Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Chrism Mass oil prep

Next week is the annual Chrism Mass, scheduled on Thursday, April 10th at St. James Cathedral. Which means, preparations for the distribution of the holy oils are in full swing. All of the bottles are labeled and thanks to two deacons, Roy Harrington and Sam Basta, all of the oils have been poured into the worthy vessels.

In a blog post dated about six years ago, when he was still a seminarian, Father Jacob Maurer describes the Chrism Mass in great detail on his blog, Followers of the Way.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Anointing of the Sick

As promised in my last post, here is one of the published pictures, courtesy of Patti Fersch, of Archbishop Emeritus Alex J. Brunett's visit to Christ Our Hope last Sunday for the Anointing of the Sick. Please continue to hold him in prayer!

The bulletin for this Third Sunday of Lent at Christ Our Hope includes a column from Fr. Paul of Archbishop Brunett's visit and on receiving God's mercy and going to confession (plus their schedule for the remainder of Lent).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Joyful service

In the words from Luke 12:42, today's Entrance Antiphon, "Behold, a faithful and prudent steward, whom the Lord set over his household."

These past few months have kept me in a daily routine of going into the office, a visit to grandma's house before a Zumba home workout and crashing on the couch at home eating my dinner by myself, since mom and Val work fairly late into the evening. Andrew describes these past few months in the office in his recent blog post. However, with all the happenings in the office, a couple of personal experiences helped remind me that it is in serving others that we will find deep joy.

Last Saturday was the last Rite of Election that I was scheduled to go to, which was at St. Charles Borromeo in Tacoma. As I was packing the worship aids into the van, I noticed a man sleeping outside the Chancery offices underneath two blankets, and next to him was a baby stroller of items. I remembered the scarf, hat and gloves I wore when I went to the Seahawks Super Bowl victory parade about a month ago which was still in a cabinet in my desk that I had tucked away. Taking just a few extra minutes, I went back to my desk to grab the scarf, hat and gloves and, not wanting to wake him up (mostly from fear), I set them on the cement ledge next to his stroller. Nothing could stop that joy I felt as I began the drive to Tacoma.

Just a day earlier, Fr. Paul had asked me to come to Christ our Hope to assist in their liturgy the following Sunday, as Archbishop Brunett was invited to come to their 9:30am Mass with Anointing of the Sick and Fr. Paul was hoping I could assist him as needed. Both Fr. Paul and I greeted him at the entrance, and he looked at me and kept saying my name. It was a joy to be of service to him as I helped put on his stole, held his hymnal as he followed along to everyone singing, and was present to him as needed during the Mass. It was a moving experience to stay with him and remain with him. I was almost in tears as he was being anointed by Fr. Paul. (Patti took some pictures, which I'll post once they are published online in Northwest Catholic along with an article on the Sacrament of the Anointing.)

After Mass, once Archbishop Brunett was in the cabulance and off to his new residence on Madison St & 22nd, a man selling Real Change came up to me and we engaged in a conversation about faith. Michael is his name. One thing I'll remember that summarizes my 15 minute conversation with Michael, is a question he asked me. "When you put Jesus first before others and then yourself last, what does that spell?" After a second thought, I told him it spells joy. We both continued to fill the narthex of the Josephinum with laughter and story-telling. After reflecting on this experience, I came to the realization that Michael's joy-filled laughter and personality reminds me a lot of my late father.

As we celebrate the spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, may we continue to look to the intercession of St. Joseph to be faithful and prudent stewards, whom the Lord has set over his household to serve others with loving care.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rally and Great Music

Last Saturday I was blessed to have had the opportunity to assist with the Taize prayer experience as part of the Junior High Rally, held at Archbishop Murphy High School, which gathered hundreds of grade school children from around the Archdiocese. We were expecting only about 40 of them at Taize, but that number quickly doubled at the last minute when the Stations of the Cross prayer experience was cancelled. We also had a San Damiano cross, a number of icons, and tons more tea lights and candles of all sizes that I didn't take a picture of.

Before the kids came into the theater, I asked for volunteers to say the intercessions. We had prayers for the Pope, the clergy, all gathered at Rally, youth ministers, all who teach and pass along the Catholic Faith, etc. which they just said from their place, and after each prayer when they said "We pray to the Lord" we all sang "O Lord Hear our Prayer". After we went through the prepared list of intercessions and we invited others to name the prayers they wished to pray for, the kids started raising their hands as if they were back in the classroom, instead of simply saying their petition they would like to pray for. I forgot that these were grade school children. They did find the repetitive chanting prayerful.

Mass followed. After making sure folks had everything they needed and such, I had to leave for Seattle.

John Michael and I went to St. James Cathedral for "Great Music for Great Cathedrals". For lack of a better word, it was a great experience of sound and color.

And just for fun, here's what happened at Rally during a break before lunch. I quickly took a picture before the stack of U-Haul boxes came tumbling down.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lector Installation at Mundelein

Congratulations to two seminarians of the Archdiocese of Seattle, Jeff Moore and Colin Parrish, who were installed to the ministry of lector at Mundelein Seminary earlier today. Colin is known for almost always making weird faces in pictures, so this is what some would call a "normal" face for him.

From Left to Right: Jeff, Fr. Bryan Dolejsi, Colin Parrish

Two other seminarians studying at Mundelein Seminary, Patrick Sherrard and Grant Boggs are currently on pastoral internship; Patrick at St. Charles Borromeo in Tacoma and Grant at St. Anthony in Renton. Let us continue to keep all seminarians and those discerning a call to the priesthood and religious life in our prayers.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Whirlwind of a Weekend

This past weekend was quite the busy one for us in the Liturgy Office with regard to liturgical formation opportunities. Last Friday, about 30 musicians from all over the archdiocese gathered at the Chapel of St. Ignatius for a two-day intensive for certification in the Liturgical Ministries Institute. Dr. Jerry Galipeau from World Library Publications came out for one of the sessions and then led a "Sing the Seasons" choral reading session with an additional 25 musicians.

On Saturday, in addition to being the second day of the certification for the LMI musicians, there was also a gathering for about 90 RCIA team members. Jerry posts about his experience in Seattle in his blog, "Gotta Sing Gotta Pray." I joked with him that he brought the Chicago snow to us, because as the group came out of the Cathedral after the 5:30pm Mass, it began to snow right as Jerry was to begin leading a mystagogy session with the group.

In addition to the sessions with Jerry, Andrew gave a presentation on Saturday, titled "Catechesis during the Catechumenate."

Overall, I learned a lot this weekend from top names in both liturgical music and the RCIA and initial evaluations are looking as if many folks greatly appreciated these opportunities and look forward to future similar gatherings. Looking forward to additional opportunities of liturgical formation and to continue building relationships with fellow colleagues in liturgical ministry. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ordination to the Diaconate

Congratulations to Matthew Pyrc, SJ, who was ordained a deacon last Saturday, on the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, at the Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University by Archbishop Sartain.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mass and March for Life

Yesterday morning, one day before the anniversary of the tragic decision to legalize abortion in Roe v. Wade, thousands of people from the Church of Western Washington came together to give thanks to God for the gift of human life at the annual Mass and March for Life.

There was an official photographer for the Northwest Catholic who took some great pictures of the event. Val took some pretty great pictures as well. She was part of the delegation from the South Seattle cluster parishes.

The March for Life, held throughout the U.S. is an inspiring testimony to the sanctity of life and a powerful statement to our legislators. Please continue to pray for the respect of human life, from conception to natural death.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Anything but Ordinary...

Yesterday, the Church returned to Ordinary Time, but this liturgical season is anything but what we may consider "ordinary."  The recent issue of Liturgy Line, published last week, which includes many resources, liturgical formation opportunities, and information about feasts and rites during this liturgical season, signals toward that reality.  This is a time when we experience order in the liturgical year, a time when we experience Christ walking among us and transforming our lives. Anything but Ordinary.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


A few prayer requests on this Fourth Sunday of Advent:

Days ago, Deacon Fred Cordova, a leader in the Filipino -American community died. "Uncle Fred" as he is known to many in the Filipino community in Seattle, was an activist for the Fil-Am community since the '50s. Ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of Seattle in 2003, Uncle Fred was the founder of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) and the Filipino Youth Association, which is well known for their drill team that performs at the annual Seafair Parade. He always joked with me that I know how to speak more Tagalog than he did...which came as a surprise when I first found out that he didn't know a lot of Tagalog besides "Kumusta" and "Salamat" and maybe a few other words. Uncle Fred's legacy will continue to live on in the many lives he touched. Eternal rest, Uncle Fred. Please pray for Auntie Dorothy, and the entire Cordova family.

Secondly, after about a month of being able to consume a host and with the two bishops and a small number of priests bringing him Holy Communion every day, Archbishop Brunett is gaining more strength from his stroke last September, although he still has a long road of recovery ahead of him. Yesterday he made his first public appearance after the stroke, concelebrating with Archbishop Sartain and Fr. Ryan at a wedding held at St. James Cathedral. Please continue to pray for Archbishop Brunett, for healing and strength as he continues his recovery!

And know of my prayers for you and your family as we soon celebrate the Nativity of our Lord, Jesus Christ. May you experience the joy, love, and peace that only He can bring!

Sunday, December 15, 2013


On this Gaudete Sunday, I reflected on a number of events this weekend which we're cause for rejoicing in my heart:

On the feast of St. Lucy, the Chancery employees gathered with the Archbishop for a morning Mass followed by a luncheon. It's always a great opportunity to gather with fellow Chancery employees to rejoice in celebrating a great year of ministry together and for me to wear violet while almost everyone else is decked out in reindeer antlers, santa hats and bells (literally!) I should have worn a crown of candles with my violet blouse.

Also, my friend, George Noel, was ordained to the Priesthood yesterday morning in Crookston, Minnesota, on the feast of St. John of the Cross. As much as I wanted to be in the zero degree Fahrenheit weather, I settled for a number of pictures from his Facebook page:

One of my favorite annual liturgies was also celebrated yesterday, but in much warmer Seattle weather. As always, Maria took great pictures of the Simbang Gabi liturgy, which are up on the Cathedral website. It's also the one day of the year when I wear my Filipino blouse. And when my colleague in the Liturgy Office also wears a barong to the celebration, that in and of itself is a cause for rejoicing:

Lastly, day 1 (or rather night 1) of the Simbang Gabi novena began this evening. When Val and I walked into St. Edward's, we thought we were celebrating the Easter Vigil, as the lights in the entire church were off and people were holding these candles: