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Due to our annual archdiocese clergy conference (called “Priest Days”), this week’s pastor’s post is coming to you later than normal. I returned late this evening after three days with the bishops and my brother priests. I always look forward to the fraternity & fellowship of our time together, but this year holds special poignancy as we all prepare for the next phase of Partners in the Gospel. In less than two weeks, we’ll begin life in our new parish families. Even as I eagerly anticipate getting to know and ministering to the people of the Olympic Peninsula, I have felt the weight of coming goodbyes here in Shoreline. We’re not saying it yet, but those farewells are on the horizon.

At the same time, I can’t deny that I find the cadence of moving every few years is familiar and even, I dare say, comfortable. Perhaps it is my background as a ‘military brat’ or the shape of my own priesthood, but moving to a new place, meeting new people, and starting anew all carry promise of exciting possibilities. The unknown – both in people and places – has always been a source of enthusiasm for me. But the greatest enthusiasm is in discovering and exploring our shared mission – how is God calling us here & now to greater union with Him? There is no greater adventure into the unknown that this!

May we spend these last days of June reflecting on the triumphs of adventures past as well as the hope for what lies ahead. In addition to honoring our dads and our spiritual fathers, may our celebration of Father’s Day this year also prompt us to turn to our heavenly Father with confidence in His affection and care.

June 16 – Happy Father’s Day! We are blessed with the gift of a great many fathers in our midst – those who have biological children, those who take on the mantle of father to those who need it, and those whose fatherhood is spiritual. May our heavenly Father abundantly bless every father, that their lives may continue to reflect His love. Read about the day – and the woman who started it all – at the National Geographic website.

A painting of Saint Romauld in his habit with a long white beard  and a halo behind his head.

June 19 – Today’s saint – Saint Romauld – was inspired his father in a distinctly negative way. When his father killed a relative over a money dispute, Romauld entered a monastery to do penance on his behalf. He spent his life in the strictest of hermetic life, such that few were able to imitate him – though he was eventually able to start several groups of hermits. Eventually, his own father became a monk himself, encouraged by his son. Read about Saint Romauld at Franciscan Media.

A painting of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga in cassock and surplice being escorted into heaven by angels on clouds.

June 21 – Do you remember your first words? The first words of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga – the names of Mary & Jesus – perhaps gave some indication of the life of faith he would eventually lead. As a young man he was inspirited by the lives of Jesuit missionaries and resolved to join their ranks, joining them when he was 17 years old. When an epidemic broke out in Rome, he volunteered for hospital work despire his own delicate health, eventually succumbing illness himself. Read about him at the Jesuits website.

June 22 – Today is the feast day of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More. As a fan of Church law – canon and liturgical, in particular – Saint Thomas More’s speech on giving even the devil the benefit of the law is perhaps the most startling. But it is his remarks after the betrayal and perjury of his friend that strike home most deeply. Thomas quotes scripture’s reminder that it profits us nothing to give our soul for the whole world, yet it is that last pitying observation of how cheaply Richard has sold himself: ‘but for Wales’. Read about both Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher at the USCCB website.

Priests celebrating their anniversaries this week

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.

Remembering our deceased priests

  • Fr. William Quick (June 18, 1986)
  • Fr. Fr. Peter J. Cuniff (June 19, 1917)
  • Fr. Manual G. Ocana (June 19, 1995)
  • Fr. Laurence O’Larey (June 20, 1964)
  • Fr. Patrick J. O’Donnell (June 21, 1949)
  • Fr. Andrew McGrath (June 22, 1957)
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.