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- Northwest Catholic
W W W. N WC AT H O L I C . O R G | D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 4 | VO L . 2 N O . 1 0
Seven tips for a more
peaceful Christmas
art faith
Are some ‘life issues’
more serious
than others?
Qué suerte he tenido
de nacer
As Michael Edwards’ life evolved,
so did her beliefs and her artistic vocation
The Magazine of the Catholic Church in Western Washington
Copyright 2014
[email protected]
art faith
Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain
Archbishop of Seattle
Greg Magnoni
Kevin Birnbaum
Ellen Bollard
Anna Weaver
Jean Parietti
As Michael Edwards’ life
evolved, so did her beliefs
and her artistic vocation
In this issue
Keri Hake
Ross Brownell
Stephen Brashear
Stephen Brashear
in faith
Sarah Bartel | Father Cal Christiansen
Janet Cleaveland
Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S. | Dan Lee
Phil Lenahan | Mauricio I. Pérez | Mark Shea
December 2014 • Vol. 2 No. 10
of hope
Noroeste Católico
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Las manos de Jesús
nunca se cansan de
Nuestra Señora de
Guadalupe y Sn. Esteban
reservation due
March 2015
Marriage Matters
26 DEL
Qué suerte he tenido
de nacer
El bebé que se llama
‘Dios con nosotros’
CNS/Nancy Wiechec
Northwest Catholic (USPS
011-490) is published by
Catholic Archbishop of
Seattle, Archbishop J. Peter
Sartain. Periodicals postage
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Northwest Catholic is a
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Seattle, WA 98104. ©2014 Northwest
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Stephen Brashear
Jesus lifts us up in prayer
The Mother of the Americas
and the first martyr
Celebrate Christmas
without breaking the bank
Seven tips for a more
peaceful Christmas
A quick and easy
Filipino tradition
TV meteorologist
M.J. McDermott
Are some ‘life issues’
more serious than others?
Dealing with
snowless Christmases
The end of an era
at the cathedral
What holy days are
you missing?
( E N E S PA Ñ O L : PÁ G I N A 2 4 )
Jesus’ arms never
tire of lifting us up
In the Incarnation, God joined
himself to all the shades and
shifts of humanity
I love to pray for people,
be especially present to you
to intercede with God on
when you’re dealing with
their behalf. In fact, doing
matters of life and death.
so is one of my fundamental
The shift
responsibilities as a priest.
toward eternity
Certainly those who seek
We made that commitment
my prayers are praying,
because that is precisely
too, and in a sense they are
what the Son of God did in
asking that I support their
the Incarnation: He joined
arms held aloft. Intercessory
himself to humanity in all its
prayer is one of the many
shades and shifts, and made
ways parishioners ask their
of us a priestly offering to his heavenly
priests to stand with them before God.
Father. On the cross, Jesus became the
One of the most awe-inspiring and
focus and point of convergence of all
captivating aspects of being a priest is
that human life and death encompass,
the constant emotional shifts we make
“For by one offering he has made
in our ministry. In the course of a day
perfect forever those who are being
it is not unusual for us to congratulate
consecrated.” (Hebrews 10:14) He lives
a family that has welcomed its first
forever at the right hand of the Father
child, and to console another that
to intercede for us all. I love to join him
has just lost a loved one to death; to
in praying for you.
meet with one couple preparing for
Each of us, in his or her own way,
marriage, and with another barely
has confronted life and death; and all
speaking because of a deep and
our life experiences, except for sin, are
frightening hurt; to welcome someone
personally known to the Son of God.
back to church after a long illness, and
Biblical imagery captures the gamut of
to listen to another tearfully explain
such experiences quite well, and Advent
she has only months to live.
gives us reason to reflect on the “end”
No matter what our vocation is, we
or “purpose” of it all. From the angel’s
all confront difficult issues, of course,
visit to the Virgin Mary, to Jesus’ birth
but there is a certain level of unspoken
in the obscurity of a stable, to his living
intimacy parishioners offer their
in Nazareth with Joseph and Mary, to
priests, manifested again and again as
his death on the cross, Jesus was forging
you invite us into the most significant
the path and showing us the way to life.
situations of your lives. At ordination
we commit ourselves to stand with you Obedience, humility, trust, sacrifice,
forgiveness, compassion and prayer
in good times and bad, at the peaks
literally pave the way to eternity.
and in the valleys, and to be especially
Beginnings and endings are mixed
present when the peaks are highest and
up together in this world, life and death
the valleys lowest — in other words, to
Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
John Everett Millais, Victory O Lord!
hen I visit a parish or school in our
archdiocese, I often ask if there is any
person or intention for which those present
would like me to pray. I usually receive a
strong response to this offer, which I am
happy to accommodate.
are intermingled in the course of a day,
peaks and valleys form the course of our
lives. Through it all, we walk the path
of Jesus, following close behind him,
because he has included us all in his
once-in-a-lifetime offering to the Father.
The sacred Scriptures remind us that
even if darkness seems to triumph, it is
only a passing phase, part of that shift
all creation is making toward eternity.
The birth of the Son of God set
humankind on a new path, from which
there is no turning back. Chapter 4 of
the Letter to the Hebrews proclaims
that there is always reason to have
hope in Jesus:
“Since we have a great high priest
who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast
to our confession. For we do not have a
high priest who is unable to sympathize
with our weaknesses, but one who
has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin. So let us confidently
approach the throne of grace to receive
mercy and to find grace for timely
help.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)
You often ask me and my brother
priests to pray for you. As your
archbishop, I can tell you that it is
our sacred privilege to do so, to stand
with you, in times of life and death,
proclaiming the words of Christ
the priest, whose arms never tire of
lifting up our lives to the Father in his
offering of love.
Come, Lord Jesus, come!
Send your prayer intentions to
Archbishop Sartain’s Prayer List,
Archdiocese of Seattle, 710 Ninth Ave.,
Seattle, WA 98104.
( E N E S PA Ñ O L : PÁ G I N A 2 5 )
Our Lady of
to a Mexican
16th century
Feast day:
December 12
Under this title, Our
Lady is the patron of
Mexico, the United States and all of the Americas, as
well as the protector of unborn children. In 1531, she
appeared in a vision to the peasant Juan Diego, on
Tepeyac Hill near Mexico City, and charged him with
asking the bishop to build a church on that spot. But
the bishop demanded a sign, so Our Lady had Juan
Diego gather flowers in his cloak, in December, to take
to the bishop. When Juan Diego opened his cloak, the
colorful image of Guadalupe was emblazoned on the
cactus-cloth. That icon is preserved in the most famous
shrine in the Western Hemisphere, and Our Lady of
Guadalupe continues to inspire poor and oppressed
people worldwide.
Midnight Mass
with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain
Broadcast live, Christmas Eve, on King 5 TV from St. James Cathedral
St. Stephen
RaiSe youR voice
in pRayeR FoR healing.
One of first
deacons was
stoned to death
Christianity’s first
martyr was probably
a Greek Jew. Stephen’s
story is recounted
in the Acts of the Apostles. He was among the first
seven deacons chosen to serve the Hellenist Christian
community in Jerusalem. But the wonders he worked
rattled local Jewish leaders. Witnesses at his trial
before the Sanhedrin gave false testimony, and Stephen
defended himself with a stirring speech recalling the
long history of Israel’s relationship with God and calling
the Jews “stiff-necked people” who “always oppose
the Holy Spirit.” As he was stoned to death outside the
city, he cried out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” He is
the patron of bricklayers, stonemasons and numerous
individual Christian churches.
Courtesy St. James Cathedral
First century
Feast day:
December 26
Join the people of Catholic health care as we pray for
100 days leading up to World Day of the Sick, February
11, 2015. That day, at 1:00 p.m., the feast of Our Lady of
Lourdes, thousands across the health ministry and beyond
will stop for one powerful minute of prayer for those who are
sick and those who care for them.
Sign up at:
In 2015, CHA celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding as the voluntary membership
association of Catholic health ministry organizations.
Catholic News Service
Celebrate Christmas
without breaking
the bank
We may need to
rethink what it
means to be truly
ur society is
with the Lord, we will also
especially good
be prepared to better appreciate the externals of the
at focusing on the
Christmas season.
externals of Christmas.
Christmas spending is
Some stores have
a major issue for many
families. In some cultures it
their Christmas aisles
is customary for gifts to be
all ready to go after
given throughout the family,
Labor Day. You can
down to second cousins.
Many families succumb
hear Christmas music
and find their credit
nonstop right after Thanksgiving.
card balances ballooning because of it.
While these externals contribute
Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to
to a “festive” atmosphere, it’s
share in a spirit of generosity during
important for us to remember that the Christmas season. It’s just that we
need to re-examine what it means to be
the Advent season is a gift from
truly generous.
the church to help us prepare our
I encourage you to sit down now
and think through your gift plans for
interior for Christ’s coming.
As the Catechism of the Catholic
Church says, “When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year,
she makes present [the] ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing
in the long preparation for the Savior’s
first coming, the faithful renew their
ardent desire for his second coming.”
(CCC 524) If we use this time well to
recommit ourselves in our relationship
this Christmas. First you’ll want to
develop your overall Christmas budget. Then you can determine how that
spending can best be allocated. You
can also think about creative ways you
can show your love that won’t break
the bank.
Consider making homemade cards,
baked goods or jam for your family
and friends. Each fall we make an annual outing to go apple picking. Some
Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
of the apples are for eating, but most
go toward making apple butter which
is given to family and friends as Christmas gifts. Another favorite is to share
the gift of time. Many couples in the
midst of raising families find it very difficult to go on a “date” due to the lack
of a babysitter. Coupons from a trusted
source for periodic babysitting help can
be a much appreciated gift!
What better way to celebrate the real
meaning of Christmas than by helping
those who have fallen on hard times?
You can participate directly by volunteering for one of the local outreach
efforts by your parish or broader community, whether it is a soup kitchen or
other type of ministry. Many communities offer programs where you can
“adopt” a needy family for Christmas
by providing food and gifts. Allow
your children to participate financially
by sharing some of their allowance for
this purpose. What a marvelous way
for your children to learn about the joy
of giving.
God love you!
Phil Lenahan is president of Veritas
Financial Ministries and author of 7 Steps
to Becoming Financially Free. Contact him
at www.VeritasFinancialMinistries.com.
Gentile da Fabriano, Adoration
of the Magi altarpiece (detail)
Seven tips for a more peaceful Christmas
Looking to the Holy Family can help you rise above the stress of the season
or accuse each other of
he Holy Family had
“ruining Christmas.”
the first stressful
The result? Together, they
Christmas. Imagine what
were able to marvel in awe
at the incredible gift God
it must have been like
brought them and the whole
for the Blessed Virgin
world, in that time and place
Mary. Cross-country
— which turned out to be
trip by donkey while
exactly the perfect time, and
the perfect place. (see Galatians
nine months pregnant.
4:4, Matthew 2:6)
Arriving late to a Bethlehem
Married couples can find great
crowded to maximum capacity.
inspiration from the marriage of
Mary and Joseph during Christmas
No reservations. Dealing with
preparations. The stress of this time can
a whole town full of in-laws.
be hard on marriages. Here are some
Giving birth in the equivalent of
tips for keeping close and nurturing your
someone else’s garage. Visits from marriage during Advent and Christmas.
Make extra time for each other
unexpected guests describing
daily in December. Can you arise
unusual visions. And, overnight,
earlier and sit down for coffee or
her husband decides that they
breakfast together before rushing off
to work? Create space for some extra
need to flee the country. Because
moments together in the evening? Aim
of a dream he had.
for an additional 20-minute period of
Not that it was any easier for St.
Joseph. He must have felt torn between
the pressure of getting to Bethlehem
in time to fulfill his legal duty and
concern about his very pregnant wife
and the baby. Finding parking for
the donkey. Finding a place to stay.
Leading the family out of mortal
danger. Hoping that Mary would
understand about the whole “because
an angel told me in a dream” thing.
What helped Mary and Joseph, in
addition to their faith in God, was
the strength of their marriage. They
trusted, respected and loved each
other. This helped them weather all
the hassles, discomforts, dangers
and unexpected turns of events
surrounding the Nativity. As a
married couple, they remained closely
united through the stress. They didn’t
complain, bicker, criticize one another
uninterrupted time when you can talk
and be present to one another. (This
has to be time for making eye contact,
not looking at your phones.) We know
St. Joseph must have been a good listener. How much do you really listen to
your spouse?
Give thanks and praise. Criticism
kills romance and strains marriage.
Affirmation draws us close. Look for at
least one thing to thank or praise your
husband or wife for every day.
Pray together. There is a lot to do
to get ready for Christmas! Bring it all
to God, together. He really does care
about the details of your life. (see 1 Peter
5:7) Mary and Joseph surely must have
prayed together as well.
Do not wait until the night
before Christmas — plan ahead
for a sane season. By the first
week of December, sit down and talk
with each other about ways you can
limit your family’s holiday stress
and keep the focus on Christ. What
expectations get priority? What events
can be skipped? Maybe you can limit
decorations or simplify gift-giving.
Deck the halls together. Use
the extra tasks of the season as
opportunities to draw closer, rather
than letting them pull you in separate
directions. Does your husband usually
get the “Advent lights” up on your
home? Maybe you can offer to get the
ladder, or at least watch and admire
his work, ready with a hot drink. Does
your wife usually shop for everyone’s
Christmas gifts? Offer to sit down
and brainstorm ideas with her, and
accompany her shopping. Tell her how
creative and thoughtful she is.
Make a list. Write a letter telling
your husband or wife how much
you love them and why. List happy
memories, or what you appreciate
about him or her. This would make a
beautiful gift for the feast of the Holy
Family on Dec. 28.
Include the single. While holiday
stress can affect marriages, this is also
an especially difficult time of year for
those who are widowed, divorced or
wistfully single. Couples, consider
how you can reach out to a single
friend, relative or parishioner. And
singles, know that you are all treasured
members of our church family!
However events unfold for you this
Christmas season, may you remain
closely united with Christ and enjoy the
peaceful presence of the Holy Family.
Sarah Bartel, a member of St. Andrew
Parish in Sumner, holds a doctorate in
moral theology and ethics from The
Catholic University of America, where
she specialized in marriage, family,
sexual ethics and bioethics. Her website is
Simbang Gabi
Rachel Bauer
Traditional Filipino
novena of Masses
deepens spiritual
preparation for
s we await the coming of the Baby Jesus, our Filipino brothers and sisters are celebrating a
novena that expresses their love for God and honors the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The nine days of Masses are a way of keeping
In keeping with Simbang Gabi, here is a recipe
the Filipino people connected to their faith, their
for meat adobo from Mia Sazon of Our Lady of
community and their heritage. So often we come
Guadalupe Parish in West Seattle. She prepares
to know cultures through their traditional foods.
and serves marienda, or a light lunch, for the
This Advent, I hope more of us participate in Simgathering after the commissioning Mass. Because
bang Gabi and at the table afterward.
she is serving a crowd, she offers a quick and easy
Simbang Gabi, or “night Mass,” began during
version of the dish.
the early days of Spanish rule over the Philippines.
Janet Cleaveland is a member of the Proto-Cathedral
The Masses were offered in the evening after the
of St. James the Greater in Vancouver.
farmers had put in long, hot days in the fields.
Though exhausted, they came anyway. As a comQuick and easy adobo
promise, the friars switched to mornings, sometimes as early as
• 2 pounds meat, cut into 1- or 2-inch chunks.
3 a.m. In the Philippines, the novena concludes on the morning
Try boneless pork shoulder (butt), boneless
of Christmas Eve at a Mass sometimes called Misa de Gallo,
which is Spanish for “Rooster’s Mass.”
country-style pork ribs, boneless chicken
Filipino-Americans brought this spiritual tradition to the
thighs, chopped whole chicken, or a combinaUnited States, but the Masses were shifted to evenings to action of pork and chicken. For vegetarian, use
commodate work schedules.
fried firm tofu, baking potatoes, or a mix.
The people display star-shaped lanterns, or parols, in
• 6
cloves garlic, finely crushed
their homes and as part of the procession at the beginning
of Mass. The parol represents the star of Bethlehem and
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world.
• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
About 80 parishes in the Archdiocese of Seattle will take
• 4 whole dried bay leaves
part in the novena, which runs from Dec. 15–23 this year,
• 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
according to Philip Tran, director of multicultural com• Pinch of salt
munities for the archdiocese. Approximately 1,000 Filipino
Catholics are expected to participate in a Simbang Gabi
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover the
commissioning Mass at St. James Cathedral, with traditional bowl and marinate for at least one hour or overnight in
dishes served afterward. This year’s commissioning Mass
the refrigerator.
will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.
For stovetop cooking: Place all ingredients in a
At St. Edward Parish in south Seattle, Father Felino Paumedium-size pot, cover and simmer at medium heat for
lino’s heart is full in anticipation of the novena. His parish
about 45 minutes or until fork-tender.
is 60 percent Filipino, and many of his parishioners attend
For oven cooking: Transfer all ingredients to approprieach of the nine Masses and bring traditional rice-based
ate baking dish and cover loosely. Bake at 300 degrees
foods for hospitality afterward. The parish has been particifor one hour, or until fork-tender.
pating in the novena for more than 20 years.
For vegetarian dishes, bake the tofu version about
“We have special Filipino songs and readings to honor the
15 minutes. Bake potato adobo for 20 to 30 minutes or
Blessed Mother,” he said. “The archbishop comes one of the
until fork-tender.
nights. We have bibingka and other rice pastries” like those
Add water in 1/2-cup increments as needed to preavailable after novena Masses in the Philippines.
vent scorching, or if more sauce is desired. Serve hot
over steamed white or brown rice.
Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
Holy Names Academy
Senior – soccer
The leading goal scorer on her team,
Hanna is a captain and leads by example.
A member of St. Benedict Parish, she is an
honors student and maintains a 3.9 GPA. She
helped lead the first ever Holy Names soccer service event, in
which the school’s three soccer teams volunteered with the
Northwest Harvest hunger relief agency.
When people need help, we'll be there.
To sponsor Winning Spirit or learn more about this feature, visit www.
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website at www.svdpseattle.org/donation-your-car.
Matt won a state championship at
120 pounds as a sophomore, and has
accumulated many regional and national
wrestling accolades as well. A member of
Mary, Queen of Peace Parish, Matt carries a 3.93
GPA and has volunteered as a wrestling coach, as a
counselor for his parish’s vacation Bible school and with
Special Olympics.
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TV meteorologist
M.J. McDermott
prays with the weather
Interview by Dan Lee
Courtesy M.J. McDermott
M.J. McDermott is the morning
meteorologist on Q-13 FOX News.
She has a degree in atmospheric
sciences from the University of
Washington, and is proud to
be the first woman and first TV
meteorologist to win the school’s
annual forecasting competition.
Before becoming a meteorologist,
McDermott was an actor in New
York City and Seattle. She is also
a writer and singer, and for many
years she conducted the choir at
Seattle’s St. Anne Parish.
With her husband, John, and twin
teenage sons, Kirby and Patrick,
she is a member of St. Catherine of
Siena Parish in Seattle, where she
serves as a lector.
Tell me a little bit about your Catholic faith journey,
and the role your faith plays in your life.
Well, my dad was Irish Catholic and my mother was Polish Catholic, so of
course we went to church. So I grew up in the Catholic Church, all the sacraments and whatnot. Then when I went to college I thought, Oh, everybody is
giving up the church — maybe I should. But I found that that one hour a week,
when I went to Mass at the Newman Center at the University of Maryland, was
a nice time to just calm and be quiet. It was very powerful.
So I stayed a Catholic, moved to New York City, and went to a couple of different parishes there. I got involved in this program at St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit
parish in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, called “Lay Spirituality.” It
was an 18-month program of adult education. That was the time of my most
explosive growth as an adult in the Catholic Church.
We had modules on different types of prayer. I did the Myers-Briggs test, and
the guy who led it used it in terms of how best to approach your prayer life,
based on your personality. It blew me away, because at the time I was an actress,
and the kind of prayer that was so popular was the kind of prayer where it’s, you
know, “Close your eyes. Imagine you’re at the Sermon on the Mount and you’ve
got your toes in the hot sand.” And I would just be bored to death and fall
asleep. I would go, “What is wrong with me? I can’t pray.”
And he said that prayer is part of your leisure time. It is something to balance you. So, if you spend your entire life as a lawyer, for instance, dealing with
words, the worst thing you can do for your prayer life is to read literature and
then write about it. Because you would be overloaded in that area. You need to
go off and meditate quietly in a room, or listen to music.
For me, that creative, contemplative prayer was just the worst thing, because I
was an actor and I was doing that all the time. So for me, the balancing act was
the intellectual — reading literature, reading spiritual books and then journaling. That balanced me out.
As a meteorologist, is there any correlation between what you do in
the morning, trying to forecast what is going on around our region,
and your prayer life?
Funny you should say that, because I keep thinking I want to write the book
Praying with the Weather. Because, for instance, day two of creation, what did God
make? The sky. It was really far up on the list of important things to create, right?
So the atmosphere came way before the people, and the animals and the birds.
There is so much Scripture about weather. Like Noah, for instance. You know,
God using rain as a way to purify, sanctify and then also destroy. And then the
rainbow comes out — the optical effects. Everybody is dazzled by optical effects,
and that is powerful.
Then, I love talking about how the Bible was written and all this stuff happened in the Middle East, which is a desert climate. And when God is revealed,
or God speaks, he is always in a what? In a cloud.
And I just think: Of course! Because any time a cloud appears in the Middle
East, it’s good news: “We could have some rain!” But if Jesus was born in
Seattle, do you think God would speak in a cloud? Of course not. He would be
talking in rays of sunshine. That is what we are going to be delighted by, right?
So it’s all about climate.
Dan Lee is a freelance journalist and a member of St. Barbara Parish in Black
Diamond. This interview has been condensed and edited.
10 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
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Are all attacks on
human dignity the same?
Church teaching helps us in our discernment between good and evil
I attended Mass recently and the priest was preaching about the dignity of the human
person. He mentioned offenses in our culture against that dignity, saying something about
a “hierarchy” of life issues, that some take precedence over others. I’m confused. Aren’t
all attacks against the dignity of the human person really the same? Please shed some light on
this issue for me.
punishment and war are examples.
As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote before
becoming pope, “While the Church exhorts civil
authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise
discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on
criminals, it may still be permissible to take up
arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to
capital punishment. There may be a legitimate
diversity of opinions even among Catholics about
waging war and applying the death penalty.”
With regard to capital punishment, the
However, the priest who delivered that homily
catechism teaches: “Assuming that the guilty
was correct in saying that there is a hierarchy of life
party’s identity and responsibility have been
issues; they are not all created equal. Let me explain.
fully determined, the traditional teaching of the
Not all attacks on the dignity of the human
Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if
person have the same moral weight. Certain offenses are
this is the only possible way of effectively defending human
always considered objectively evil, while others do not share
lives against the unjust aggressor.
this moral absolute.
“If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend
There are three elements in judging whether any act is
and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will
good or evil: object, intention and circumstances. By object,
limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with
we mean the moral object or action, not a physical object.
the concrete conditions of the common
There are certain actions that are always
evil and can never be condoned. Two
“There may be a legitimate good and more in conformity to the
dignity of the human person.
examples (both of which are legal in our
diversity of opinions even
“Today, in fact, as a consequence of
state) are abortion and euthanasia.
the possibilities which the state has for
As the Catechism of the Catholic
among Catholics about
effectively preventing crime, by rendering
Church says, “Since the first century
one who has committed an offense
the Church has affirmed the moral
waging war and applying
incapable of doing harm — without
evil of every procured abortion. This
definitively taking away from him the
the death penalty.”
teaching has not changed and remains
possibility of redeeming himself — the
unchangeable.” (CCC 2271) Basically,
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
cases in which the execution of the
there would never be a case in which
offender is an absolute necessity ‘are very
an abortion could be seen as morally
rare, if not practically non-existent.’” (CCC 2267)
While St. John Paul II, Pope Francis and many others
The same holds for euthanasia: “Whatever its motives and
within our church have spoken out forcefully against capital
means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the
punishment, questioning its existence especially in the first
lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally
world, it is not necessarily morally evil in all cases. Because
unacceptable.” (CCC 2277)
of this and other similar issues, the church teaches that
Abortion and euthanasia are always morally wrong
there is a “hierarchy” of moral gravity in attacks against the
because they attack the most innocent and vulnerable forms
dignity of the human person, some ranking higher on the
of human life, which require extra protection and vigilance;
scale than others.
people at either of these stages cannot protect themselves.
May God’s blessings be with you today and always!
Other offenses against the dignity of the human person
do not carry the same moral weight as abortion and
Father Cal Christiansen is pastor of St. Pius X Parish in
euthanasia and are not considered always morally evil,
Mountlake Terrace. Send your questions for “Ask Father” to
[email protected]
because the moral object is not evil in itself. Capital
Let me begin by saying that in a
certain sense, you are absolutely
correct. All attacks against the
dignity of the human person, from
the purposeful targeting of innocent
civilians during a war to human
trafficking, are morally offensive and
gravely demean the human person.
12 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
Find Yourself
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The beauty of Christmas doesn’t depend on the weather
estern Washingtonians have to cope with
extremes in the weather. Whether it’s summer or winter, the weather is
always extremely temperate.
We have to face the brutal
reality that it’s only snowed on
Christmas in Seattle six times
in the past century. Six times!
That’s 94 snowless times in
the past 100 years when we’ve
had to listen to “White Christmas,” get sparkly cards full of
19th-century scenes with sleighs jingling merrily
through wintry forests, and watch movies where
— after the family has come back together following the crisis that threatened to tear it apart
and everybody has learned the True Meaning of
Christmas — the child looks out the window with
eyes full of wonder and cries out, “Mom! Dad!
Look! It’s snowing!” That, plus the Mariners,
can make it seem like we get the short end of the
cosmic stick here in Washington.
All the good stuff about Christmas
And in winter, we have rain rather than impassable snow
drifts, salt on the roads eating your car away, busted pipes
and all those weather reports from the East Coast each winter which use terms like “crippled,” “paralyzed,” “buried,”
“icy grip” and “Big Freeze.”
Our green Christmases here in Seattle mean that we can
enjoy all the good stuff about Christmas without sweating
the lousy stuff. We still get the long cold dark winter nights,
good for snuggling and smooching. We still get the lightsout hide-and-seek games with the little ones. We still get the
The true True Meaning of Christmas
I take this “look on the bright side” view of our green
Christmases because I figure we’ve got it pretty good. The
first Christmas was celebrated under considerably more
adverse conditions than ours. I don’t have to haul my wife
somewhere on the back of a jackass because some bureaucratic ninny decided that the bean counters needed to count
our particular noses just as my wife was coming to term
with our first child. If we travel, I know we’ll have a roof
over our heads when we reach journey’s end. And it will be
better than a cave.
And yet, I’m not going to complain. Why? Because I love
where I live! It’s really that simple. Yeah, we don’t get the
Lake Wobegon winters with tons of snow. Yeah, we don’t
get the California heat or the Hawaii gorgeousness. But man
oh man, do Washingtonians live in a beautiful place! In the
summer, especially July through September, there’s no place
more wonderful on earth. No humidity, cool breezes, your
choice of salt water or mountains within an hour’s drive of
one another, Edenic places to hike and camp and ride bikes.
excitement of the Advent countdown. We still get to go see
family and friends. We still get the glory of the Christmas
vigil Mass. We still get the glee of Christmas morning. Only,
when the sun rises, odds are extremely good that it will be
a golden crisp bright morning with frost on the evergreen
tree and the bare branches of our mountain ash forming a
delicate lace across our view of Mount Rainier through the
back window. When the kids want to go out and play with
the new automated radio-controlled gizmo from Aunt Mary,
they don’t have to wait till April to do it. When we want to
drive down to Olympia to see the family for the big holiday
hooptido, we just go. There are no travel advisories because
hey! it’s Christmas, so there’s no snow!
That first Christmas was not at all what we’d call “Christmassy.” It wasn’t even green, much less white. It was just
tough, if you judge it by the standard of Kodak moments
per hour. On the other hand, it was more Christmassy than
any other Christmas, because here, not confusable with any
of the trimmings, was what it was all about: a Christmas
neither green nor white, but pink and perfect and wrapped
in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. If you’re looking for Kodak moments, it’s good to know where to put the
Mark Shea is a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle.
His blog “Catholic and Enjoying It!” is at www.patheos.com/
14 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
A Glorious Tribute!
Saint John Paul II
Commemorative Edition
Exclusively from Ashton-Drake
April 27, 2014, will forever be remembered as the day of the
canonization of Pope John Paul II. Only nine years after his
passing, his ascension to sainthood is the quickest in modern
times, inspired by the chants of Santo Subito (“Sainthood
Now!”) from the crowds gathered at his funeral Mass in 2005.
“The Pilgrim Pope” was one of the Catholic Church’s most
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to more than 100 countries to deliver his message of peace.
Now you can honor this beloved Holy Father and his
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An incredible value—strictly limited!
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16 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
art faith
As Michael Edwards’ life
evolved, so did her beliefs
and her artistic vocation
By Anna Weaver
n Seattle’s Mount Baker neighborhood, tucked next to
her childhood home, is a one-car garage where Michael
Shelby Edwards’ work and faith intertwine.
Inside the converted art studio, painting supplies and
finished artworks keep company with a 1950s lawn
Nativity scene and a wooden chest covered with prayer
cards, candles and family photos. Texts on art, world
religions, philosophy and Catholicism fill a bookcase.
For much of this year, a 3-foot-by-4-foot oil painting
of the Virgin Mary, surrounded by Pacific Northwest
wilderness and with the Christ Child in her lap, slowly took
shape on one wall of what has become a sacred space for
“What goes on inside of the studio is just a very obvious
and direct extension of my prayer life,” she said.
It wasn’t always this way. The 32-year-old Seattle native
and her four siblings were raised in a mixed-faith home
— their father Catholic, their mother a Protestant. All five
children were baptized Catholic and attended St. Therese
School in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood.
Edwards drew closer to Catholicism through her nextdoor neighbor, Debbie Guenther, who had “a fervent,
ardent practice of the faith” and became like a second
mother to Edwards. Guenther took her to weekday Mass
and confession, taught her to pray the rosary and helped
her develop a devotion to Mary.
Stephen Brashear
But Guenther died suddenly when Edwards was 16. The
teen lost her positive mentor as many negative influences
came into her life. She started drinking, doing drugs
and developing an interest in the occult. As soon as she
was confirmed, “I was out of there,” Edwards said of the
Catholic Church.
After reconnecting to Jesus Christ through her 12-step
recovery program, Edwards began regularly evangelizing to
addicts about the Jesus who had saved her from her demons.
Still, something felt lacking faithwise. As she explored different beliefs, “the more orthodox it was, the more Catholic it
was, the more weight it had, the more real it was,” she said.
Edwards remembers the exact moment she decided to
come back to the church. It was midnight on a Tuesday, her
28th birthday, and she was at a Philadelphia diner with a
friend. Sitting nearby was Father Jim Drucker, a local priest
and radio disc jockey. The two struck up a conversation. After Edwards told him her story and asked lots of questions,
Father Drucker invited her to come back to Catholicism.
And so, in the diner parking lot, in the middle of the
night, Edwards made her first confession in a long time.
That Sunday, Easter Sunday, she went back to Mass.
“I consider myself really blessed that, for some reason,
between God and the devil, I felt things so strongly that I
just couldn’t last very long without turning to the truth and
turning to Christ,” Edwards said.
Art as religious act
Michael Edwards
Edwards’ The Madonna of Humility sits amidst a Pacific
Northwest wilderness, the Christ Child in her lap, angels
at her feet, and a waterfall cascading from her veil.
Soul sickness
After graduating from Seattle Preparatory School, Edwards went to the University of Washington, where she
earned a bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing in 2005,
along with a top department prize for painting. That was
despite increasing issues with her drinking.
“I really think that the drinking was a symptom of the
soul sickness I was in,” Edwards said. “Painting and drawing
was the one bright spot in my life where it was about truth.”
After graduation, Edwards continued her self-described
partying ways. Outwardly she seemed to be doing fine,
working on portraiture, singing in a blues band and busing
tables. But inside, she had hit “spiritual bottom.”
Edwards realized she needed help and entered a 12-step recovery program on Dec. 5, 2005. The next day, she “turned
to God.” Soon afterward, she decided to move to Philadelphia for graduate school; she earned her master’s degree in
painting and drawing from the Pennsylvania Academy of
the Fine Arts in 2008. She stayed on in the city for two more
years, working and progressing spiritually from New Age
philosophy to evangelical Christianity.
After moving back to Seattle, Edwards set up her studio at
her parents’ home and started teaching art. She has attended
Mass at the University of Washington’s Newman Center and
Blessed Sacrament Parish in Seattle since her return.
But it did take several years of grappling to reconcile her
vocation as an artist with her Catholic faith. The transition
is apparent in some of her work, which moves from darker
Grimms’ fairy tale ink drawings, through studies of human sexuality and the physical form, into some of her first
overtly religious pieces.
The art world can be resistant to religion, said Renee
Foulks, one of Edwards’ Philadelphia professors and friends.
“You are looked at as someone who is an enemy. You’re
looked at as an anti-intellectual.”
Edwards wasn’t vocal about her faith in the arts community, but by 2012, she could “really see my vocation
starting to come through in my art.” Others apparently saw
the same thing. That year, the curator of an exhibit at the
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts described Edwards as
“devoutly Catholic” in her artist bio.
Now, Edwards says that her best answer to the question
“What is art?” is that it’s “a religious act, an act of faith.”
“Art, I think, is a very universal, very natural, intrinsic,
religious expression,” she said. “The more I allow my work
in art to be seamlessly connected with my work in prayer,
I feel that I’m becoming more and more and more honest
about who I am.”
That doesn’t mean Edwards considers herself a “church
artist.” As her friend Dominican Father Raphael Mary
Salzillo put it, “The difference between Michael and the art
that’s meant to be hung up in a church is like the difference
between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.”
“Tolkien hated allegory and Lewis slathered it on,” Father
Salzillo explained. “What comes through in Michael’s work
comes through in a different way, in a way that is less direct,
less obvious, but is in some ways more profound.”
“She can look at a work of art and recognize the truth
and the error in it,” he said. “It’s unusual to have a gifted
18 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
artist who is trained in contemporary art — which is
often very anti-Christian — and has the kind of depth of
spirituality to speak and give voice to the Gospel through
this medium.”
Foulks, too, said Edwards’ works aren’t “necessarily
classical representations of the theme,” but “they’re very
personal interpretations of her love for Mary and her
love of Jesus.”
Interested in seeing Michael Edwards’ art firsthand?
Some of her work will be exhibited Dec. 5 at
Rogers & Ryan, 605 Eastlake Ave. E., Seattle.
God want me to do with it and what am I called to do?’”
Edwards is an extrovert who says it can be hard to lock
herself away in her studio to focus on work. Some days
with the Madonna, all she could get herself to do was sit
down and pray the rosary, journal and pray some more.
Other days, she’d come into the studio and be half a
decade into the rosary when inspiration would guide her
to the canvas.
“I really do have to get into a sacred space to be able to
conceive,” she said. That’s where the idea for a Madonna of
Humility came from, emerging in a sketch she worked on
while at eucharistic adoration.
A few months later, back at Edwards’ studio, iced tea
had replaced coffee and a garage window was open to the
warmer late spring weather. The faces of the Madonna and
Child were becoming more complex and layered, the details
of the wild Pacific Northwest background now visible, and
lustrous warmth saturating the entire work.
Stockton said he especially appreciates that the piece is the
type of artwork that “grows with you.”
“If you approach them again and again and soak in the
details, they grow in richness,” he said.
The Madonna
Edwards’ religious path led this year to painting The
Madonna of Humility, her first large-scale religious work.
Aaron Stockton, an Amazon software development engineer, commissioned it after hearing Edwards talk about
her passion for art with religious themes. It will hang in the
entryway of his Central District home.
During a March session in her studio, Edwards had a
heater on to ward off the Seattle dampness that slowed the
drying process of her oil paints. With a Rock Star energy
drink and coffee nearby and early music playing in the background, Edwards clutched four brushes and a paint rag in
her left hand and another brush in her right as she worked
on the Madonna bit by bit. Throughout her conception of and work on the piece
she had to keep discerning between her own subconscious
thoughts and what God might be trying to tell her about
the painting.
“My studio can be my battlefield,” she said. “It’s not really about, ‘What do I feel like I want to do?’ It’s, ‘What does
Mission field
Stephen Brashear
Portraits are one of Edwards’ specialties. Dominican
Father Raphael Mary Salzillo appears at bottom left.
When Edwards says of the Madonna, “I just want it to be
a part of me pointing to God,” she could be talking about
any of her artwork today.
That’s because she considers the sometimes “dark and
secular” art world to be a mission field. “Everything I do is
for God, whether I’m at a cathedral or in a commercial gallery,” she said.
While she doesn’t directly evangelize to her art students or
subjects, conversations about faith and religion often creep
into sessions in her studio. One of her students, Lon-Marie
Walton, has had many deep religious conversations with
Edwards despite not being religious.
“I think art is quite a spiritual undertaking,” Walton said.
“And what Michael has chosen to do with that is to look at
the world through her experience and her faith and try and
interpret truthfully what she sees.”
Edwards said of her nonreligious students, “I can see that
when they are painting and drawing, that’s the closest thing
to prayer and contemplation that they’re experiencing in
their life. And I trust that encouraging people in this direction is really encouraging them to cast out into the creation
and find out what’s there.”
Edwards always knew she had a vocation to be an artist.
Now it’s also about sharing Christ through her art. “There’s
this really joyful and delicious sense that my life in the arts
really makes sense now that I’m a Catholic.”
Fostering in faith
With God as her anchor,
Cindy Kocer steadies the lives
of troubled kids
By Jean Parietti
ell before the sun rises this time of year,
Cindy Kocer is already up and praying.
“I pray, ‘Lord, guide me on this day,’ because we do have
kids,” Kocer said. “I was resisting. He said, ‘Let’s try it.’”
difficult kids,” said Kocer, who has been “Gramma” to
Jennie took care of the paperwork and got them signed up
nearly 50 children in five years.
for the next foster parent class. Kocer said a prayer: “Lord, if
The kids can have behavioral and anger issues. They may
this is what your will is, I will do it, we will do it. But show me
have been born drug-affected or suffered abuse.
the right way to do it.”
Some stay just a few days for “respite” care, but
Not long after, Cindy and Dan became
“I’ve learned to
half of them have lived in Kocer’s Bremerton
licensed as foster parents.
home from a few months to more than a year.
They fostered many kids before Dan died
center my life with
“When a child comes in her home …
in 2013, and Kocer didn’t hesitate to welcome
God. I should have
they’re not the foster kids, they’re part of her
more foster children after Dan’s passing.
family,” said Gina Pizano, who licenses fos“He always told me that no matter what
done that a long,
ter homes for Catholic Community Services
happens in our lives, that people, especially
in Kitsap County.
children, deserve a second chance and a better
long time ago.”
Supported by her extended family, her faith
life,” Kocer said. “So in continuing what he
community and the CCS therapeutic foster
and I started together, I believe in my heart that
Cindy Kocer
care team, Kocer has helped stabilize these
he will always be with me in this journey.”
children so they can return to live with family members.
The sanctity of Sundays
“I think she was amazing for him,” said Mike Vaughn,
Kocer grew up in the Philippines, in a well-off extended
whose son Chris returned home last year after living with Kofamily with a strong Catholic faith, where she learned to
cer for nearly three years. “She taught me some good things,”
give back and share with those in need. After moving to the
said Chris, now 16, who still calls Kocer every week.
U.S. as an adult, though, Kocer eventually became a “C&E
“She hangs in with a lot of these kids that a lot of people
would give up on,” Pizano said. The key to Kocer’s success is Catholic,” going to Mass only on Christmas and Easter. It
wasn’t until she moved to Bremerton and began attending
structure infused with love: “They know she really cares.”
Mass at the Jackson Park Community Chapel that she felt at
Resistance is futile
home and at peace, and came back to the church full time.
Becoming a foster parent was never foremost in Kocer’s mind.
Now on Sundays, Kocer is on spiritual overdrive.
For years, she felt her calling was caring for the elderly in
She cranks up Christian music on YouTube and watches
adult family homes, a notion her husband, Dan, had disthree Masses — including two Filipino Masses — before
suaded her from many times. But after retiring from the
going to 9 a.m. Mass at Prince of Peace Chapel at the naval
Navy in 1995, he finally agreed. The couple operated adult
base in Bangor. Kocer is a lector and extraordinary minister
family homes in the Bremerton area for 10 years, until Dan
of holy Communion, and has sung in the choir and taught
had a massive stroke. Two years later, after Dan had largely
catechism and confirmation classes.
recovered, Kocer was looking for something to do. Her
“She’s very, very active, very supportive and very indaughter, Jennie, suggested her parents open their home to
volved,” said Father Henry Hernando, pastor at the chapel.
foster kids.
“Her faith shines through.”
“Why would I want to do that?” Kocer recalls asking JenEvery Sunday afternoon, Kocer heads off to her Couples for
nie. You’re good with kids, was the reply. “My husband loves
Christ gathering for a few hours of praise, fellowship and food.
20 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
Stephen Brashear
She turns on EWTN and recites the 4:30 a.m.
rosary, then watches morning Mass. And each
morning, she seeks God’s help to be a good foster
When Kocer became a foster parent, “right off the bat, I
told [CCS] Sundays are for me,” she said. “There would be
something missing if I don’t go to church on a Sunday. It’s
like I’m not complete.”
Not pushing her religion
The mother of a son and daughter, Kocer chooses to foster
boys, usually teenagers, although she welcomes girls for respite stays. (“I think it’s harder to take care of girls usually,”
she explained.)
Kocer often fosters two long-term kids at a time (she’s
had as many as four at once). Treating them like her own
children makes a big difference, Pizano said. “Some of these
kids have been kicked out of so many homes.”
While helping her kids stabilize their behaviors, Kocer also
encourages them to live by Christian principles. She suggests
they try coming to church with her, but most “think it’s too
boring,” she said. “I said OK, I won’t push my religion on
you; I wouldn’t want anyone to force their religion on me.”
So while Kocer goes to Sunday Mass, CCS community
support specialists take her foster kids on outings. “We want
to make sure that all of our foster parents have the opportunity to worship, so we make that a priority,” Pizano said.
Kocer’s current foster son, who turns 10 in December, has
been with her since January. He enjoys going to the Couples
for Christ gatherings, calling them Kocer’s “fun church.”
He has started watching Mass and reciting the rosary with
“Gramma” on Saturday mornings. He has learned the
Lord’s Prayer and is working on the Hail Mary.
As with all her foster kids, Kocer strives to teach him to be
Christ-like. “You treat people the way you want to be treated.
If you’re good, they see God in you,” she tells him. “If you
help somebody, if you tell the truth, that’s being God-like.”
The need for foster parents is great. Learn more
at www.NWCatholic.org, call Catholic Community
Services of Western Washington at 253-363-6937
or visit www.ccsww.org.
Stronger in faith
While fostering her kids, Kocer has faced many tough
times in her personal life, especially in 2012: breast cancer,
the accidental shooting of her granddaughter in an elementary-school classroom, the diagnosis of her husband’s dementia. Just after Christmas 2012, Kocer’s father died; within
six months, her husband and a nephew also died.
“If not for our faith, I really don’t know what I would
have done,” she said. “I know we question, but [God] has
plans for everything.” Through it all, Kocer’s faith has only
gotten stronger. “I’ve learned to center my life with God. I
should have done that a long, long time ago,” she said. “Every day I’m at peace.”
The CCS team also has stood with Kocer through the
personal crises. While Dan was dying in a hospital, CCS
staffed the couple’s home for a week to care for their two
foster kids. “We’re always there for them, regardless of what
happens,” Pizano said of CCS foster parents. “It’s a family
between all of us.”
Just like other parents in other families, Kocer has dreams
for her foster kids. “I hope that they grow up productive
citizens, and hopefully God-fearing,” she said.
And “Gramma” always remembers them to God: “I keep
praying, ‘Lord, give them the tools that they need to succeed
in life.’”
Stephen Brashear
Cindy Kocer enjoys a light moment with Chris Vaughn, who was her foster son for nearly three years. Now living with
his dad, Chris stays in touch by calling Kocer every week.
season of hope
The church’s ‘New Year’ is a time
to prepare for the coming of Christ
By Kevin Birnbaum
CNS/Nancy Wiechec
dvent is a time of joyful expectation
and preparation, both for the
celebration of Jesus’ birth at
Christmas and for his second coming at
the end of the world. Use the resources
on these pages to enter more deeply into
what Pope Francis has called “this season
of active waiting and watchfulness.”
Pope Francis: Advent restores the ‘horizon of hope’
Source: Pope Francis’ Angelus message on the First Sunday of Advent, Dec. 1, 2013.
Available at www.vatican.va.
Find more Advent resources, including an Advent calendar with daily
readings and activities, at the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops: www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/advent.
22 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
The Expectant Madonna with St. Joseph, National Gallery of Art, Washington
CNS/Paul Haring
The First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year in the
Western church, and this season is a time for all of us to “begin again,” as Pope
Francis has said:
“Just as in each of our lives we always need to begin again, to get up again, to
rediscover the meaning of the goal of our lives, so also for the great human family it is always necessary to rediscover the common horizon
toward which we are journeying. The horizon of hope! This
is the horizon that makes for a good journey. The season of
Advent … restores this horizon of hope, a hope which does
not disappoint for it is founded on God’s Word. A hope
which does not disappoint, simply because the Lord never
disappoints! He is faithful! He does not disappoint! Let us
think about and feel this beauty.
“The model of this spiritual disposition, of this way of being and journeying in life, is the Virgin Mary. A simple girl
from the country who carries within her heart the fullness of
Pope Francis
hope in God! In her womb, God’s hope took flesh, it became
man, it became history: Jesus Christ. Her Magnificat is the canticle of the People
of God on a journey, and of all men and women who hope in God and in the
power of his mercy. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by her, she who is mother,
a mama, and knows how to guide us. Let us allow ourselves to be guided by her
during this season of active waiting and watchfulness.”
Lippo Memmi, St. John the Baptist
Throughout Advent, the
Mass readings remind us of
how God prepared the world
for the coming of Christ. The
Catechism of the Catholic
Church offers a reflection on
how the prophets, and especially John the Baptist, relate to our
own Advent preparations:
“The coming of God’s Son
to earth is an event of such
immensity that God willed to
prepare for it over centuries. He
makes everything converge on
Christ: all the rituals and sacrifices, figures and symbols of the
‘First Covenant.’ He announces
him through the mouths of the
prophets who succeeded one another in Israel. Moreover,
he awakens in the hearts of the pagans a dim expectation of
this coming.
“St. John the Baptist is the Lord’s immediate precursor
or forerunner, sent to prepare his way. ‘Prophet of the Most
High,’ John surpasses all the prophets, of whom he is the
last. … John bears witness to Christ in his preaching, by his
Baptism of conversion, and through his martyrdom.
“When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each
year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s
first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his
second coming. By celebrating the precursor’s birth and
martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: ‘He
must increase, but I must decrease.’”
Source: CCC 522-524. Available at www.usccb.org/catechism.
Archbishop Sartain:
‘Only God can fulfill us’
The season of Advent
reminds us of our weakness
— and that’s a good thing,
according to Archbishop J.
Peter Sartain:
“There is probably no
better way to prepare for
Christmas than to admit our
insufficiency, our weakness, our incapacity to save
ourselves. In many ways
that is what Advent is all
about: preparing a way by
recognizing that only God
can fulfill us.
“To admit our insufficiency is not a sign
of defeat; to do so is a sign of welcome to the Savior. Jesus is
ready — and desires — to come to us. Will we let him in?”
Source: An Advent Pilgrimage: Preparing Our Hearts for Jesus.
Available free of charge at Western Washington parishes.
The Poissy Antiphonal
John the Baptist
prepares the
way of the Lord
The O Antiphons, ancient
prayers of expectation
Everyone knows the Advent carol “O Come, O
Come, Emmanuel.” But did you know that the hymn
comes from the great O Antiphons, ancient prayers
that reflect on the coming of Christ? (Some say the
antiphons are referenced in the writings of Boethius,
who died in the early sixth century.) The O Antiphons
are still recited in the church’s official evening prayer
Dec. 17–23. Try incorporating the antiphons into your
own prayer routine, or start praying the Liturgy of the
Hours at www.ibreviary.org/en.
O Sapientia (Dec. 17): O Wisdom, O holy Word of
God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender
care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.
O Adonai (Dec. 18): O sacred Lord of ancient Israel,
who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush, who
gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: come, stretch
out your mighty hand to set us free.
O Radix Jesse (Dec. 19): O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you
have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand
silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship
before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to
our aid.
O Clavis David (Dec. 20): O Key of David, O royal
Power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of
heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death;
and lead your captive people into freedom.
O Oriens (Dec. 21): O Radiant Dawn, splendor of
eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who
dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.
O Rex Gentium (Dec. 22): O King of all the nations,
the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the
mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you
fashioned from the dust.
O Emmanuel (Dec. 23): O Emmanuel, king and
lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come
and set us free, Lord our God.
Fun fact: If you read the first letters of the antiphons
in reverse order, you get the Latin phrase ero cras, which
means (roughly) “Tomorrow I will be there.”
Source: Father William Saunders, Arlington Catholic
Herald, “What are the ‘O Antiphons’?” Available at
( I N E N G L I S H : PA G E 4 )
Las manos de Jesús nunca
se cansan de levantarnos
John Everett Millais, Victory O Lord!
En su Encarnación, Dios se une a todas las
situaciones y cambios de la humanidad
uando visito una parroquia o escuela en nuestra arquidiócesis, con
frecuencia pregunto si hay alguna persona o intención especial
entre los presentes por la cual les gustaría que rezara, generalmente
recibo muchas peticiones las cuales acepto con mucho gusto.
Me gusta mucho orar
en los momentos más altos
por la gente, interceder
y en los más bajos. En otras
delante de Dios por ellos. De
palabras, estar con ustedes
hecho, hacer esto es uno de
cuando están lidiando con
los deberes fundamentales
asuntos de vida y muerte.
del sacerdote. Ciertamente
El cambio hacia
los que me piden que ore,
la eternidad
también están orando, y
Hicimos ese compromiso
de algún modo me están
precisamente porque el
pidiendo que sostenga sus
Hijo de Dios lo hizo con su
manos en alto. La oración
Encarnación: Se unió con la
de intercesión es uno de los
muchos modos en que los parroquianos humanidad en todas las circunstancias,
y nos hizo ofrenda sacerdotal para su
le piden a sus sacerdotes estar con ellos
Padre celestial. En la cruz se hizo el
presente delante de Dios.
centro y punto convergente de todo lo
Uno de los aspectos más cautivantes
que abarca la vida humana, “con una
e inspiradores de ser sacerdote es el
sola ofrenda hizo perfectos para siempre
cambio continuo de emociones al
a los que han sido consagrados a Dios”.
que estamos expuestos en nuestro
(Hebreos 10,14) Él vive eternamente a la
ministerio. Durante el mismo día,
derecha del Padre para interceder por
no es extraordinario para nosotros
felicitar a una familia por el nacimiento nosotros. Yo quiero unirme a Él orando
por ustedes.
de su primer hijo y consolar a otra
Cada uno de nosotros se ha
por el fallecimiento de un familiar;
enfrentado a su modo a la vida y a la
reunirnos con una pareja que está
muerte. Y todas nuestras experiencias,
preparando su boda y con otra que
excepto las de pecado, son conocidas
apenas se dirige la palabra porque se
personalmente por el Hijo de Dios.
han herido profundamente; recibir de
Las imágenes bíblicas captan muy bien
nuevo en la Iglesia a alguien que ha
toda la gama de esas experiencias y
estado largamente enfermo y escuchar
el Adviento nos da la oportunidad de
a alguien que con lágrimas nos explica
reflexionar en el fin y propósito de todo
que le quedan pocos meses de vida.
esto. Desde la visita del ángel a María
No importa cuál sea nuestra
hasta el obscuro nacimiento de Jesús en
vocación, por supuesto que todos
un establo, desde su vida con María y
enfrentamos situaciones difíciles, pero
José en Nazaret hasta su muerte en la
hay un nivel implícito de intimidad
cruz, Jesús estaba trazando el sendero
que los parroquianos desarrollan
y mostrándonos el camino de la vida.
con sus sacerdotes al invitarnos
Obediencia, humildad, confianza,
continuamente a entrar en las
circunstancias más significativas de sus sacrificio, perdón, compasión y oración
pavimentan literalmente el camino
vidas. En la ordenación sacerdotal nos
hacia la eternidad.
comprometemos a estar con ustedes en
Comienzos y finales están mezclados en
las buenas y en las malas, en las altas y
este mundo, vida y muerte se entrelazan
en las bajas y especialmente, estar ahí
24 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
en el transcurso de un día, montañas
y valles forman el curso de nuestras
vidas. A través de ello, caminamos en el
sendero de Jesús, siguiéndolo de cerca,
porque nos ha incluido a todos en su
ofrenda eterna al Padre.
Las Sagradas Escrituras nos
recuerdan que aunque parezca que las
tinieblas triunfen, es solo una etapa
pasajera, como parte del cambio de
toda la creación hacia la eternidad. El
nacimiento del Hijo de Dios puso a la
humanidad en un nuevo sendero del
que no se puede regresar. El capítulo
4 de la Carta a los Hebreos proclama
que hay siempre razones para esperar
en Jesús:
“Jesús, el Hijo de Dios, es nuestro
gran sumo sacerdote que ha entrado en
el cielo. Por eso debemos seguir firmes
en la fe que profesamos. Pues nuestro
sumo sacerdote puede compadecerse de
nuestra debilidad, porque él también
estuvo sometido a las mismas pruebas
que nosotros; solo que él jamás pecó.
Acerquémonos pues, con confianza al
trono de nuestro Dios amoroso, para
que Él tenga misericordia de nosotros
y en su bondad nos ayude en la hora de
necesidad”. (Hebreos 4,14-16)
Con frecuencia me piden a mí y a mis
hermanos sacerdotes orar por ustedes.
Como su arzobispo, puedo decirles que
hacerlo es nuestro sagrado privilegio,
estar a su lado en momentos de vida y
de muerte, proclamando las palabras
de Cristo sacerdote, cuyas manos jamás
se cansan de levantar nuestras vidas
hacia el Padre en su amorosa ofrenda.
¡Ven Señor Jesús, ven!
Envíe sus intenciones de oración a la
Lista de Oración del Arzobispo Sartain a:
Archdiocese of Seattle, 710 Ninth Ave.,
Seattle, WA 98104.
S A N T O S D E L M E S ( I N E N G L I S H : PA G E 5 )
Nuestra Señora
de Guadalupe
mariana a indio
Siglo XVI
Diciembre 12
Bajo esta advocación,
Nuestra Señora es la
patrona de México,
de los Estados Unidos y de toda América, así como la
protectora de los niños no nacidos. En 1531, se apareció
en una visión a Juan Diego en el Cerro del Tepeyac, cerca
de la Ciudad de México, y le encomendó que le pidiera
al obispo construir un templo en ese sitio. Pero el obispo
exigió una señal y así Nuestra Señora hizo que Juan
Diego recogiera flores en su tilma, en diciembre, para
llevarlas con el obispo. Cuando Juan Diego extendió su
tilma, la imagen colorida de Guadalupe estaba plasmada
en el ayate. El icono es venerado en el santuario más
famoso en el hemisferio occidental y Nuestra Señora de
Guadalupe continúa inspirando a los pobres y oprimidos
del mundo entero.
Sn. Esteban
Siglo I
Diciembre 26
El primer mártir
de la cristiandad fue
probablemente judío de origen griego. La historia de
Esteban es referida en los Hechos de los Apóstoles. Fue
uno de los siete primeros diáconos elegidos para servir a
las comunidades cristianas helénicas en Jerusalén. Pero
las maravillas que obraba irritaban a las autoridades
judías. Testigos dieron testimonios falsos durante su juicio
ante el Sanhedrín mientras Esteban se defendía con un
sentido discurso recordando la larga historia de la relación
de Israel con Dios y llamando a los judíos “pueblo de
dura cerviz”, que “siempre se oponía al Espíritu Santo”.
Mientras era lapidado fuera de la ciudad, exclamaba
“¡Señor Jesús, recibe mi espíritu!” Es patrono de los
albañiles y de numerosas iglesias locales.
Courtesy St. James Cathedral
Uno de los
diáconos fue
Promueva su negocio
a más de 125,000 hogares
católicos en el
oeste de Washington.
Para ver su anuncio en la siguiente edición
de Northwest CatholiC, comunicarse con Keri
206-382-2075 [email protected]
Catholic News Service
( I N E N G L I S H : W W W. N W C AT H O L I C . O R G )
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer
El nacimiento del Señor nos recuerda lo afortunados
que somos al haber nacido
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer,
para estrechar la mano de un amigo
y poder asistir como testigo
al milagro de cada amanecer.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer,
para tener la opción de la balanza,
sopesar la derrota y la esperanza
con la gloria y el miedo de caer.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer,
para entender que el honesto y el perverso
son dueños por igual del universo
aunque tengan distinto parecer.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer,
para callar cuando habla el que más sabe,
aprender a escuchar, esa es la clave,
si se tiene intenciones de saber.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer,
y lo digo sin falsos triunfalismos,
la victoria total, la de uno mismo,
se concreta en el ser y en el no ser.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer,
para cantarle a la gente y a la rosa
y al perro y al amor y cualquier cosa
que pueda el sentimiento recoger.
Me he atrevido a tomar prestadas algunas estrofas de uno
de los muchos cantos del poeta argentino Alberto Cortez
que con su cadencia y profundidad me han ayudado a
reflexionar en el nacimiento por excelencia, el nacimiento
de Jesús nuestro Señor, que ha dado sentido a todo otro
Yo diría: ¡Qué suerte! ¡Qué bendición! ¡Qué privilegio he
tenido de nacer! Cada mañana al orar le agradezco a Dios
el darme otra oportunidad de intentar servir con todo lo
aprendido de mis errores y aciertos hasta el día de ayer.
¡Qué dicha he tenido de nacer en un ambiente cristiano!
Ese regalo me ha dado la oportunidad de contemplar las
vidas de miles de mujeres y hombres a lo largo de 20 siglos
de cristianismo que han ido por los rincones del mundo
embelleciendo vidas en el nombre de
Qué privilegio he tenido de nacer para
descubrir que Dios ha querido hacerse
humano para perfeccionar nuestra
inteligencia en búsqueda de la verdad
y del sentido de nuestra existencia.
Dios ha querido nacer entre nosotros
para hacernos nacer cada día. Jesús le
dijo a Nicodemo que hay que “nacer
de nuevo”, que hay que “nacer de lo
alto”, que uno debe nacer del agua y del
Espíritu, que “lo que nace de la carne es carne, y lo que nace
del Espíritu es espíritu”. (Juan 3,3-8)
Cada vez que un ser humano admite estar equivocado y con
dolor y vergüenza empieza a corregir el daño causado a los
demás y a sí mismo, está naciendo de nuevo. Siempre que un
hombre o mujer de cualquier raza, o procedencia promueve
para otro la misma dignidad, libertad y respeto que anhela
para sí, está naciendo de nuevo.
Qué bendición es darnos cuenta de que nacemos con
tanta libre voluntad que podemos usarla para el mal, para el
provecho personal, para la destrucción de todos los que no
piensen o sientan como yo y se interpongan en mi camino;
o usarla para transformar, para perdonar, para liberar, para
elevar “lo nacido de la carne” y “nacer de nuevo de lo alto”.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer en este mundo donde tú, Jesús,
mi Señor y Salvador has querido nacer, donde has querido
hacer tu morada, tu casa. Con tu nacimiento, Jesús, nos hiciste
aprender a ver la maravilla de estar vivos, de ser parte de tu
hermosa creación. Nos hiciste nacer de lo alto al decirnos que
valemos mucho más que los pájaros que siempre alimentas,
que los lirios que hermosamente vistes. Nos hiciste gozar la
transformación del mundo con nuestro sudor de trabajo. Nos
hiciste dar un nuevo sentido al sufrimiento cuando es ofrecido
por amor, cuando es como la semilla que cae en tierra y muere
para dar fruto, para dar vida.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer hace muchos años; qué suerte
he tenido de ser Misionero de tu Santo Espíritu y nacer cada
día; qué suerte tendré de nacer los días que todavía quieras
darme para entender más y más tu nacimiento, Jesús, y con
ello ayudar al mundo a que nazca siempre más en ti, para que
finalmente esta tierra sea tu reino, tu hogar.
Qué suerte he tenido de nacer rodeado de hombres y
mujeres santos que como María, felizmente creen y hacen
nacer entre nosotros el amor encarnado de Dios.
¡La creación entera sigue gimiendo con dolores de parto por
tu venida, Jesús!
Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., es obispo auxiliar de Seattle y vicario
para el ministerio hispano.
26 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
( I N E N G L I S H : W W W. N W C AT H O L I C . O R G )
El bebé
que se
‘Dios con
l pináculo de nuestra preparación de Adviento
es la Nochebuena. Las horas se desvanecen
lentamente y nuestros ojos extasiados contemplan
la belleza de esta noche, mensajera de nuestra más
cara esperanza. “He aquí que una virgen dará a
luz un hijo, y se le pondrá por nombre Emmanuel
que quiere decir Dios con nosotros.” (Mateo 1,23)
Reunidos en familia, celebramos
cada Navidad el nacimiento del Niño
Dios. Nos alegramos y le decimos que
Él es nuestro único Salvador.
Dios dejó de lado su divinidad y
nació en la tierna forma de un bebé.
Mientras nos afanamos por ser más
de lo que somos, Dios deja a un lado
lo que es, y se nos entrega como un
bebé. En ese bebé está una clave
fundamental para nuestra vida interior.
Dios se hace bebé para estar cerca de nosotros, para
dejarse abrazar y para inspirarnos su ternura. Se hace bebé
para sonreír y con su sonrisa llenarnos de encanto y alegría.
Se hace bebé para llorar con nosotros por las noches, cuando
son largas y angustiosas. Dios se hace bebé para venir al
mundo desnudo, despojado de su divinidad, para enseñarnos
que todo aquello con lo que pretendemos “vestir” nuestra
vida, carece en realidad de valor alguno. Dios se hace bebé
para que lo abracemos, lo cubramos de besos, lo llenemos de
amor, al igual que se llena de amor a un recién nacido.
Y ha nacido entre nosotros. Es el Emmanuel, el Dios con
El Niño Dios nos
recuerda que
hemos nacido
para ser
una bendición
para los demás
nosotros, o mejor aún, el Dios en nosotros. Porque Dios ha
nacido en nuestro corazón, para llenarnos de amor y para
que derramemos amor a los demás.
Cuando un padre abraza a su hijo recién nacido,
reacciona dando gracias al Padre por este hijo nuevo que
es su más grande bendición. No olvidemos que cada uno
de nosotros, nacimos también un día como un bebé para
nuestros padres. Y por ello nacimos también un día con la
primera misión de ser una bendición para los demás.
El nacimiento del Niño Dios en la Navidad nos recuerda
con firmeza nuestra primera consigna en la vida: ser una
bendición para los demás.
Sabemos además que hay que ser como niños para entrar
al Reino de Dios. El Dios con nosotros se nos da como un
niño para recordarnos que debemos ser dulces, amorosos,
sonrientes, sencillos y sinceros. Es de esta forma como
debemos ser una bendición para los demás, al igual que el
Niño Dios es una bendición para nosotros. Al igual que
todo bebé es una bendición para sus padres. Con nuestra
presencia, nuestra alegría y nuestra confianza en Dios, las
personas que nos rodean deben siempre sentirse bendecidas.
Nos llena de gozo el nacimiento de este bebé, que es el Niño
Dios, y junto con los pastores y los Magos corremos a su
encuentro con ansias de conocerlo. Y como María abrazarlo,
llenarlo de besos, y decirle al oído con ternura “Tú, bebé, eres
mi Dios, y te tengo en mis brazos. Haz que aprenda como tú, a
ser yo mismo una bendición para los demás”.
¡Apasiónate por nuestra fe!
Mauricio I. Pérez, miembro de la Parroquia de Sta. Mónica en
Mercer Island, es periodista católico. Su sitio web es www.
Stephen Brashear
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain gets tips on how to take a “selfie” (with his own
cardboard double) from Eric Rosas at the archdiocesan Catholic Youth Convention. More
than 1,000 high school students attended the event, held Nov. 1–2 at Bellevue College.
Number of Catholic parishes in the U.S., down from a
peak of 19,705 in 1988 —
a net loss of 2,222 parishes,
or 11.3 percent. Sixty-one
new parishes were opened
in 2013; 190 were closed.
There are 147 parishes in
the Archdiocese of Seattle,
nine of which have opened
since 1988. There have
been no parish closures in
the archdiocese since then.
Source: cara.georgetown.edu
“Each of us is called
to live the gospel of
Maria Laughlin
CNS/Paul Haring
Longtime cathedral music
director to retire
“May we help
people to discover
the joy of the
Christian message:
a message of love
and mercy.”
lives and in the
SARTAIN, at the Cornerstone
Catholic Conference, held
Oct. 24–25 in Tacoma. For
more, visit www.NWCatholic.
Visit www.NWCatholic.org for more news and events.
28 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
Janis Olson
Oct. 28 tweet from
his Twitter account,
James Savage, the music
director at St. James Cathedral
for the past 33 years, has
announced his plan to retire
early next year.
When Savage took the job
in 1981, the cathedral’s music
program was languishing
— only 17 people could be
James Savage
scraped up for his first choir
audition, according to a 2008 article in The
Catholic Northwest Progress. Now it is among the
largest in the U.S. In 2002, the National Association
of Pastoral Musicians named Savage its Pastoral
Musician of the Year.
“In one way or another, every parish in this
Archdiocese has gained from his extraordinary
leadership and so have parishes and cathedrals
across this country,” wrote Father Michael G.
Ryan in the Oct. 12 cathedral bulletin. “It is not
overstating things to say that Jim has become a
legend in his own time.”
life in our personal
Seattle’s oldest active parish
marks 125 years
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Seattle celebrated its 125th anniversary with several events in
2014. The first Mass was celebrated in the original
church at Sixth Avenue and Bell Street on Dec. 25,
1889. The church was destroyed 10 years later by
an alleged arson fire. After the fire, what remained
of its two bells were sent to a St. Louis foundry and
recast into a single bell. Visit www.NWCatholic.org
for more on Seattle’s oldest active parish.
Providence Sister Georgette Jean, Oct. 5
Benedictine Sister Bernadine Ternes, Oct. 3
Greg Magnoni
Please remember recently deceased priests, deacons, sisters
and brothers in your prayers.
On the Air.
Sacred Heart
Radio AM-1050
Sundays 8a.m.
Mondays 11a.m.
Thursdays 6:30 p.m.
Saturdays 3 p.m.
Info Sarah Dahleen
[email protected]
or 206.246.0500, ext. 373
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Bellevue Seattle
Engraved Gifts Are Forever Remembered
Stephen Brashear
Honoring Our Lady of Guadalupe
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, The Immaculate Conception
Extra opportunities
to celebrate
A rosary, procession and Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe,
Mother of the Americas, will be held Saturday, Dec. 6, beginning at 9:30
a.m. at Seattle’s St. Mary Church (611 20th Ave. S.). After the 9:30 rosary,
participants will process at 10:30 to St. James Cathedral (804 Ninth Ave.),
where Archbishop J. Peter Sartain will celebrate Mass at 12:10 p.m. A
reception will follow. For more information, contact Isaac Govea at 206382-4825 or [email protected] To learn more about Our Lady of
Guadalupe, see page 5.
Watch midnight Mass live
KING-TV will broadcast midnight Mass, celebrated by Archbishop J.
Peter Sartain, at St. James Cathedral on Christmas Eve.
Visit www.NWCatholic.org for more news and events.
30 Northwest Catholic / December 2014 / www.NWCatholic.org
Maria Laughlin
The coming weeks are rich in holy
days of obligation, feasts on which
Catholics are required to attend Mass.
Monday, Dec. 8, is the feast of the
Immaculate Conception, which celebrates the fact that the Virgin Mary,
in the moment of her conception,
was “preserved free from all stain
of original sin.” Thursday, Dec. 25, is
Christmas, which celebrates the birth
of Jesus Christ. And Thursday, Jan. 1,
is the feast of Mary, Mother of God,
which celebrates the Virgin Mary’s
motherhood of Jesus. Check with
your parish for Mass times.
May you have
the gift of Faith
the Blessing of Hope
and the peace of His Love
at Christmas and Always
 a gift to your family 
Witness your faith ~ share your hope ~ offer peace and love to your family
Pre-Plan Your Burial Arrangements
www.MyCatholicCemetery.org or www.NuestrosCementeriosCatolicos.org
* Associated Catholic Cemeteries counselors who speak Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog are available by appointment.
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Archdiocese of Seattle
710 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
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