Message from your Pastor
Sabbatical

Last spring, the archdiocese was considering assigning me to a new parish. All that was put on hold with Covid-19.  Now the archdiocese has offered me a four-month sabbatical that would begin February 1st.  A sabbatical is an extended time away to focus on theological renewal, spiritual development, pastoral skills and personal growth.  At the request of the archdiocese, my sabbatical will include a Spanish component. I will be doing a language immersion program through the Mexican American Catholic College of San Antonio, Texas. For the rest of my time, I will be on a contemplative retreat at a Redemptorist retreat Center in Arizona. I will return to the Northwest in June. Exactly where has yet to be decided.

During my time away, the ordinary running of the parish will be in the capable hands of our parish staff.  Over the next two months, the staff and I will be working closely to prepare for their guiding the parish in my absence. 
Weekend Masses, funerals and other essential priestly ministry will be covered by a team of great priests. Fr. Tim Sauer is a former chaplain of O’Dea High School and former vocation director for the archdiocese. Fr. Jack Walmesly is the former director of priest personnel, founding pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Covington and former pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Seattle. Two priests of the Redemptorist Order, Fr. Lyle Konen and Fr. Bill Cleary also will be helping. And of course, Fr. Tom Vandenberg will be present as well. (It is nice to know it takes five priests to replace me.)

My overall goal for this sabbatical is to deepen my relationship with the Lord. Administering one of the largest parishes in the archdiocese, helping guide the community through the Covid pandemic, and my own battle with cancer point out the necessity to be rooted firmly in Christ.  I feel the need and the call to strengthen that grounding.  I will also be studying Pope Francis’s encyclicals and writings, improving my knowledge of the Clifton Strengthfinders that we use in the parish, and continuing to improve my health and reach my weight goal (almost there!)

It took the Israelites forty years in the desert to be formed as God’s people. I am hoping four months in the desert will make me a stronger member of the People of God.  As you helped me through my cancer treatments with your prayers, I hope you will assist me in my sabbatical with the same.
-Fr. Bill
Mass Times:

Sunday - 10:30 AM (Live Streamed)
5:00 PM

Monday - 9:00 AM

Thursday - 6:30 pm

Reservations are required to attend Mass in person
Simbang Gabi

Simbang Gabi is a Pilipino practice of preparing for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. It centers around the paroles or star that guide us to Jesus.

Join us Thursday, December 17th at 6:30 pm to celebrate Simbang Gabi.

To register simply sign up for the December 17 daily mass. Please wear your traditional attire and bring a nonperishable food item to give to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. This is open to all members of our parish and we hope that you can come and celebrate with us. 
Calling all Vincentians!

It is time for us to meet on Zoom and play Yahtzee. You will need Yahtzee score cards and 5 dice. We will meet on December 15 at 12pm. You can find the score cards on google. If you need cards and dice let Katie know. I will get them to you. The zoom log in information is below. I will send out an email with it as well, on Monday, December 14. I hope that lots of you can make it. I am missing you.
It's been said that Christmas is merely a pagan day that was Christianized by the early Church—and now the pagans want it back. Yet the holiday we call Christmas (and the season of Advent that precedes it) is marked by wonder, holiness, and beauty, which go beyond mere sentimentality. Preparing "the way of the Lord," as begun by John the Baptist, continues for us now, signaling the beginning of the Church year. Presented by Bob Rice. 
Reconciliation for Advent

Many find the Sacrament of Reconciliation a powerful way to prepare for Christmas. Due to Covid, we are only offering individual confessions. There is no communal reconciliation service for Advent.  Available times for reconciliation are limited, so we ask parishioners to sign up only once for the month of December.  Making a reservation is a way of limiting the time you have to wait as well as limiting contact with others.  In making the reservation, you do not need to use your real name if you want to protect your anonymity.  There is no face-to-face confessions. A screen will separate the priest from the penitent.   The penitent will stand at the screen.  Facemasks are required as well as a self-screening for symptoms of Covid.  If you are sick, please stay home (sacraments for those with Covid are arranged by calling the parish office).

Check out Forgiven: The Transforming Power of Confession on your new FORMED subscription that was given to every parishioner as an Advent gift from the parish.


St. Vincent de Paul Parish Giving Tree

COVID cannot stop our Christmas Giving Tree, it is just going to look a little different. This year we are only collecting gift cards.
 
Below are the Gift cards most in need.

Red denominations means you can call parish school to purchase the gift card.
253–839-3532 This way supports the school and you don’t have to leave your house.

All other cards please drop off in the black box outside the parish office.
Wounded Warrior Program

To the parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, thank you for your continued generous support of our Annual Christmas program supporting our wounded warriors through Heartbeat Serving Wounded Warriors. This year of 2020 has been a challenge to continue supporting our efforts to help, but because of your response we were able to continue meeting the needs. Your donations make Christmas a bit more special for those who have given so much and lets them know that they are not forgotten. A special thank you to the Knights wives who again made special card holders for the gift cards that were donated. All donations stay local and are given to the Wounded Warriors Battalion at JBLM.
-Knights of Columbus Council 7528
During the month of December St. Vincent de Paul Parish collects supplies for the Burien Hospitality House. Hospitality House, opened in October 2000 and seeks to help homeless women find home, health and hope.
Christmas, COVID, and Mental Health
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! However like almost every other holiday of 2020, this Christmas is going to be different. There are travel restrictions and Public Health orders in place as the COVID rates rise. We will need to find creative ways of spreading joy and a feeling of togetherness, such as phone calls or video chats with those we can’t be with in person.

While it is important for us to reach out to those who are alone, it is also important to reach out if you need help. Don’t be embarrassed to say you are lonely or down. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness over half of the people with mental illness say the holidays, even in “normal” years, make their conditions worse.

This Christmas be especially kind and understanding with others and yourself. Here are some tips to maintain good mental health as we go into the Christmas season. 

  1. Keep Active: Physical activity can boost your mood in the short and long term. A 10 to15 minute walk around your neighborhood or dancing and moving to music can lighten your mood and relieve anxiety.
  2. Address Loneliness:  With COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines many of us have been isolated. Make an effort to call or video chat with those close to you. Check in with others through text, email, or through social media. Keep yourself occupied. An active and engaged mind is much less likely to dwell on loneliness.
  3. Eat and Drink Well: What we eat impacts our mood. Remember to keep up your water intake, eat fruits and veggies, and limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Alcohol might initially uplift your mood and reduce anxiety, but in the long run it can actually increase your risk of developing mental health issues.
  4. Keep your expectations realistic: Not everyone is on the same page when it comes to COVID-19. While you might be most comfortable with a Zoom based meal, others might want to actually get together and have a small, in-person meal. These differences can definitely cause disappointment and add stress-especially if you have younger children who have a harder time grasping the differences of opinion. Have clear and frank discussions with your family as to what to expect this year. The best option is to avoid crowded spaces, wear a mask when you do need to go out, keep six feet apart from others, and have virtual celebrations.
  5. Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep can help you stay healthy and happy. Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system, heightens emotions, and can cause unwelcome and unnecessary stress.

If you need help, there is a wealth of information available to you on our Employee Assistance Program site, www.guidancersources.com. The Web ID is: ASEAP.  
Archdiocese of Seattle, Benefits Administration Office
Prayerfully Give
Sunday Giving:
Like you and your families, the church still has fiscal responsibilities, and your Sunday Contributions make up 90% of our parish income. If your household income has been affected by circumstances due to the corona virus we ask you to please offer up prayers for our church as your Sunday Giving.

Ways to give:
  • Online - signup to give onetime, weekly or monthly, click the link on the below to sign up.
  • Mail - you can mail your contribution to 30525 8th Ave S, Federal Way, WA 98003.