Hello everyone,

Another update and even more changes and restrictions. “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” is a good description of what we are called to do as responsible citizens, for our wellbeing and for that of our larger community. I firmly believe we need to take that seriously. Thus, we have closed all of our parish offices, school offices, and church buildings. We will no longer offer time for private prayer or confessions at Saint Patrick as we had been doing. We really do need to stay home and “pray in our inner room” as we all heard long ago in the gospel of Ash Wednesday. 

Spiritual Reflection
More restrictions must mean we are getting closer to Holy Week, right? The fact that the desert of this Lent is leading us all to share closely in the Lord’s passion is not lost on me. We are suffering in many ways. Some folks suffer from ill health, others are emotionally and spiritually suffering. We are on the “ way of the cross” with Jesus in one way or another this year. There is also fear and anxiety to deal with. But we also know that we are reminded by God to not be afraid. Yesterday was the Annunciation of the Lord when the angel told Mary to not be afraid. The angel told Joseph to not be afraid to take Mary as his wife. Countless times in the Old Testament (especially in the Psalms) and the New Testament, we are told by God, emphatically, to “ not be afraid.” Why is that? Because if we receive God truly as our Father, He will not abandon us. God shows us that we can be secure in His love and care for us as a Father. We can rest in that security and it will bring us peace. 

Do you ever stop to think that we often want things on our own terms? I have so often preached about getting rid of expectations. Well, now is when the rubber meets the road in that category! Nothing is on our terms this Lent, Holy Week, or Easter. We cannot celebrate Palm Sunday, the Sacred Triduum, the Easter Vigil, and likely not Easter. What I want and what you want doesn’t matter this year. We can’t have anything our way this year. Still, there is grace in this. I believe that God is teaching us something about trusting in Him, and not in ourselves or our plans, this Lent and Easter. Now would be a good time to take God up on His offer to place everything before him; lay aside and surrender all to Him, especially our fears and anxieties. How do we do this? Again, I offer you a simple prayer:

Lord Jesus, I lay before you all my fears and anxieties (list them … and anything else you want to surrender); I offer them to you and ask that you take them now. Please make room in my heart for your abiding presence and your peace. Amen.

Then, pray the Our Father and the Hail Mary as a way to seal that time of prayer.

Sunday Masses
Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Lent will be livestreamed beginning at 9 AM. You can watch it by clicking → here. We plan to continue with livestreams of Sunday Masses and the Sacred Triduum as well. Since the Sacrament of Reconciliation was so limited this year, you are also encouraged to pray the → Perfect Act of Contrition until we can offer the sacraments in our churches once again.

Outreach
There are many opportunities we as a community have available to reach out to those who are in need:

  • We have a good group of volunteers who can help with grocery pick up, prescription pickup, as well as financial assistance for groceries. Please rely upon this help, especially if you are older or with medical conditions that put you at risk when going out. Please call 253-383-2783 and leave a message with your need. Messages are checked throughout each day and someone will get back to you.

  • St. Vincent de Paul continues to provide assistance to those in need. They are dedicated parishioners who go above and beyond to help folks in difficult situations. But they are in need of your monetary donations in order to continue to help folks out. You can donate by clicking →here.

  • Parish stewardship collections are currently running at about 50%. Please continue with your stewardship contributions, by either mailing your gift to the parish offices or by clicking below on your parish to sign up for Online Giving. I just signed up and I am kick myself for not doing it sooner!

Friends, more information will come to you in the next update. Now is the time to “Stay Home” so you can “Stay Healthy.” But most importantly, so that others can stay healthy too. We are called to love God and to love our neighbor. Let’s do it together by staying put for a while! It will make our reunion at Mass all the more sweeter!

Blessings,
Fr. David Mulholland
Archbishop Paul D. Etienne released a letter to the people of the Archdiocese of Seattle March 24, offering prayers and encouragement during the COVID-19 pandemic and urging Catholics to follow Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. → Read Letter
Join Archbishop Etienne for daily live Mass at 8:30 AM on the Archdiocese of Seattle → Vimeo Channel  or on the Archdiocese’s   Facebook page . Additionally, Bishop Elizondo is celebrating a Spanish Mass at 8:30 AM, Monday through Saturday and 11:30 AM Sundays on the → Hispanic Ministry Facebook  page.