October 6, 2019

I want to thank you for your participation in our Stewardship of Talent Renewal this year. We spent the month of September discerning where the Lord is calling us as individuals and as a parish community. That discernment culminated last weekend on Commitment Sunday when so many of you made a commitment to give of your time and talent in service to our parish. Thank you!

Staff and volunteer ministry leaders will be contacting those who have offered their time for follow-up on next steps. We look forward to seeing the fruits of this new and renewed commitment to stewardship of talent in our parish.

October is Respect Life Month. Every day of our lives is a day to give thanks to God for the gift of life and ask God’s protection for all of human life from conception to natural death. But October is a special time when we reflect on the gift of life and the challenges we face in our country in valuing life at every stage.

I had the great privilege last week of holding in my arms a baby who was just a day old. One of our parishioners invited me to the hospital for a visit and a blessing. To hold that perfect little child was nothing short of miraculous. I have been blessed in my life with nephews and nieces, and so have had the chance since I was very young to hold infants in my arms. The experience never grows old for me.

When we think of all the challenges to human dignity that we face in our country, we are prompted to respond and to get involved in defending life. Prayerful and sustained action is important, from participating in Forty Days for Life, to advocating for an end to the death penalty; from fighting for the dignity of those at the other end of life - the elderly and those close to death, to resisting the demonizing of immigrants and refugees; from serving our brothers and sisters who are poor, to advocating on their behalf for a more just society - in all of these ways and more we seek to defend and promote the dignity of human life.

But holding that little child in my arms last week and looking into his eyes is really the experience that is the starting and ending point of our Respect Life Month observance. This little vulnerable person is dependent on us - his parents certainly - but also on all of us to protect him and nurture him and help him to grow. No matter what good or bad he does in his life, his human dignity must be respected and valued. He never loses that right.

Our commitment to pro-life activities has led to the creation of a new ministry here in the Archdiocese of Seattle. The ministry is called PREPARES and is a ministry of Catholic Community Services and the Archdiocese. It is a ministry that reaches out to vulnerable pregnant and parenting families. In its outreach, PREPARES strives to assist families in a very practical way with emotional and material support until the child is 5 years old. Being a member of the PREPARES Team was one of our ministries in our Stewardship of Talent Renewal last Sunday. Thank you to those of you who have offered to be part of this ministry.

Archbishop Naumaan, the Chairman of the U.S. Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities recently encouraged Catholics discouraged by attacks on human life to hold fast to Christ, our Hope. He noted that this is the theme for this year’s Respect Life Month, and that it is “particularly suited for our times. While attacks against human life seem to grow ever more numerous and callous, we know that Christ has conquered sin and death. Through our Christian hope in the Resurrection, we are given the grace to persevere in faith.”

May that grace strengthen us this month, and in the months and years ahead, to protect the dignity of that little boy I held in my arms, and all human beings like him - from conception to natural death.

God Bless,
Fr. Gary Lazzeroni