In Your Midst

Cathedral Almanac

April 2009

Snapshots of life at St. James, December, 2008--March, 2009

December
4.  The Washington Association of Churches honored Father Ryan with their award for Ecumenical Leadership at their annual dinner at Seattle University.
6.  A vibrant, colorful Mass in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Madre de las Americas was celebrated in the Cathedral. 
13.  With nearly 1,000 Catholics from across Western Washington, Archbishop Brunett celebrated Simbang Gabi, the traditional Advent blessing which comes to us from the Philippines.
19.  Archbishop Brunett celebrated the 11th anniversary of his installation as Archbishop of Seattle.
21.  A major snowstorm hit Seattle and St. James Cathedral was not spared.  Sunday Mass attendance was down by about 80% today.  Our beautiful service of Candlelight, Carols, and Cathedral Children continued in spite of the snow.
22.  The Cathedral celebrated its 101st birthday today.  St. James was dedicated December 22, 1907.
25.  The snow continued to fall, but the celebration of Christmas at St. James was as beautiful as ever.  In his homily for today, Father Ryan said, “We will remember this Christmas of 2008, won’t we?  For a long time! Children will remember it for the wonder of the snow; parents will remember it for too much snow and maybe for too many snow days! Retailers will remember it for the lackluster sales; commuters will remember it for the treacherous driving conditions, travelers for long airport delays. Pastors will remember it for pews far from full and, dare I say it, collection baskets far from full!  All of us will probably remember it as the Christmas we were taken by surprise.”
 
January
4.  The wonderful Feast of the Epiphany was observed.  At the Noon Mass, images of the three kings joined in the procession, and children were invited to the Chapel after Mass for a gift from the kings… candy coins!
9.  On the outbreak of hostilities in the Holy Land, we celebrated a special prayer for Peace in Gaza with music from Taizé.
10.  Former Lutheran minister Tom McMichael was ordained to the priesthood.
16.  Because of the December snow, drastically reduced attendance resulted in a major shortfall in the collection.  Father Ryan sent out a special appeal inviting Cathedral parishioners to become “snow angels” by making a special gift of $35 each.  The parish responded with incredible generosity, surpassing our $25,000 goal by well over $15,000!  The surplus went to support our Cathedral Kitchen.
17.  A special Mass honored the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Today Archbishop Brunett also celebrated his 75th birthday.
18.  We honored the Holy Child Jesus at our annual Santo Niño celebration—which this year included Father Ryan learning the stick dance at the fiesta following the Mass!
21.  St. James Cathedral was privileged to host the Countywide Prayer for Christian Unity, gathering ministers of many Christian denominations from around the city and beyond.
25.  In this year of St. Paul, the feast of his conversion was observed with special solemnity.  Father John Endres, SJ, a Biblical scholar, was our guest preacher and offered his unique perspective on St. Paul.
31.  More than twenty children celebrated the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time this morning.
 
February
2.  The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord included the traditional blessing of candles.
3.  The Blessing of Throats on the Feast of St. Blase is a favorite tradition.
11.  On the World Day of Prayer for the Sick, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, a special Mass was offered during which we celebrated the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
13.  At our Prayer around the Cross with Music from Taizé, Father Ryan welcomed clergy of many denominations from around the Seattle area for prayer and fellowship.
14.  A retreat for married couples was offered on St. Valentine’s Day, Learning to Love Each Other Well, presented by Bill and Kathy Collins.
20-21.  Great Music for Great Cathedrals, under the direction of Dr. James Savage, returned with splendor.  See the album in this issue.
23.  Today, ten new Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion were commissioned at the evening Mass.
23.  Putting God First, a Lent retreat for the Cathedral parish created and sponsored by the Cathedral’s Stewardship Council,  was offered for the fourth year in a row, with about fifty parishioners participating.
25.  Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of the holy season of Lent.  After the 5:30pm Mass, the Cathedral Kitchen offered a “Simple Supper” of bread, soup, and fellowship.
26.  Our fifteen catechumens, preparing for baptism at the Easter Vigil, celebrated the Rite of Election in the Cathedral.  At this Rite, they met Archbishop Brunett and enrolled their names in the Book of the Elect.
 
March
3.  In response to the economic crisis, St. James Cathedral offered a unique series of workshops entitled Finding Work… with God’s Help!  Cathedral parishioner Darcey McAllister, a Human Resources Professional, offered insights into the art of job hunting, from resume writing to interview skills.
5.  Nearly 300 people packed Cathedral Hall for a presentation by Father Mike Raschko on The New Atheism. “The new atheists force us as Christians to rethink what our sense of God is.  I think the tragedy is, they don’t take it seriously… it’s somewhat akin to losing your faith in the Easter Bunny.  They don’t catch the seriousness of the whole thing.  A lot of the questions they raise very forcefully are not new.”
10.  The Health and Healing Ministry sponsored its 4th Annual Lenten Blood Drive.  Thirty-four people participated.
13.  St. James Cathedral was privileged to welcome Daniel Roth, titular organist of the Church of St. Sulpice, Paris, and one of the world’s premier organists, to his debut on our own magnificent organs.
14.  The first Scrutiny of the Elect was celebrated at the Saturday evening Mass.  Celebrated on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent, the Scrutinies are intended to deliver the Elect from the power of sin, to protect them against temptation, and to give them strength in Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life.
23.  St. James Cathedral hosted the graduation Mass for Cabrini Ministry Training.  This unique program provides extensive, in-depth training in pastoral care for lay people in the Archdiocese of Seattle.

—M.L.


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