From the Pastor – September 25, 2016

frmnicks_mug_smallToday we will begin a series on the Sacred Liturgy, that is the Mass. The way in which we celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass has developed over the last two millennia. Some things have been added, others have faded away. At times one aspect of the Mass was highlighted and, at other times, a different aspect was highlighted.

We could spend years of bulletin reflections looking at this organic growth and development, the excesses and the reforms. However, it is perhaps more fruitful to reflect on the modern expression and experience of the Mass – the Mass we encounter every Sunday and at daily services. In other words, we will reflect on the expression of the Mass envision by the Second Vatican Council.

This vision of the Sacred Liturgy is found, first and foremost, in the council document dedicated to this theme. It is fittingly called “The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy” or Sacrosanctum Concilium. This is the bedrock document that underlies the Mass as we know it and directs the manner in which it is to be celebrated. It is within the words of the document that we can find the authentic spirit of Vatican II, especially as it applies to the Mass.

We have all heard so many different things about what the Church says the Mass is or should be. Different priests and bishops have different emphasis and interpretations. I, too, have my own. If they are authentic interpretations or emphasis, they all must find their root and source in this document. This is the guiding document for the post Vatican II Mass, sometimes called the Novus Ordo (New Order).

To highlight the importance of the text, I will quote from the document extensively throughout the series. This will allow everyone to see for themselves the underlying guiding principles of Vatican II regarding the Sacred Liturgy. If you wish to see the broader context, it is easily accessible online. Simply type the name of the document as indicated above and it will be the first option.

For now, I will simply provide an outline of the document and, in subsequent weeks, we will move through it and reflect upon its content and meaning.

The document consists of an introduction and seven chapters: I) General Principles for the Restoration and Promotion of the Sacred Liturgy, II) The Most Sacred Mystery of the Eucharist, III) The Other Sacraments and the Sacramentals, IV) The Divine Office, V) The Liturgical Year, VI) Sacred Music, VII) Sacred Art and Sacred Furnishings.

Next week we will look at the introduction of the document, where we will see both the purpose of the liturgy in its most basic terms as well as the aim the Council had in reforming it.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

In Christ,
Fr. Nicks

FORMED-Are you ready for Mass this morning?

Are you ready for mass this morning? Need some help? In fact – don’t we all need some help? There is a great resource called “Opening the Word”. It contains 52 videos (6-minutes long) that give a meditation on each of the Sunday Gospels throughout the year. Find it on FORMED, under Programs. Our parish code is CE6DCX.

Interfaith Coalition

The October event for Interfaith Coalition on Poverty had to move the event back to November because of venue scheduling issues.

It is now during the national week of Hunger & Homeless Awareness in November. More information to come soon!

Tri-Parish Senior Potluck Luncheon

The next Tri-Parish Senior Potluck Luncheon will be Thursday, October 20 at St. Francis Parish Hall at 11:30 a.m. Our speaker will be Fr. Kyle Ratuiste, who will share his vocation story.

Please bring a salad or main dish to share. Table service, beverages, and desserts will be provided. All senior parishioners and those who assist them are always welcome!

Help Sanctify The Airwaves with the Truth!

Fall Pledge Drive September 28th – October 1st.

On December 7, 2016, KHSS will celebrate 19 years of sanctifying the airwaves over Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities with the truth of the Catholic Faith. Our Fall pledge drive will help bring Catholic Radio to Pullman and Kennewick (Spanish), as well as keep Catholic Radio flowing.

To make a pledge, call 800-949-1050 during the pledge drive September 28th through October 1st. Or, you can simply mail us a pledge anytime before the end of the year. Please mail your pledge to:

KHSS Catholic Radio
30 W. Main Street, Suite 303
Walla Walla, WA 99362.

If you have questions, call us at (509) 525-7878.
Or email us at

Include your Name, Phone, Email, Address, City, State, ZIP, and Parish. If you choose to make a one-time pledge, please enclose payment. If you choose to make a monthly pledge, please enclose your first payment along with this form and then we will send you monthly statements.

Thank you for your support!

Assumption Women

The Assumption Women held their first meeting of the year on September 13, 2016. During that meeting, donations of $1,000 for Assumption School and $500 for Educare were approved. If you were unable to attend the meeting and would like a copy of the minutes, please call Theresa Nichols at 525-1799, and a copy will be mailed to you.

Welcome Cards

As most of you have probably noticed, our church now has “Welcome” cards in the pew racks for those who are new, or who may be visiting and would like to know more about the Catholic faith or Assumption Parish. A project of the Assumption Catholic Women’s “Welcome Committee”, the plan is to add more of the card holders to the pews in the near future.

First Saturday Mass

Join us on The First Saturday of every Month at 8 AM.

Saint Patrick Church

Saturday, October 1st.

Hope to see you there!

Tri-Parish Youth Group

New program this year!

LifeTeen, Leading Teens To Christ.

What is Life Teen?

Life Teen is a movement within the Roman Catholic Church, Life Teen leads teenagers and their families into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.

Upcoming School Events

DeSales Cheer Camp: Friday, September 30th, 12 Noon (Noon dismissal that day) at Assumption School Gym.

All boys and girls grades K-8 are welcome to attend! Learn a new routine to perform at the DeSales vs Mabton Football game that night! Contact the Assumption office for more info (525-9283).

Walla Walla Sausage Fest at DeSales High School

Join the Walla Walla Catholic Schools September 30th and October 1st for the 14th Annual Walla Walla Sausage Fest at DeSales High School. In addition to the Friday night football game, we are introducing premium wines, beers and ciders to the Beer Garden, hosting a Saturday night concert with Whiskey Creek, bringing in great new swag and expanding our Kid’s Activities Zone. You won’t want to miss all the great food, including many of your old favorites from Pepe’s Pizza. Check out our page on Facebook for more information at

Catholic Social Concerns Ministry

Pope Francis: “We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion – one billion people who still suffer from hunger today. We cannot look the other way and pretend this does not exist.” 12/2013

Feed the Hungry: Many thanks to all who last weekend took home an empty bag to fill with groceries to place in front of the altar this weekend! As a parish community we can accomplish so much more than we can as individuals, following Jesus’ and St. Vincent’s examples, of reaching out to the poor. “Whatever you do for one of these, the least of my brothers and sisters, you do for me.” If you forgot to bring back your bag this weekend, just bring it back next! Cash contributions are also most welcome, enabling BMAC to buy 6X as much food as we can at local grocery stores. Please make a habit of bringing food and/or a donation every week.

Helping the Homeless in WW: The Congregational Church, Palouse and Alder, tall steeple, will again provide a location for the Warming Center, November-February. Kristin Sayers, new volunteer coordinator with United Way, will conduct a training session for new volunteers this coming Wednesday, September 28, 6-8 pm, at the Congregational Church. Volunteers work in pairs, 3 hour shifts, from 6 pm-7 am., on nights with temperatures below 25 degrees. Many have found volunteering to be an eye opening and rewarding experience.

GOTR temporary homeless camp, sponsored by the City of WW and the WW Alliance for the Homeless is next to the Veterans’ Memorial Golf Course. It is now providing a safe place to live for an increasing number of homeless folks, 48!, from 6 years old to 85! Present needs: tents, including winter tents, tarps at least 10X12, men’s and women’s underwear, medium and large, warm sleeping bags, hygiene items. Please take other clothes to donate to Helpline which will distribute them. Contact Beth Call, 529-0216,

Carnival: A big thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard to provide an afternoon of fun for everyone and to raise much appreciated funds for St. Patrick’s Parish.

September 23rd – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina

Saint Padre Pio was born Francesco Forgione in Pietrelcina, Italy, in 1887. His family and the people of his town were very religious. When a Capuchin friar visited his town to ask for donations for the friars’ ministry, Francesco knew that he wanted to become a Capuchin. He entered the friary when he was 15. He took the name “Pio” in honor of the patron saint of his town, St. Pius V. Padre Pio received a great blessing during prayer. He had a vision of Jesus. When the vision ended, he had the stigmata (his body bore the marks of Christ’s crucifixion on his hands, feet, and side.) People from everywhere came to see him. Perhaps because of the physical suffering he experienced, Padre Pio had a special compassion for the sick and suffering people of the world. He asked that a hospital be built near the friary in 1948. Money was raised and in time, the “House for the Relief of the Suffering” was completed. He was canonized a saint in 2002.

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” Padre Pio

From A Vicar – September 18, 2016

fr-ratuisteConcerned about passing on the faith in an increasingly secular environment, the bishops of the United States insightfully write, “To shut religion out of the school, and keep it for home and the Church, is, logically, to train up a generation that will consider religion good for home and the Church, but not for the practical business of real life.”

The bishops previously noted that “the three great educational agencies are the home, the Church, and the school” and acknowledged that the influence of the school “often outweighs that of home and Church.” In essence the bishops warn against the tendency to privatize religion, to reduce it to the level of a family custom or sectarian act of worship with no bearing on the “real life” matters learned in school. However, these quotes do not come from a recent USCCB document on religious freedom; rather it is from a pastoral letter written by the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884.

This national gathering of American bishops ordered a variety of things, including the creation of the famed Baltimore Catechism and establishment of the Catholic University of America. This council also issued another mandate that has greatly impacted the face of the Catholic Church in the United States: the call for every Catholic child to receive a Catholic education through a parochial school.

Much has changed since this initial call for Catholic schools: the number of schools rose to a height of about 12,000 in the mid-1960s and has since declined to about half that; lay teachers have practically replaced religious and clergy in the classroom; home schooling has flourished into a viable and laudable means of education; and most Catholic immigrants now come from the South rather than across the Atlantic. Despite these and many other changes, the fundamental reason for the advantage and importance of Catholic schools is the same today as it has been the past century and a half. Namely, Catholic schools — together with the home and Church — help foster a comprehensive environment of Faith, thus forming our students to incorporate the Faith in every part of their life.

What are some signs of this formative Catholic environment at Assumption and DeSales? There are the obvious answers, but I wish to quickly sketch three lesser known highlights.

Our schools are unique for having a retreat program for all grade levels. This starts with Kindergarten’s 45-minute mini retreat on thankfulness to God and culminates in the overnight Senior Pilgrimage.

The priests are incredibly present at the schools this year. Fr. David Kuttner now serves as chaplain for Catholic schools and has his office at DeSales. Fr. Nicks is teaching a new Introduction to Philosophy course to our seniors this semester, and I am preparing to teach Christian Spirituality to our juniors in the spring. Meanwhile, Fr. Gaines is working to incorporate Theology of the Body in our eighth grade religion classes.

Lastly, our schools have been blessed to facilitate conversions to the Faith over the years. As a case in point, seven students and two school parents were received into the Church this past Easter Vigil.

We are indeed blessed by our Catholic schools — founded by the sacrifice of religious women and men and sustained by the generosity of alumni and laity. As we embark on the new academic year, I encourage all parishioners to pray for our schools. May Assumption and DeSales continue and advance in the ministry of helping form our children in the Faith for generations to come.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

In Christ,
Fr. Ratuiste