June 10, 2018

This time of the year is filled with life transitions that can show forth the presence of Christ among us. These transitions include weddings, graduations and ordinations. We celebrate with those who go through these transitions because, for believers, these are important moments of encounter with and witness to Christ. 

Two weeks ago at St. Joseph, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, we celebrated the wedding of our Pastoral Assistant for Social Concerns Ministry, David Lester, and Genesee McCarthy. David and Genesee chose to be married at the regular Sunday evening Mass at St. Joseph, providing a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the sacrament of matrimony in the midst of a parish community.

The church was full and the celebration allowed us to mark the taking on of a new vocation for two deeply committed Catholics. We often think of a wedding celebration to be primarily about the bride and groom, and certainly they are the focus. But it has always struck me that, in our wedding liturgy in the Catholic Church, after the couple has exchanged vows and rings, we immediately move into the Prayers of the Faithful.

It is as if the Church, in its liturgy, is saying to the couple, and to all who are gathered, that the focus needs to shift outward. We need to celebrate this new vocation of marriage that these two people have taken on, and we have to see it in the context of a witness to a bigger love. The bigger love is the love of God in Christ. The sacrament of Matrimony creates a living sign of the love of Christ. This couple, themselves, becomes a living sign for us of Christ’s love.

We pray that David and Genesee may be strengthened by the Lord in their new vocation and be drawn ever more deeply into that bigger love so they can be an effective sign of God’s love for all of us.

This past Thursday, our 8th graders at St. Joseph celebrated their Baccalaureate Mass in the morning and their graduation ceremony in the evening. This graduating class is one among many that are celebrated this time of the year in all three of our communities of St. Thomas Aquinas, Our Lady Star of the Sea, and St. Joseph. Whether those graduations are from 8th grade, High School, College or Graduate School (or even preschool!), these milestones have an impact on our wider community. We pray God’s blessing on this new stage in the lives of our brothers and sisters - young and old - and we thank God for the love that has guided them.

This Saturday, at St. James Cathedral in Seattle, three young men who have connections to our three communities were ordained to the priesthood. Father Louis Cunningham served as a seminarian at St. Thomas for a summer. Father Justin Ryan served as a Deacon at St. Joseph, St. Thomas and Our Lady Star of the Sea last summer. Father Anh Tran served as a Deacon on weekends at St. Thomas, Our Lady Star of the Sea and St. Joseph during this past school year.

All three of these men have answered the call of the Lord and committed themselves to serving Him in the Church for the rest of their lives. Like Genesee and David, they have a special vocation now. In the sacrament of Ordination, they become living signs that effectively make present that bigger love - the love of Christ for us.

We are grateful for their commitment and pray that the Lord may continue to call them deeper and deeper into His life, so that they may be ever more effective signs of His presence.

To them, to Genesee and David, to our graduates, to those who will graduate, and to those who enter into marriage in these days, we offer our prayers and blessings. May all of these brothers and sisters know the deep love of Christ and be witnesses to that love in the world. 

God Bless,
Fr. Gary Lazzeroni