Weekly pastor’s post (May 5 – May 11)

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Welcome Charlotte Ruth Maurer! We’re so glad to finally meet you.

This week has started out in perhaps the most delightful way: with the birth of my first niece, Charlotte Ruth Maurer (pictured right)! My sister-in-law, brother, and their three boys – along with all of us extended family – have been eagerly looking forward to welcoming her into the world. She was born about 1 am on Monday – healthy, beautiful, and surrounded by an adoring family! I will get to meet her in person later this month, when I will have the privilege of baptizing her.

For my own part, I spent the beginning of this week visiting the churches of the Olympic Peninsula. Just touring the locations involved covering about 130 miles, to say nothing of getting there and back from Shoreline! Happily I had great company in the PAA of Clallam county for most of the visits and, courtesy of the PAA of Port Townsend, got to meet some of the staff & key volunteers there too. It was a great time all around and I am grateful for the opportunity to see all of the churches and begin to get to know some of the members of the communities.

As we continue forward towards becoming parish families across the archdiocese, a lot of us are feeling the weight of the transition. Even among those who might otherwise enjoy stability in their faith and feelings, there is noticeable uneasy and tension. I’ve felt this myself, especially in helping prepare my current parish for its new priests & parish family and beginning work with the staff, leadership, and parishioners of my future parish family. Providentially, I was recently listening to an episode of the podcast Restore the Glory – episode 87 – that featured Dr. Karl Lehman and his ‘Immanuel Approach’ to prayerful encounters with Jesus. I’ve found this prayer method to be particularly helpful lately. Especially for anyone needing greater closeness to Jesus (and who doesn’t!), I recommend checking it out.

A black and white picture of Nunzio Sulprizio

May 5 – Today is the memorial of Saint Nunzio Sulprizio, canonized by Pope Francis in 2018. Despite not seeing even in 20th birthday, he endured terrible suffering – first at the hands of his exploitative uncle, contracting gangrene, and eventually succumbing to bone cancer. He nonetheless turned his suffering over to the Lord and dedicated himself to assisting other patients. He died on May 5, 1836. Read more at at Ascension Press.

A painting of Joan of Arc holding a sword, looking upward, with her armored forearms visible beneath an orange robe

May 7 – Almost six hundred years ago today (1429), Saint Joan of Arc broke the siege of Orleans after being given charge of the army by Charles VII, the eldest son of the king of France. The lifting of the siege was the lynchpin that ended the Hundred Years’ War and resulted in the crowning of Charles VII, fulfilling the mission she had received from God. Read more at Catholic News Agency.

An image of the medallion of Pope Boniface IV from the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls

May 8 – Today is the memorial of St. Boniface IV – the sixty-seventh pope of the Catholic Church. He was elected in 608 and was the first pope to take the same name as his predecessor. Read about him at the Catholic Encyclopedia.

A drawing of Jesus' ascension into heaven by Jan Punt. Two angels look back at the viewer as Jesus ascends into heaven, robe fluttering around Him.

May 9 – Today is the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord1. There is a kind of poetry to its timing, coming forty days after the resurrection of Christ – a sort of counter-point to Jesus’ forty days in the desert. Though He first descended into Hell to offer salvation to all those who had died before His coming, the Lord now ascends into heaven. And as He has done, we anticipate so doing when He returns in glory! As we await His second coming, we carry on His work of proclaiming the Father’s love to all the world. Check out the Vatican News website for a lovely reflection and prayer.

Portrait of Juan de Ávila by El Greco

May 10 – Today is the memorial of Saint John of Avila, mystic and Doctor of the Church. Though receiving a substantial inheritance upon his parent’s death, he distributed the money to the poor. After his ordination, the Archbishop of Seville (where Avila worked) was so impressed by him that he set him to do missionary work in Andalusia. Unafraid to challenge authority, he was imprisoned for denouncing the Inquisition and spent a year in prison. It was there that he wrote his major work Audi, Filia (“Listen, O Daughter”) – a guide to spiritual life. He was later absolved of all charges and he resumed ministry, which he continued until health struggles forced him to enter into a kind of semi-retirement. He died on May 10, 1569. Read about him in Pope Benedict XVI’s 2012 proclamation.

A color line art picture of people gathered around an altar as incense rises above them to heaven before the three Persons of the Trinity, Mary & Joseph, and all the saints & angels.

Priests celebrating their anniversaries this week

Remembering our deceased priests

  • Fr. Joseph L. Petosa (May 5, 2017)
  • Fr. Theodore P. Sullivan (May 6, 1988)
  • Msgr. John G. Mattie (May 6, 1997)
  • Fr. Peter F. Chirico (May 6, 2016)
  • Fr. Lawrence M. Willenborg (May 7, 1972)
  • Fr. Michael J. Lucas (May 7, 2000)
  • Fr. O. Lee Hightower (May 7, 2013)
  • Fr. Fr. Thomas J. Pitsch (May 8, 1978)
  • Fr. Timothy B. Moynihan (May 8, 2002)
  • Fr. Joseph Schmidt (May 9, 1949)
  • Fr. Victor A. Cloquet (May 9, 2016)
  • Fr. Nicholas Hoen (May 10, 1952)
  • Fr. Robert W. Kreutz (May 10, 1961)
  • Fr. William Greier (May 10, 1984)
A black and white line art drawing of Christ the judge enthroned within an arch with angels seated on pillars to His right and left with stars behind him.
  1. In most diocese of the United States – including in the Archdiocese of Seattle – this solemnity is transferred to Sunday. ↩︎

4 thoughts on “Weekly pastor’s post (May 5 – May 11)”

  1. How special for you to be the celebrant for her baptism! She is a gift from God!

    Love reading your blog and we miss you here at St Joseph School!


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