In Your Midst


Spring 2001

In This Issue:
Andrew Ly and his sister Jessica Ly are at ease in many places and in different roles at St. James Cathedral. They are parishioners, youth readers, active in the Youth Religious Education program, and attend Mass with all of their family. The family includes: father, Uy-Loi Ly, a professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Washington; mother, Kim-Lien Tran, who enjoys being a stay-at-home mom; Andrew, 15; Jessica, 13; and the youngest member of the family, Christopher, 4.

Impish Christopher, with the darkest brown eyes in the world, jumped in front of his mother and Jessica when he heard me ask about his family. He threw his arms wide across them and told me, “We are family.”

Their faith is very important to Andrew and Jessica and they wish that more of their friends and classmates would join them here, so they are trying to come up with ideas that would encourage others to participate.

Their mother, Kim-Lien, quietly added her view on children and church. “It all begins at home,” she said. “We started when they were very young, younger than Christopher. Each evening we said a prayer together in our language. It becomes a discipline and a part of life. It also was part of the children being bilingual — English and Vietnamese.”

Andrew is a classically trained pianist and composer, and a sophomore at Garfield High School. Because of school and other commitments, he is not taking lessons at the present, but still participates in the Seattle Symphony Young Composers Workshop.

Last summer Andrew and class cohort, Geneva Stein, decided to write, compose, stage, and direct a nativity pageant for the holiday party thrown by the Children’s Religious Education Program. Andrew selected music by Beethoven and wrote the lyrics. He and Geneva did the rest: the sets, the sound, and directing the singing of several young children from the Schola Cantorum. After Father Ryan heard their performance on a Saturday in December he did two things: he told parishioners at the Sunday Masses about this “dazzling performance” and he asked Andrew, Geneva, Jessica and crew to perform again. A standing ovation was whole-heartedly earned and given. Geneva and Andrew are planning to repeat their success but this time, with music to be written in the spirit of Mozart.

Jessica also has taken classical music lessons since early childhood and her interest at this time is jazz. She is in eighth grade and student body president at Washington Middle School. Jessica is also vice president of SAVE, Students Against Violence Everywhere. She hopes to attend Holy Names Academy next fall.

Andrew and Jessica are quite determined in that they are going to Harvard University or, adds Jessica, “any Ivy-league college”. Her goal is to obtain a medical degree while Andrew is thinking about a double major in music and psychology.

Andrew and Jessica and another teenager, Nathan Ramacho, would like to develop a youth group here at the Cathedral for social events as well as religious education. At present, our Children and Youth Religious Education Ministry has programs including sacramental preparation, for children aged four through high school. Marianne Coté is the coordinator.

Barbara Kleve came to Seattle in 1964 with a nursing degree from Ohio, looking for a Catholic church and an apartment. She found the apartment on Union Street and St. James Cathedral up the hill. It’s been a great match ever since.

Barbara grew up on the family farm in northwest Nebraska, doing all the chores farm kids do: milking cows, pitching hay, and driving tractors. After nursing school, Barbara came to Seattle where an older sister and her husband lived. She completed a nursing degree at Seattle University.

Barbara quickly became involved at St. James beginning with daily Mass. She was asked by the pastor Bishop Thomas E. Gill to help out in the sacristy. Soon she was laundering and ironing altar cloths and purificators, arranging the flowers for the Sunday liturgies, and replacing votive candles as they burned down. Barbara bought a home in the University District and Bishop Gill was concerned – not about her moving, but if she still would take care of the flowers. And true to her word, Barbara did so until the 1994 renovation of the Cathedral. She was one of the first Eucharistic Ministers when the ministry began in the late 1970s and more recently has served as a lay presider and reader at communion services. She still assists at several of the daily Masses during the week and the Cathedral sacristans will tell you how much they count on Barbara’s dependability.

Joan McDonell is a St. James Cathedral parishioner and a member of the Development Committee.

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