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We are now in Advent, that time of the year when the Church encourages us to enter into a period of waiting, anticipating and hoping. The year 2020 has been fraught with anxieties that we cannot wait to pass us by. Those on the streets anticipate the warmth of the spring. Survivors of racial injustice hope for a better time to come.

I was reminded this week that we do not live in our own time, as though we are in control of all that occurs. We live in God's time, and we exercise patience in order to fully see all the beauty that unfolds through God's slow movement in our lives. Although we look forward to celebrating Christmas, the coming of God incarnate, we are mindful that God, Emanuel, is already with us. May each of us hope to see God already moving in our midst as one who serves.

- Patrick Barredo, director of social outreach and advocacy
Papal Wishes for Advent 2020

Pope Francis' prayer intention:  We pray that our personal relationship with Jesus Christ be nourished by the Word of God and a life of prayer.

The Advent Giving Tree and Sock Drive

This year's Advent Outreach provides for the needs of the region while also ensuring the health and safety of the St. James community. Please support the following efforts this Advent season!
              • The annual sock drive has a goal this year of 2,021 pairs of new socks for the homeless. You can drop socks off at the weekend Masses, at the Parish Office (call 206-622-3559 to confirm open hours), or have them shipped directly to the Cathedral (804 Ninth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104).
              • The Virtual Giving Tree lets you donate a gift for someone in need.
              • This year we are partnering with Skagit Valley Migrant Farmworker Families, CCS Pregnancy Support Services, King County Juvenile Detention, the Frederick Ozanam House, and St. James Immigrant Assistance. Gifts must be delivered by December 20.
              • Handy links are provided so you can order gifts online and have them shipped to the Cathedral (804 Ninth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104), or you can drop them off at the weekend Masses or at the Parish Office (call 206-622-3559 to confirm open hours).
Information, Patrick Barredo,
Lessons I Learned from My Grandmother, Dorothy Day
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
   11:30am-1:00pm via Zoom

Dorothy Day was a prominent Catholic, writer, social activist, and co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, dedicated to serving the poorest of the poor. What has been missing until now is a more personal account from the point of view of someone who knew her well.

Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty is a frank and reflective, heartfelt and humorous portrayal written by her granddaughter, Kate Hennessy. It has won a Christopher Award and was chosen by the Chicago Tribune for best spiritual writing of 2017. Copies of Ms. Hennessy's book are available in the Cathedral Bookstore (206-382-4500 for information and for hours).

Kate Hennessy is a writer and the youngest of Dorothy Day's nine grandchildren. She will share lessons learned from her grandmother, read excerpts from her book, and engage with questions from attendees. Kate lives in Ireland and will be joining us through Zoom.
We intend to record the presentation and make it available later on or those who cannot attend the Zoom session live.

Information and Registration, Patrick Barredo, Director of Social Outreach and Advocacy,

What Fratelli Tutti Says About Migration
Thursday, December 10
6:30pm - 8:00pm

The Catholic Bishops of the United States have consistently called for just and welcoming immigration practices recognizing the importance of welcoming our sisters and brothers, promoting their well-being, protecting them from harm, and integrating them more fully into our national and local communities. Pope Francis' newest encyclical, 
Fratelli Tutti: On Fraternity and Social Friendship, speaks poignantly to these and other concerns.
Signed on October 3, 2020 at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi, Fratelli Tutti 
offers special consideration for migrants, particularly addressing the "othering" of migrants as strangers from a foreign land.  Pope Francis dedicates an entire chapter of the encyclical to the parable of the Good Samaritan, wherein he speaks of "neighbors without borders."  The fourth chapter speaks most specifically on migrants.
Join St. James Cathedral Immigrant Assistance for this very important discussion, including an overview of Fratelli Tutti's key themes and takeaways.

To register, email Christopher Koehler at
Faith and Racial Justice: 
Changing Systems and Structures

Mondays starting January 18, 2021,
6:30pm-9pm via Zoom
"The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do."   
- James Baldwin
"Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."   
- John 8:32
Do you want to learn how to advocate for racial justice 
within your family, church and community?
The St. James Cathedral Life, Peace and Justice Commission invites you to participate in Faith and Racial Justice: Changing Systems and Structures, a program from JustFaith Ministries which gives participants the tools they need to address racism at a systemic level - whether they decide to work for criminal justice reform, advocate for fair housing, close the racial wealth gap, or end racism within the church. In this ten-session program, participants learn about key obstacles to racial justice that are embedded within our institutions, systems, and structures. They are then equipped to mobilize people and resources to dismantle those obstacles. Through a grounding in prayer, spiritual practice, and a reflection on the Epistle of St. James, your group will leave the program ready to work for racial justice in your nation, local community, and the churches and institutions of which you are a part.
Faith and Racial Justice is the third program in JustFaith Ministries' racial justice series. It contains ten 2½ hour sessions, including an opening retreat and an immersion experience, during which participants will virtually visit a local organization working for racial justice.

Limited space available!


Information or Registration: Patrick Barredo, director of social outreach & advocacy,

Free Books on Racism

A Cathedral parishioner is generously offering these books on racism (see picture). If you are interested in any of them, please contact Patrick Barredo,

CRS Fair Trade for Christmas

St. James was not able to hold its annual Advent Bazaar this year, but that doesn't mean you can't purchase exquisite, handmade fair-trade items as gifts. SERRV International works with artisans in 24 countries, creating employment for craftspeople and supporting the preservation of traditional craft techniques. SERRV pays artisans a fair wage in advance, and provides loans and donations to help build workshops, fund healthcare and education, and help communities recover from natural disasters. 
If you would like to know more about SERRV, and maybe purchase some of the lovely crafts in their catalogue, visit
Bruce Drager's Mission to End Homelessness

Two years ago, I retuned to Seattle, from Colorado, where I was a business owner for five years, to find a way to "fix" homelessness. I'm a retired Seattle Schools teacher and am accustomed to working with government bureaucracies, a skill that has served me well so far in my efforts to tackle the problem of getting homeless folks into homes. And believe me, the problem of homelessness is, quite simply, getting homeless people into homes.

Since I arrived back in Seattle 2 years ago, I have been involved with a variety of homeless organizations including D.E.S.C., where I played guitar and sang at their drop-in center; Third Door, where I'm am a homelessness solution ambassador; Facing Homelessness, where I build tiny homes; and I am a future host for a Facing Homelessness tiny house and resident. In my own local Green Lake neighborhood, I've been working with homeless folks who are camped around the lake, helping to find them services, including housing. At St. James, I've been manning the night shelter for the last couple of years and recently had the pleasure of joining the Homeless Advocacy Committee.

I have been a parishioner at St. James for 25 years and upon my return to Seattle, one of the first things I did when I came back was to contact Fr. Ryan to let him know that God had put on my heart the call to come back home and fix homelessness.  I am convinced that this problem is indeed "fixable" and I firmly believe that as Christians, we have responsibility to be part of the solution to this terrible human tragedy. It's my hope that as the chairman of the St. James Homeless Advocacy Committee I can work with our team to become a valuable contributing partner in the effort to end homelessness in our city.

Bring Cheer to Families This Christmas

Nido Familiar/Family Nest: Pregnancy and Parenting Support (PrePS) is a multilingual and multicultural program of Catholic Community Services that serves low-income families with children under the age of five and pregnant women in King County. PrePS promotes the health and well-being of women, children, and families, through case management, education and supportive services. The program hosts an annual Holiday Gift Shop for families who are struggling financially and need support to be able to buy a gift for children. The gift shop allows parents to be able to give their child at least one gift during Christmas. We strive to assist the whole family but we do prioritize the children's gifts.
We have families that have not been chosen yet and would like some additional support to purchase gifts. Many of the families have one parent with 2-4 children. There is a total of 44 children and 77 adults. We are accepting gift cards Walmart, Target, Safeway, Fred Meyer, and other well-known stores for the parents if it possible for parishioners to donate. We are also accepting gifts such as toys, clothing, shoes, undergarments, and household items. We would like to have all donations ready by December 14th. Staff is in the office on Mondays 9am-5pm, if people would like to drop off donations. 
Contact information: 
Rubit Chavez, Program Manager | Phone: 206-584-1270 
The first bomb is seen exploding during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941. (CNS photo/Pearl Harbor Museum)
Reflections on the Bombing of Pearl Harbor

"All citizens are called upon to unite their efforts toward that peace for which we have all prayed."

December 7 marks the anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which precipitated the entry of the United States into World War II.  In 2016, the National Catholic Reporter published an article on the importance of the Catholic response to violence and war.

A worker picks up trash as men sleep behind him beneath a Seattle overpass. (AP Photo / Elaine Thompson, File)

"Tackling homelessness in Seattle is a worthy practice for everyone and can be an essential practice for more of us."

Helen Donnelly Goehring is a community activist, a member of St. James Cathedral parishioner, and a Seattle writer. This week, the Seattle Times published an op-ed article by Ms. Goehring, calling on more people to become involved in addressing the severity of our region's homeless crisis.

© Michael O'Neill McGrath, OSFS /
Hope and Light:
Catholic Community Services' 2020 Appeal for the Poor

"It's such a blessing to have an organization that cares for the unlovables and picked us up and put us in a safe environment. The most wonderful thing that ever happened to me in my life. The pandemic is terrifying to me."

These poignant words are from Helen, a medically fragile and chronically homeless shelter guest who was moved to secure, supportive isolation at the onset of the crisis.

Catholic Community Services invites you to participate in their annual Appeal for the Poor.  Watch their Appeal video, and learn more about the Appeal on the CCS website.
Action Alert: COVID-19 support for the poor and vulnerable

"The current pandemic has highlighted our interdependence: we are all connected to each other, for better or for worse. Therefore, to emerge from this crisis better than before, we have to do so together; together, not alone. . . We must do it together, all of us, in solidarity." 
- Pope Francis, September 2, 2020 
It has been nearly eight months since Congress passed a COVID-19 aid package. Much of the aid from that legislation has already expired and more will stop at the end of this year. Congress must act quickly to pass a new COVD-19 relief package that addresses the needs of the poor and vulnerable. Families cannot wait any longer. Failure to act would leave millions struggling to pay rent, buy food, afford healthcare, maintain employment, and meet their basic human needs.
As we enter Advent, a season of waiting and longing for the birth of Christ, too many are left waiting for relief. Let us take action to support those most in need among us so that Christ's vision of justice and mercy will be born again in us. Tell your Members of Congress it is time to come to an agreement and support those who are poor and vulnerable by:
  • Providing resources to meet the needs of those who are homeless and those struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
  • Increasing SNAP benefit amounts.
  • Enacting policies that encourage and support employers to retain and rehire workers, providing sufficient unemployment compensation, and considering additional stimulus payments.
  • Ensuring affordable healthcare access for everyone during this health crisis, but especially for the poor, uninsured, unemployed, and vulnerable populations including immigrants and refugees - without providing federal funding for abortion coverage.
  • Safeguarding those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 in our criminal justice system and increasing medical resources to care for those who do become ill while incarcerated.
  • Providing relief to all schools, including a ten percent reserve of K12 funding to provide tuition scholarships for families whose children attend nonpublic schools. Within the relief set aside for families that send their children to nonpublic schools, Congress should give special consideration to those families with greatest need.
An Advent Prayer

Lord Jesus,
Master of both the light and the darkness, 
send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.

We who have so much to do and seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.
We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.
We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.
We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.
We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.

To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!'