In Your Midst

Cathedral Almanac

Dec. 2008

Snapshots of life at St. James, August - November, 2008

August
3.  Father Ryan was invited to preach this morning at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral on Capitol Hill.  Rev. Ralph Carskadden writes of this visit:  “Father Michael and I first met over forty years ago when we were young priests working at parishes in north Tacoma. He is a beloved pastor who has a heart for justice and peace and a love for the worship of the Lord in the beauty of holiness. I know that many members of Saint Mark's have taken part in peace marches which have linked our two cathedrals over the decades. I am so delighted that he accepted my invitation to preach at Saint Mark’s.”
10.  We were privileged to welcome Archbishop Harry Flynn, retired Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, to preside and preach at the Noon Mass.
11.  Our week-long Choir Camp began with more than 80 campers.  Their theme this year was from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, “Run so as to win!”  The week culminated with a presentation of the medieval Play of Daniel, complete with Daniel in the lions’ den, Queen Esther, satraps, wizards, evil counselors, and much more!
 
September
3.  Father Ryan presided at a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit as O’Dea High School began their new school year.
4.  The Cathedral Choir of St. James returned in all its glory from its summer hiatus.
14.  We celebrated the great feast of the Triumph of the Cross.  In his homily for today, Father Ryan said:  “Whatever we believe about the violent use of force—about wars, just or unjust, provoked or preemptive or, for that matter, about the state-sponsored killing that is capital punishment, we Christians must do our thinking and form our consciences with one image squarely in our line of sight: the image of the cross—the cruel instrument of torture and death made holy and triumphant by the One who could have struck back but didn’t… As Christians, the cross is our answer... the only path to life and peace!”
15.  Father Ryan wrote a letter to the parish about the importance of Sunday Mass:  “You know me well enough to know that I am reluctant to emphasize the aspect of obligation. I much prefer to appeal to your faith and to your understanding of the central importance of the Eucharist in our lives. Without the Eucharist, we die. It’s as simple as that. It may not happen in a week or a month, but it will surely happen. That’s because the Eucharist is the source of everything we do as believers and it is also the summit of our Christian lives, the closest we come on earth to the great Liturgy of heaven.”
16.  The Cathedral’s Health and Healing Ministry sponsored a Blood Drive at the Pastoral Outreach Center.
17.  Chris Koehler, director of the St. James ESL Program, was invited to speak at the White House on how faith-based and community organizations can best respond to the needs of refugees and immigrants.  In attendance were about 100 representatives from legislative offices, various government departments concerned with immigration, advocates, and people working in the field.
22.  The Twelfth Annual Hunthausen Charity Golf Tournament and Benefit Dinner was held at the Golf Club at Newcastle.  The weather was beautiful and we were privileged to have both Archbishop Hunthausen and Archbishop Brunett play eighteen holes of golf!  The tournament raised more than $70,000 to support the Cathedral’s outreach ministries.
27.  On the memorial of St. Vincent de Paul, the liturgical ministers of St. James Cathedral gathered for “Liturgy Day,” a chance to get renewed in their ministries and to celebrate the Eucharist together.
 
October
2.  In the evening, Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, gave the 2nd Annual St. James Cathedral Lecture:  Dead Man Walking, the Journey Continues.  More than 300 people packed Cathedral Hall for her riveting and powerful presentation.  It was a great privilege to welcome this modern-day prophet to St. James Cathedral.
6.  On this first Sunday of the month, the children of our Children’s Faith Formation programs received a special blessing at the Noon Mass, along with their parents and catechists.
11.  Archbishop Brunett presided at a special Mass in honor of the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.  Representatives of more than 80 conferences from around the Archdiocese of Seattle participated in a festive entrance procession.
26.  We welcomed Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI, who gave a talk in the Cathedral on spirituality and aging, a special event sponsored by Catholic Community Services.
 
November
1.  We celebrated the Solemnity of All Souls with the glorious music of Mozart.  In his homily for today, Father Ryan said:  “The Church invites us to come face-to-face with mortality—to make friends with it, strange as that may seem.  The Church invites us to do as St. Francis of Assisi did, to come to the point where we think of death as Sister Death—where we look upon the hour of its arrival, known only to God, as a gift which God will give in his own good time, a most surprising and paradoxical gift because, while it looks like the end, it is really only the beginning— the very path to life in its fullness.  It was for Jesus and it will be for us.”
3.  On the Feast of St. Martin de Porres, we gathered for our third annual Mass in memory of the homeless men and women who have died on the streets of King County in the past year.  At the conclusion, all gathered in the Cathedral courtyard as the Cathedral’s “Thomas” bell was tolled eighty-nine times, once for each person who died.
9.  Our annual Sacrificial Giving Sunday coincided this year with the Solemnity of the Dedication of St. John Lateran.  Parishioners Becky Brauer and Rex Wardlaw gave the witness talk this year.  The morning Masses were followed by our annual Ministries Fair, a chance to explore the rich variety of ministry opportunities (more than 40 strong!) of St. James Cathedral.
22.  Our own parishioner Todd Strange was ordained to the transitional diaconate in preparation for his priestly ordination, to take place June, 2009.  The ordination took place at Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin.
23.  The Solemnity of Jesus Christ the King marked the end of the liturgical year.  Father Ryan said:  “The king, the Christ, is the very least of our brothers and sisters—the very least: the least likely, often the least likable and the least likely to succeed…. This isn’t my gospel, nor is it some left wing social manifesto.  It is the Christian gospel, the only gospel we have.”
27.  Mass was the perfect beginning to the celebration of Thanksgiving Day.  At this beautiful celebration, all were invited to bring gifts of non-perishable food items for the poor, which were placed around the altar at offertory time.
 

—M.L.


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