In Your Midst
Pastor's Letter
October 98

Dear Friends,

St. James Cathedral lost a dear friend and a faithful parishioner when Lois Curtis, wife of Deacon Joseph Curtis, was called home to God early in the morning of July 3. For me, Lois stood for all that is best about St. James. Her life, quiet and joyful, was full of faith, of love, and of service. The words high over the altar of the Cathedral, which give this newsletter its name, were words she lived by: "I am in your midst as one who serves." May Lois rest in peace, and may Joe know the loving and prayerful support of this community.

Our St. James Family Kitchen received first prize in a survey among homeless people sponsored by Real Change magazine. What touched me far deeper was the comment made by one person who was interviewed: "There is so much respect, love and dignity that the food almost doesn't matter." The Catholic Worker group and all the generous volunteers who make the St. James Family Kitchen what it is have every reason to be proud.

Perhaps a little update on the Cathedral bronze doors and east apse organ project are in order. I can't give any definite date, but the doors have been cast in a German foundry and are presently being "overworked" by Ulrich Henn, the sculptor. "Overworked" is Mr. Henn's word to describe the intricate burnishing and polishing that take place once the doors have been cast. We expect that they will be completed during the winter and installed in the late spring.

The organ project began many months ago in the workshop of Los Angeles organ builder Manuel Rosales. The Seattle phase of the work is slated to begin early in November with the removal of the existing small organ that presently blocks the central east apse stained glass window This project will take about a month. The actual assembling of the organ will begin next summer. It is anticipated that this work will take approximately five months. Happily, the building of the organ is fairly "clean" work that should not involve a great deal of disruption.

In recent months, the Cathedral has been the beneficiary of several generous bequests from parishioners who have died. I would simply ask you to remember in your prayers these wonderful parishioners whose generosity is making it possible for the Cathedral to carry out its mission. Remembering the Cathedral in your will is a wonderful way to express your faith and to support the Cathedral's work of preaching the gospel and serving the poor.

Mention of bequests prompts me to introduce the Cathedral's new Director of Development, Mr. Rick Oldenburg, who steps into Mary Ann Millican's shoes. He comes to us after serving for a dozen years in development work at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma. It is a pleasure to welcome Rick to our staff and I know you will share my enthusiasm when you have an opportunity to meet him.

Father Michael G. Ryan
Cathedral Pastor


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