I would like to give you an update on few exciting initiatives presently underway and ask for your prayers.
Yesterday, the Church celebrated the feast of St. Mary Magdalene. She is a great example of what the Lord does in every human life, leading us from former ways of brokenness into New life! St. Paul in the Letter to the Romans 12:1-2 says: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may judge what is God’s will, what is good, pleasing and perfect.”
It is precisely this life of the Risen Christ we seek to live more fully every step of this journey of faith. Publicly, Partners in the Gospel has been underway now for 18 months, and much planning prior to that. We are making progress with each round of consultation. The opportunity for parish input on these plans is approaching quickly. It is important for everyone to stay informed so we can all prayerfully discern where the Holy Spirit is leading us to embody Christ more perfectly as a local Church.
Please take time to watch the current reality video below to learn why this present effort is necessary.
Be on lookout for Public Comment Phase this September. We want your input! The Promulgation of new parish family configurations will be made this January, 2024 and will take effect next July, 2024.
For more information, visit our website.
Japan Pilgrimage for Peace
I’m also asking for your prayers as a delegation from the Archdiocese of Seattle along with others from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, including Archbishop Wester will depart a week from Monday, July 31 for Japan. We are going as pilgrims of peace to open a dialogue with bishops of Japan, specifically the Archbishop of Nagasaki and the Bishop of Hiroshima to work together calling for an end to nuclear weapons. We will return August 12.
We will be in Japan for ceremonies to mark the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. As you know the bomb was developed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and here in the Archdiocese of Seattle we have one of the largest arsenals of nuclear weapons. Our presence in Japan is to pray for peace and to advocate for the end of use of nuclear weapons. Please, join us in prayer for this important pilgrimage and initiative.
You can learn more and follow our journey at this special webpage here.
Synod on Synodality
Some of you may already know that earlier this month, Pope Francis appointed me a delegate to the Synod on Synodality. I am excited to be a part of this historic moment in the life of the universal Church. I also realize that I go not with my own agenda, but to represent all that has been shared through the many listening sessions in the past two years. Already I have begun to prepare with a renewed commitment to prayer, asking for the gift of discernment.
I invite and encourage all of you to accompany the synod with your own prayers. Perhaps you can make a renewed commitment of your own, with regular attendance at Sunday Mass, perhaps finding a daily Mass as well each week. Take time for quiet prayer, and where possible, pray before the Blessed Sacrament, either at your parish, and especially during times of Adoration. Finally, I strongly encourage a daily rosary, asking Mary, the Mother of the Church for her intercession.
Make an effort to stay informed during the synod. Remember, Pope Francis extended this Synod for two years, so the delegates will gather again next October in Rome. So much is yet to come. It is my hope to write updates regularly from Rome on my blog. If you wish, you may register on my blog to receive notices each time something new is posted to the blog. Simply scroll down on the right side of the blog to see where and how to subscribe to receive these notifications.
In additions, here is a link to our Archdiocesan website for the Synod.
Native American Ministry
Finally, I’m happy to share we are renewing our energy and efforts around our ministry to the Native American communities.
Last week I enjoyed a lovely Mass and celebration for the feast of St. Kateri Tekakwitha with the Lummi tribe at St. Joachim Catholic Church in in Lummi. There was a great turnout, and they provided quite a feast afterward. As some of the elders spoke, they respectfully mentioned the challenging history of the tribal communities with the Catholic Church. We all desire the wisdom to know how to reconcile this history and renew this relationship.
To that end, recently I and several members of our Archdiocesan staff met with representatives from numerous tribal groups from within the Archdiocese to discuss our history. Specifically, we asked for their guidance on how we handle our archive material, to better understand cultural sensitivities as well as their thoughts about handling requests for access to these materials. As they said: “This is our history”, and we want to respect that.
(Photos courtesy of Stephen Brashear)
As you can see, we have much to be thankful for, and much to pray for.
Thank all of you for your faith, and thank you for your prayers!5