Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 12, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

This weekend we are extremely blessed to welcome Fr. Jacques Philippe to St. Pius X who is an international speaker, author, retreat director and master of the interior life. His retreat that he gave during the day on Saturday was a blessing and transformative experience for all of the many hundreds who participated. If you happened to have missed this powerful encounter with Fr. Philippe this weekend, another way that you can experience him is through his books. He has authored many books of which hundreds of thousands are currently in print in over twenty-four languages. One of the points that he referenced often during the retreat was the importance of the heart and how true encounter and experience of the Lord can only come through an experience of a transformed heart, one that becomes increasingly ‘pure.’ This is the central point of one of his important books, Interior Freedom. Fr. Philippe points out that “We want to change what is around us, to change the circumstances, and we have the impression that then everything would be better. But that is usually an error: it is not the outside circumstances which have to change: we have to first change our hearts, purifying them of their loneliness, sadness, and their lack of hope: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God’ (Matthew 5: 8).”

Sometimes we fool ourselves into believing that if only I lived in a different house, in a different city, if I had a different job or simply different circumstances, I would then be happy. Sometimes this is true when we are experiencing difficulties and trials, but often, as Fr. Jacques points out, we are looking in the wrong direction; we have to look within; real happiness and true freedom comes through a change of heart, a purified heart. In fact, what often happens is that when our interior circumstances change the exterior world around changes as well in a positive way. It is a mystery how this works, but I have seen this to be true in my own life and in the lives of many others that I have had the blessing of journeying with during my years as a priest. With Lent just around the corner, it might be a good time to purchase or download one of his books which I know will help you to grow and deepen your spiritual life and relationship with the Lord.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Este fin de semana demos la bienvenida a un sacerdote international de Francia, el Pdr. Jacques Philippe. El es un predicador, autor y maestro de la vida interior y yo se que los cientos de personas que participaron en su retiro que el nos dio esta semana experimentaron muchas gracias en abundancia y una verdadera transformación interior por esta experiencia. Un punto de su predicación fue la búsqueda de la paz interior y verdadera. El dijo que entornemos esa paz solamente para una transformación de nuestros corazones; si el corazón esta inquieto, también las circunstancias de nuestras vidas. En uno de sus libros se llama La Paz Interior el dijo que; “queremos que cambie lo que nos rodea, que cambien las circunstancias, y tenemos la impresión de que, entonces, todo ira mejor. Pero eso suele ser un error: no son las circunstancias exteriors las que han de cambiar:  en primer lugar ha de cambiar nuestro Corazon, purificandose de su encierro, de su tristeza, de su falta de esperanza:  ‘Bienaventurados los limpios de Corazon porque ellos veran a Dios.’  (Matthew 5-8)”

A veces, hacemos el tanto y creemos que si cambiaremos las circunstantes que nos rodean, alla encontraremos la paz que estamos buscando; una casa diferente, un trabajo diferente, una ciudad diferente … a veces eso es verdad, especialmente si las circunstancias que nos rodean son bien pesadas.  Pero muchas veces, estamos luchando a cambiar las cosas equivocadas; es el Corazon que nosotros debemos cambiar y a purificar.  Cuando eso esta transformado, las circunstancias que nos rodean cambiaran tambien.  Pues, el tiempo de la Cuaresma ya nos alcanza y puede ser un tiempo oportuno para comprar uno de los libros de Padre Jacques Philippe, (todos son traducidos en Espanol) para ayudarle en la vida espiritual y en el crecimiento en la relacion personal con Jesus.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 5, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

This past week as we celebrated Catholic Schools Week I had a chance to get into the 8th grade classroom to teach religion. Because of student experience and participation with the March for Life in Olympia a couple weeks ago, I decided to teach what it means for a Catholic Christian to be consistently pro-life and to have a consistent life ethic. With the recent uproar in our country regarding immigration following the president’s executive order temporarily banning immigration from certain countries, we explored what our Church teaches about immigration and immigrants and how this issue fits into the Church’s pro-life teaching.

Many of us are unfamiliar with what the Church teaches about immigration and for that reason I wanted to use this week’s column as an opportunity to share our Church’s teaching on this important issue, and how we, as Catholics, ought to weigh in on it. The US Bishops published an immigration document entitled, Welcoming the Stranger Among Us, Unity in Diversity. In it, our bishops outline three central guiding principles that the Church applies to the issue of immigration and immigrants. What follows draws directly from a summary of this document.

First Principle: People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families. Because of the belief that newcomers compete for scarce resources, immigrants and refugees are at times driven away, resented, or despised. Nevertheless, the first principle of Catholic social teaching regarding immigrants is that people have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families. This is based on biblical and ancient Christian teaching that the goods of the earth belong to all people. While the right to private property is defended in Catholic social teaching, individuals do not have the right to use private property without regard for the common good.

Second Principle: A country has the right to regulate its borders and to control immigration. While individuals have the right to move in search of a safe and humane life, no country is bound to accept all those who wish to resettle there. By this principle, the Church recognizes that most immigration is ultimately not something to celebrate. Ordinarily, people do not leave the security of their own land and culture just to seek adventure in a new place or to merely enhance their standard of living. As Americans, we should cherish and celebrate the contributions of immigrants and their cultures; however, we should work to make it unnecessary for people to leave their own land.

Third Principle: A country must regulate its borders with justice and mercy. A country’s regulation of borders and control of immigration must be governed by concern for all people and by mercy and justice. A nation may not simply decide that it wants to provide for its own people and no others. A sincere commitment to the needs of all must prevail.

 
Queridos Parroquianos,

En la semana pasada durante la celebración de la Semana Nacional de las Escuelas Católicas, enseñe una clase de religión para los alumnos de octavo grado. Nuestro tema para la clase fue sobre la doctrina social de nuestra Iglesia sobre la dignidad de la persona y como aplicamos esta enseñanza a inmigración y emigrantes. Nuestros alumnos aprendieron las tres claves que la Iglesia utiliza en sus enseñanzas sobre este tema. Por la inquietud que muchos de nosotros ya tenemos es una buena oportunidad para compartir eso con ustedes lo que enseña nuestros obispos.

Las personas tienen el derecho de encontrar oportunidades en su tierra natal toda persona tiene el derecho de encontrar en su propio país oportunidades económicas, políticas y sociales, que le permitan alcanzar una vida digna y plena mediante el uso de sus dones. Es en este contexto cuando un trabajo que proporcione un salario justo, suficiente para vivir, constituye una necesidad básica de todo ser humano.

Las personas tienen el derecho de emigrar para mantenerse a sí mismas y a sus familias la Iglesia reconoce que todos los bienes de la tierra pertenecen a todos los pueblos. Por lo tanto, cuando una persona no consiga encontrar un empleo que le permita obtener la manutención propia y de su familia en su país de origen, ésta tiene el derecho de buscar trabajo fuera de él para lograr sobrevivir. Los Estados soberanos deben buscar formas de adaptarse a este derecho.

Los Estados soberanos poseen el derecho de controlar sus fronteras. La Iglesia reconoce que todo Estado soberano posee el derecho de salvaguardar su territorio; sin embargo, rechaza que tal derecho se ejerza sólo con el objetivo de adquirir mayor riqueza. Las naciones cuyo poderío económico sea mayor, y tengan la capacidad de proteger y alimentar a sus habitantes, cuentan con una obligación mayor de adaptarse a los flujos migratorios.

 
In Christ/En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 29, 2017

Dear Parishioners,
 

This past week some members of the parish joined our school’s 7th and 8th graders and headed to Olympia to participate in the annual March for Life. It was, yet again, an amazing experience. The Washington State March for Life began in 1974 as a way to protest the Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized abortion in our country in 1973. March for Life bases its vision upon these principles: that all human beings are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which is the right to life; that each human being shall be preserved and protected by every human being in the society and by the society as a whole; and the life of each human being shall be preserved and protected from the biological beginning throughout the natural continuum of that human being’s life by all available ordinary means and reasonable efforts. The March for Life event is an amazing way for us as a Catholic Christian community to publicly express our beliefs about the dignity of human life in all stages, from conception to natural death. Our increasingly secular society attempts to differentiate human life, claiming that life at certain stages has less value than at others. This is painfully evident here in our own state with both legalized abortion and euthanasia.

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that, “Human life is sacred because from its beginning, it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from beginning to end: no one can, under any circumstances, claim for himself the right to directly destroy an innocent human being.” While we believe that all human life is sacred, not all life issues are created equal. As Catholics, we have the responsibility to stand up for, and defend, human life in its most vulnerable stages, which means, for us, life at the beginning and at its end. This is why our participation at the annual March for Life again this year was so important. If you were unable to participate this year, please consider coming with us next year and join us in praying for the defense of human life in the womb and for an end to abortion in our country.

 
Queridos Parroquianos,
 

Esta semana algunos miembros de nuestra parroquia y los alumnos en los grados 7 y 8 participamos en la Marcha Pro-Vida allá en Olympia otra vez este año. tomamos un autobús en el lunes, y juntamos con miles de otras personas ponemos en practica nuestra fe que nos urge a ponerse de pie en la protection de la vida human no nacida. El aborto es una gran ofensa en los ojos del Creador y por nuestros bautizos y por ser discípulos misioneros de Cristo estamos llamados a hacer lo que podemos a levantarse y ser los voces para los bebes en el fondo de sus mamas que todavía no tienen su propio voz.

 

El Catecismo de la Iglesa Católica nos enseña que “La vida humana ha de ser tenida como sagrada, porque desde su inicio es fruto de la acción creadora de Dios y permanece siempre en una especial relación con el Creador, su único fin. Sólo Dios es Señor de la vida desde su comienzo hasta su término; nadie, en ninguna circunstancia, puede atribuirse el derecho de matar de modo directo a un ser humano inocente.” (2258) Creemos sin dudas que cada vida humana es preciosa en los ojos del Creador pero la vida mas inocente y débil, la vida en los principios y en los últimos épicas de existencia, vale mas atención y protección al parte de la comunidad Cristiana. Es por eso participamos otra vez este año en la Marcha Pro-Vida en nuestra capital de Olympia. Gustaría invitar la comunidad Hispana a no tener miedo y levantarse y va a participar en la Marcha en el proximo año que es siempre en enero. Pueden llamar la oficina parroquial para conseguir mas información sobre este evento.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 22, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

This past Friday, January 20th, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. This past election season and the weeks following it have been some of the most contentious weeks in recent US political history. Rarely have we seen a country so divided with Clinton supporters firmly on one side and Trump supporters firmly on the other. For Catholics trying hard to vote their conscience through the application of essential Catholic teachings, the choices this time around were not so obvious. For most of us, no one candidate closely reflected our Catholic world view or our core beliefs. This is the case during most elections in our country, but this year proved much more difficult as to who to choose to lead our country for the next four years. With a number of individuals in government opting to boycott the inauguration, I feel these divisions were exacerbated and furthered.

 

It the second reading for this weekend, St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he says, “I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose.” Regardless of who we personally voted for in this past election cycle, I feel these words of St. Paul ring just as true for us today as they did nearly two thousand years ago when they were written to a community suffering many divisions. I feel this is the time for us to come together as a community and certainly as a nation and pray for our new president and all elected and appointed officials who are taking office. Striving for unity and prayer are always the two most important responses we can make as a Christian community, and certainly two things that our country is most in need of as we move forward together as a nation.

 

This weekend our parish school celebrates an open house in which we invite families from both inside and outside our parish to take a tour of the school, exploring the possibility of offering their children the many and abundant benefits of a Catholic education. Next week we will be honoring National Catholic School’s week and will be celebrating all the joys and blessings a Catholic education offers, as well as celebrate the important place our own school has within our parish community.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Durante las elecciones pasadas en Noviembre, he estado siguiendo desde Morelos MX por mi tableta y estaba sorprendido como estaba la prensa y mucha gente sobre los resultados de las elecciones de Donald Trump. Mientras hay muchos asuntos que enfrenten nuestros pies, lo mas importante que les preocupa a la mayoría de ustedes, es el asunto de emigración. Nuestro presidente que fue instalado este viernes pasado esta amenazado a construir un muro enorme entre los EEUU y Mexico (que Mexico va a pagar) y muchos piensan que el va a expulsar muchos indocumentados que ya viven acá con sus familias. Quizá muchos de nosotros estamos temerosos sobre el presente y definitivamente sobre el futuro para nosotros y nuestras familias. Lo que es mas important para ustedes para entender es que la Iglesia Católica esta siempre en solidaridad con todos ustedes, los documentados y indocumentados. Para nosotros, son almas que tienen los derechos a los sacramentos y para experimentar el amor, esperanza y paz de Jesucristo en sus vidas.

 

En el Diciembre pasado los obispos de los EEUU escribieron eso a todos los emigrantes; “Este año, estamos invitados a crear una cultura de encuentro donde los ciudadanos viejos y nuevos, junto a los inmigrantes recientes y de hace mucho tiempo, pueden compartir uno con el otro sus esperanzas de una vida mejor. Jesús, María y José conocían la vida como refugiados, así que también empecemos este encuentro dentro de nuestras propias familias.” Es para decir que la Iglesia Católica es siempre nuestro ‘hogar’. Jesús esta presente en medio de su familia y todos son bienvenidos a su cena. A pesar que lo que puede o no puede pasar en nuestro pies con los oficiales nuevos del gobierno y la inquietud que quizá esta en el corazón, es importante que todos nosotros no olvidamos que en nuestra Iglesia universal siempre tenemos nuestra casa espiritual.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time – January 15, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

Thank you for all the prayers sent my way during my annual priest’s retreat, I certainly kept each of you and your families in mine. An annual retreat is an important part of the life of a priest and consecrated person. It gives us time to rest and focus upon the Lord. Life in the parish and within the Archdiocese is multifaceted with responsibilities and requests for ministry and service coming from many different directions at the same time. In this environment, it can become easy to lose focus upon who and what our ministries are all about: Jesus Christ! A retreat is an essential part in helping us return to the heart of not only our own priesthood, but also to why we are priests – to give humble and Christ-like service for God’s people. I feel strongly that retreats are an important means of formation and continued spiritual growth for everyone and cannot encourage you enough to take advantage of the many opportunities that the Archdiocese of Seattle and St. Pius X parish, as well as other parishes and religious houses throughout the area, offer individuals, couples and entire families for retreats, days of recollection and conferences.

St. John Paul II once said, “The most beautiful and stirring adventure that can happen to you is the personal meeting with Jesus, who is the only One who gives real meaning to our lives.” Retreats and days of recollection provide environments where this personal meeting can occur. We should all be firmly committed to continued spiritual growth and deepening our relationship with Our Lord and retreats and recollections are important ways of helping us with this. I ask you to keep our confirmation candidates who are making their confirmation retreat this weekend, in your prayers. Let’s pray for all 42 of these young people that the fruits and blessings from this retreat will remain with them for many years to come.

One important event for spiritual growth and continued adult faith formation will be coming up later next month: a day and an evening with Fr. Jacques Philippe. Fr. Jacques is a priest, international speaker, author and member of a religious community called the Community of the Beatitudes. He visited in 2016 and we are incredibly blessed and fortunate to be welcoming him again this year. Fr. Jacques has written many books, all focused upon spiritual growth and helping each of us grow in our personal relationship with the Lord, and awakening a more generous desire in our hearts to serve Him. If you missed him last year, don’t let this year’s opportunity to encounter and learn from a
modern Catholic spiritual master pass you by!

Queridos Parroquianos,

Gracias a ustedes por sus oraciones esta semana cuando fui a California a un retiro sacerdotal anual. Estaba pidiendo el Señor por cada uno de ustedes y por sus familias para que El te bendiga con su gracia. Un retiro anual es algo muy importante en la vida de un sacerdote. Estar usualmente en silencio, los tiempos de comer y también el espacio entre las conferencias y tiempos de rezar, por ejemplo el rosario. Es tiempo para enfocarme sobre la única cosa necesaria en nuestras vidas, el Señor. La vida de un sacerdote, como muchos de ustedes, es muy ocupada con cosas de la parroquia y también las de la arquidiócesis, ¡hay muchos grupos pidiendo muchas cosas! Un retiro es algo esencial en nuestras vidas sacerdotales que nos permite volver mas profundamente al Señor y la razón por la que somos sacerdotes; el servicio humilde del Pueblo de Dios, ustedes.

Retiros y días de reflexión son importantes para todos, no solamente para los sacerdotes y personas consagradas. El Santo Juan Pablo II, una vez dijo; “El hombre no puede vivir sin amor. El permanece para sí mismo un ser incomprensible, su vida está privada de sentido si no se le revela el amor, si no se encuentra con el amor, si no lo experimenta y lo hace propio, si no participa de él vivamente. El amor se siente, no se ve; el amor silencioso es el más fuerte de todos.” Retiros, días de formación y recolecciones son oportunidades para todos a crecer en su Fe Católica y en el encuentro personal con Jesucristo, para encontrarle en el silencio y en la oración. Hay muchísimas oportunidades acá en la arquidiócesis y también aquí en San Pío X; ojalá que este año nuevo todos aprovecharamos unos de esos “Retiros” para crecer mas en nuestra fe.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Epiphany Sunday – January 8, 2017

[Father Cal did not write a blog post for Christmas, but instead offers you and your family this Christmas blessing: 

On behalf of myself, the parish office and school staff, to you and your family we wish you a most blessed Christmas. May the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ bring you and your family endless prosperity, continued blessings and the peace of mind that you truly deserve.]

 

Dear Parishioners,

Happy New Year! As we begin this new year together, I pray that our good Lord continues to bless each our families and most especially our parish family; I am very excited to see what our Lord has in store for us! This weekend we celebrate the feast of Epiphany. The word Epiphany means ‘manifestation’ and it celebrates the epiphany of Christ to the Gentiles, symbolized by Christ’s manifestation to the Magi (Wise Men) as we read in this weekend’s gospel. The story of the Magi traveling from the East to see the Christ child appears only in the Gospel of St. Matthew. The word Magi comes from the Latin word meaning sage. These particular sages were possibly Zoroastrian astrologers from Persia. Upon seeing a star rising in the East (the Star of Bethlehem), they realized it was a sign that the king of the Jews had been born. The wise men followed the star to Bethlehem of Judea, and to Jesus’ dwelling there. Having arrived, they worshipped the infant Jesus, and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gospel account ends with the three Magi returning to their own land via a different route in order to avoid King Herod. We can assume that they returned sharing the incredible news of what they had seen and experienced; the Messiah, the Lord, has come; rejoice! We can almost see these three men as being the first missionaries of the Gospel, proclaiming the good news that the Son of God had come to their families, friends and others. Today’s Gospel account reminds us that the three Magi were not the only ones called to proclaim the good news that Christ had come; each of us is called to be a messenger and missionary of our faith and hope in Jesus. Jesus has manifested in each of our lives. Does this experience stay with us like a closely kept secret or do we look for ways to share our faith, to talk about our relationship with Jesus with others?

Queridos Parroquianos,

¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Ya que iniciamos este año nuevo juntos, pido eal Señor que derrame su gracia y su gozo en abundancia a cada una de nuestras familias y especialmente a nuestra familia parroquiana; me siento muy contento de ver lo que el Señor tiene para nosotros este año. Este fin de semana continuamos nuestra celebración litúrgica del tiempo de la Navidad con la celebración de Epifanía. La Epifanía es una de las fiestas litúrgicas más antiguas, más aún que la misma de Navidad. Comenzó a celebrarse en el Oriente en el siglo III y en Occidente se la adoptó en el curso del IV. Epifanía, voz griega que a veces se ha usado como nombre de persona, significa “manifestación”, pues el Señor se reveló a los paganos en las personas de los magos. Por fin, me gustaría compartir con ustedes una parte de la homilía del Papa Francisco que el predicó en su celebración de la Epifanía allí en el Vaticano para asistirnos espiritualmente durante este tiempo de gracia. “Necesitamos de esta luz que viene de lo alto para responder con coherencia a la vocación que hemos recibido. Anunciar el Evangelio de Cristo no es una opción más entre otras posibles, ni tampoco una profesión. Para la Iglesia, ser misionera no significa hacer proselitismo; para la Iglesia, ser misionera equivale a manifestar su propia naturaleza: dejarse iluminar por Dios y reflejar su luz. Este es su servicio. No hay otro camino. La misión es su vocación: hacer resplandecer la luz de Cristo es su servicio. Muchas personas esperan de nosotros este compromiso misionero, porque necesitan a Cristo, necesitan conocer el rostro del Padre.”

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Fourth Sunday of Advent – December 18, 2016

Dear Parishioners,

On this final week prior to our Christmas celebration, the Gospel for this weekend addresses something that can afflict all of us from time to time: Fear. In the passage from St. Matthew, Joseph discovers that his wife Mary, is pregnant, and he is not the father. Joseph automatically thinks the worst and fears that she was impregnated out of wedlock. He decides to quietly divorce her in order to keep her from public humiliation and embarrassment. Joseph is afraid, confused and uncertain. How could something like this happen? An angel intervenes and said to him, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary, your wife, into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.” Joseph has faith and confidence in the message of the angel and accepts Mary into his home despite his fears and doubts. By overcoming his fear and moving forward with God’s plan for his life, Joseph played an extraordinary role in salvation history, preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah.

The phrase ‘do not be afraid’ appears in one way or another over fifty times in the Bible. Jesus constantly uses this phrase to address his disciples and others. In the Gospel of Matthew (14:27) for instance, in the midst of the storm in the sea, Jesus appears to His disciples and says to them, “Take courage it is I, do not be afraid.” St. John Paul II once said, “Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Fear is the tool of the enemy to keep us from moving forward in relationship with God and in the fullness of life that He wants to impart upon each of us. Of all of the negative consequences that fear and doubt can have in the emotional and physical dimensions of our lives, it wreaks havoc most especially upon our relationship with God. As we conclude this Season of Advent and complete our preparations for the coming of the Messiah, let’s pray to the Holy Spirit to help us vanquish the spirit of fear that so many of us suffer from in one way or another. By doing this, we can actually live those courageous words of St. John Paul II, “Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity. Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”

I would like to give a special word of thanks to everyone in our Hispanic community who helped make this year’s Guadalupe celebration such a success! We had record numbers at the Mass and fed nearly 500 people in the gymnasium during the post-Mass celebration. Many months of prayerful and hard work went into the planning and preparation for this amazing event. Thank you, everyone, for making it possible!

Queridos Parroquianos,

En esta última semana nos estamos acercando a nuestra celebración navideña, y el evangelio de este fin de semana nos lleva a algo que puede afligir a todos nosotros de vez en cuando; temor. En el pasaje de San Mateo, José descubre que su esposa María está embarazada y él no es el Padre. José piensa automáticamente lo peor y teme que ella fuera embarazada fuera del matrimonio. Él decide divorciarse en silencio, José tenía miedo, y se sentía confundido; Cómo podría suceder algo como esto! Pero el ángel interviene y le dice; “No tengas miedo José, para tomar a María como tu esposa en tu hogar. Porque es por medio del Espíritu Santo que este niño ha sido concebido en ella “. José tenía fe y confianza en el mensaje del Ángel y aceptó a María a pesar de sus temores y dudas. Al superar su miedo en avanzar con el plan de Dios en su vida, José fue capaz de sacar adelante un papel extraordinario en la historia de la salvación en preparar el camino para la venida del Mesías. La frase “no tengas miedo” aparece de una manera u otras más de cincuenta veces en la Biblia. Jesús constantemente usa esta frase para dirigirse a sus discípulos y a otros. En el Evangelio de Mateo por ejemplo, en medio de la tormenta en el mar, Jesús aparece a sus discípulos Y les dice: “Tened ánimo, soy yo, no tengáis miedo” (Mt 14, 27). San Juan Pablo II, dijo una vez; “No tengas miedo. No te conformes con la mediocridad. Pon afuera lo profundo y baja las redes para pescar. “El miedo es herramienta del enemigo para evitar que nos movamos en avanzar en nuestra relación con Dios y en la plenitud de la vida que quiere impartir cada uno en nosotros. De todas las consecuencias negativas que el miedo y la duda pueden tener en nuestra vida emocional y física, causando estragos en nuestra relación con Dios.

Al concluir esta semana de Adviento y completar nuestros preparativos para la venida del Mesías en nuestros corazones, oremos al Espíritu Santo para ayudarnos a vencer el espíritu de temor de que muchos de nosotros sufrimos de una forma u otra, para que podamos vivir esas valientes palabras de San Juan Pablo II; “No tengas miedo, No te conformes con la mediocridad. Saca afuera lo profundo y baja las redes para pescar. “Quisiera dar una palabra especial de agradecimiento a todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad hispana que ayudaron en la celebración de este año de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, fué un éxito! Asistieron a la misa casi 500 personas y en el gimnasio durante la celebración. Muchos meses de esfuerzo, trabajo duro y oración se dedicó a la preparación de asombroso evento; Gracias a todos los que lo hicieron posible!!!

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Gaudete Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent) – December 11, 2016

Dear Parishioners,
 

In the preface of his book, Whole Life Confession, Fr. Bill Watson comments on St. Ignatius’s experience with confession near the beginning of his radical conversion to Jesus Christ. Watson says, “In the early months of his conversion, Ignatius of Loyola set off on pilgrimage to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat. When he arrived, one of the first things he did was make a general conversion … Ignatius spent three days writing out his confession which was customary for that time. This began a life-long practice for Ignatius of both reviewing his life with his own unique form of the Examen and his practice of frequent confession … and what he practiced he made part and parcel of the Society of Jesus’ formation process and daily spiritual regimen for all Jesuits.” The Whole Life Confession Advent Parish Renewal Program which many of us in the parish have started this week, is going to be a powerful process of deep internal spiritual transformation. This program helps us develop the discipline of examining not just our external sins and faults, but most importantly, the interior motivations and interior dispositions from which these sins flow. I am excited that so many of you are participating in this program. If you have not yet had a chance to sign up for it, please call the parish office or go to our website.
 
This past week our Hispanic community began their novena to the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose feast day is December 12th. On that day, there will be an incredible amount of activity and excitement leading up to Mass itself. Beginning at 5:00 a.m. in the church, many will gather to sing ‘las mañanitas’ which are early morning birthday songs sung in honor of the Blessed Mother. Later that evening there will be a procession, traditional dancing and the Mass for the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe which will include actors playing various characters who are important within the narrative of the apparition itself. All members of our parish community are most certainly invited to this important and passionate expression of Hispanic culture.
 
Our Filipino community is also preparing for an important event and expression of their Filipino Catholic tradition, Simbang Gabi, which is as a devotional nine-day series of Masses, first practiced in the Philippines in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary in anticipation of Christmas. In the United States, this novena of Masses is typically rolled into one central Mass which is the case for us. This Mass will be celebrated on December 19th with a wonderful fiesta following that will include traditional Filipino cuisine, music and entertainment. Once again, all are invited and encouraged to participate. How blessed we truly are to have such a culturally diverse and vibrant parish family!

 
Queridos Parroquianos,
 

El tiempo de Adviento al base tiene muchas dimensiones profundas en sí; el comienzo de un nuevo año litúrgico y el enfoco sobre las ‘llegadas’ de Cristo. Pero también Adviento toca una dimensión profunda Mariana. Hay muchas fiestas y solemnidades celebrados durante estés días; la solemnidad de la Inmaculada Concepción que celebramos el 8 de Diciembre, la fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Loreto el 10th del Diciembre, la fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe el 12 de Diciembre, Misa de Navidad con muchas dimensiones marianas y por fin, la fiesta de la Sagrada Familia, que se centra en María de muchas maneras. Mientras que el tiempo de Adviento es de una manera general centrada en la preparación (interna y externa) para las llegadas de Cristo, nos recuerda estos muchos fiestas y solemnidades marianas que fue a través de una mujer, a través de su Sí, fiat a la invitación de Dios para participar en la historia de la salvación que el Salvador del mundo entró en él.
 
Cuando reflexionamos sobre el sentido de expectación, algo fundamental de este tiempo litúrgico, vemos que esta dimensión Mariana del Adviento superficies una vez más. El Papa Emérito Benedicto dijo esto “…en su corazón la expectativa del Salvador era tan grande, su fe y esperanza tan apasionado, que en ella halló una digna madre… Hay una misteriosa correspondencia entre las expectativas de Dios y de María, la criatura ‘llena de gracia’, completamente transparente antes de plan del Dios de amor. Aprendamos de ella, la mujer del Adviento, para vivir la vida diaria con un Nuevo espíritu, con sentimientos de profunda expectativa que puede satisfacer sólo la venidade Dios.” Te deseo muchas bendiciones a ustedes y a sus familias durante estés días benditos del Adviento.

 
In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

Second Sunday of Advent – December 4, 2016

Dear Parishioners,

In his homily for one of the daily Masses at Casa Santa Marta this week, Pope Francis passed along some beautiful ‘spiritual nuggets’ for us about important interior and exterior dispositions that we should have as we begin this blessed Season of Advent: “And so we must ask ourselves, how we can go forth to meet Jesus? What are the attitudes that I must have in order to encounter Our Lord? How must I prepare my heart for the encounter with Our Lord? Vigilance in prayer, industriousness in charity, and exultant in praise. That is, I must pray, with vigilance. I must be hardworking in charity, fraternal charity, not only giving alms, no – but being tolerant of the people who annoy me, being tolerant at home of the children when they make too much noise, or of the husband or wife when they are difficult, or the mother-in-law… And also the joy of praising the Lord, ‘Exulting in joy.’ That is how we must live this journey, this desire to encounter Him. To encounter Him in a good way, not just standing still, and we will encounter the Lord.” As we enter into Advent, a time of being alert and prepared for Our Lord’s coming, Pope Francis reminds us that we do this through faithfulness in prayer, practicing active charity (always the fruit of true prayer), and having a grateful and praise-filled heart, thankful for all that the Lord has done and will continue to do for us.

One of the ways to staying awake and prepared spiritually in order to encounter the Lord in our lives is through making a good confession during this Advent Season. While we will be having our communal penance service this week on Tuesday, December 6th, St. Pius X is offering our parishioners another opportunity to not only make what could be the best confession of your life, but will be an important source of renewal for our parish as a whole. This Advent renewal program is called ‘Whole Life Confession’ and is a part of the Sacred Story Institute based here in Seattle. Whole Life Confession fosters a deep, personal encounter with Christ that is life changing. It will teach people how to pray daily (Ignatian Examen) and receive Reconciliation frequently. It will also help people share their faith testimony in witness to the Gospel in order to help to lead others to Christ in a reconciling encounter both personal and transformative. I believe that this program will be an important source of encounter with the Risen Lord and will be a source of blessing and enrichment for all of you. Please consider participating in this valuable offering. Information is available in this bulletin and online on our parish website and Facebook page.

Queridos Parroquianos,

En la semana pasada en una de las homilias del Papa Francisco, el mencionó tres actitudes espirituales interiores que nosotros necesitamos ya en los inicios de este tiempo del Adviento, oración, caridad y alabanzas. El dijo; “He aquí que debemos preguntarnos entonces ¿cómo podemos salir al encuentro de Jesús? ¿Cuáles son las actitudes que yo debo tener para encontrar al Señor? ¿Cómo debo preparar mi corazón para encontrar al Señor? En la oración, al inicio de la Misa, la Liturgia nos señala tres actitudes: vigilantes en la oración, activos en la caridad y exultantes en la alabanza. Es decir, debo rezar, con vigilancia; debo ser laborioso en la caridad – la caridad fraterna: no sólo dar una limosna, no; también tolerar a la gente que me da fastidio, tolerar en casa a los niños cuando hacen demasiado ruido, o al marido o a la mujer cuando hay dificultades, o a la suegra… no sé … pero tolerar: tolerar… Siempre la caridad, pero activa. Y también la alegría de alabar al Señor: ‘Exultantes en la alegría’. Así debemos vivir este camino, esta voluntad de encontrar al Señor. Para encontrarlo no hay que detenernos y encontraremos al Señor”. Me parece que nuestro Papa Francisco nos esta ofreciendo un buen consejo en como podemos vivir con éxito este tiempo de preparación; para dedicarnos mas a nuestra oración personal, para practicar la caridad (obras y fruto de una vida espiritual auténtica) y para tener el corazón siempre con una actitud de gratitud.

Por lo tanto, otra manera de estar siempre alertas y vigilantes a la presencia del Señor en nuestra vida es hacer una buena confesión durante este tiempo de Adviento. Esta semana, el 6 de Diciembre a las 7:00 p.m. tendremos un servicio bilingüe de reconciliación. Seria una oportunidad maravillosa para toda la familia para recibir el perdón y la misericordia del Señor y también nos ofrecería un camino que nos permitiría a vivir este tiempo del Adviento alertas y vigilantes de la presencia del Señor en nuestro ambiente.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

First Sunday of Advent – November 27, 2016

Dear Parishioners,

It’s been wonderful being back with my parish and school family this past week after having spent a couple of weeks in Mexico. My first week I spent in the state of Morelos which is about two hours south of Mexico City. I participated in a week-long workshop for priests which included theological study, prayer, fellowship and thankfully, plenty of rest. The second week was spent in the city of Puebla, Mexico, where I lived and served in a parish community as a transitional deacon some months prior to priestly ordination. I had a chance to visit and spend time with families and friends that I’d known before, many of whom I have kept up with through the years. I also had an amazing opportunity to spend some time with the Missionaries of Charity who have a convent there. I joined them in serving the poorest of the poor, hearing confessions and celebrating Mass. Thank you for your prayers while I was away as I certainly kept each of you in mine. Mexico is a Catholic country with nearly 85% of the population identifying itself as Catholic Christian. One of the joys of traveling there, especially as a priest, is experiencing a culture that is, at the core, Catholic. In many parishes throughout the city of Puebla, Masses are celebrated around the clock. A priest that I was introduced to, Fr. Jaime, has 15 Masses (yes, 15!) that he celebrates on the weekend! There are, quite simply, that many practicing and active Catholics to serve! Pope Francis, in his apostolic visitation to Mexico last September, shared many powerful words with that country through his homilies, most especially when he celebrated a Mass in Ciudad Juarez, a city rife with suffering and violence from the drug cartels. He said, “Mercy always pierces evil in order to transform it. It is the mystery of God our Father: He sends His Son who pierced into what was evil, He took on sin in order to transform evil. This is His mercy.” Let’s keep our Hispanic brothers and sisters in our prayers as they continue to struggle with poverty, violence and immigration concerns.

This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving Day, starting that special day with our Thanksgiving Day Mass. Through the many crosses that come our way in this life, we also experience many blessings and graces and therefore, we have much for which to be grateful. I give thanks daily for this parish and school community that I have the blessed opportunity to Pastor. And, I give much thanks and gratitude to God for calling me to serve the Church as a priest. I hope and pray that however you celebrated Thanksgiving this year, it was a day filled with blessings, joy and Christ’s love and peace for you and your families and friends.

Queridos Parroquianos,

Mientras disfruté mucho en Mexico, estoy muy emocionado por estar con ustedes, mis feligreses. Durante las dos semanas allá en Mexico en mis vacaciones, participé en una convivencia para sacerdotes en el estado de Morelos. Durante esa convivencia con otros sacerdotes estudié teología en clases, rezamos juntos y tenía muchas oportunidades para descansar. Después, fui a Puebla (la tierra santa) y visité muchos amigos y familias que conocía cuando serví en la ciudad como un diácono transitorio hace algunos años. Por lo tanto, gasté un día con las Misioneras de Caridad, el orden de Santa Teresa de Calcuta, para asistirlas en sus apostolados con los mas pobres de la ciudad, escuchando confesiones y celebré una Misa para ellas.

Como sabemos, Mexico es casi totalmente Católico y siempre me da mucho alegría ir allá para contajiarme en esa cultura Católica porque para mi es siempre un enriquecimiento de mi fe personal y en como vivo mi Fe Católica personalmente. Hay muchos desafíos y problemas contra el país de Mexico que esta luchando en la violencia, el desempleo y ya como ustedes saben, muchas preocupaciones sobre la cuestión de inmigración en el futuro con el nuevo presidente. Papa Francisco, durante su viaje apostólico en Mexico dijo estas palabras durante su Misa en la Ciudad Juarez; “La misericordia siempre entra en el mal para transformarlo. Misterio de nuestro Padre Dios: envía a su Hijo que se metió en el mal, se hizo pecado para transformar el mal. Esa es su misericordia.” Rezamos juntos como una comunidad por todos los Hispanos que viven en los EEUU y especialmente por nuestros hermanos y hermanos en America Latina.

Esta semana celebramos el Día de Acción de Gracias. A pesar de las cruces que sufrimos, hay tantas razones para dar gracias por las bendiciones que siempre excede en numero las cruces. Tengo tanto agradacimiento para nuestra comunidad de San Pío X y por la llamada de Dios al sacerdocio sagrado que me permite servir a ustedes y a toda de nuestra Iglesia, nuestra Madre.

In Christ / En Cristo,
Fr. Christiansen

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