Monday March 27, 2017
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Click on the image to download the flyer for A Pilgrimage to Assisi, Florence & Rome

Great opportunity for priests, deacons, parish staff and lay leaders who are involved, or wish to be involved, in helping to promote Stewardship in the Church. We invite you all to attend the Western Canada and Region XII Conference beginning Friday, June 9 through Sunday, June 11, 2017. The Conference will be at Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, 7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC. Please see attachment for stewardship conference tracks

Should you have any questions regarding the Conference, please do not hesitate to contact Alma Benitez, Director of Stewardship and Development, at (509) 367-5299 or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Urge Senators to Oppose Threat to Life

ESHB 1523 would require health plans in the state to cover the same “preventive services” required by the Affordable Care Act and all federal rules in effect on December 31, 2016.  This includes contraceptives, some of which are abortifacients; that is, they cause abortions. This constitutes a direct threat to the life and dignity of the human person. Following passage in the House by a 70 to 28 margin, the bill was referred to the Senate Health Care Committee, which has scheduled a hearing on Tuesday, March 14, at 10:00 am.

Click here to send a message to your State Senator, urging her/him to oppose ESHB 1523 and protect unborn life and conscience rights.

The Washington State Catholic Conference (WSCC) is the public policy voice of the Catholic Bishops of Washington State.

March 3, 2017  
 Inside this issue (Click here to download full report)
 Clicking on the links below will take you the document on the WSCC website

March 17 Dispensation from Abstinence from Easting Meat

In view of the fact that St. Patrick's Day this year falls on a Friday of Lent, I hereby grant a dispensation from the Church's law of abstinence for all in the Diocese of Yakima. I also request that all who avail themselves of this dispensation perform some other work of penance, for example:

  • a prayerful visit to Christ in the Blessed Sacrament
  • fasting from watching a television show
  • visiting someone who is sick or in prison

We do penance in imitation of Jesus' fast of 40 days in the desert, eager to draw nearer to him in love.

Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson
Bishop of Yakima

March 1, 2017

Lent is the 40-day season of penance in preparation for the celebration of the greatest event in human history: the redemption of the human race by Jesus Christ. Lent begins Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017 and ends on Thursday, April 13, followed by the Sacred Triduum, April 13-15, and Easter Sunday, April 16.

Lenten Regulations
(Haz clic aquí para leer en español)

“All Christians, by the nature of their lives, are obliged to live in a spirit of penance whereby our exterior acts of prayer, self-denial and charity bear witness to the inner values of our Faith.”

The Church specifies certain practices of penance during the season of Lent.

  1. Self-imposed observance of fasting on all weekdays of Lent is strongly recommended.
  2. Catholics are obliged to fast and abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, March 1 and Good Friday, April 14.
  3. The Fridays of Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
  4. Catholics age 14 and older are bound by the law of abstinence.
  5. The law of abstinence forbids the eating of meat.
  6. The law of fasting is obligatory for Catholics from the age of 18 to 59.
  7. The law of fasting prescribes that only one full meal be taken per day; the other meals should be significantly smaller, but in accord with one’s health needs.  Fasting assumes avoidance of food between meals.

The “substantial observance” of these laws is a grave obligation; that is:

  1. Anyone who neglects all forms of penance, or deliberately shows contempt for the Church’s penitential discipline, may be guilty of serious sin.
  2. Occasional failure to observe penitential regulations is not seriously sinful.
  3. Proportionately grave circumstances – sickness, dietary needs, social obligation – excuse from the obligation of fast and abstinence, but not from seeking out other forms of penance.


              Click on image to read                               Haz clic en imagen para leer

Click on the image to download the flyer for St. Paul Cathedral School's Open House Tuesday, March 16, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Special Masses for Professionals Set for March


In order to recognize, thank and uplift professional people in our communities and parishes, our Bishop, the Most Reverend Joseph J. Tyson, has scheduled in the St. Paul Cathedral Chapel three separate Masses, all at 5:30 p.m. to be followed by a reception in the Cathedral Assembly Place (15 S. 12th Avenue):

WHITE MASS: On Wednesday, March 8, 2017 for all doctors, dentists, nurses, para-pro & all healthcare professionals. We welcome all medical personnel in our parishes. Click here for a promotional flyer

RED MASS: On Tuesday, March 14, 2017 for all judges, lawyers, legal assistants and all in the legal profession. Again, all in this profession from our parishes are welcome. Click here for a promotional flyer

BLUE MASS: On Tuesday, March 28, 2017 for all our First Responders honoring those in law enforcement, firefighters, ambulance & emergency responders. We warmly welcome all our first responders in our parishes. Click here for a promotional flyer

The “colors” associated with each group are not reflections of vestment colors of the celebrant but of the usual colors of clothing of each professon, with the “red” for legal professionals referring to the academic hood for degrees in law.

Thank you for promoting & encouraging these Masses for those special people in our communities & parishes. (Priests and deacons are invited to concelebrate at any of these Masses.)

Msgr. John Ecker, Vicar General

Pastor, St. Paul Cathedral


Magnificat Classes English and Spanish Resumed February 12


Magnificat Classes resumed February 12 at Holy Spirit Parish in Kennewick.  Click on the attachments to view the full calendar of sessions (English and Spanish), or to download promotional posters (English and Spanish) and brochures (English and Spanish).




If you have any questions please contact the Pastoral Center, 509-965-7117.

Image: Saint Augustine, cruzblanca.org. 

Mass for Life: PREPARE to uphold ALL the Unborn

Third Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C 2017 at St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima, Washington

Isaiah 8:23-9:3; 1Corinthians 1: 10-13, 17; Matthew 4:10-23

Most Reverend Joseph J. Tyson, Bishop of Yakima

Friends, today as we remember this 44th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court ruling titled Roe vs. Wade I'd like to propose that St. Paul's wish for the Corinthians is my wish for all of you – especially you who are involved in any way in the pro-life movement. What was St. Paul's wish? To quote from today's second reading: "That all of you may agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you."

Why this wish from St. Paul? Perhaps because Chloe – a woman patroness of St. Paul's preaching ministry – has reported to St. Paul that within that early church in Corinth a number of factions have developed. Our second reading notes that some in Corinth claim to be followers of Paul, others of Apollos and still others of Cephas. Rather than getting into an argument of which preacher is the best St. Paul sidesteps this by pointing everyone to the source of all preaching: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Between the lines, St. Paul seems to suggest that there always will be a diversity of ways in uplifting the gospel and that – as long as they unite back to the person and preaching of Christ – they're variations of our Lord himself, the life he led and the message he preached.

There might be a lesson for us today for there are diverse ways of uplifting what Saint John Paul the Second so eloquently termed the Gospel of Life. That diversity here in Central Washington can be seen in the growing network of pregnancy resource centers, the various ways local parishes reach out to women and their children – born and unborn – as well as the various spiritual supports of prayers and retreats supporting the unborn, supporting their mothers, supporting their fathers and even of supporting those who suffer emotional and spiritual damage due to an abortion they or their partner procured.

Recognizing these efforts, two years ago, we bishops of Washington State launched PREPARES. PREPARES stands for Pregnancy and Parenting Support and it represents our Church’s coordinated outreach for women and children, organizing wrap-around care for women in emergency pregnancies from the moment of conception to the fifth year of the child's life. It’s been my pleasure to chair our working group of Catholic Charities leadership from across the state over these last two years.  Often we are able to partner and coordinate with a number of the local and often ecumenically based groups to create a systematic and sequential support system tailored to the needs of the women whom we are reaching.  Thus far, we’ve been able to touch the lives of nearly 700 women with some form of care for themselves, their child and even their surrounding families.

Why this need for diversity of care as support in uplifting the Gospel of Life? Because, today, while much of the nation rightly focuses on the actual Roe vs. Wade decision our local efforts as a Church address two very unique conditions here in Central Washington.

The first is this: Washington State holds a very unique position in the history of legalized abortion here in the United States. Washington State is the only state in the United States of America to have legalized abortion BY POPULAR BALLOT. We did this in the 1970 election by passing Referendum 20. All other states with any kind of legalized abortion did so either through a lower court action overturning a local state law or – as in the case of the state of Oregon – legalization of abortion through a legislative act. But Washington State holds the unique and dubious distinction of being the only state where abortion was legalized in a popular vote by a majority of the citizens. This means that even if Roe vs. Wade is overturned – and God willing it will be one day – abortion will remain legal here in Washington State. For us to overturn Referendum 20 means we will need a positive, uplifting and inspiring witness that moves our neighbors to reconsider their support for abortion and see embodied in our lives of service a better, happier and more joyous way.


This is precisely why I am so very appreciative – not only of our collaboration between the Catholic Charities agencies across the state – but for the many positive efforts from a great many local pro-life groups in supporting the gift of life from the very first moment of conception. It takes all of us together to uplift the gift of life regardless of our faith, our political outlook, our language or our cultural heritage.

That leads me to raise the second unique challenge in uplifting the gift of life and the gift of the unborn. It is this: the overwhelming majority of baptisms, confirmations, first communions and marriages are in the Hispanic community. This is also where most of the pregnancies and births are occurring. Because abortion is the preeminent issue of social justice and anchors all other catholic social teaching it requires that we – as Catholics – find ways to create bonds of trust and welcome so that Hispanic women – especially those whose families are undocumented – can approach us and our partners in this ministry of life without fear. One of the things we’ve learned at PREPARES these first two years is that often black women and white women in emergency pregnancy face low levels of family support to help in their time of needs. PREPARES volunteers often become the “family companion” making up for the family these women lack.  It’s a particular form of poverty they face.


Yet working in the Hispanic community, women often do have extended family support systems, so this means that PREPARES volunteers find ways to support the woman and their family in upholding the gift of their unborn child and beginning with them that journey for the first five years of the child’s life.  This means that in order to protect the unborn we find ourselves walking through the doors of the undocumented since so many of our Hispanic families are in a variety of places with regards to their immigration status. 

Thus while there can be a legitimate spectrum of opinions regarding immigration, border control, the importance of English and of cultural integration, a good and faithful Catholic will never use language in public that is harsh, derogatory, or in any way demeaning – especially towards the Hispanic community or the specific people who are undocumented in our midst. Such language – now so prominent in political discourse – undercuts our local efforts to reach out to the unborn and their families, especially in the Hispanic community. Failure to protect the undocumented risks compromising our ability to reach the unborn and their mothers.

Circling back to the stern challenge of St. Paul to the Corinthians in today’s second reading, we cannot allow ourselves to become partisan Christians seeing ourselves as sectarian followers of the Cephases, Apolloses, or even the St. Pauls of our day. Regardless of our language or our culture we are one and we are here to uplift the one Gospel – a Gospel of Life – proclaimed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This is why we look to Mary and it is why – today – I specifically requested that her image be present in today's Mass for Life. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe as we know is the patroness of Mexico. She’s also the patroness of the Americas because she’s the only apparition recognized by the Church to have occurred in the Americas. She's revered and venerated by so many especially among our undocumented Hispanic Catholics in their lives of uncertainty.

But she's also known to us as the patroness of the pro-life movement. Why? Because of all the many Marian devotions and of all of the Marian apparitions that have graced our church, this apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe to San Juan Diego is the only apparition where Mary appears pregnant. Indeed the Aztec symbols of fertility embossed on the fabric of her dress speak to this reality. I might add that the leader of the Knights of Columbus – Carl Anderson – has written a thoughtful book on this apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

I uplift her today for our specific veneration because she embodies the very unique circumstances we face here in the Diocese of Yakima as we uplift the Gospel of Life.

Mary shows us the way. She points us to her Son. She unifies us as our shared mother. She prepares the table. She invites us to Eucharist. She leads us to him so we can follow him to the Father and – animated by the Holy Spirit – give witness to the Gospel of Life. So in gratitude for all the many efforts across Central Washington protecting the unborn and uplifting the gift of life, in devotion I close this homily inviting you to pray with me:


"Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

Upcoming Events

April-June Confirmations
2017 Confirmation Scripts

March 28, 2017

Blue Mass

St. Paul Cathedral Chapel

April 22, 2017
Magnificat – English/Spanish
Holy Spirit Parish, Kennewick

April 29, 2017
Magnificat – English/Spanish
St. Pius X Parish, Quincy

May 6, 2017
Magnificat – English/Spanish
St. Paul Cathedral School, Yakima

May 20, 2017
Magnificat – English/Spanish
Holy Redeemer Parish


The holidays are often a time of great stress for families.  One way the Church offers help to couples whose marriages have been stretched to the breaking point and beyond is through the Retrouvaille retreat weekend. Please consider placing the notice below in your church bulletins.  Also look for updated versions in the weeks ahead.

Help for Troubled Marriages
Here’s hope! “Retrouvaille” is a successful Catholic program that consists of one weekend followed by six sessions. All struggling couples are welcome, even if you’re separated or divorced. The next weekends are Feb 3-5, in Boise, & Feb 10-12 in Richland. For more information, call Roland & Heidi at 509-690-7354 or go to HelpOurMarriage.com