Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Happy Independence Day!

I love this quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, who was a Supreme Court Justice from 1902-1932. He knew implicitly what “one” meant when speaking of our American Nation. Why? Well, he was a veteran of the Civil War, having fought for the Union in some of the bloodiest battles of the war to preserve the oneness of our nation. He was wounded three times and nearly died on more than one occasion. He described his experience of the civil war as being horrific. But he willingly shed blood for the sake of preserving our national unity. Bono, the lead singer of the band U2 describes America not so much as being a country as an idea. I think Justice Holmes would appreciate that notion. On this July 4th, we continue to celebrate the great American experiment; the idea that out of many we can become one. It seems like this grand idea is somewhat in tatters these days. But if we remember that there is much more that unites us than divides us, we can raise the flag high on this July 4th.

Now, aside from our unity as Americans, there is something more fundamental that we Catholics need to take to heart these days. That is the fact that before we are Americans, we are Christians. We are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ first and foremost. It’s the fruit of our faith that gives us the ability to be good citizens. America does not save us; only Christ saves us. I have often felt that if we had as much passion about Jesus Christ and His good news as we did about political, cultural, and societal ideas and movements, how amazing and transformative our lives and nation would be. Rather, we get stuck and distracted by the smallness of political and cultural debate, which seems to be too focused on self-interest and gain. Too often we feel that everything stands or falls on the latest poll, news story, protest, or legislation. And this debate is often mixed with intolerance and hatred rather than true Christian charity. We get caught up in the things of the moment without seeing where we are really going with it all.  
In this context, I think these words of Cardinal Robert Sarah are worth noting:

“[Today’s faithful] remind me of the Christians who, in the twilight years of the Roman Empire, kept watch over the flickering flame of civilization. I want to encourage them. I want to tell them your mission is not to save a dying world. No civilization has the promises of eternal life. Your mission is to live out with fidelity and without compromise the faith you received from Christ . . . It is not a matter of winning elections or influencing opinions. It is a matter of living the Gospel. Faith is a fire. A person must be on fire in order to transmit it. Watch over this sacred fire!”

This doesn’t mean that we as Catholics should give up on the American ideal, or not have a role in it. I am not saying that we should in any way retreat or not be active in civil debate or action. However, as Christians, we need to do so from a place of being faithful followers of Christ first, knowing that who we are as His disciples says more about us than anything else. It means that we need to first keep an eye on the true prize: our identity as beloved sons and daughters of a loving Father and on our eternal destiny. Remember, Heaven is our homeland, not the USA! It also means we truly need to pray and discern what we latch onto in civil debate. Is the fire of my faith in Christ seen in my speech and actions; is it consistent with who I am first as a follower of the Lord Jesus? We need to pray and reason and think much more before we act and speak. As Christians, we are called to attract others to life with Christ and not repel them. In the end, as St. Teresa of Calcutta said, we will be judged on how well we have loved as Christians. If we take that to heart, then we will contribute much as Catholics to the great American idea by our prayer and action. Again, as Bono says, grace isn’t just the name of a girl, it’s a thought that can change the world!

Blessed Holiday to you all!

Fr. David Mulholland
As we continue to reflect upon this Year of the Eucharist in the Archdiocese of Seattle, we are happy to announce that we are making plans to reopen the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at Holy Cross. In addition, we will be having a weekly time of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Patrick. Stay tuned for the details!
Archbishop Etienne began Year of the Eucharist on the Feast of Corpus Christi for the Archdiocese of Seattle and asked us to spend this time pondering the true presence of Jesus's Sacred Body and Blood in the Eucharist. Read the Archbishop's pastoral letter, " The Work of Redemption. "
prayer
Registration for Mass is required to ensure we maintain social distancing protocol. Didn't get a spot for Sunday? There are plenty of seats available at daily services. Join us at the table of the Lord!
The dispensation for Sunday Mass is still in effect for people unable to attend because of seating capacity limitations, illness, general risk or vulnerability. We continue to pray for you, and are eager to join with you in the Eucharist.
We will continue to livestream the Mass at 9 AM on Sundays from Saint Patrick Catholic Church. Subscribing to our YouTube Channel is not necessary to watch the Mass, however it allows you to set reminders to tune in and provides us with the option of livestreaming from a mobile device when we reach 1000 subscribers. Don't forget to check-in on Facebook when you attend Mass so we can be together as a faith community.
sacraments
Join us via livestream for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion!
Students in grades 7 - 9 interested in receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation in 2021 are invited to fill out an interest form now! We'll be in touch. Tell your friends.
advocacy
Action Alert: Support Catholic Schools
As the economy has slowed during the pandemic, so has funding for Catholic schools in Washington. Parents face difficulty paying tuition, and parishes supporting Catholic schools are impacted by decreased collections. Joining a coalition of 150 other organizations, the USCCB recently wrote  a letter  to Congressional leadership, urging them to support Catholic and private school education in response to COVID-19 disruptions. Requests were made for grants for low to middle-income families for tuition and tax credits for scholarship funds. Click on this  action alert  to urge your US Congressional leaders to include Catholic schools in COVID-19 relief programs. Catholic schools are integral to the education system in Washington state. They provide $302 million in annual savings to Washington taxpayers, educating over 28,000 students. In comparing school district sizes, the Catholic school system would rank as the fifth largest school district in the state. Act now to support Catholic education.
stewardship
How Do You Double Your Annual Catholic Appeal Gift? -...

How do you double your Annual Catholic Appeal gift? Most companies have a Matching Gift Program - that is how. Many companies match the Annual Catholic Appeal. You can double your gift to the ACA in a few easy steps. Yes! Do you know if your...

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www.saintpats.org
The 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal campaign is wrapping up. Click here for our weekly update by parish! If you have already made your gift - THANK YOU! If not, please consider making a gift this year. Over 60% of our parish households have not responded yet. No gift   is too small . If you’re unsure what to give, please consider a gift of $1 a day or $365 or more. The average gift is $417.
 
Your gift will support more than 60 ministries and services that are offered to thousands of individuals across Western Washington. In addition, this year, a 10% ‘tithe’ from ACA 2020 donations, excluding rebates will be placed in a  Parish Solidarity Fund  for those parishes severely financially impacted as a result of the suspension of public Masses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Go online to  https://donate.seattlearchdiocese.org/aca  or use a pledge envelope. If you’d rather call in your gift to the Appeal Office at 800-809-4921.
An offertory collection basket is located in the back of the sanctuary during Mass to allow for contactless giving— rather than passing the basket around during Mass. If you are unable to attend mass because of seating capacity limitations, illness, general risk or vulnerability, please mail in your gift or consider giving online via Online Giving— Fr. David gives this way! It is safe and easy.
Be social, while social distancing!
Get connected. Stay connected.