Weekly pastor’s post (May 26 – June 1)

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This time of year alway seems to move faster as we get closer to July 1. Even when we’re not looking at a major transition among every parish in the archdiocese, the move from Easter into Ordinary time is chock-full of events. Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi, school graduations, and other end-of-the-year events fill the days. This week we here at Saint Mark parish will have our annual ‘Welcome Summer’ barbeque. I’m grateful to our principal, Kathy Keck, our Knights of Columbus council, and the many volunteers who have helped establish this relatively new yearly tradition. It’s an all-around good time and a lovely way to relax in the midst of all the crazy!

This Sunday being Corpus Christi, we will be having a Eucharistic procession around our parish property. Last year I asked the school to prepare one of the two stations for the procession, at which the monstrance would be placed for veneration before continuing onward. The second station was prepared by volunteers from among our parishioners. Little did they know that the students had taken the presence of two stations as a kind of competition! Though beautiful, the parishioner station was modestly decorated – a nice tablecloth and a couple of artfully arranged vases of flowers. The school station, on the other hand, was decked out in handmade paper flower arrangements from every class- quite literally overflowing in beautiful colors. Now that they know the stakes this year, I suspect that both stations will be sights to behold this Sunday! I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of the efforts of parishioners & students alike.

Finally, I’d like to ask your prayers for the Catholic communities of the Olympic Peninsula (Parish Family 49). After several months of planning and consultation with the current priests and deacons, the administrative staff of there, and the pastoral & finance councils of each parish, the proposed Mass & confession schedule will be presented to the parishioners for their consideration and feedback. As I explained when presenting the changing priest living arrangements there, moving from two pastors to one necessitates centralized housing arrangements and a rotation schedule for the priests. In my effort to offer as complete an overview and explanation as possible, the document I’ve composed is thirteen (13!) pages long. I am confident that it is a solid plan, but please pray for my future parishioners, who will undoubtedly be reading it with much interest – and many thoughts & feelings to go with it.

As always, we place our confidence in the Lord, Who both supports and accompanies us. May we continue into Ordinary Time trusting in His love and care for us, especially as we look to what He has in store for us in our parishes and the archdiocese.


May 26 – Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. Lutheran Satire’s video ‘St. Patrick’s Bad Analogies’ is always worth rewatching (go on, this post will wait!), but what’s the point of the day? Answers may varie, but I always find myself drawn to the relationship between the three Persons of God. Most everyone has had the experience of seeing a great friendship between people, looking from the outside in – and perhaps feeling like there’s no way they will be invited into the closeness they’re seeing. But God does something amazing: despite not needing anyone or anything, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit invite all of us to be part of Their perfect relationship. Though distinct They are never separated, though one They are never mixed up – and we are called to likewise participate in the life of God! We do well to consider the mystery of the Trinity, but the real point is to respond! May we be sure to do just that, and share what we have received with others. Read the Vatican News article on the occasion of this solemnity.

May 27 – In addition to being the US remembrance of Memorial Day, the Church celebrates the memorial of Saint Augstine of Canterbury. Saint Augustine was one of many monks who left Rome for England to proclaim the Gospel to the Anglo-Saxons. Hearing about the fierceness of the very people they were to preach to, their own fears got the best of them and Augustine returned to Rome. Pope Gregory the Great offered enough reassurances that Augustine tried again. As it turned out, they were well-received and the king there was baptized not a year later. Augustine eventually became bishop of Canterbury and continued about the hard work of spreading the faith. Though he died only eight years after arriving, his work bore fruit that still remains. He is known as the ‘Apostle of England’. Read about him and his companions at Aleteia.

A 1969 photograph of Pope Paul VI wearing a red jacket with a white fur-lined collar

May 29 – Today’s saint – Saint Paul VI – is best known as the pope who brought the Second Vatican Council to its conclusion (Pope John XXIII, who called the council, died just nine months after it began). However, even before being elected pope in 1963 he had led a fairly eventful life! He served as Secretariat of STate in the Vatican, taught at the Lateran University, and during World War II oversaw the Vatican Information Office while aiding refugees and Jews! In addition to his guidance of the Council as pope, it was Paul VI who began the practice of papal trips, the first of which was to the Holy Land. He was canonized in 2018 by Pope Francis. On that occasion, John Allen, Jr. offered an excellent reflection on his life.

A painting of the visitation of Mary and Elizabeth by Gerónimo Antonio de Ezquerra. Mary, robed in blue and red with a halo of stars around her head, greets Elizabeth on the steps of their home as Joseph and Zechariah look on

May 31 – Hanging in my office at home is this image by Corby Eisbacher. Inspired by a scene from the movie ‘The Nativity Story‘, the joy of Mary and Elizabeth on the occasion of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (today’s feast) is perfectly captured. Both have been unexpectedly miraculously drawn into God’s marvelous plan for salvation. While neither knew what it meant – though perhaps even then they might have wondered at what sorrows might accompany such grand movements of the Lord – they understood Him to be doing something amazing, something glorious for all mankind. How could they not be overcome with delight?! Read Father Billy Swan’s reflection on this day at Word on Fire.

June 1 – Today is the ordination of two new priests for the Archdiocese of Seattle. At 10:00 am at Saint James cathedral, Deacon Maximiliano Munoz and Deacon Kyle Rink will be ordained by Archbishop Etienne. All are welcome to attend – and if you’ve never been to an ordination Mass, I especially recommend it! Being Seattle and all that, coming early is a good idea (parking will be at a premium), but I can guarantee that it will be well worth the trip. In any case, please pray for our future priests as they prepare for ordination to the priesthood and beginning priestly ministry. Read about them both at the Northwest Catholic (our archdiocesan publication).


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. Anthony McGirl (May 28, 1982)
  • Fr. Nicholas O’Rafferty (May 29, 1957)
  • Fr. Michael O’Donnell (May 31, 1960)
  • Fr. Phuong D. Tran (May 31, 2018)
  • Fr. Jose O. Aspiras (June 1, 2005)
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.

2 thoughts on “Weekly pastor’s post (May 26 – June 1)”

  1. I look forward to reading your plan. It’s my prayerful hope that we will have more opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation at our parish(es). As leader of the Friday morning Fellowship Bible Study at Queen of Angels, we have been holding all of our current & new priests in prayer, even before we knew who would be assigned. We thank God for you & look forward to having you here.

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