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As faithful citizens and as followers of Christ, we hear a lot about discernment - especially in this tumultuous time two weeks before national elections.  Discernment - discernere - is Latin for distinguishing, setting apart, perceiving, noticing.  Any of these are impossible to do without calming down.  You might compare it to making a soup. If you want a good roux, you need equal parts butter and flour and you have to have patience - don't turn up the heat too much, or it'll burn.  The same with your thought process around voting and navigating this terribly tumultuous time. There's no way to discern accurately without taking time to turn down the emotional heat. It might be difficult, but it's well worth the time. And it can only be done with prayer.

This newsletter has some other news that is well worth reading, and is meant to calm you enough for this final push to Election Day.  Fittingly, there is a De-escalation training offered virtually on October 27, as well as a number of prayer opportunities, including with Pope Francis and the U.S. Bishops.   These next few weeks leading up to the election are vital, yes, but my prayer is that you find a way to make space for the love and guidance of the One who watches over us all, and knew us before we were knit in our mother's womb.

Luke Henkel
Assistant, Social Outreach & Advocacy
Forming Consciences 
for Faithful Citizenship
In case you haven't read it yet...

The October 4 address from Fr. Michael G. Ryan to Cathedral parishioners is a clarion call to responsible, prayerful discernment this election season - "soul-searching that involves the delicate work of conscience the only path to making an enlightened choice."  This letter is worth sharing far and wide, to Catholics and all people of good will.

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship

St. James Cathedral Outreach has developed a new Faithful Citizenship website to help guide you during this election season, rooted in the teachings and tradition of the Catholic Church. Learn more about Catholic Social Teaching and its seven principles, find out where to access over 100 years of papal encyclicals, and delve into numerous articles, videos and commentaries on this year's election. Explore the St. James Faithful Citizenship webpage. 
Pray the Election Novena with the USCCB

Bearing in mind our nation's challenges and the need for wise, moral, civic leadership, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is offering this Election Novena online, to help Catholics form their consciences as they prepare for the upcoming election, beginning Monday, October 26 through Election Day, November 3.  A closing prayer will be offered on Day 10, November 4.  Pray the novena here.
October is Respect Life Month
Live the Gospel of Life

Twenty-five years ago, Pope St. John Paul II wrote that the Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' saving message to the world (Evangelium vitae 1). In taking on human flesh, dwelling among us, and sacrificing his very life for our redemption, Christ reveals . . .

Click here to continue reading this reflection from the U.S. Bishops.
Respect Life, Respect Creation

The pandemic has brought us to a crossroads. We must use this decisive moment to end our superfluous and destructive goals and activities.
- Pope Francis

During the Season of Creation that ended October 4, Pope Francis called us all to respond with justice "today, not tomorrow" in response to both the coronavirus and climate crises.  The Pope can't heal the world alone!  Sign the Global Catholic Climate Movement's petition which shows your support to restoring "the original harmony of creation and to heal strained human relationships."

De-Escalation and Personal Safety Through a Trauma-Informed Lens
Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 6:30pm-8pm via Zoom

Martin Reinsel, MA, LMHC shares his vast clinical experience to help you learn de-escalation skills, and how to engage with challenging behaviors, exceptional situations and unusual circumstances. He will offer tangible approaches to Preparedness as they relate to Prevention, Intervention, and Post-intervention practices for the safety of all involved. 

Registration: email Patrick Barredo at
Interfaith Prayer Vigil on November 1
End the Death Penalty. 
Promote Restorative Justice.

Mass for the Deceased Homeless
Introducing the Solanus Casey Center's New Program Manager, Adriana Henry!

This past spring, as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted almost all facets of life, Deo Rodriguez came to the difficult decision to step down as program manager of the Solanus Casey Center and return to Louisiana to be closer with her family. Although with Solanus Casey for only a brief time, Deo had a tremendous impact on the guests and volunteers. As Solanus Casey re-opened, an old friend of the Center, Adriana Henry, stepped in as interim director, and was recently promoted to full-time program manager.  She recently shared about herself for the benefit of the St. James community.  Check out the full conversation.
Operation Nightwatch is calling all cooks and friendly folks with a heart to serve!

Three times a month, St. James Cathedral hosts meals at Operation Nightwatch, a low-income residence for seniors and a place for those experiencing houselessness to eat a filling meal.  The Cathedral Outreach is looking for help on the second Sunday of each month, to either cook or serve for about 70-75 guests.  This is a fantastic opportunity to offer love and nourishing food to folks who might not receive much of either.  Cooking begins at 6:45pm, and meal service starts promptly at 9pm.
If you'd like to offer your talents or for more information, please contact Luke Henkel, assistant, Social Outreach and Advocacy.
World Food Day

October 16 was World Food Day, when we remembered that one in 10 people in the world do not have enough nutritious food due to war, famine, climate change, and extreme poverty - and now, the global pandemic. Malnutrition prevents children from reaching their God-given potential. Hunger prevents families from thriving. Starvation devastates communities. Pope Francis said, "Let us pray that the Lord gives us the grace to envisage a world in which no one must ever again die of hunger." This is possible, but only if we help to make it so. Together, we can end world hunger.

For more information on what you can do, go to the Catholic Relief Services website ( and please consider contributing to Catholic Relief Services today. 
Advocacy Alerts
Ask Governor Inslee to Extend Eviction Moratorium Through March 31, 2021
Since it was put in place, the eviction moratorium has protected hundreds of thousands of Washington households from facing homelessness. The economic downturn has hit low and fixed income renter households the hardest, especially Black, Latinx and other households of color. It's so tough knowing that so many people are being pushed to the limits of their anxiety and fear of what homelessness would bring, especially as the cold and wet fall season has set in.
Please reach out to Governor Inslee and state lawmakers today - ask them to extend the state's eviction moratorium through March 2021.

Open now: Seattle COVID-19 Disaster Relief Application for Immigrants

For those who were/are ineligible for federal coronavirus aid through the CARES Act Economic stimulus payments (based on their immigration status), good news!  Nearly $8 million is available in funding for the most vulnerable low-income immigrant residents and their households.

Visit the FAQ page on the website, or if you're ready apply online now.
Ask Washington State Senators to Lead for Salmon and for Communities

Our partners at Earth Ministry are asking for the leadership of our US Senators to help bring people together and guide a comprehensive river and salmon investment package through Congress. Faith leaders - both clergy and lay - are voicing the urgent moral obligation we have to craft inclusive solutions that fulfill treaty promises by restoring abundant salmon.

October Book Recommendation
Querida Amazonia: Beloved Amazon
by Pope Francis

October 12 was the celebration of Indigenous People's Day, to honor native cultures and histories.  Last October, the Synod on the Amazon convened for three weeks to recognize the importance of indigenous spirituality and connection to the land in our Church today.  This, then, is the perfect time to pick up this apostolic exhortation from our Pope, to learn about the importance of the beloved Amazon that  "stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery" (QA 1).

The Amazon is the "lung of our planet" - and is under threat like never before. With characteristic poignancy and clarity Pope Francis acknowledges that we all depend on the vitality of this ecosystem, and the Church must do everything possible to ensure its protection.

Closing Song: One Heart, Many Faces
One Heart Many Faces

One Heart Many Faces, Divine Word College Seminary celebration of World Mission Sunday 2014.  With Fr. Raul Caga, SVD
Advocacy Alerts