From the Pastor – July 3, 2016

frmnicks_mug_smallWe now draw toward the end of our reflection on the precepts of the Church. In summary, the precepts are norms given by the Church that establish a minimum baseline for a healthy Christian life. St. John Paul II has given five precepts to the universal Church: 1) attend Mass on Sundays and other holy days of obligation and to refrain from work and activities which could impede the sanctification of those days; 2) confess one’s sins, receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation at least once each year; 3) receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season; 4) abstain from eating meat [on Fridays] and to observe the days of fasting established by the Church; and 5) help to provide for the material needs of the Church, each according to his own ability.

Now a number of parishioners have asked me: “aren’t there six precepts of the Church?” To answer this question, I return to a point I made at the very beginning of our reflections. The precepts are not an unchangeable fixed list, but minimum norms to help Christians have a healthy faith life. In different times and places the Church has proposed different sets of precepts corresponding to the needs of the faithful at that particular time and place. In fact, the very first set of precepts is found right in the Sacred Scriptures.

At the Council of Jerusalem, recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, we hear that the leaders of the Church established four precepts: 1) to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, 2) to abstain from blood, 3) to abstain from the meat of strangled animals and 4) to avoid sexual immorality. Since idol worship is not a common temptation for Christians today, the Church no longer has precepts warning against the dietary practices associated with it.

So returning to the question of the sixth precept, we see that, here in the United States, the bishops gave Catholics a particular set of precepts that related to our own unique spiritual situation. They did so in the Baltimore Catechism. It, indeed, did have a sixth precept. It stated: “You shall observe the Church’s laws on marriage.” So, though it was not part of the universal catechism, this sixth precept was given by our bishops to the faithful in the United States. Clearly, they perceived a crisis when it came to the Sacrament of Marriage. I do not think it takes much reflection on the current state of marriage in this country to perceive their foresight and wisdom.

The marriage laws of the church, though they may seem odd or burdensome to couples at times, have only one goal—successful, happy marriages. For example, though many don’t realize it, Catholics need to receive special permission to marry non-Catholics and, in particular, non-Christians. Why does the Catholic Church encourage believers marrying believers? Because that is what God revealed in the scriptures through his apostle St. Paul: “Do not be yoked with unbelievers” (2 Cor. 6:14).

Besides the spiritual mandate of scripture, there is also a very practical rationale for this. Marriage is hard; the fewer fundamentals couples have in common, the harder it is. And, what is more fundamental then the way in which we relate to God? Indeed, though many young couples dismiss differences of faith as insignificant, as they grow and mature, it is not uncommon that one of the spouses experiences a spiritual awakening. Faith and a relationship with God become of central importance.

There are many husbands and wives who, striving to practice their Christian faith, will be the first to share how incredibly difficult and lonely it can be not to have a spouse who shares and participates in this most intimate part of their daily lives. It is as much from the lived experience of such men and women, as it is from the revelation of Sacred Scripture, that the Church proposes her norms for marriage. In so doing, she recommends the strongest and surest grounds for stable, happy, and life giving marriages.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

In Christ,
Fr. Nicks

Young Adult Ministry (YAM)

Young Adult Ministry (YAM) is a group of Catholic young adults (18-30s) from the Walla Walla and Milton Freewater area.

Join us as we strive to live fully alive through encounter with Christ!

*Monday Nights: from 7:30 to 9:00pm

4– No meeting
11- Vocations talk followed by Adoration @ St. Francis Walla Walla
18- Scripture study/ bonfire @Jubilee Coffee house
25- Thank you cards @ Nic’s house. 325 Newtown Rd, WW

More info:

A Prayer for our Nation from the USCCB

“O God our Creator, from your provident hand we have received our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You have called us as your people and given us the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God, and your Son, Jesus Christ.

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society. We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church…so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas pray for us!

Serra Club of the Blue Mountains

JULY INTENTIONS: Serra requests your participation in praying for an increase in the holy sacrament of marriage between man, woman and God, which is founded in love and the seed of vocations through the creation of the family, the domestic church.

Prayer: O God, through your Divine Truth, we hold the sacred bond of marriage between man and woman to be a gift of your enduring love. We pray that the Church be a shining light to the world and a model of the Holy Family, bearing the fruit of vocations in mothers and fathers through the precious blood of Jesus. St. Juipero Serra, pray for us.

Social Concerns

Prayer for Immigrants: “Dear Jesus, our journey through life is long and hard. We cannot make this trip alone; we must walk together on the journey.You promised to send us a helper, your Spirit. Help us to see your Spirit in those you send to journey with us. In the refugee family, seeking safety from violence, in the migrant worker bringing food to our tables, in the unaccompanied child, traveling in a dangerous world, let us see your spirit. Teach us to welcome not only the strangers in our midst but the gifts they bring as well. We are together on the journey, and for this we give you thanks. Amen.” — Immigration through the Lens of Faith

Food for the Hungry: Please remember to bring non -perishable food items to Mass. A check to BMAC enables them to buy 6X as much food for $1 as we can get at local grocery stores.

Tri-Parish Community Garden at Assumption Church: Every Tuesday evening, 5:30-dusk, volunteers will work and harvest food from the garden to be distributed to food banks and homeless shelters.

WW Churches Provide Daily Lunches for the Hungry: If you’d like to help the Congregational Church across the street diagonally from the Public Library, prepare and serve lunch on Wednesdays, one hour shifts, 11 am-1:30 pm, contact Beth Call,, 529-0216.

Walla Walla Valley Human Life: Yard sale, Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16 from 8 am-2 pm, 1044 Valley Chapel Road, WW. Donations of items for yard sale, and volunteers needed. Contact Kim Owsley, 509-540-1960,

Fair Trade Coffee: Buying delicious,organic, Fair Trade Coffee, benefits family farmers, not large corporations, and helps enable CRS to sponsor self-help projects around the world.

Check out the Awesome Books! has a growing library with awesome books that can be read on your Kindle, Nook, iBooks or Android reader.

There are books about Church History, saints, conversion and apologetics. Sign in with the parish code and open your own account. There are no fees at all. It has all been paid for by generous benefactors in our Catholic community.


A Very Special Thank You

Thank you to everyone who helped with VBS last week! The children are the future of our Church and you have helped to plant the seeds of faith! There were over 100 children! Anyone who wants to donate towards a new VBS program for next year can contact Olivia at:

Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus set a new all-time record last year for charitable donations and service hours with $175,079,192 in donations and more than 73.4 million hours of service.

Is God calling YOU to become a Knight?

Application forms are available from any member of the Knights of Columbus. You can contact the Grand Knight/ Nick Moramarco, by email: or by phone at: 509-520-8226.

Tri-Parish Religious Education

Dear Community of Walla Walla,

I got great help in our Religious Education Programs. I have great Catechists who have been a blessing for me and the community. I really thank all of them. Time passes really fast; thus, it is time to work together to better our community.

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. Now, it is a time for all the community can participate, since we are done with class of Faith formation, but I do have a project for next year and that is decorate one of the class room for the children especially for the kindergarten and first graders kids, but as you know a project in community always requires communal effort.

The project is to decorate a room for kindergarten and first grade. If you have toys in a very good condition for example, puppet and Bible stories, also some good decoration for them which make connection with the class. If for some reason you would like donate money for the project feel free to do it. I will be collecting all your donation during the office hours at St. Patrick’s Church from 9:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. The due day of collecting toys will be on August 26, 2016 because after that day the Catechist and me will start to organize the room before class start.

Thank you for your help and collaboration for the children of our community.

Sr. Margarita

Marketing 101

Over a year ago, a group of volunteers made up of WWCS parents, alumni, staff, and community members came together to talk Marketing. One of their first tasks was to come up with Big Audacious Goals—what is their grandest hope for our Catholic Schools? Key words like model program, full enrollment, quality, college prep, and faith formation were among the big ideas. Throughout the year, the Marketing Committee conducted surveys, analyzed the results, and drafted comprehensive Retention and Communication Plans to present to the WWCS Board. These plans were just approved so the WWCS will be looking to the future as it solidifies its brand, improves its communication efforts, works on continued upward enrollment, focuses on student retention, and further refines what it means to provide An Education for Life!

Pulpit Announcements

The parish office will be closed in observance of Independence day on July 4th.

Have a safe and blessed Fourth of July!