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October 2, 2016

Dear Friends,

You may remember that in launching this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis challenged us with these words: “In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us.”

That got me to thinking. Are we open as a parish to God’s surprises? Am I open as pastor to God’s surprises? To help answer this, I decided to do two things. The first was to conduct a survey of the entire parish last fall to learn what your hopes, dreams, and concerns were. More than 600 of you participated and the results were shared with you in the bulletin and in our parish journal, In Your Midst. Secondly, I convened a new Vision Council for the parish. I wanted to explore how a representative group of engaged parishioners—people like you—were experiencing the life of this Cathedral community. Where did we need to grow and change? What were our successes? Where were we falling short of the vision of mercy Pope Francis laid out for this Jubilee Year? How could we open ourselves to God’s surprises in ways that might push us in new, untried directions?

During six weeks of intensive discussions with the Pastoral Vision Council and the parish staff, we explored these and other questions in depth. And I’ll be frank with you—we didn’t come up with all the answers! But we did come up with some key themes for us as a parish to focus on in the next five years. The themes are listed below; each is followed by a series of questions, which I am hoping you will give some serious thought to, much as our Pastoral Vision Council and our staff have already done.

Welcoming the Stranger How can we make the Cathedral a more welcoming place? Do we really welcome seekers and strangers? How can we become a community that is not just focused on itself, but is genuinely outward-looking? With the explosion of new construction, our Cathedral neighborhood and our city will change drastically in the next five years. What new challenges will this bring to us? What new opportunities? How will we meet them? How can we reach out and engage in dialogue with the city around us?

Hospitality One way of making people feel welcome is by being hospitable. Are we welcoming to those sitting in the pews next to us, or to those we walk into Mass or out of Mass with? We all know what a difference a simple smile or “hello” can make. How can we be more welcoming? Can we reach out more warmly to visitors and regulars alike? How can we make the coffee hour a place where everyone feels at home, not just the regulars? Are there other opportunities for us to build community by breaking bread together? How can we make hospitality a way of life at St. James Cathedral?

Outreach and “Inreach” In a very large community that worships in a very large space, doesn’t it make sense to build what Pope Francis calls “a community of small communities,” where each person has a place, a home? Can we do this by inviting parishioners to truly get involved in the parish, participating in one or another of our many ministries? Our parishioners live all over King County and beyond: how can we form community out in our many neighborhoods (e.g. by getting together in small study groups)? Are there other ways of extending the Sunday Mass community to the other six days of the week—especially when we live so far from one another?

Telling Our Story So many of the good things that happen at St. James Cathedral go unnoticed. They are well-kept secrets! Are there more compelling ways to tell the story of what is going on here day after day, bringing the Gospel to life through the stories we tell? Social media offer endless possibilities for making connections. Can we do more to take advantage of the possibilities of technology and social media to share what goes on in the Cathedral throughout the week, making it easy for more and more people to participate in the day-to-day life of the Cathedral?

These are just a few of the themes and questions that our Pastoral Vision Council and our staff found quite exciting to discuss and brainstorm. I am hoping you will find them exciting, too. I invite you to join me in reflecting on them in the coming months. And I hope we do more than reflect on them. As I mentioned, the Pastoral Team will be setting specific goals in response to these questions. What if you were to set some of your own goals? In the weeks to come, we are going to be proposing some very practical possibilities to help you do just that. Please stay tuned!

Pope Francis has written: “The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community… It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a center of constant missionary outreach.” I can’t think of better words to describe this Cathedral parish. So let’s accept Pope Francis’ invitation and be creative! I don’t know what will come of this new Vision, what new ideas, new ministries, new communities will be formed. What I do know for certain is that together, we can make this Cathedral parish even more warm, loving, and welcoming; more centered on the Gospel; a parish that conveys the image of God’s merciful face in everything we do, every liturgy we celebrate, every telephone call or email we answer, every new outreach we undertake. We’ve got work to do, my friends. We really do. Each one of us!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Father Michael G. Ryan
Pastor of St. James Cathedral

WELCOME! If you are a visitor to the Cathedral, we want you to know how welcome you are – whether you have come from another part of the country, from across the world, or simply from another parish here in the Archdiocese. For more information about the parish, to register, or to ask a question, visit our Sunday Help Desk at Coffee Hour. A Cathedral staff person will be on hand to assist you.

COVER ART Detail of West Nave clerestory stained-glass window. Charles Connick, artist.

FLOWERS AT THE ALTAR are in honor of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and in memory of a loved one. If you would like to make a floral offering to remember a loved one or give thanks on a special occasion, please contact Jane Mueller, 206-654-4650. Available dates in the coming months are October 9, November 13, and November 20.

CALLING ALL CHILDREN! Join us for the opening procession of the Noon Mass today. Share with the assembly how you care for God’s Creation.

ART EXHIBIT IN THE CHAPEL. During the month of October, the Cathedral Chapel is home to JUBILEE, a traveling exhibit of artwork. These works celebrate rest, renewal, and relationships in keeping with the biblical concept of Jubilee. The exhibit is curated by the Grunewald Guild, a Christian arts center located just outside Leavenworth. During the month of October, stop by the Chapel any time the Cathedral is open to explore the exhibit.

HOLY HOUR FOR LIFE Friday, October 7 is the First Friday of the month. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament will begin immediately following the 8:15am Mass and continue until 1:00pm. At 12 Noon, we will have a special Holy Hour for life, with hymns, readings, and rosary. All are welcome.

THE ST. JAMES CATHEDRAL MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS FAIR will take place after the 10:00am and Noon Masses on Sunday, October 9. Please plan on dropping by the Hall to visit representatives from various social and health care organizations. Information, Nancy Granger, 206-382-4269.

WELCOME BACK. St. James Cathedral offers a 10-week program for Catholics returning to the practice of their faith. It’s a safe place to ask questions, learn about changes in the Church, and begin to experience a small community of faith. The fall session begins Monday, October 3, 2016. Sessions are held 7:00 – 9:00 pm in Cathedral Place, 803 Terry Avenue. Information, Rosanne Michaels, 206-654-4658.

YOUTH NIGHTS start this Sunday at 6:30pm in the Pastoral Outreach Center. Join your peers (in grades 8-12) to help kickoff a year filled with transformative opportunities to grow in faith, hope and charity. All are welcome!

CURIOUS ABOUT CONFIRMATION? Are you curious about completing your Christian Initiation as a confirmed Catholic? Teens and parents are welcome to come learn more about the Sacrament of Confirmation and our one-year preparation program at an info session Monday, October 3 in the Holy Names Room at 7pm. This will be a great time to ask questions and find out if now is the right time to take this step in living out your baptismal vocation. (In our Archdiocese, those to be confirmed must be at least 16 of age at the time the Sacrament is celebrated, usually in mid-May.)

QUESTIONS? Curtis Leighton, 206-264-2082

For parishioners in their 20s and 30s

TAIZE PRAYER AND SIMPLE SUPPER this Friday, October 7. We’ll meet in the Archbishop Murphy Courtyard after the prayer for a simple meal and a chance to enjoy fellowship with other young adults.

Information, Curtis Leighton, 206-264-2082

WINTER SHELTER. This past weekend, we began our 25th season of welcoming homeless men into our midst in cooperation with the St. Martin de Porres men’s shelter. Thank you to all of our volunteers! And thank you to all of you who have been keeping the homeless in your prayers! We realize that not everyone is called to spend time with the men who come to our shelter, but there is a way that you can support them. If you have any travel or hotel-sized toiletries, you can donate them so that our guests can use them. Donations can be dropped off at the Welcome Desk at Sunday Coffee Hour or at the Parish Office. Thank you!

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS DAY AT ST JAMES will be on Sunday, October 16. Meet representatives from over 10 area Catholic Schools, including the Rainbow Schools and four High Schools, after all the morning Masses in Cathedral Hall. Generous financial aid is available. Information, Brenda Bellamy, 206-274-3108.

HOW TO WELCOME, INCLUDE, AND CATECHIZE ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN: Practical Suggestions for Serving Those with Special Needs is a workshop offered by the Pastoral Care Office of the Archdiocese of Seattle. It will be held in the Pastoral Outreach Center this Saturday, October 8. For more information, or to register, contact Erica Cohen Moore at 206-382-4852.

STAY UP TO DATE ON IMMIGRATION ISSUES. Follow the Immigrant Assistance Facebook page for regular updates on local, regional, and national news about immigration. This month’s theme is immigrant entrepreneurship and the economy. Find us at www.facebook.com/St.JamesImmigrantAssistance. Information, Christopher Koehler, 206-382-4511.

CABRINI MINISTRY TRAINING. Would you like to learn how to communicate God’s love and mercy to others? Cabrini Ministry offers a variety of formation programs to give you the insight and practice you need to share God’s compassion with others. We have a few spots left in our Kirkland class, which meets on Tuesdays, October 25 to March 7 from noon to 2:30pm. We also offer a Ministry Discernment Workshop at St. Joseph Parish in Issaquah on Thursday, October 13 from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Information, info@cabriniministry.org, 206-760-0583 x3.

SUNDAY HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. St. James hosts a Coffee Hour in the Cathedral Hall on Sundays after the 8am, 10am, and 12pm Masses. It is a welcoming space in which persons experiencing homelessness and parishioners can come together to drink coffee, eat muffins, relax, and socialize. It is also a great place to learn about the array of ministries and volunteer opportunities at St. James. We are especially in need of volunteers to serve coffee and muffins and help clean up from 1pm-2pm after the Noon Mass. Information, Hunt Hoffman, 206-382-4235.

WEAVING OUR STRENGTHS. The Church Council of Greater Seattle invites you to attend this day-long conference of fellowship, inspiration, and skill-building to strengthen local churches’ efforts for the common good, on Saturday, October 22, 8am-4pm at Seattle First Baptist Church. Last year over 200 people from 16 faith traditions, and at least 60 congregations gathered. Workshop themes include interfaith dialogue and approach to scripture; storytelling for community action; immigrant and refugee accompaniment; “habits of the heart” for healthy conversations; mental illness and the church; racial justice – through Scripture and in congregations; conflict and resolution in Colombia; church in the neighborhood; dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery; and creative worship. To register, contact Patrick Barredo by October 7, 206-382-4515.

Sacred Steps
Sacramental Celebrations at St. James

CONGRATULATIONS AND GOD’S BLESSINGS to Kash Pontarolo who completed his sacraments of initiation on September 21. Congratulations also to Meredith Hickman and Jaime Kiehn who made their Profession of Faith and received the Sacraments of Confirmation and First Holy Communion on September 25.


Parish-Wide Listening Sessions

St. James Cathedral, along with the other seventeen parishes in our South Seattle Deanery, has been working for the last year on a plan to address the current and future shortage of priests in the Archdiocese as well as such issues as lay leadership, parish collaborations, and the future of the faith communities in the central and south areas of the City.

As part of this planning process, our parish participated in the Disciple Maker Index survey in January as well as three Deanery wide convocations and several Focus Groups. On Sunday, October 23, we will be holding listening sessions after all three morning masses to share with you the plan which the Deanery leadership is submitting to Archbishop Sartain in December. This is a chance to give your feedback on the draft plan before it is submitted to the Archbishop.

Please join us in the Rectory Parlors after the 8:00, 10:00 and 12:00 masses on Sunday, October 23.

Information, Larry Brouse, 206-382-4280.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR SVDP’S FALL “STUFF THE TRUCK” EVENT. Our local SVdP thrift stores are running low on clothes! On Sunday, October 30, an SVdP truck will be in the O’Dea parking lot from 8am to 2:30pm to accept your gently used clothes (sorry, this time we cannot accept anything but clothes). SVdP will sell your items through its local stores, which help fund programs benefiting our neighbors in need. For more information, please see our event flyer on the Cathedral Website.

“IMMIGRATION REFORM….A STRUGGLE FOR JUSTICE, DIGNITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS” Los Angeles Archbishop Gomez recently spoke about the humanity of immigrants; how Hispanics and Asians have been a part of the ethnic fabric of America all along; and he calls for mercy in our approach to the undocumented. Whatever your views on immigration, his remarks are worth reading. Available on at our website. Information, Christopher Koehler, 206-382-4511.

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BECOMING CATHOLIC? If you are an adult who has never been baptized, an adult who has been baptized in another Christian tradition or a Catholic who has been baptized, but not received First Eucharist or Confirmation, you are invited to participate in the RCIA, a process of initiation into the Catholic Church. You can learn more by going to the RCIA website. Information, Kathleen McCabe, 206-382-2018.

A COMPANIONSHIP WORKSHOP will be offered on Saturday, October 8, 9am – 12 Noon in Cathedral Place, 803 Terry Ave. The Companionship Training is designed to encourage compassionate awareness for those struggling with mental illness in our neighborhoods and communities of faith, and to increase our capacity for engaging our neighbors with dignity and grace. The training teaches listening skills, along with an awareness of limits and boundaries. Companionship Training enlightens and supports parishioners, staff, ushers, social justice and pastoral care leaders and volunteers, and all concerned citizens. The training is conducted by Kae Eaton, Chaplain and Director of Seattle’s Mental Health Chaplaincy. To contact Nancy Granger, 206-382-4269.

Catholics Care.
Catholics Vote
The parishes of St. James, Christ Our Hope and St. Joseph are co-sponsoring a 5-week series to help form the consciences of the Catholic faithful in preparation of the November election. Each presentation will be on Thursday evenings, 6:30pm to 8pm in Cathedral Hall.
  • October 6: LIFE ISSUES with Camille Pauley of Healing the Culture
  • October 13: CARE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT with Jessie Dye of Earth Ministry

CATHEDRAL BOOKSTORE OPEN AFTER MASS. Visitors and regulars alike are invited to stop by the Cathedral Bookstore, open following each weekend Mass thanks to our volunteers. Books, rosaries, religious items, Cathedral souvenirs, and much more! The Bookstore is located in the Archbishop Murphy Courtyard just south of the Cathedral.

BAPTISM OF INFANTS & YOUNG CHILDREN (under the age of 7) is celebrated monthly at one of the weekend Masses. To prepare for this most important sacrament, parents and godparents participate in a series of classes to update their understanding of baptism, to reflect on their responsibility to guide their children in the practice of the faith, and to learn about the many ways our parish supports families. Please allow at least two months for preparation. Information, Julianna Castro, 206-619-0816.

BABYSITTING is available for children up to four years of age on Sundays during the 10:00am and Noon Masses, during baptism preparation classes, and during special events for parents and families. The program is located in the Mother Cabrini Room on the first floor of the Pastoral Outreach Center; enter through the courtyard at Ninth and Columbia. Information, Suzanne Lee, 206-654-4640.

PARISH REMEMBRANCE: Throughout the year, because we are the Cathedral Church, we remember in prayer at Mass and Vespers each of the parishes and missions of the Archdiocese of Seattle on a Sunday near their feast day. This week we remember in prayer the parishes of St. Francis of Assisi in Friday Harbor and Seahurst; St. Therese in Seattle and St. Theresa in Federal Way; and the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, whose founder, Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, has her feast day on October 6.


Return to St. James Cathedral Parish Website

804 Ninth Avenue
Seattle, Washington  98104
Phone 206.622.3559  Fax 206.622.5303