April 2020
Finding Renewed Hope in Chaotic Times
There's no way around it: these were tough times. Now they're monstrously difficult. This new month stretches ahead of us with the dual devastating promises of even more changes and likely more frightening news.

Yet as April begins and Easter approaches, we also have other promises. First and foremost we know that the Resurrection is close; Christ will defeat not just suffering but all death as we know it. We also have the promise of spring, and abundant proof of new life in the midst of the pandemic. Let us not forget this! We can refresh our hope by looking at the cherry blossoms and all budding things, and the sunsets which have no rival at this time of year. Lastly, we have a global call to celebrate on April 22, as Earth Day turns 50 years old and communities across the world find creative ways to unite in caring for Creation - not just for one day, but for the entire month! There is no shortage of reasons to be joyful.

In this issue you'll find videos and streamed services to stay connected in prayer with the St. James community and Catholics worldwide; updates on St. James activities including the CRS Rice Bowl; guides to celebrate Earth Month; creative suggestions to beat the blues while being locked in; and Earth Month book recommendations for added entertainment.

Be sure to follow the Outreach and Advocacy page on Facebook - and check out the St. James website for Cathedral updates including Easter services.

May you and your loved ones be healthy and well,
Luke Henkel
bluebonnets_sunset.jpg

Prayer for Protection Against the Pandemic
Since you, O God, are with us,
nothing that has happened, nor nothing still to come,
can rob us of our hope in Christ.
Sustain us, we beg you,
during this time of uncertainty.
Bless all the emergency & medical personnel
who are caring for the sick and working to contain the outbreak.
Grant swift recovery to those who are affected
and comfort to their families and loved ones.
Encourage those who are afraid.
Bind us now, more than ever,
to you and to each other,
so that we may triumph
by the power of him who loves us,
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God,
for ever and ever.

adapted, ICEL 1998 (from Psalm 91)
Remaining United in Prayer

"Let us all pray together for the sick, for the people who are suffering..."
In this special #PrayForTheWorld edition of “ The Pope Video ," the Holy Father asks us to pray for the sick and the suffering, while thanking all those who join their voices as one in prayer for this world, regardless of their religious tradition or convictions.
Want to pray with the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network? Visit The Pope Video website for all videos, and check out Pope Francis' social media.
Urbi et Orbi: Pope Francis' Coronavirus Meditation
"By ourselves we flounder...Let us invite Jesus into the boats of our lives. Let us hand over our fears to him so that he can conquer them. Like the disciples, we will experience that with him on board there will be no shipwreck."
A powerful and encouraging reflection on Jesus' calming of the storm from the Gospel of Mark (4:35-41), delivered from the steps in front of St. Peter's Basilica. Read the full text of Pope Francis' meditation
"No matter how physically separated we may be from each other, we are together in the Body of Christ, in the Church, one with...each other."
Hear the live-streamed Sunday service including the homily from Fr. Michael G. Ryan, St. James Cathedral pastor.
We all have much to pray for right now. Send in your prayer intentions by filling out this request form , and they will be placed at the foot of our Blessed Mother Mary, Undoer of Knots, in the St. James Cathedral Chapel. A candle will also be lit in the shrine. All prayer offerings will remain confidential.
Holy Mary, we come before you as spiritual children in great need, seeking your intercession, and asking that your mantle of love surround us to console, protect and lead us to your son Jesus.
St. James Cathedral Updates

POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

De-Escalation & Personal Safety Through A Trauma-Informed Lens

This two-hour course will provide useful tools to avoid problematic situations, manage challenging behavioral situations, prepare for the psychological/emotional impact of crisis situations, and much more. Free for Cathedral parishioners and volunteers, $10 suggested donation otherwise.
CRS Rice Bowl: BRING LENT TO LIFE
Our Catholic community in the United States does something amazing each Lent. We come together to practice prayer, fasting and almsgiving—and by doing so we help lift families and communities out of poverty.

This year, we are not able to come together at Mass to offer our CRS Rice Bowl donations. We ask, instead, that you contribute in one of the three following ways.

To give by phone:
1-877-435-7277
To give by mail:
Catholic Relief Services
CRS Rice Bowl
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland 21297-0303

To give online:
Click here to give through St. James Cathedral. (When asked, “Please use this gift for...” indicate your gift as “Other”, then add a Special Note: “CRS Rice Bowl.") Thank you!
CRS End-of-Lent 2020 Prayer
Let us Pray

As we end our Lenten journey
and process towards
the glory of Christ's Resurrection,

we pray for those we encountered through CRS Rice Bowl,
and all members of our human family.

We pray that they do not go hungry, either in bodily nourishment or spiritual sustenance.
We pray that they always find
safety in their homes,
caring in their neighbors' hearts,
and stability in their futures.

Above all, we pray that they find brightness, hope, and peace in the promises that Easter brings.

We pray in the most holy, abundantly giving name of Jesus.

Amen.
St. James Cathedral Kitchen Needs Face Masks
The Cathedral Kitchen has temporarily suspended its dinner program. When it reopens, we would like to offer all volunteers reusable masks to help prevent the spread of germs. If you are able, please make reusable cloth masks to keep our guests - and you - safe. Plenty of designs are available online, including this easy reusable and washable mask . Once made, contact Patrick Barredo to coordinate delivery.
Community Notices
Resources for Rent, Utility Assistance
The state of Washington has enacted an eviction moratorium until May 16 if renters are unable to pay rent. It’s still good to make plans to be able to ensure that your rent or utilities can be paid, but if you cannot pay your rent, don't panic! This Seattle Times article (March 31) has suggestions, resources, and help for anyone whose paycheck has been drastically cut, or lost altogether due to coronavirus closures.

Please check out this resource summary form for options available for you regarding rent, utilities, and emergency assistance.
Help the Hungry in these Pandemic Times
Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services (CCS/CHS) are asking St. James Cathedral parishioners for help with our meal services. With your compassionate giving, we will continue to provide for the needs of our homeless neighbors during these extraordinarily trying times. Any of the following is greatly appreciated:
 
1.     CCS/CHS are grateful for your prayers and support and wish you and your family safe and healthy passage through these challenging times. Thank you.
 
2.     Please consider offering a gift that will allow CCS/CHS to handle costs of client care during this dangerous health crisis.

3.    CCS is running a drop-in center in Federal Way for 75 guests. The program is in need of hot casseroles or sandwiches . Food donations can be brought to the St. James parish office on Tuesday mornings. To coordinate, email Patrick Barredo .

Check out the full list of how you can help CCS and other shelters.
Support Operation Nightwatch

Operation Nightwatch is a grassroots shelter that provides nightly meals and shelter to roughly 120 homeless individuals. In order to continue feeding and serving during the COVID-19 outbreak, we most need ready-to-eat, individually-wrapped foods that do not need refrigeration.

Browse the complete list of current needs to see how you can help.

Contact the Nightwatch office to schedule a drop-off of donated goods: 206-323-4359 or info@seattlenightwatch.org .

Celebrate Earth Month! 🌍🏞
The world has never been so ready for the U.S. Catholic community to step up and boldly address the issues of climate change. Whether you’re taking your first step or have been a long time climate advocate, the 2020 Earth Day Program is sure to be fruitful for you and your family. Revised to accommodate our changed circumstances, this hour-long guide includes prayer, video and discussion, resources to get started, and the St. Francis action pledge.

Download the Earth Day 2020 program
Have you caught yourself watching the final season of Friends for the fifteenth time? Tune in instead to this "eco-streaming guide" from EarthBeat while you're cooped up at home. The National Catholic Reporter Climate Series has put together this comprehensive list of movies, shows, and documentaries on all things climate, from "A Plastic Ocean" to "America's National Parks."

Find what you love with the guide , and be sure to share about what you watched with your family or friends!
A scene from the 2017 documentary Chasing Coral (Netflix)
Social distancing shouldn't just turn into a numbing slog of endless Netflix (unless it's from the eco-guide above). There are still plenty of responsible care for creation activities to pursue while "stuck" inside. Get creative and go a little greener with these 11 suggestions for the planet from Earth Day 2020: from starting your own compost to a neighborhood garden exchange. After all, when life hands you lemons... make disinfectant!
With so many hours at home and lots of changes in our lives, many of us are "stress-cooking" in attempts to reduce the daily uproar. Bring some true joy and relief to cooking with these simple recipes. Few ingredients, easy to prepare, scrumptious...and the best part? They're gluten-free and vegan, offering a guiltless light-hearted meal for you, your family, and the planet.
A Buddha Bowl is an urban dictionary term that simply means a dish "packed so full that it has a rounded ‘belly’ appearance much like the belly of a buddha.” With that said, who says (socially distant) table fellowship can't be interfaith?
"We urge all people to be counted in the Census, regardless of their citizenship. Our society, rooted in the strength of the family, cannot risk missing this opportunity to give children and parents the tools they need to succeed.”
- Bishop Vasquez, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
The U.S. Census Bureau has extended national deadlines for the 2020 Census. Self-reporting is now available online until August 14, with options to respond by phone or mail as well.

Census Bureau staff will also be available to assist people with their online response in local grocery stores and community centers, beginning April 13 to August 14. Check website for more information.

Visit the U.S. Census Bureau Covid-19 Operational Adjustments webpage for the revised time tables and complete list of adjustments. It is our duty as engaged citizens to make our voices heard & our God-given dignity known!
Earth Month
Reading Recommendations
The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers
"For there is hope of a tree, if it goes down, that it will sprout again,
and that its tender branches will not cease.
Though the root grows old in the earth,
and the stock dies in the ground, at the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs..."
A work of staggering depth and detail, The Overstory is never to be forgotten - nor to be put down. Told in the timeframe of trees, it has the sweeping eloquence of a saga, yet such exquisite detail that we see the connection of every root to every single growing thing in the soil. "From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, The Overstory unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables...this is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see [the world alongside us] and are drawn into its unfolding catastrophe."
Laudato Si' : On Care for Our Common Home
An encyclical letter by Pope Francis
"In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God...let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope."
Laudato Si' 244
Laudato Si', o mi signore - praise be to you, o my Lord. These words, uttered more than 800 years ago by St. Francis of Assisi, are taken up by Pope Francis as a rallying call for every person on the planet in this groundbreaking encyclical on the environment. Five years after its 2015 publication, now is the perfect time to read this if you haven't yet. The need today has never been greater "to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development," not destruction and wreckage, "for we know that things can change" ( Laudato Si' 13). PDF file available on vatican.va.

Closing Prayer
Lord of all Creation,
You are the Word of God
with which all of creation was written into being:
oceans and seas,
rivers and trees,
deserts and forests,
mighty peaks and pleasant valleys,
sun and stars and moon and cosmos.


Lord of all Creation,
You are the Breath of God,
through whom all of creation receives its light and spirit:
fire and ice,
food and flowers,
storms and thunder,
cleansing rains and soothing winds,
birds and bats and lions and all running things.

Lord of all Creation,
You are the light of your cherished people for their journey on this planet:
young and old,
man and woman,
farmer and executive,
peasant and president,
high and mighty and lowly and weak.

You, o Lord, can be found in all your creation, and in the works of all those who tend your beautiful gifts.

You, o Lord, can be found in the tumult and the calm,
in the waves of oceans and the tides of humanity.

You, o Lord, are in the past and present and future of this world,
of all that comes and all that has passed.

You, o Lord, are in the promise of a sunrise and the fulfillment of a sunset.

You, o Lord, are an eternal caress.

Be with us, o Lord, in our darkness,
caress us with your Creation,
and be with us in the coming light of tomorrow.

Prayer adapted from: Henri Nouwen, Discernment, reprinted 2013