News and Events - March 2014

News and events from throughout the Archdiocese of Seattle this month.



Kids in the Philippines wait in food line
Photo: CNS


DONATIONS FROM WESTERN WASHINGTON TO CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES for Typhoon Haiyan relief and long-term redevelopment, as of Jan. 24.
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines Nov. 8, killing more than 6,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

“God alone is enough. This insight dawned on me only gradually as I grew older, started paying attention to my relationship with God, and realized that I literally would not survive without him. I learned that God is not a lifeline to be used as a last resort; he is, in fact, everything, whether things are going well or badly. One reason we fast and abstain and make sacrifices in Lent — in other words, one reason we ‘do without’ — is so that we can focus on the One we cannot do without.” - Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

Happy anniversary, Your Holiness!
March 13 marks one year since the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as a pope of many firsts: the first from the Americas, from the Southern Hemisphere and from the Jesuits. Taking the name Francis, he quickly captured the world’s imagination and affection through humble, down-to-earth gestures: asking those gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for him, stopping by his hotel the morning after the conclave to pay his bill, eschewing the Apostolic Palace for the Vatican guesthouse and washing the feet of young prisoners on Holy Thursday.

He’s had a busy first year as the bishop of Rome. In June Pope Francis released an encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" (The Light of Faith), begun by his predecessor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who had resigned the papacy Feb. 28. In July he traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for World Youth Day. In September several Jesuit magazines published a wide-ranging interview in which the pope urged the church to get back to fundamentals: “The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant.” In November he released a 50,000-word apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel). He also began the process of reforming the Vatican’s administrative offices, the Roman Curia.

In America, Pope Francis has been adored by both Catholics and the media — drawing massive approval ratings, being named Time magazine’s person of the year and even appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone.


Prepare your heart — and body — for Easter
March 5 is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a penitential season of intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving in preparation for the great feast of Jesus’ resurrection at Easter, April 20.
During Lent, Catholics are called to embrace penances and to perform works of charity that reflect a deep desire for conversion of heart. Here are the bare minimum
requirements for Catholics:

Abstinence: If you’re 14 or older, don’t eat meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday (April 18) and all Fridays of Lent.

Fasting: If you’re 18–59, don’t eat more than one full meal and two small meals on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
If following these rules would seriously affect your health or ability to work, don’t worry about them.


Special needs Mass at St. James Cathedral, Seattle
David Bishop of the Seattle L’Arche community served as bookbearer at last year’s Mass for the special needs community. Photo: Maria Laughlin


Special needs community invited to special Mass
Archbishop J. Peter Sartain will celebrate a Mass for the special needs community on Saturday, April 5, at 11 a.m. at St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave., Seattle. All are welcome, especially those with special needs and their families and friends. A reception will follow in the Isaac Orr Conference Center across the street. For more information, contact Erica Cohen Moore at 206-382-4852 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Navigating Lent and the transition to high school
The Archbishop Brunett Retreat Center at the Palisades (4700 S.W. Dash Point Road, Federal Way) has several  weekend retreats coming up.

Jesuit Father Sean Raftis will lead a men’s silent Lenten retreat March 14–16.

Father Jim Lee, pastor of Olympia’s St. Michael Parish, will lead a Palm Sunday men’s silent retreat April 11–13.

Aires Patulot, director of campus ministry at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in Burien, will lead a retreat April 25–27 for eighth-grade students and their parents to help them navigate the tran-sition from middle school to high school.

The price for each of the first two retreats is $199 per person (single room) or $165 per person (double room), and includes six meals and two nights in a room with private bath. The price for the eighth-grade retreat is $330 for one or two parents and their eighth-grader. Scholarships are available. For more information, call 206-748-7991.

Archbishop to speak at men’s conference
With the theme “Iron Sharpens Iron,” the second annual Seattle Catholic Men’s Conference will take place Saturday, March 29, at Mercer Island’s St. Monica Church, 4301 88th Ave. S.E.

Speakers will include Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, former NFL All-Pro receiver Danny Abramowicz, television host Franciscan Father Mark Mary, and local priests Fathers Bryan Dolejsi and Ed White. The conference will also include eucharistic adoration, Mass and opportunities for confession.

Registration is $45 and includes breakfast and lunch. For more information, visit


Receive God’s healing power
My Catholic Faith Ministries will present a conference with the theme “The Gift of Hope” Saturday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Renton’s St. Stephen the Martyr Church, 13055 S.E. 192nd St.

Speakers include Carmelite Father Mark Develis; Father Jim Northrop, pastor of St. Brendan Parish in Bothell; and theologian and radio host Dr. Tom Curran.

Registration is $32 for individuals or $48 for married couples. For more information, visit


‘The Light Is On For You’
The Archdiocese of Seattle is kicking off a campaign this month called “The Light Is On For You,” encouraging Catholics to return to the sacrament of reconciliation. Priests will be available to hear confessions at most parishes from 6–7 p.m. each Friday during Lent: March 7, 14, 21 and 28; and April 4 and 11. Contact your parish for details, and visit for more information.