we all continue to deepen our relationship with Him, entering into the spirit of daily conversion so that we might evermore be credible witnesses of Our Lord and missionary disciples in our daily lives.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Para los que nos siguen en nuestra página de Facebook saben que yo participé en una Convocación Nacional de Líderes Católicas, el Gozo del Evangelio allá en OrlandoFlorida. Participé como uno de los delegados representando nuestra Archidiócesis de Seattle. Fue una convocación tremenda con casi 3 mil personas, obispos, cleros y laicos. Estudiamos el tema de la nueva evangelización, como predicamos el mensaje de la salvación de Jesucristo en nuestra cultura hoy con todos de los desafíos que ya tenemos en todos de los niveles en nuestro país; a nivel nacional, local y en el hogar de nuestras familias.

La convocación fue basada sobre los temas en la Carta Apostólica del Papa Francisco se llama Evangelii Gaudium (el Gozo del Evangelio) una carta que nos explica y orienta al corazón del Papa, como el nos quiere evangelizar porque todos nosotros jugamos una parte en esta misión principal de la Iglesia por el bautizo. El nos dice que podremos ser evangelizadores solamente si evangelizamos nosotros mismos con un encuentro personal y continuemos con la persona de Jesucristo. El nos dice; Invito a cada cristiano, en cualquier lugar y situación en que se encuentre, a renovar ahora mismo su encuentro personal con Jesucristo o, al menos, a tomar la decisión de dejarse encontrar por Él, de intentarlo cada día sin descanso. No hay razón para que alguien piense que esta invitación no es para él, porque «nadie queda excluido de la alegría reportada por el Señor». El que arriesga, el Señor no lo defrauda, y cuando alguien da un pequeño paso hacia Jesús, descubre que Él ya esperaba su llegada con los brazos abiertos (3). Siguiendo el ejemplo de nuestro Papa, ojalá que cada uno de nosotros nos  re-dediquemos a una profunda relacion con el Señor y transmitir a otros lo que tengamos en el corazón, siendo disipulos misioneros del Señor en nuestra vidas diarias.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Father Christiansen

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 2, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Every so often, amid all the negative news with which we are bombarded each day, something actually positive appears in the headlines. This past week I couldn’t help but notice the fantastic news story regarding Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, MO, which won its case last week in Supreme Court. The state of Missouri had denied its application for a program to use shredded rubber to make their playground safer, invoking a state law against taxpayer money going to a religious institution. The fact that the Supreme Court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church and against the state of Missouri is extremely good news in the battle for the protection of religious liberty in our country. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., speaking for the majority wrote, “But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.” Let us give thanks to Our Lord for this important victory and pray that these sorts of decisions continue to be expressed by the Supreme Court in the coming years.

 

Currently throughout the Church in the US, we are celebrating an annual event called Fortnight for Freedom. According to the US Bishops, Fortnight for Freedom is a time each year when dioceses and individual parishes around the country arrange special events to highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. This years’ Fortnight for Freedom runs from June 21st, (the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More), to July 4th, Independence Day. Here at St. Pius X have we been praying for the protection of religious liberty at the end of each Mass and will continue to do so through the Fourth. Religious liberty is one of our most important and pressing issues as a Catholic Christian community because it is a freedom that allows us a place at the table in the public square. The secular and even post-Christian environment around us is fighting diligently to keep us out of sight and mind, therefore we must fight and pray diligently that our Catholic voice continues to be heard, having a relevant voice within our country today and in the years to come.

 
Queridos Parroquianos,
 

Estamos ya en el medio de la celebración de la “La Quincena para la Libertad” (Fortnight for Freedom) la Iglesia nacional de los EEUU. La “Quincena para la Libertad” simplemente son 14 días de oración para la libertad religiosa. Nuestros obispos nos dicen que la “ Iglesia es el cuerpo de Cristo y el pueblo peregrino de Dios. No es simplemente otra organización de caridad. La Iglesia está llamada a llevar adelante la misión de Jesucristo en todo tiempo y lugar. La mayor parte del trabajo actual para la libertad religiosa requiere exenciones por parte del Estado. Pero debemos tener en cuenta que el gobierno no nos está concediendo derechos. En cambio, el Estado está correctamente reconociendo el derecho de la Iglesia de satisfacer sus propósitos. Como dijo el Papa Francisco, haciendo eco del Papa Emérito Benedicto XVI, la Iglesia no es meramente un “ONG” (organismo no gobernamental). El Espíritu Santo le da a la Iglesia el poder de llevar a cabo la misión de Cristo, y un gobierno que funciona bien reconocerá sus propios límites y permitirá a la Iglesia tener espacio para hacer su trabajo.

 

Nuestro país de los EEUU sale más y más cada año más secular y mucho mas allá quieren rechazar las enseñanzas de la Iglesia y remover su voz del ambiente de la cultura. Por lo tanto, muchos quieren sacar la influencia de la iglesia en la sociedad que su influencia no pasaría por los muros de sus propios edificios. Es difícil apreciar nuestra libertad para la misión, si no la ejercemos. Es muy importante que cada uno pidamos por la protection de nuestra libertad religiosa en los EEUU para que la voz de la Iglesia y el mensaje de Jesucristo permanezca relevante y presente en el ambiente de nuestra cultura local y también nacional.

 
In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 25, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Many of you who might have recently driven by our parish campus have probably noticed quite a lot of machinery and commotion going on at the school. “What’s going on there?,” you might be asking yourself. Well, I’m excited to say that we are well underway with an exciting expansion project, adding an all-day four year old Pre-K program for the coming school year! This means retrofitting and converting the current Pre-K facility to accommodate this exciting new addition to our school. Sustainability and growth studies for parochial schools continually point to the need for large Pre-K and Kindergarten classes if a school is to grow and thrive. It is quite simple, large Pre-K and Kindergarten classes help ensure large graduating 8th grade classes, which is of course, is what everyone wants. I ask you to please keep this important expansion project in your prayers as it is truly an essential ‘next step’ for our school’s future.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I’ll be away for much of the summer with the STL program at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. I’m sure many of you might be asking, “What is STL?” It is a Licentiate of Sacred Theology and is the second cycle of studies offered by pontifical universities or ecclesiastical faculties of sacred theology, such as seminaries, and is situated somewhere between a Masters and a Doctorate degree. An STL, or a Licentiate as to which it is commonly referred, is a graduate degree that allows the individual who holds it to teach at ecclesial institutions and serve the Church in a variety of other ways. I am extremely grateful to Archbishop Sartain for this opportunity! I will continue to be the pastor of St. Pius X Parish, of course, but will be absent for significant portions of the next several summers participating in the intensive summer semesters in Detroit. I will also be involved in online course work using virtual classrooms while here at St. Pius X during the rest of the year. Another question you might be asking is, “Who will be filling in for you during your absence?” Excellent question! We are blessed to welcome Fr. Stan Murray who will be coming from the Diocese of Orlando, FL. He will be our resident priest during my time away. You’ll be hearing much more about him in the coming weeks.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Muchos de ustedes que han visitado nuestro campus parroquial recientemente quizá han notado que hay mucha construcción y ruido allá en nuestra escuela. ¡Nuestra escuela ya está creciendo! Tengo mucho orgullo para anunciar oficialmente que lo estamos ya aumentando una programa nueva; un ‘pre-kinder’ todo el día para los niños con cuatro años. Muchos papas nos habían preguntando por esta programa y ya, bendito sea Dios, estamos remodelando un salon académico para incluirlo para el año que entra. Si alguno de ustedes tienen niños con la edad de cuatro años llámanos aquí en la oficina o la escuela para encontrar mas información sobre ese programa emocionante que ya estemos ofreciendo ustedes y sus familias.

Yo he mencionado hace dos semanas que voy a empezar una programa de estudios este verano allá e Detroit en el Seminario Mayor del Sagrado Corazon. El titulo que voy a empezar se llama un “STL” que es una licenciatura en teología sagrada. Es un título que esta en medio de una maestría y doctorado y permite un sacerdote o laico que lo ha recibido para enseñar oficialmente en universidades eclesiásticas o seminarios y también permite alguien a servir en muchas otras maneras en la Iglesia. Tengo mucho agradecimiento a nuestro Arzobispo Sartain por permitirme a iniciar estés estudios. Voy a iniciar mis estudios este julio y este curso de teología dura casi seis semanas hast Augusto. En mi ausencia los sacerdotes de Santa Isabel en Bothell van a astir en las misas y otros servicios en Español; ¡gracias a eses sacerdotes generosos!

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Solemnity of Corpus Christi – June 18, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Pope Benedict XVI once said this of the Eucharist “The more ardent the love for the Eucharist in the hearts of the Christian people, the more clearly will they recognize the goal of all mission: to bring Christ to others. Not just a theory or a way of life inspired by Christ, but the gift of his very person. Anyone who has not shared the truth of love with his brothers and sisters has not yet given enough.” For us, every reception of the Eucharist is an encounter first and foremost with Christ’s sacrificial love. The Church teaches that the Mass is a re-representation of the sacrifice of Mt. Calvary. For us, this means that the incredible sacrificial love which was outpoured that day on that mountain is poured out into our lives whenever we receive the Eucharist. This great encounter can never be anything other than transformational. If every eucharistic encounter is transformational, then the question for us is, transformed into what and for what? As the saying goes, you are what you eat. If we really allow the Eucharist to take root in our hearts, then we will be transformed more and more, through each reception, into Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that this transformation occurs for a purpose, that we are actually changed by the Eucharist in order to be Christ for others, or as he says, to “bring Christ to others.” The Eucharist is truly the source and summit of our Catholic Christian lives because of who we actually and completely encounter and because of the amazing transformation which is possible in our lives through it.

This weekend’s celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi reminds us of two things. Firstly, that the Eucharist is truly the ‘Body’ of Christ and that through it we become the Body of Christ, the Church. Corpus Christi was a feast that originated in France in the 13th century and was extended to the whole Church by Pope Urban IV in 1264. We will again this year celebrate the pride that we have in the Eucharist through an outdoor Eucharistic procession followed by Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. I hope that you and your families will be able to join us for this important annual celebration.

Queridos Parroquianos,

El Papa Francisco dijo recientemente “Queridos amigos, no agradeceremos nunca bastante al Señor por el don que nos ha hecho con la Eucaristía. Es un don tan grande y, por eso, es tan importante ir a misa el domingo. Ir a Misa no sólo para rezar, sino para recibir la Comunión, este pan que es el cuerpo de Jesucristo que nos salva, nos perdona, nos une al Padre. ¡Es hermoso hacer esto! Y todos los domingos vamos a misa, porque es precisamente el día de la resurrección del Señor. Por eso el domingo es tan importante para nosotros. Y con la Eucaristía sentimos precisamente esta pertenencia a la Iglesia, al Pueblo de Dios, al Cuerpo de Dios, a Jesucristo. No acabaremos nunca de entender todo su valor y riqueza.” La Eucaristía definitivamente es al centro de nuestra Fe Católica porque oculto en el pan y el vino encontramos la totalidad de nuestro Señor.

Este fin de semana celebramos la gran solemnidad de Corpus Christi, el Cuerpo de Cristo. Es una celebración central de nuestra fe Católica porque la Eucaristía es al centro de nuestra Fe Católica. Hoy celebramos la importancia de la Eucaristía en nuestras vidas personales y también en la vida de nuestra Iglesia universal. También hoy hacemos una procesión por las calles de Mountlake Terrace después la Misa a las 11am con el Santísimo expuesto. Las procesiones eucarísticas son celebraciones integrales con esta solemnidad. Generalmente, las procesiones son eventos muy tradicionales en nuestra fe. Pues, es por eso que tengo mucho gozo y animo a hacer esta procesión Eucarística para la segunda vez aquí en San Pío X.

In Christ/En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Pentecost Sunday – June 4, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

I have a long-standing tradition of making a Marian pilgrimage every year during the month of May, a month dedicated to the Blessed Mother. This year I invited three young adults to come with me and we headed down to The Grotto in Portland, Oregon, a beautiful National Shrine dedicated to Mary. It was a fruitful pilgrimage and a deeper love and devotion to our Mother was most certainly inflamed in our hearts. Seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary as the most important member of our Catholic family (next to Jesus, of course), is an important first step in understanding Mary’s role in our relationship with her Son. Mary and all the saints are in heaven experiencing perfect union with Jesus, and they want each of us to be there with them one day. They leave us their examples and offer us their intercessions by helping us along the road to salvation. As a huge global family, we Catholics pray for one another. The Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church and the mother of each of us. She, along with all the saints, pray for us.

Seeing Mary as our mother, the Mother of the Church, a mother who leads us to her Son, is important for us to understand. In the Gospel of St. John, at the scene of our Lord’s crucifixion we read, “When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son. Then He said to His disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:26-27) At that moment, Jesus made Mary the mother of the Church and for that reason she is the spiritual mother of each of us. Pope Francis recently said that we should all, “Speak with the Virgin Mary, she is a mother and will give you the grace and inspire you to do God’s will.” Mary is the queen of our Catholic family and through her prayers and example, she will always guide us closer to her Son.

This past Wednesday, on the Feast of the Visitation, our new Auxiliary Bishop, Daniel Mueggenborg was ordained and installed. Bishop Mueggenborg, 55, grew up in Okarche and Stillwater, Oklahoma. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology from Oklahoma State University, he studied pre-theology at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana; and earned degrees in both Theology and Biblical Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained in 1989 and has served as pastor of three parishes including Christ the King in Tulsa, where he was until 2011. Holding several diocesan leadership positions, he was on the faculty at the Pontifical North American College in Rome from 2005 until 2011. I know we will all be praying for him as he begins this exciting and challenging new chapter in his life!

Queridos Parroquianos,

Tengo una tradicional espiritual anual para hacer una romería a un santuario Mariano durante el mes de mayo, un mes dedicado a la Virgen. Este año, fuimos a la Gruta en Oregon con tres amigos. Rezamos muchos rosarios y llevamos con nosotros muchas intenciones personales y de nuestra comunidad. Esa día para mi fue un día maravilloso y profundo espiritualmente y sentía muy cerca a la Virgen por esa experiencia.

Maria es nuestra Madre personal y la Madre de la Iglesia universal. Cuando nuestro Señor fue colgado en su cruz a lo pie estaba Maria y el Apóstol Juan y Jesus dijo a San Juan; “Hijo, aquí es su made y madre, aquí es su hijo” (Jn 19:26-27) A ese momento, Jesus entregó su Madre a la Iglesia y la made de todos nosotros porque somos la Iglesia, cada uno. Pues, para entender el papel de Maria en la vida de la Iglesia es para entenderla como la Madre espiritual de una gran familia (1.2 billones de hijos alrededor del mundo). El Papa Francisco dijo recientemente que cada uno debemos “hablar con la Virgen María, ella es una madre y le dará la gracia e inspirarte para hacer la voluntad de Dios.” Maria es la Reina de nuestra familia Católica.

El Miércoles pasado, nuestro obispo auxiliar nuevo, el Obispo Daniel Mueggenborg fue ordenado para nuestra Arquidiócesis. El nació en Oklahoma y fue ordenado en 1989 y ha servido como pastor de tres parroquias incluyendo Cristo Rey en Tulsa, donde ha permanecido desde 2011. Ha ocupado varios papeles diocesano de liderazgo y estuvo en la facultad del Pontificio Colegio Norteamericano en Roma desde 2005-11. Sé que todos estaremos orando por nuestro nuevo obispo auxiliar ya cuando él comienza este nuevo capítulo excitante en su vida!

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Ascension of Our Lord (Seventh Sunday of Easter) – May 28, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

What a joy it was last weekend to celebrate First Communion with nearly 90 parish children! While speaking with the children and their families, it was clearly evident there was much joy and transformation in receiving Jesus for the first time. Far from being just an ‘important moment’ for them, or simply a sacramental ‘right of passage’, First Communion is a profoundly spiritual event in which those receiving the Eucharist receive the fullness of Jesus Christ, his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. They also, very importantly, receive the fullness of Jesus’ sacrificial love that was poured out on Mt. Calvary and made present in the Eucharist.

Earlier this month when I was on the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, we visited the Upper Room in Jerusalem. This is the place where Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples, which we believe was the first Eucharist. When the Disciples received the bread and wine that night, they, like our children last weekend, received their First Communion as well. What they received was not simply bread and wine but the Body and Blood of Our Lord. After He said those words of consecration, “Take and eat, all of you, this is my body … Take and drink all of you, this is My blood …”, that bread and wine changed in a substantial way, becoming exactly what His words commanded them to become, His Body and Blood. How exciting for our children to know that they, like the disciples nearly 2,000 years ago, took part in a sacrament that has the power and potential to change and transform their lives. Let’s all pray that the Eucharist which our children received for the first time last weekend will, like a seed, grow and produce much and abundant fruit in their lives.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his letter on the Eucharist, Sacramentum Caritatis (Sacrament of Charity), said, “In the sacrament of the altar, Our Lord meets us, men and women created in God’s image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:27), and becomes our companion along the way. In this sacrament, Our Lord truly becomes food for us, to satisfy our hunger for truth and freedom. Since only the truth can make us free (cf. Jn 8:32), Christ becomes for us the food of truth.”

The Eucharist is the most important encounter with the Risen Jesus that any of us can ever have. It is my hope and prayer that all of us at here at St. Pius X will continue to grow in not only our awareness of the great love waiting for us in the Eucharist, but grow in our appreciation of the importance of the Eucharist in our lives, most especially in the lives of our families. Keeping Sunday Mass at the heart and center of our lives is one of the surest ways of keeping Christ as the source and summit of our families.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Fue una gran alegría al celebrar las Primeras Comuniones con casi noventa niños y jóvenes de nuestra parroquia en la semana pasada. Hablando con muchas familias y jóvenes que recibieron sus Primeras Comuniones, fue evidente para mi el gozo y la transformación en la vida de esos niños por la presencia de Jesus en sus vidas. Creemos sin dudas que la Primera Communion no es simplemente un paso cultural en sus vidas, como las quinceañeras en la vida de una joven, pero es un encuentro poderoso con el Señor, cuando Jesus penetra sus corazones con su Cuerpo, Sangre, Alma y Espíritu. Los que reciben el Señor asi, también reciben su amor totalmente sacrificado en el Calvario y hecho presente en la Hostia. Bendito sea Dios por nuestros niños que recibieron a Jesus así, la totalidad de su ser y de su amor. Vamos a pedir al Señor por su recepción de su primera communion, nuestros niños van a crecer y madurar en su discípulado y seguimiento al Señor.

Benedicto XVI en su carta apostólica, Sacramentum Caritatis (El Sacramento de Caridad) dijo que “En el Sacramento del altar, el Señor viene al encuentro del hombre, creado a imagen y semejanza de Dios (cf. Gn 1,27), acompañándole en su camino. En efecto, en este Sacramento el Señor se hace comida para el hombre hambriento de verdad y libertad. Puesto que sólo la verdad nos hace auténticamente libres (cf. Jn 8,36), Cristo se convierte para nosotros en alimento de la Verdad” (2). Ojalá que juntos con nuestros niños, todos nosotros van a crecer en nuestro amor y cariño de la presencia de Jesus en la Hostia, que nos demos cuenta mas y mas cada día que la Eucharistia Dominical es la fuente y cumbre de nuestras vidas y la de nuestra vida familiar; Cuando la Misa Dominical esta puesto al centro de nuestra vida y semana, también estará Jesucristo puesto al centro del corazón del hogar.

In Christ/En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

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 …

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