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The following is a letter that appeared in the Order of Celebration on Easter Sunday.



Easter Sunday, 2012

Dear Friends,

It is a joy to be able to welcome you to St. James Cathedral on this Easter of 2013. I welcome you in the name of our Archbishop, J. Peter Sartain, as well as in my own.

Of all the times we gather as Christian believers, none is more important than Easter — the greatest of all our feasts. Easter celebrates the Mystery that is the very foundation of our Christian faith, for, as Paul writes, “If Christ has not risen, our faith is in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:14) But Christ has risen and your presence here in the Cathedral both affirms and celebrates that most startling and enduring of all realities! While we do not see him, we know he lives and that he is in our midst breathing life and hope into us, walking alongside us on our pilgrimage of faith, our journey toward the Kingdom.

I have no way of knowing what is in your heart as you come here on this Easter Sunday. For some, I am sure, there is joy and a keen sense of home for the future as spring with its promise of new life bursts forth all around us; for others there may be the burden of pain that comes from a serious illness, or a family crisis, or losing a job, or the death of a loved one. For others, this may be the Easter that you've decided to become more serious and intentional about the practice of your Catholic faith — or at least to explore that possibility. And for all of us, coming as it does in the wake of the election of Pope Francis, I hope that this Easter brings with it even more joy and excitement than we usually experience on this feast as we give thanks to God for this new moment in the life of the Church and for all the hope it brings with it.

But whether you have come here today in joy or sadness, hope or uncertainty, I hope you know how welcome you are. And I also hope that you will find here at St. James Cathedral something that will comfort you, challenge you, and lift you up. We live in a world that, while incredibly beautiful, is also seriously flawed. Death and life are never very far away from us, are they? But Easter boldly proclaims that death is not the end of the story. Easter proclaims for all to hear that Life gets the last word, not death!

My prayer today is that you will be renewed in faith and hope as you join in worship here at St. James Cathedral. If you are a visitor, please know that we warmly welcome you. May you find here something today that will touch your heart, awaken your spirit, and make you want to return to this holy place again. And if you are part of the parish of St. James, I take this opportunity to thank you for all the ways you make the Risen Lord Jesus present in this parish and in this city day after day: through your prayer, your faith, and your love that overflows in generous and unselfish service, especially to the poor.

May the blessings of the Risen Lord Jesus be yours in abundance.


Father Michael G. Ryan
Pastor of St. James Cathedral


We are the Cathedral for the Catholid Archdiocese of Seattle and its Archbishop, the Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain. We are also a parish church for a vibrant faith community with a long history that reaches back to Seattle's early days.

We are an inner-city parish with an outreach to many who live on the edge of poverty and loneliness. We are a diverse community that welcomes, accepts, and celebrates the differences we all bring. We exist in the heart of the city, yet sometimes our parishioners come from considerable distances to worship here.

St. James Cathedral is a crossroads where ideas and challenges both old and new are explored in the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our Cathedral is also a center for many cultural and ecumenical events which both reflect and help to shape a vital metropolitan community.

Above all, St. James Cathedral is a community of prayer.


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804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303