From the Pastor – July 24, 2016

frmnicks_mug_smallFrom scripture we have seen that, according to God’s plan, marriage can only occur between equal partners. Thus we heard that, having encountered and named all other living creatures on the earth, Adam found none who was adequate to be his partner in life. Therefore, God created Eve, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh; his perfect equal. In her he found an adequate partner with whom he could enter into the bond of marriage, becoming ’one flesh.’

It is because of this first necessary condition that the bond of marriage can never be shared between human and any other creature on the planet. We might love our pets, but they would never be equal partners!

The second necessary condition for marriage is also found immediately in the first chapters of Genesis: “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he create them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and God said to them: ‘Be fertile and multiply.’”

From the outset, God created marriage to be an institution ordered to the generation of new life. Indeed, throughout scripture, the fruitfulness of a married couple in bearing children was seen as a direct indication of God’s blessing upon spouses. We hear this truth sung about in the Psalms: “Certainly sons are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man who has filled his quiver with them” (Ps. 127). Also, in the wisdom literature of Sacred Scripture we read: “Children’s children are the crown of the elderly” (Proverbs 17). Though this connection between children and marriage is manifold and pervasive throughout the Sacred Scriptures, no greater example of this essential connection can be found then the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

There are no limitations on the way in which God could have chosen to enter into our world. He could have simply descended to earth with the fullness of our adult humanity. He could have come as a child and simply been cared for by the priests of the temple until he was of age. He could just have been the son of the Virgin Mary, without St. Joseph.

He chose none of these things. The eternal God chose the best and most fitting way in which to enter the world. He chose to be a part of a family. He chose to be a child, born with a mother and father in the bond of holy matrimony. If even the chaste marital union of the Ever Virgin Mary and St. Joseph was ordered to the generation of new life, how can it be doubted that this openness to life is an essential part of God’s plan for marriage? He has demonstrated this truth by his own birth.

This intrinsic connection between marriage and children is expressed in the opening prayer of the nuptial Mass: “Be attentive to our prayers, O Lord, and in your kindness uphold what you have established for the increase of the human race.”

Because of this necessary connection between an openness to life and marriage, the priest asks the couple before they exchange their vows: “Will you accept children lovingly from God, and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?”

Later, in the nuptial blessing itself we hear: “O God, by whom woman is joined to man and the companionship they had in the beginning is endowed with the one blessing not forfeited by original sin nor washed away by the flood […] We implore you: may these your servants hold fast to the faith and keep your commandments; made one in the flesh, may they be blameless in all they do; and with the strength that comes from the Gospel, may they bear true witness to Christ before all; may they be blessed with children, and prove themselves virtuous parents, who live to see their children’s children.”

The essential unity between an openness to new life and marriage are undeniably manifest in scripture, the lived faith of God’s people, and the example of Jesus Christ. Yet, God does nothing without reason. Though obedience is always sufficient to God’s will, our faith and love impel us to delve into the mystery of his plan; we strive to understand more fully why he has established this necessary link between new life and marital love. It is to pondering this mystery that we will turn next week.

Praised be Jesus Christ; now and forever!

In Christ,
frmnicks_sig
Fr. Nicks

July 25- Saint James

James is the brother of John the Evangelist. The two were called by Jesus as they worked with their father in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had already called another pair of brothers from a similar occupation: Peter and Andrew. “He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him” (Mark 1:19-20).James was one of the favored three who had the privilege of witnessing the Transfiguration, the raising to life of the daughter of Jairus and the agony in Gethsemani.

Based on information from: americancatholic.org

Saint Francis Church

Purchased picture Missals for the children to use at Mass. This way the children can follow along and have a missal like mom and dad. Please grab one on the way in for your child, if they want to use one. Please remember to return them to the back on your way out. These are to remain at the church so other children can use them too. Thank you!

Walla Walla Valley Human Life Fair Booth Sign ups start NOW!

The fair is August 31- September 4th If you would like to sign up to take a 2 hour shift at the Human Life Fair Booth, contact Terri at 509-522-1163, leave a message.

Retrouvaille

4 Stages of Marriage – (1) Romance, (2) Disillusionment, (3) Misery, and (4) Awakening. Many marriages experience the first 3 Stages. Marriages that end in divorce never make it to the 4th Stage of Awakening. Don’t give up without learning about the 4th Stage of Awakening. If your marriage suffers from disillusionment or misery please contact Retrouvaille. Retrouvaille is for any couple who would like to rediscover their marriage and improve communication.

For confidential information or to register for the September 9-11, 2016 Spokane weekend call (509) 520-4118 or (800) 470-2230 or visit the web site at www.Retrouvaille.org.

Social Concerns Ministry

“Feed the Hungry”
The social concerns ministry is in the process of making some changes in the way we collect food that we hope to communicate in early September. Meanwhile there has been a noticeable decrease in the amount of food being donated. We hope you can make food donation a priority in your life either by cash donations or actual items. Thank You!

“School supply Homeless Teens”
Beginning This weekend the giving trees are up in all three parishes. Please take a tag and purchase the item for school supplies. Homeless teens will continue to need many things.

Walla Walla Public Schools (WWPS) would like to thank Catholic Community for their donation of $860.00, was used for the homeless youth in our community during the 2015 & 2016 school year. WWPS defines homeless as anyone who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. Although the Federal program, Title I, allocates funds to be used for homeless youth, their rules are very specific on what the funds can be used for, which creates the need for community donations.

To date, donated monies have been used for:
Food: $131.80
Toiletries: $166.12
Supplies/Fees: $295.59
Clothing/household: $723.29

Winter boots and regular shoes were purchased from Goodwill when possible; Some household items from Goodwill, Sonbridge & Walgrens; Under garments from Kmart; basic toiletries ie shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. from the Dollar Store; Laundry supplies from Walmart; Caps & gowns, and miscellaneous fees (lunch program, class/book fees, sports fees, etc.) to allow students to graduate or move onto the next grade. Thank you for your support.

FORMED – For The Youth

We have outstanding youth – are you one of them? The best evangelizers of youth. are other youth! Looking for a great resource to help. Try Y-Disciple, available for free on FORMED. The topics are excellent and the presentations are perfect. Check it out on FORMED.org, parish code: CE6DCX

Is God calling YOU to become a Knight?

Thanks to the efforts of Father Michael J. McGivney, assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in New Haven and some of his parishioners, the Connecticut state legislature on March 29, 1882, officially chartered the Knights of Columbus as a fraternal benefit society. The Order is still true to its founding principles of charity, unity and fraternity.

The history of the Order shows how the foresight of Father Michael J. McGivney, whose cause for sainthood is being investigated by the Vatican, brought about what has become the world’s foremost Catholic fraternal benefit society. Application forms are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus. You can contact the Grand Knight/ Nick Moramarco, by email: michaelflohr766@gmail.com or by phone at: 509-520-8226.

Upcoming School Events

DeSales Cheerleaders & Softball Players Fundraiser: On July 27th enjoy a $3.99 medium cheese or pepperoni pizza at Big Cheese Pizza and $1 will help raise money for the Lady Irish! We also receive money for 2-liter pop!

Please thank Big Cheese for their support of Walla Walla Catholic Schools!

Please visit our website for a complete listing of activities, events, and news.

Save the Date!

Two of our big fundraisers are just around the corner!

Come to the events and volunteer to help!

WWCS Fair Food Booths: Wednesday, August 31 – Sunday, September 4

WWCS Sausage Fest: Friday, September 30 – Saturday, October 1

Join us in a Tri Parish Celebration for our Solemnity

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
After the 10:30 AM Mass at Assumption
Sunday, August 14th
Hamburgers, hot dogs, sodas and condiments will be provided.
Please bring a salad or a dessert to share and a smile.

For Questions, please call the Parish office: 509-525-8163 or Sally: 525-0245

Pulpit Announcements

Nic Castoldi has finished his last year with the Walla Walla Catholic Parishes as our youth minister. Though we are sad to lose him, the cause of his departure is a source of joy. Nic is leaving Walla Walla in order to discern a possible vocation to serve God as a priest. Nick will begin his discernment this fall by entering Bishop White Seminary in Spokane. In so doing, he has become a wonderful example to us all of radical openness to follow the call of Christ, wherever it might lead.