Sunday March 29, 2015
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Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

Homily for the Chrism Mass 2015 at St. Paul Cathedral, Diocese of Yakima

Isaiah 61:1-3a, 6a 8b-9; Revelation 1:5-8; Luke 4:16-21

(haz clic aquí para leer en español)

Peace be with you! St. Luke the Evangelist notes that after Jesus has read the Isaiah scroll that everyone in the synagogue looked intently at him? Why?  Scripture scholars note that, unlike Modern Hebrew, that has letters for the consonants and small diacritical marks for the vowels, those ancient Hebrew manuscripts were written only with consonants.  That meant that the person proclaiming the Isaiah scroll had to know from memory and by heart which vowel to insert into each and every word of the scripture. 

Perhaps this is why those in the synagogue looked so intently on Jesus for when he inserted the vowels he inserted “…glad tidings to the poor…liberty to the captives…sight to the blind… and freedom to the oppressed.”  Thus Jesus is not just inserting vowel from memory into this text of Isaiah.  No.  God – in Jesus – inserts himself into our human condition. Brothers, let me suggest that this “insertion of God into humanity” is precisely what marks our ministerial priesthood as we celebrate the seven sacraments with our people. 

One of the more powerful instances of this for me came this last summer.  I had just returned from Pajacuarán celebrating Fr. Lalo Barragán’s beautiful “Canta Misa” – his first Mass – and returned in time to celebrate Eucharist with our rural migrant farm workers harvesting cherries on a farm north of Prosser.  It was a very hot day.  I had a few extra passengers come home with me in my intestines so I was a little sick.  Additionally, flying home on the plane, I had somehow twisted by spine getting into those tiny coach seats. 

A woman came up to me wanting me to listen to her confession.  Because I was not feeling real well, I asked for two chairs and sat down to celebrate with her the Rite of Penance.  When we concluded I turned around and saw dozens of people lined up.  I thought to myself, this is what you – my brother priests – experience.  This is who you – the Yakima priests – are for so many of our people.  Quite literally, through your priestly ministry, you insert God into the very hard lives of our people.

Regardless of language or culture, many of our people face very hard lives.  For some – especially on the English speaking side – it’s the loneliness and separation from children they’ve educated and raised who’ve left the valley for better job opportunities in Portland, Seattle or other major cities.  For others – especially on the Spanish speaking side – it’s the separation from loved ones back home, the fear of deportation and the stress of raising a family between two different languages and two different world – English and Spanish – Mexican and North America – Hispanic and Anglo.

Our people come to us – often in pain and struggle – desiring that we help them insert God back into their lives.  For some that pain often comes from an acute sense of guilt and sin.  Like San Juan Diego’s response to Our Lady of Guadalupe they feel themselves “…nada más que una escalaría de tabla….”  They feel they are so low in life that they are nothing more than a rickety wooden staircase – something that people walk on.  They cannot believe that God has called them to a higher life, a deeper holiness or a call beyond themselves. 

For others the complexity of daily life and the crush of work and family responsibilities dries them out spiritually to the point that the felt-sense of God has been deadened.   Like the woman at the well in St. John’s Gospel, their parched interiority leaves them scarcely believe in a personal God who would insert himself into their lives and quench their thirst.

When our people come to us in their thirst and in their pain they look to us to see Jesus.  They hope that this Chrism oil of ordination might salve their wounds and transform their daily struggles into a fragrant offer back to God.  From us they desire to hear what the late Holy Father, St. John Paul the Second, noted; namely, that there is a “divine limit” imposed on sin and that limit is mercy. (Memory and Identity, pp. 19ff.) 

If we are to remind them of this “divine limit” that mercy imposes against sin then – as priests – this means we have immersed ourselves in the Word of God and inserted ourselves into the very texts that Jesus proclaims in the synagogue.  It means that we are faithful to our life of prayer, faithful to the radical emotional and relational availability that comes with the gift of celibacy, faithful to a simple lifestyle that allows us to put our people first, faithful to our promise of obedience to the Church who confirmed our priestly call.

In short, like those who hear Jesus in the synagogue and like those we serve today, we must look intently on Jesus who – even now – inserts himself with all of his humanity and all of his divinity into this celebration of the Eucharist. 

Brothers in a few short weeks we will make our retreat together.  We will bring our selves and our people to prayer together as the Yakima presbyterate.  I thank you – the priests of the Diocese of Yakima – for the many ways you give yourselves to your parishioners and – parishioners of this great Diocese of Yakima – I thank you for the many ways you call our priests to become ever better icons of Jesus Christ.  Together, may we fix our gaze on Jesus!  Peace be with you.

All are welcome to take part in the annual cleanup of the St. Joseph Mission on the Ahtanum on Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Knights of Columbus will provide lunch for those taking part.  Feel free to insert the accompanying flyer into parish bulletins, or distribute in other suitable ways. The Mission was founded in 1852 (click here to read its history) and Mass in the historic chapel is still celebrated on the first Sunday of each month, from April to November, at 9:30 a.m.  The first Mass of 2015 will be Easter Sunday, April 5.

WSCC Catholic Advocacy Bulletin - 2015, No. 11

 March 23, 2015

This last full week of March is dominated again by committee hearings and votes on bills. Another major cut-off is approaching - by April 1st bills must be voted out of the committees in the chamber opposite the one in which they originated. During this process, a bill is sometimes amended on another bill, if the subject matter of the two bills is the same.

This Thursday, March 26th, more than 600 Catholics will take part in Catholic Advocacy Day. It is an inspiring opportunity to put your faith into action and meet your legislators in person. See you in Olympia!

Please take action on the bills that you are following by calling the Legislative Hotline:  1-800-562-6000.


WorkFirst Program (HB 1875) - The federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program provides assistance to needy families for a limited time. In Washington State, the TANF program is called WorkFirst, which provides eligible adults various forms of assistance to find work. HB 1875 would increase the amount of vocational training from 12 to 24 months, subject to the amount appropriated. Extending the time limit to 24 months would afford many students, for example nursing students, to complete their programs. Last week, the Senate Human Services and Mental Health & Housing Committee had a hearing on HB 1875.  ACTION: Please call your Senator to request a committee vote on HB 1875.

Farm Worker Training (HB 1127) - This bill would fund training for agricultural workers to improve their skills and safety.  The Senate Agriculture and Water & Rural Economic Development Committee heard HB 1127 last week. ACTION:  Please call your Senator to request a committee vote on HB 1127.

Human Trafficking (HB 1139 & SB 5884) - HB 1139 would establish a working group to study the trafficking of youth.  The Senate Law & Justice Committee still has yet to schedule a hearing on HB 1139SB 5884 would create the Washington State Clearinghouse on Human Trafficking to share and coordinate statewide efforts to combat the trafficking of persons. The bill would also direct the state to develop an anti-trafficking notice and require all establishments with public restrooms to prominently display the notice. The House Public Safety Committee will hear SB 5884 on March 25th and is scheduled to vote on the bill on March 26th. ACTION: Please call and ask your Senator to request a committee hearing on HB 1139 and your Representatives to support SB 5884.

Flame Retardants (HB 1174) - The House passed HB 1174 that would decrease children's exposure to toxic chemicals.  The Senate Energy and Environment & Telecommunications Committee heard HB 1174 last week. ACTION: Please call your Senator to request a committee vote on HB 1174.

Breakfast After the Bell (HB 1295) - This legislation would require high-needs schools to offer breakfast after the beginning of the school day. The Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee held a hearing on HB 1295 last week. ACTION: Please call your Senator to request a committee vote on HB 1295.

Minimum Wage (HB 1355) - HB 1355 would raise the minimum wage to $12 over four years.  HB 1355 has been assigned to the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee but no hearing has been scheduled on the bill. ACTION: Please call your Senator to request a committee hearing on HB 1355.

Legal Financial Obligations (HB 1390) - This bill would enact several reforms concerning Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) to make it easier for people who have served a prison sentence to reenter the community. HB 1390 is in the Senate Law & Justice Committee but no hearing has yet been scheduled.  ACTION:  Please call and ask your Senator to request a committee hearing on HB 1390.

Homeless Youth (HB 1436 / SB 5404) - HB 1436 would create an Office of Homeless Youth Programs to coordinate a spectrum of funding, policy, and practice efforts related to homeless youth. The Senate Human Services, Mental Health & Housing Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1436 on March 24th. The House Early Learning & Human Services Committee heard a nearly identical bill, SB 5404, last week and has scheduled a vote on SB 5404 on March 26th.  ACTION:  Please call and ask your Senator to request a vote on HB 1436 and your Representatives to support SB 5404.

Oil Transportation Safety (HB 1449) - HB 1449 would create additional protections to prevent oil spills and require improvements in preparation for rapid response to spills. The Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications Committee heard HB 1449 last week.  ACTION:  Please ask your Senator to request a committee vote on HB 1449.

Cesar Chavez Day (HB 1560) - This bills would designate March 31st as Cesar Chavez Day in our state, though it would not be considered a legal holiday. The Senate Government Operations & Security Committee has already passed HB 1560 and the bill is now in the Senate Rules Committee. ACTION:  Please ask your Senator to support HB 1560.

Weatherization of Low-Income Housing (HB 1720) - HB 1720 would expand services for low income residents allowing for healthy housing improvements to homes undergoing weatherization, as many of these homes have serious indoor environmental problems.  Last week, the Senate Human Services and Mental Health & Housing Committee had a hearing on HB 1720ACTION: Please ask your Senator to request a committee vote on HB 1720.

State Voting Rights Act (HB 1745) - This bill would protect the equal opportunity to participate in elections for minority groups. ACTION:  Please ask your Senator to request a committee vote on HB 1745.

Informed Consent and Assisted Suicide (SB 5919) - Currently, the law requires physicians to inform patients requesting a lethal dose of medication about feasible alternatives including comfort care, hospice and pain control. SB 5919 would add "treatment for the purpose of cure, and treatment for the purpose of extending the patient's life" to the list of information patients should receive. The House Health Care & Wellness Committee heard SB 5919 last week. ACTION: Please ask your Representatives to request a committee vote on SB 5919.


Abortion Insurance Mandate (HB 1647):  HB 1647 would require all private health insurers in Washington State to cover abortion services, if they offer maternity care. The House passed HB 1647 last week by a vote of 51 to 46. The bill has been referred to the Senate Health Care Committee, but no hearing is scheduled, and it is highly unlikely one will be scheduled.

Payday Loan (SB 5899) - SB 5899 would abolish payday loans by replacing them with consumer installment loans. SB 5899 would not adequately protect consumers and low income families. The House Business & Financial Services Committee will hear SB 5899 on March 24th and will vote on the bill on March 25th.  ACTION:  Please ask your Representatives to oppose SB 5899.

Click here to view previous WSCC advocacy bulletins.  Click here to view this bulletin on the WSCC website.

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

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Seeing Light in the Darkness:  The Problem of Suffering and the All-Good God

Mark your calendars for Thursday March 26th as Karlo Broussard, founder and president of The Divine Child Institute, Inc., will be presenting a talk entitled “Seeing Light in the Darkness:  The Problem of Suffering and the All-Good God” in the conference room at St. Andrew's Catholic Church, 401 S Willow St. Ellensburg, WA 98926, starting at 6:30 pm. In this talk, Mr. Broussard ponders perhaps the ultimate question of human existence:  “How can an all-powerful and all-loving God allow suffering in the world?”  Karlo explains how suffering without faith leads only to depression and despair; but suffering with the eternal perspective and an appropriate view of happiness leads directly to meaning and purpose which makes for a faith that is life-giving and life-transforming.  Be sure to visit Mr. Broussard’s website to view his free online videos at www.karlobroussard.com.  

Inviting Yakima Diocese Women to Leadership Training Development Workshop

Dear Fathers:

I received a very gracious communication from Kathleen Tansey who is president of the Seattle Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women.  They are having this training opportunity in the Vancouver area and would like to extend this invitation to women across the Diocese of Yakima.  Would you kindly consider sharing these flyers and information with your women leadership groups in your local parishes such as the YLI and Catholic Daughters?  If you or your local leaders want more information, feel free to call Kathleen at (253) 630-7755. To view flyers and information, please click here.

Dear Bishop Tyson,

I know for many years while you served in the Seattle Archdiocese, you supported Seattle ACCW with your presence, especially celebrating Mass with us at annual conventions. It's been almost 10 years since there were active Council affiliate members in the Yakima Diocese. I'd like Yakima women welcomed back into our organization. Here is a perfect opportunity for them to learn more about National Council of Catholic Women and also enhance leadership skills. I ask you to support the event by sending representation.\

I share wonderful news from the Seattle ACCW. Along with the Portland ACCW and with the support of a $1000 grant from NCCW Associates, we are bringing two trainers from the Leadership Team to the Pacific Northwest for a day workshop on Friday, April 24, 2015. With the gracious welcome of Fr. Gary Lazzeroni and Event Coordinator, Jerry Herrera, it will be held at St. Joseph Parish in Vancouver, WA. The location allows easy access for Catholic Women from both Western and Eastern Washington and Oregon to come learn about the lifecycle of an organization, generational characteristics & relationships, and more. Priced at only $39, including lunch and hospitality with a working schedule from 10am to 5:30pm, many women can come just for the day. There is an option to stay one or two nights at the Red Lion at the Quay for only $89pn plus tax including breakfast.

Jim Thomas, Director of Life, Justice Peace, and Family for the Archdiocese of Seattle and our ACCW liaison at the Archdiocese has encouraged with the planning, host application and grant request. He felt a workshop like this could be of value to all Catholic Women and to the parishes they service. He is sharing the attached fliers with registration forms, bulletin announcements, and letter to Priests via the weekly message from the Seattle Archdiocese. I ask you to do the same in the Dioceses of Yakima, Baker, and Spokane. It's possible that some parish priests and populations may receive the information twice but it is better twice than not at all. It is exciting opportunity that we offer to share with you.

I ask you to support this event by sharing the news throughout your diocese and encouraging women of all ages to come learn more about their leadership potential and about how they are connected from the parish level to the USCCB. I ask you to download some or all of the attachments for your use. If you have any questions or need clarification, please do not hesitate to call. I look forward to your response.

Kathleen G. Tansey, President 2012-14

Contact: 253-630-7755 Seattle Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women 710 Ninth Avenue, Seattle WA 98104-2017

Dear Friends:
As you know we have launched Magnificat Catechetical Leadership classes in English.  These were previously only available in Spanish when I arrived.  We are up to two English sites: Quincy and Yakima.  We are hoping to add Kennewick and match the number of sites we have in Spanish.  
Jeffrey Thompson teaches one of the courses on Spirituality.  Many requested his PowerPoints which he has gracious given permission to post.  Click here to view. Jeff is an assistant professor of psychology at Heritage University and is – himself – a skilled therapist.  I hope this inspires many of you to consider the full scope of our Magnificat.  For the link to Magnificat click here.


Fr. Mike Schmitz Youth Ministers & Catechist Workshop - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Monday, April 20 with an evening youth rally at Holy Spirit Parish in Kennewick starting at 7:00 p.m.  The next day he will travel to Yakima for a special daytime conference for youth ministers on Tuesday, April 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., lunch included, at Holy Family Religious Ed Building Room #10.  The youth – themselves – will have a rally in the Murtagh gathering hall at Holy Family at 6:00 p.m.  Note that the Tri-Cities' youth rally in Kennewick is at 7:00 p.m. but the Yakima youth rally is at 6:00 p.m. But note this too: Fr. Schmitz will also be working with the clergy on Wednesday, April 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. – lunch included – at Holy Family's Religious Education Center, Room 10. To Register, please click here.

Fr. Schmitz poster, click here.

Employment Oportunity: Executive Director for Central Washington Catholic Foundation

The Central Washington Catholic Foundation is recruiting for the position of Executive Director.  The Executive Director will be responsible for overall operation of the Central Washington Catholic Foundation and fulfillment of its Mission and Vision.  The Executive Director will work closely with the Board of Trustees.  The Mission is to provide enduring support for Catholic education in Central Washington.  The Vision is to provide enduring support for Catholic education and ministries in Central Washington.  The position requires a Bachelor degree and five years progressive experience in fundraising, program administration, budget development and management, and staff supervision and development.  Applicant must be a practicing Catholic in good standing.  Certificate in Fundraising Management (CFRM) or equivalent preferred.  Certificate in Fundraising Executive (CFRE) preferred.

 To complete an application and to access a job description for this position, please use the following link to Applitrack on your browser:http://www.applitrack.com/yakimadiocese/onlineapp

 Resumes will be accepted until April 5, 2015.

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Thanks to Father Jose Herrera and Father Mauricio Muñoz we are offering a retreat for the young adults of the Diocese of Yakima to kick off their devotion of Holy Week.  The retreat begins Friday March 27th at 5:00 p.m. sharp at Blessed Sacrament in Grandview.  The retreat will end right after the Sunday night Mass at 5:00 p.m.  Oscar Cuevas of San Bernadino will be presenting a number of talks.  While he is bilingual most of the talks will be in Spanish.  I will be there as well as Fr. Mauricio on Friday and Fr. Lalo on Saturday. There will also be music, games, confession a Holy Hour, time with me as the bishop and much much more!  There´s no English poster since our volunteer who did this only knows Spanish but the preacher is bilingual and most all the youth speak English so all are welcome! To register, click here.Please see attachments below.


Estimados Amigos:

Gracias al Padre José Herrera y Padre Mauricio Muñoz tendremos un Jornada Juvenil para comenzar la Semana Santa.  Nos acompañará el predicador bilingüe Oscar Cuevas de San Bernadino California.  Este retiro va a comenzar el Viernes 27 de Marzo a las 5:00 en punto y termina después de la Misa Domincal el 29 de Marzo en la parroquia de Santisimo Sacramento en Grandview. Tendremos charlas, música, recreación, confesiones, una Hora Santa, tiempo con Obispo Tyson y mucho más. Inscripciones en linea aqui.

+ Bishop Joseph Tyson

Two Engaged Encounter retreats in our Diocese are planned for 2015.  The first weekend will be April 10-12, and the second June 19-21.  Both will be offered at the Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center in Ellensburg. Attached to this article please find a brochure which can be copied and distributed to couples preparing for marriage.  For more information, contact the Catholic Engaged Encounter of Central Washington at (509) 528-4653, or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  More information is also available on the website of Catholic Engaged Encounter of Central Washington.

Let's be praying for all those preparing for marriage in our parishes this year.

Don’t miss out! The Central Washington Catholic Foundation has allocated $45,000 for Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) grants this year.  You can apply for a grant to meet essential needs of your religious education program, to send RE staff to the LA Religious Education Congress, and/or to receive a stipend for your RE Coordinator.

The application process is fairly simple and shouldn’t take you (or your RE Coordinator) much time to complete.  The application deadline is May 29, 2015.  The application forms are available on our website at www.cwcatholicfoundation.org/REgrants.   Call Nancy at 509-972-3732 if you do not have computer access and she will mail forms to you.

The Central Washington Catholic Foundation envisions providing enduring support for Catholic education and ministries in Central Washington.  Our mission is to support Catholic education.  To this end, we provide grants to parishes for their religious education programs and tuition assistance to students enrolled in Catholic schools.  We strongly believe that every Catholic family who wants a Catholic school education for their children should be able to get one, regardless of ability to pay and every Catholic family should be able to learn about Jesus regardless of their local parish’s financial resources.

The Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) grants help parish programs in three ways:

·         $500 stipends (matched by the parish) for RE Coordinators/Directors

·         $750 support for RE staff to attend the annual RE Congress in Los Angeles

·         Grants to support RE programs in various ways from Bibles for the children to curriculum to materials and supplies to AV and computer equipment.

Each parish determines what their needs and resources are and then writes an application if their needs exceed their resources.

For the 2015 grant cycle, there is $45,000 available.  The application period is open and will close on May 29, 2015.  The grant applications are on our website at www.cwcatholicfoundation.org/REgrants.

Please call Nancy Probst or Dan Fortier at 509-972-3732 if you have questions.


The Central Washington Catholic Foundation is pleased to offer three college scholarships.  One is for a Davis High School senior (Yakima) and two are for students who will be attending Catholic colleges or universities.  The deadline for applying is April 1, 2015.  Please disseminate this information to your students by whatever means appropriate.

The Celebration of Faith Scholarship

This scholarship is presently expected to award up to $1,500 annually. Up to three scholarships will be awarded each year.  Recipients will be students who are attending, or plan to attend, a Catholic college or university and demonstrate a commitment to serve the church through past activities and future plans and goals.  Current recipients will be eligible to reapply and will compete with new applicants.  The completed application form and all accompanying documentation must be mailed directly to the Central Washington Catholic Foundation and post-marked no later than April 1st of the year the scholarship is awarded.

The Mary Ellen Chott-Mahre Scholarship

This scholarship is presently expected to award $1,000 to $6,000 annually. Completed application form and all accompanying documentation must be mailed directly to the Central Washington Catholic Foundation and post-marked no later than April 1stof the year the scholarship is awarded.

The John Rodriquez-Kranz Scholarship

This one-time scholarship benefits students graduating for Davis High School in Yakima, WA. Presently, an award winner can expect $500 to $1,000. Completed application form and all accompanying documentation must be mailed directly to the Central Washington Catholic Foundation and post-marked no later than April 1stof the year the scholarship is awarded.

For additional information and application forms, go to www.cwcatholicfoundation.org/scholarships.

Upcoming Events

March 25 - 27, 2015

The Song of Mark (Yakima)

April 10 - 12, 2015

Engaged Encounter Weekend (Ellensburg)

April 20, 2015

Fr. Mike Schmitz Youth Rally at Holy Spirit ParishYouth Rally at Holy Spirit Parish (Kennewick)

April 21, 2015

Fr. Mike Schmitz Youth Ministers & Catechist WorkshopYouth Ministers & Catechist Workshop (Holy Family Religious Ed Room 10, Yakima)

April 22, 2015

Priest Workshop with Fr. Mike Schmitz (Holy Family Religious Ed Room 10, Yakima)

June 26-27, 2015

Region XII 10th Catholic Stewardship Conference (Kennewick, WA)




bishop tyson-small

Most Rev. Joseph J. Tyson
Bishop of Yakima

Bishop's Homilies & Statements


 Le invitamos a vivir un fin de semana del encuentro matrimonial

¿Que es Encuentro Matrimonial?

El fin de semana del Encuentro Matrimonial es una experiencia positiva y personal que ofrece a las parejas una oportunidad para aprender una técnica de comunicación amorosa que pueden usar por el resto de sus vidas. Es una oportunidad para mirar profundamente su relación de pareja y con Dios. Es un tiempo para compartir sus sentimientos, esperanzas y sueños con el otro. El énfasis del fin de semana del Encuentro Matrimonial es en la comunicación entre esposos y esposas, para enfocarse solamente en el uno para el otro. Si están buscando que su relación crezca, sea más profunda y rica, entonces les gustara la diferencia que puede hacer en ustedes el Fin De Semana de Encuentro Matrimonial Mundial.


Para más información llame a;

Eudoro y Martha Lucatero 509-531-2286 o 509-430-0426