July 28, 2019

Just as the summer provides a different pace in our family lives, it also provides a different pace in the life of our parish. I would like to highlight some of the events we have experienced this summer or are looking forward to experiencing. 

The summer began with our annual Vacation Bible School. The theme of this year’s VBS was “Roar: Life is Wild, God is Good.” This year we kicked off VBS on Sunday afternoon, July 7th. This was a change for us (we have started on Monday morning in the past), and both the team and the children seemed to enjoy starting on Sunday afternoon. 

The children, with the help of generous team leaders, explored how God has always been good to his people, and continues to be good to us, no matter what is happening in our lives. It was a fun filled week for the more than two hundred children who were invited to reflect on the abundant love and care of our God. 

Last week, 9 of our Middle School youth, along with their leaders, gathered for a service-retreat experience called “Serve Your Turf.” This two day retreat included service in our local community at Northwest Children’s Outreach, and Pacific Specialty and Rehabilitative Care Center. Following their days of service on Thursday and Friday, July 18-19, the young people spent time in prayer and reflection on their experience in the context of our faith. There was also time for community building and learning to “live” in community. 

Last Saturday night, 32 of the 42 graduates from the Class of 1969 from our School gathered for a 50th reunion party. It was great fun and an amazing gathering of so many of those from the class of ’69, including one of their teachers!

This week (July 26-28), 16 of our High School young people, along with their adult and young adult chaperones, journey to Spokane for the Steubenville Youth Conference. This gathering, sponsored by Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, is an opportunity for high school youth to come together with teens their own age for learning and prayer. The conference takes place all over the country, and here in the Northwest, is hosted by Gonzaga University. There are nationally known speakers for keynote addresses and workshops, as well as time for Mass personal prayer and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. The group left this past Wednesday so they could have a fun day at Silverwood Theme Park in Athol, Idaho. This is always a very popular event every summer and we pray that our teens enjoy their time reflecting on our faith and building community. 

This Sunday, we gather for our Annual Parish Picnic on the beautiful south lawn between the Church, the Parish Hall and the Rectory. There is good food and fellowship and lots of games for the young ones. We gather from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm, so I hope you join us!

This coming Thursday, through the generous sharing of time, talent and treasure of the Louie family, we will gather at Camas Meadows Golf Course for the 24th Annual St. Joseph Golf Classic. This event raises funds for our school’s athletic programs and other important projects. As important as the money raised is the sense of community that is built when people from all over our region – Catholics and non-Catholics alike - come together to support our school. 

If you are interested in more information about St. Joseph School, we are holding an Open House on Tuesday, August 6th, from 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Folks will be at our school to give you a tour and answer any questions you might have about this wonderful ministry of our parish. School starts August 28th, so please keep all our school families, teachers and staff in your prayers. 

On Thursday, August 8th, we will gather at 5:30 pm in our Church for a special Mass to pray for immigrants. This Mass is being celebrated at the same day and time at St. James Cathedral in Seattle and at several places throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle. I hope you can join us for this special evening, offering the Eucharist for our brothers and sisters who are “on the move,” looking for a safe place for themselves and their families.

On the weekend of August 10-11, we will celebrate Samoya Sunday. We will hear from our recently returned pilgrims (they journeyed to our Sister Parish of St. Bernadette in Samoya, Kenya , June 25 – July 12), enjoy food and refreshments after all the Masses, including a special Sunday Supper, and take up our annual collection to support our brothers and sisters at St. Bernadette. 

The following week, on Thursday, August 15th, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this Holy Day of Obligation, we have two Masses at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. Please plan to join us to celebrate the unique privilege given to Mary and how her Assumption is our promise of future glory. 

Finally, on Saturday evening, August 17th, we will have a “Movie Under the Trees,” following the 5:00 pm Vigil Mass. There will be a food truck and coffee cart for some nourishment before we settle in for the movie around 7:00 pm. Once again, we will gather in the same space that we are gathering for this weekend’s picnic. By the way, you will have an opportunity to vote at the parish picnic this weekend for which movie we will show on August 17th! 

As you can see, the pace of parish life has not slowed down and there have been, and will be, lots of opportunities this summer to build up our faith and our community. As I reflect on all this, those words from the theme of VBS seem so appropriate: God is Good!

Fr. Gary Lazzeroni