Fr. Jim Lee
Pastor

Pastor’s Notebook

“He is Risen Indeed!”

Blessings and peace to you all on this most holy of days. What a joy it is to be able to celebrate with you in person as well as those of you who join us on our livestream YouTube channel.

Do you remember last Easter? We could not gather. It felt as if we were still in the tomb with the stone rolled across the entrance to keep us safe. What a painful time it was, especially for those who are caring for the sick and the dying. It is so important for us to remember them and for those who are grieving.

Yet, we know that in the midst of personal Calvary there is, for those who believe, Easter morning. Death is conquered by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we believe, if we hold firm, we who have died with Him in baptism will rise with Him in his glorious resurrection. This is not some mere abstract hope. This is truth rooted in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is our glory, a sharing in Jesus’ resurrected life.

The Church in her beautiful wisdom celebrates this from Sunday to Sunday, the Octave of Easter. Please join us as often as you can during these days from Easter to Divine Mercy Sunday. There will be music at Mass and Masses will be livestreamed except for Saturday.

Neophytes

At the Easter Vigil, Kaylee Jensen, Walter Blake, Joshua Chaney, Nancy Thompson, Karen Craig, and Morgan Benson received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. After their long journey and through the Lenten scrutinies and exorcisms, they died and rose with Christ in the waters of baptism and received the gift of the Holy Spirit for their life of discipleship and will now join us week after week at the altar of our Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him in Holy Communion.

Throughout the season of Easter, they will continue to unfold the mystery and the meaning of what they experienced during the Easter Triduum. As they continue to reflect upon the Gospels of Easter, the new life that they have received will draw them ever deeper into their life of discipleship, of encountering the risen Christ in their daily lives. Let us continue to support them with our prayers and when we see them, to ask them about their experience, about what it was like and is like for them. Allow them to share their faith journey with you. You will be gifted indeed, as will they.

Three conversations—deepening discipleship

Fr. Lou and I invite you on a special journey this Easter season. Together with our 40+ small groups, we are asking you as individual families and small groups of families, couples and/or individuals to enter into a process to deepen our discipleship, our following of the risen Jesus and to grow in our Catholic faith.

WHAT are they? The Three Conversations are easy exercises that can open the door to deepening a culture of discipleship among parishioners and people we care for, as well as people we encounter and serve. It is a beautiful way to share and grow in faith with one another.

WHY do we share? Evangelization is sharing with others the joy and the strength our faith brings to us. It is the most central mission and message of the Catholic Church, and her deepest identity. Therefore, as disciples, we are called to be intentional in our reaching out to others (evangelization), using both our words and our actions.

A culture of evangelization and discipleship, at Saint Michael Parish, or anywhere else, doesn’t have to be sophisticated or complicated. It starts very simply with honest and vulnerable conversations and naturally grows and spreads from one person to another.

Very often, folks feel as if, “I don’t know how to evangelize.” They feel their knowledge of the faith is inadequate or they feel intimidated about what to say. Yet, we all know how to carry on a conversation. We all know the joy of sharing our daily lives with others. This is at the heart of these three conversations.

I will share more specifically about the Three Conversations in next week’s bulletin and ask you to begin the first conversation on Divine Mercy Sunday. It is simple and yet profound. It is a gift that you can share and receive over and over again. Each time you do, the richer and deeper it becomes. I’m so looking forward to sharing this journey with you through the Easter season to Pentecost.

May this Easter season root you ever more deeply in the power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor’s Notebook

“He is Risen Indeed!”

Blessings and peace to you all on this most holy of days. What a joy it is to be able to celebrate with you in person as well as those of you who join us on our livestream YouTube channel.

Do you remember last Easter? We could not gather. It felt as if we were still in the tomb with the stone rolled across the entrance to keep us safe. What a painful time it was, especially for those who are caring for the sick and the dying. It is so important for us to remember them and for those who are grieving.

Yet, we know that in the midst of personal Calvary there is, for those who believe, Easter morning. Death is conquered by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we believe, if we hold firm, we who have died with Him in baptism will rise with Him in his glorious resurrection. This is not some mere abstract hope. This is truth rooted in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is our glory, a sharing in Jesus’ resurrected life.

The Church in her beautiful wisdom celebrates this from Sunday to Sunday, the Octave of Easter. Please join us as often as you can during these days from Easter to Divine Mercy Sunday. There will be music at Mass and Masses will be livestreamed except for Saturday.

Neophytes

At the Easter Vigil, Kaylee Jensen, Walter Blake, Joshua Chaney, Nancy Thompson, Karen Craig, and Morgan Benson received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. After their long journey and through the Lenten scrutinies and exorcisms, they died and rose with Christ in the waters of baptism and received the gift of the Holy Spirit for their life of discipleship and will now join us week after week at the altar of our Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him in Holy Communion.

Throughout the season of Easter, they will continue to unfold the mystery and the meaning of what they experienced during the Easter Triduum. As they continue to reflect upon the Gospels of Easter, the new life that they have received will draw them ever deeper into their life of discipleship, of encountering the risen Christ in their daily lives. Let us continue to support them with our prayers and when we see them, to ask them about their experience, about what it was like and is like for them. Allow them to share their faith journey with you. You will be gifted indeed, as will they.

Three conversations—deepening discipleship

Fr. Lou and I invite you on a special journey this Easter season. Together with our 40+ small groups, we are asking you as individual families and small groups of families, couples and/or individuals to enter into a process to deepen our discipleship, our following of the risen Jesus and to grow in our Catholic faith.

WHAT are they? The Three Conversations are easy exercises that can open the door to deepening a culture of discipleship among parishioners and people we care for, as well as people we encounter and serve. It is a beautiful way to share and grow in faith with one another.

WHY do we share? Evangelization is sharing with others the joy and the strength our faith brings to us. It is the most central mission and message of the Catholic Church, and her deepest identity. Therefore, as disciples, we are called to be intentional in our reaching out to others (evangelization), using both our words and our actions.

A culture of evangelization and discipleship, at Saint Michael Parish, or anywhere else, doesn’t have to be sophisticated or complicated. It starts very simply with honest and vulnerable conversations and naturally grows and spreads from one person to another.

Very often, folks feel as if, “I don’t know how to evangelize.” They feel their knowledge of the faith is inadequate or they feel intimidated about what to say. Yet, we all know how to carry on a conversation. We all know the joy of sharing our daily lives with others. This is at the heart of these three conversations.

I will share more specifically about the Three Conversations in next week’s bulletin and ask you to begin the first conversation on Divine Mercy Sunday. It is simple and yet profound. It is a gift that you can share and receive over and over again. Each time you do, the richer and deeper it becomes. I’m so looking forward to sharing this journey with you through the Easter season to Pentecost.

May this Easter season root you ever more deeply in the power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

From Fr. Lou

An Interlude

Since we haven’t been able to sing en masse for the last year, I have been going through many of the Lent and Easter hymns myself to just bring them to memory. Jesus, in taking all of our humanity to Himself, seeks to heal our souls and unite them to God. He provides us the grace to have our memories, our thoughts, and our wills re-oriented toward the most True, Good, and Beautiful. At the Incarnation, He takes on a human body and a human soul. He takes on all of our senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, hearing and all of our soul: remembering, thinking, willing. He experiences the emotions of the human. God takes all of this up. In suffering the gruesome effects of sin—which is death—God unites Himself perfectly to our human condition, taking upon Himself all that is ours. He, the one unable to do harm (i.e. innocent) reveals God’s tender and pure love (mercy) even when faced with the effects of sin: the brutality of the human condition and the cross and death. 

“So, on the cross, His own body took the weight of our sins; we were to become dead to our sins, and live for holiness; it was His wounds that healed you” (I Peter 2:24). 

“O wonder of your humble care for us! O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave You gave away Your Son! O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” (Exsultet, Easter Proclamation).

His Resurrection bursts the gates of Hell, the domain of death, separation from what is true, good, beautiful, and one. For those reborn by water and the Holy Spirit (baptism), God unites His creation to Himself, making the baptized “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people God means to have for Himself” (I Peter 2:9). He continues to disperse His Divine Life through giving His Life among us in the sacraments, which are the “sensed” ways that Jesus unites our souls (memory, thoughts, and will) to God.

The Sequence for Easter (sidebar, right), which is a special song inserted into the Mass before the Gospel on special feasts, is called the “Victimae Paschali Laudes.” It dates to around the 1100s. It mirrors the hymn of Christmas that asks the shepherds to tell us what they have seen: quid vidistis, pastores, dicite! “What have you seen, shepherds, tell us!” Now, at the Resurrection, we turn to Mary Magdelene. Tell us, O Mary, what did you see? Dic nobis, Maria, quid vidisti? 

Jesus loves us. Jesus loves you. He doesn’t just tell you that and leave you with a book or a nice phrase. He took it all up to Himself and now gives you a daily bread that lasts. He, the Eternally Other, that our hearts all seek, gives us Someone to follow. Not in an easy way—look at the Cross. But in a way that is more full than anything human wisdom can come up with on its own. The faith He gives is not against the gift of reason that God gives—it fulfils it and orders us towards the event of Christ: towards receiving what has been given in reality and entering more fully into Christ in the Church. May our lives be a perpetual remembrance of the One who, living, sits at the right hand of the loving Father and who takes us up by His hand to share in the Trinity’s own delight as His Body.

 Today, and every day, let us follow Christ, truly risen from the dead, ever more fully. May God the Father, out of the rich treasury of His glory, strengthen you through His Spirit with a power that reaches your innermost being. May Christ find a dwelling place, through faith, in your hearts; may your lives be rooted in love, founded on love. May you and all the saints be enabled to measure, in all its breadth and length and height and depth, the love of Christ, to know what passes human knowledge. May you be filled with all the completion God has to give. He whose power is at work in us is powerful enough, and more than powerful enough, to carry out His purpose beyond all our hopes and dreams; may He be glorified in the Church, and in Christ Jesus, to the last generation of eternity. Amen (cf. Ephesians 3:16-21).

“Man, woman, boy, girl, you, all of you, do not weep! Do not weep! There is a gaze and a heart that penetrates to your very marrow and loves you all the way to your destiny, a gaze and a heart that no one can deflect from His course, no one can render incapable of saying what He thinks and what He feels, no one can render powerless!

“Gloria Dei vivens homo.” The glory of God, the greatness of Him who makes the stars in the sky, who puts into the sea, drop by drop, all the blue that defines it, is man who lives.

“There is nothing that can suspend that immediate rush of love, of attachment, of esteem, of hope, because He became hope for each one who saw Him, who heard Him: ‘Woman, do not weep!,’ who heard Jesus say this: ‘Woman, do not weep!’

There is nothing that can block the certainty of a destiny that is mysterious and good!

“We are together, saying to each other, ‘You—I have never seen you, I don’t know who you are: Do not weep!’ Because weeping is your destiny, it seems to be your unavoidable destiny: ‘Man, do not weep!’

“’Gloria Dei vivens homo.’ The glory of God—the glory for whom He holds up the world, the universe—is man who lives, every man who lives: the man who lives, the woman who weeps, the woman who smiles, the child, the woman who dies a mother.

“’Gloria Dei vivens homo.’ We want this and nothing but this, that the glory of God be manifested to all the world and touch all the spheres of earth: the leaves, all the leaves of the flowers and all the hearts of men.”

~Fr. Luigi Giussani

Easter Sequence

Victimae Paschali
laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit
peccatores.
Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
Angelicos testes,
sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
has sinners to his Father
reconciled.

Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
now living reigns
Tell to us, O Mary:
What did you see on the way?
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as He rose!
The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

From Fr. Lou

An Interlude

Since we haven’t been able to sing en masse for the last year, I have been going through many of the Lent and Easter hymns myself to just bring them to memory. Jesus, in taking all of our humanity to Himself, seeks to heal our souls and unite them to God. He provides us the grace to have our memories, our thoughts, and our wills re-oriented toward the most True, Good, and Beautiful. At the Incarnation, He takes on a human body and a human soul. He takes on all of our senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, hearing and all of our soul: remembering, thinking, willing. He experiences the emotions of the human. God takes all of this up. In suffering the gruesome effects of sin—which is death—God unites Himself perfectly to our human condition, taking upon Himself all that is ours. He, the one unable to do harm (i.e. innocent) reveals God’s tender and pure love (mercy) even when faced with the effects of sin: the brutality of the human condition and the cross and death.

“So, on the cross, His own body took the weight of our sins; we were to become dead to our sins, and live for holiness; it was His wounds that healed you” (I Peter 2:24).

“O wonder of your humble care for us! O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave You gave away Your Son! O truly necessary sin of Adam, destroyed completely by the Death of Christ! O happy fault that earned so great, so glorious a Redeemer!” (Exsultet, Easter Proclamation).

His Resurrection bursts the gates of Hell, the domain of death, separation from what is true, good, beautiful, and one. For those reborn by water and the Holy Spirit (baptism), God unites His creation to Himself, making the baptized “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people God means to have for Himself” (I Peter 2:9). He continues to disperse His Divine Life through giving His Life among us in the sacraments, which are the “sensed” ways that Jesus unites our souls (memory, thoughts, and will) to God.

The Sequence for Easter (below), which is a special song inserted into the Mass before the Gospel on special feasts, is called the “Victimae Paschali Laudes.” It dates to around the 1100s. It mirrors the hymn of Christmas that asks the shepherds to tell us what they have seen: quid vidistis, pastores, dicite! “What have you seen, shepherds, tell us!” Now, at the Resurrection, we turn to Mary Magdelene. Tell us, O Mary, what did you see? Dic nobis, Maria, quid vidisti?

Jesus loves us. Jesus loves you. He doesn’t just tell you that and leave you with a book or a nice phrase. He took it all up to Himself and now gives you a daily bread that lasts. He, the Eternally Other, that our hearts all seek, gives us Someone to follow. Not in an easy way—look at the Cross. But in a way that is more full than anything human wisdom can come up with on its own. The faith He gives is not against the gift of reason that God gives—it fulfils it and orders us towards the event of Christ: towards receiving what has been given in reality and entering more fully into Christ in the Church. May our lives be a perpetual remembrance of the One who, living, sits at the right hand of the loving Father and who takes us up by His hand to share in the Trinity’s own delight as His Body.

Today, and every day, let us follow Christ, truly risen from the dead, ever more fully. May God the Father, out of the rich treasury of His glory, strengthen you through His Spirit with a power that reaches your innermost being. May Christ find a dwelling place, through faith, in your hearts; may your lives be rooted in love, founded on love. May you and all the saints be enabled to measure, in all its breadth and length and height and depth, the love of Christ, to know what passes human knowledge. May you be filled with all the completion God has to give. He whose power is at work in us is powerful enough, and more than powerful enough, to carry out His purpose beyond all our hopes and dreams; may He be glorified in the Church, and in Christ Jesus, to the last generation of eternity. Amen (cf. Ephesians 3:16-21).

“Man, woman, boy, girl, you, all of you, do not weep! Do not weep! There is a gaze and a heart that penetrates to your very marrow and loves you all the way to your destiny, a gaze and a heart that no one can deflect from His course, no one can render incapable of saying what He thinks and what He feels, no one can render powerless!

“Gloria Dei vivens homo.” The glory of God, the greatness of Him who makes the stars in the sky, who puts into the sea, drop by drop, all the blue that defines it, is man who lives.

“There is nothing that can suspend that immediate rush of love, of attachment, of esteem, of hope, because He became hope for each one who saw Him, who heard Him: ‘Woman, do not weep!,’ who heard Jesus say this: ‘Woman, do not weep!’

There is nothing that can block the certainty of a destiny that is mysterious and good!

“We are together, saying to each other, ‘You—I have never seen you, I don’t know who you are: Do not weep!’ Because weeping is your destiny, it seems to be your unavoidable destiny: ‘Man, do not weep!’

“’Gloria Dei vivens homo.’ The glory of God—the glory for whom He holds up the world, the universe—is man who lives, every man who lives: the man who lives, the woman who weeps, the woman who smiles, the child, the woman who dies a mother.

“’Gloria Dei vivens homo.’ We want this and nothing but this, that the glory of God be manifested to all the world and touch all the spheres of earth: the leaves, all the leaves of the flowers and all the hearts of men.”

~Fr. Luigi Giussani

Easter Sequence

Victimae Paschali
laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit
peccatores.
Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
Angelicos testes,
sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

Christians, to the Paschal Victim
offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb;
and Christ, the undefiled,
has sinners to his Father
reconciled.

Death with life contended:
combat strangely ended!
Life’s own Champion, slain,
now living reigns
Tell to us, O Mary:
What did you see on the way?
The tomb the Living did enclose;
I saw Christ’s glory as He rose!
The angels there attesting;
shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen:
He goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen
from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

Small Groups

A blessed Easter to you all!

Hopefully your Lenten journey has been fruitful and your Easter is filled with true joy. One joy that stands out is our ability to attend Mass in person this year. Fr. Jim requests all small groups continue meeting for 5-6 weeks after Easter to participate as a group in the Three Conversations. After that your group may choose to continue to meet weekly, every two weeks or monthly. Your group can continue with Lectio on the upcoming Sunday Gospel, you can borrow materials from Michaela (DVD series, etc.) and using FORMED is another great option.

If you have not yet joined a small group it is never too late! There are groups that meet year-round that have openings. Contact Michaela to borrow materials or to find a spot that works for you!

Contact: Michaela Moreau at (360) 292-7104 or mmoreau@saintmichaelparish.org

Catholic Social Teaching and Care of God’s Creation

Over the centuries, the Church has discerned principles grounded in understanding how God has worked in the world. These principles respond to changing times. They come to us through papal encyclicals and pronouncements promulgated by our bishops. These principles are complex, difficult to summarize, and are rightly subject to discussion and discernment. They are called Catholic Social Teaching. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has summarized them into seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching: 

  • Life and Dignity of the Human Person—Human life is sacred and the dignity of the human person is the foundation of all the principles of our social teaching.
  • Call to Family, Community, and Participation—Organization of society, marriage and the family, right and duty to participate in society are fundamental.
  • Rights and Responsibilities—Each person has a right to life, and things needed to live with dignity. All rights have corresponding duties and responsibilities.
  • Option for the Poor and Vulnerable—How are we treating our poor and most vulnerable members? The story of the Last Judgment described in Matt 25: 31-46 is the moral benchmark for this principal.
  • The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers—The economy must serve people; not the other way around. The basic rights of workers must be protected, as well as private property and economic initiative.
  • Solidarity—We are one human family. We are our brothers and sisters’ keepers.
  • Care for God’s Creation—God calls us to be stewards of His creation. This theme contains elements of each of the other Catholic Social Teaching themes. We are not the owners or masters of the Earth—God is. We are called to be good stewards. God has lent us His garden. Our well-being depends on how well we manage it and share her gifts. Our bishops have told us, “Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith.”

Read more here.

If you are interested in joining our Sanctity of All Life ministry to promote Catholic Social Teaching, contact Kim Kondrat at (360) 878-4613 or kkondrat@saintmichaelparish.org.

FORMED Pick of the Week

After His Resurrection, Christ told His disciples to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15). To continue this evangelical work today, we have to adapt to diverse audiences. In this series, Dr. Ben Akers and Taylor Kemp discuss how to reach millennials. 

Pier Giorgio Frassati Group 

Pray. Serve. Hike

Saturday, April 24 at 10am

Join us as we kick-off the spring and summer hiking season!  

We’ll attend the 9am Mass, followed by our spring warm-up walk on the nature trail around the parish. All ages and abilities welcome. We will use this first warm-up walk to discuss ideas for upcoming hikes this summer. 

What is a Pier Giorgio Frassati Group?

Prayer. Prayer was central to the Blessed Pier Giorgio’s spirituality. Together we will pray the Frassati prayer—The Courage to be Great—and commit to praying it daily.

Service. Serve the community and meet others with similar interests.

Hiking. From nature walks to mountain climbs, we will have options for all experience levels.

Grief Support

Are you carrying a heavy heart? This has been a difficult year and we invite you to join us for an 8-week grief support group beginning Saturday, April 10 from 10–11:30am. We’ll meet in person at Saint Michael Parish. 

Cancer Support

The next 6-week Cancer Support series begins on April 29. Dr Patti Kwok and Patti Carey who run the Swedish Cancer Institute Survivorship program and facilitate their cancer support meetings will present to our group. Please join us for this very special series on Thursdays at 2pm via Zoom. Free and open to all.

Interested in joining either group? Contact Bene Reece at (360) 292-7143 or breece@saintmichaelparish.org.

Living Your Strengths goes virtual

Are you Living Your Strengths?

You need to find what is genuinely yours to offer the world before you can make it a better place. Can knowing your talents really help you find the perfect job? Relate better to those closest to you? Choose the extra-curricular activities that suit you best?

Not sure what your unique talents might be?   

Find out from fellow parishioners how they have benefited from knowing their talents and how those talents are turned into strengths. Zoom in to find out more!

Information sessions on Saturday April 17 at 10am or Tuesday April 20 at 7pm.

Contact
Holly Jurica at smpstrengths@saintmichaelparish.org