From the Pastor – May 22, 2016

frmnicks_mug_smallIt is fitting that the first precept, to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, should be listed first, as it is the most important. By it we, the Body of Christ, join together throughout the world rendering praise and thanks to God.

The second precept, though, is of particular value, because it prepares us to worthily fulfill the first. The second precept calls the faithful to “confess one’s sins, receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year.” To some of us, this might be a surprise. If we are not in the habit of regularly confessing our sins and receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, it can be easy to let, not only months, but even years go by without experiencing the grace of this Sacrament.

That is, in part, why the church has created the precept. To remind us of the importance and the beauty of this Sacrament. In Baptism, we were washed completely of all our sins and filled with the Holy Spirit. Our soul becomes new, pristine. Shouldn’t this cleansing be something we desire on a regular basis? We wash our bodies daily to experience the cleansing effect of water; should we not also desire to experience the same cleansing of our soul?

Of course, we know that Baptism can only be received once, but that same cleansing, restorative grace we received in Baptism can be renewed through a different Sacrament; it is renewed through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Once again we are washed completely of all sin (small and great) and the Holy Spirit fills us more completely, as any barrier to his activity is removed from our soul.

This cleansing and restorative grace allows us to more worthily and completely worship God as we join together at Sunday Mass. Though the primary effect of Reconciliation is the forgiveness of sins (especially serious sins), its fruitfulness in our lives does not stop there. Indeed, the grace of the Sacrament of Reconciliation are manifold. Here I will only mention three of the additional fruits of the sacrament.

One of the greatest fruits of Reconciliation is the gift of peace. Virtually everyone approaches the sacrament of Reconciliation with a certain degree of anxiety. But, everyone who has worthily received the sacrament will tell you that, after experiencing absolution, they encountered an abiding sense of Christ’s peace.

Additionally, the sacrament certainly fosters the virtue of humility. No one, myself included, relishes the experience of sharing, not just our ‘accidents’ or ‘mistakes,’ but those evil things we knowingly and willfully chose. It requires a great deal of humility to openly and honestly reveal the ways in which we are not really “pretty good persons,” but are sinners in need of a savior.

Finally, another benefit of the sacrament is the way in which it challenges us out of complacency. In order to receive this sacrament well, we have to shake up our routine. We have to carve out an opportunity during the week to receive the sacrament. We must take sufficient time to thoroughly examine our lives. The very act of sharing our brokenness drives home the areas in which we must seek God’s help to grow. Occasionally, we might receive helpful advice from the priest confessor. Then, following the confession, we have a penance that is directed toward helping us grow in those areas in which we are weak. In all these ways, receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation helps to break us out of spiritual complacency and continue our soul’s journey with new vigor, until we finally attain the prize— life forever with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

In Christ,
frmnicks_sig
Fr. Nicks

Assumption: Praising God with our flowers

Praising God with our flowers. If you have flowers in your yard that you would like to share. We can use them. Please bring your flowers to the Church Hall by 3:00 on Saturdays and they will be put in water and vases for Mass. Let’s make our God’s Alter beautiful. This shall be ongoing through the summer and fall. Flowering branches and leaves welcome also. As flowers die off this fall we can use gourds, pumpkins and squash.

St. Francis: Reception May 29th after 9 AM Mass

There will be a reception held to honor those from our parish who received their First Communion/Confirmation this year and for those graduating from high school, after the 9:00AM Mass on May 29th in the parish hall. Those who received their Sacraments are: Levi Magnaghi, James Didelius, Thomas Didelius and Gianna DeSomber.

The graduates are: Nick Brown and John Neal. If there are other St. Francis Parish members graduating from high school or college this year contact Wendy Kimball or Marguerite. We don’t want to miss anyone.

St. Michael the Archangel Haven Grand Opening

St. Michael the Archangel Haven Grand Opening – Catholic Charities Walla Walla invites you to attend the Ribbon Cutting Celebration for St. Michael the Archangel Haven – housing for homeless veterans and families, at the Walla Walla VA Medical Center, Parade Grounds, 77 Wainwright Drive, on Tuesday, May 31st at 2:00 pm. A light appetizer social will follow. This will be an affordable 40-unit community for homeless Veterans and homeless Veterans families. For more information contact Tim Meliah at 525-0572 or tmeliah@ccspokane.org.

Social Concerns

Pope Francis: “Earth, our common home, is being pillaged, laid waste, and harmed with impunity. Cowardice in defending it is a grave sin.” 7/9/2015

Earth friendly action: Save our bees and other pollinators on whom most of our food supply depends! Avoid pesticides containing neonicotinoids. (Check label.) Plant wild flowers and fruit trees. Leave some of your grass long with dandelions.

Homelessness Resource Fair presented by the Walla Walla Council on Homelessness: Tuesday, May 24, 5-6:30 at the Housing Authority gymnasium, across from Washington Park. Don’t miss this opportunity to see how different organizations, public and private, are helping alleviate the homeless situation, and learn about their hopes and plans for the future. Rents have increased in Walla Walla, on average $200/month in the last year, making it increasingly difficult for low income families to find affordable housing. Find out ways you can help!

Walla Walla Alliance for the Homeless: Tues, June 14, 7-8:30 pm, St. Patrick’s, John of the Cross room. Come watch a video of Dan Bryant’s presentation about the successful Opportunity Village Tiny Home Community in Eugene, Oregon. Representatives from the WW Alliance will speak about their efforts to create a similar, privately funded, transitional tiny home project in Walla Walla. Many different kinds of volunteers and supporters needed!

Homeless Lunches: Different WW churches offer free lunches every day. The Congregational Church, which offers free lunches on Wednesdays, 12-1:30, could use some more hands: set up, 10-11, serving, 11-1, dish washing, 11-1, cleanup, 12-1:30. If you would like to help, contact Beth Call, 529-0216, trollshouse@bmi.net.

Second Harvest Food Bank: Wedesday June 1, 11 am-1pm, Assumption Church: Kay Barga is again leading the effort to distribute much needed produce. If you would like to help, contact Kay, bargabk@charter.net.

Tri-Parish Community Garden: Join Nancy Wenzel every Saturday through October to help. Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Thesongwallawalla. Or e-mail Nancy to be placed on an e-mail list, nancywenzel@charter.net. Produce grown is shared with local food banks.

Indoor Yard Sale

Catholic Daughters of the Americas We would like your donations! Please call Ginny Jasperson at 522-3470 or 301-4556. Proceeds will be used for charitable projects throughout the year. Thank you for your donation and prayers.

June 11th, 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Blanchet Hall, St Patrick’s Parish Center

Grand Regent Sharon Ferraro, 525-3120
Become a Catholic Daughter!

Religious Education

I am looking for more sisters and brothers who would like to be volunteers in our Religious Education and Sacramental Preparation Programs for next year. Jesus needs your help to build the Kingdom of God on earth. With generosity we can do a lot more than we can imagine. I would like to invite you to pray and consider what is God calling you to do in your community? If your call is to be a catechist, great. Just let me know. Feel free to contact me at 509-529-5141 or email me at retriparish@gmail.com.

Congratulations to all of the children who will receive their sacraments of First Eucharist and Confirmation this weekend at Saint Patrick Church Sunday, May 22 At 10AM Mass.

Sr. Margarita Hernandez

Upcoming School Events

Assumption Middle School Program: Wednesday, May 25th at 7pm in Assumption Gym: Drama, Choir, Band.

Assumption K-5 Music Program: Thursday, May 26th at 1:45pm in Assumption Church.

Senior Reflection Retreat

As the school year draws to an end, the Seniors at DeSales will gather on Monday, May 23rd to take a breath, reflect on where they have been, and envision where they are going. This retreat uses times of silence, a reflection book, and some small group time to prepare the students. In the midst of Senior busyness, it provides invaluable moments to hang out together one last time.

Tri Parish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

There will be 72 hours of Tri Parish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration set up at Assumption to pray for vocations, June 20th-23rd, while the youth are attending these discernment camps. Please join us in praying for vocations. The youth are the future of our Church. There will be sign ups for Adoration in the coming weeks.

Quo Vadis Days

Vocare