From this post on down you can read about previous events at Saint Raphael.
From this post on down you can read about previous events at Saint Raphael.
This weekend we observe the solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), and we continue our look at the Communion Rite with two sets of prayers. After the singing of the Lamb of God, one of these is said quietly by the Priest alone, the other said aloud by the Priest, and then joined with the Assembly.
After the singing of the Lamb of God and the breaking apart of the bread, the Priest says quietly either, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy Spirit, through your Death gave life to the world, free me by this, your most holy Body and Blood, from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you,” OR,
As we find time for vacation and rest this summer, here are some reflections by our three latest popes on how recreation and leisure are an integral part of a balanced Christian life:
Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “Through the recreation and leisure made possible by travel, people are restored and renewed, body and spirit. They return home to family and work with a new perspective and enthusiasm for life.”
Pope Benedict XVI wrote,
JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS— “I wish to address a word to you, who walk alongside migrant children and young people: they need your precious help. The Church too needs you and supports you in the generous service you offer.
Do not tire of courageously living the Gospel, which calls you to recognize and welcome the Lord Jesus among the smallest and most vulnerable.
I entrust all child migrants, their families, their communities and you who are close to them, to the protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth; may they watch over and accompany each one on their journey. With my prayers, I gladly impart my Apostolic Blessing.”
… Pope Francis, Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2017
Jesus, the living bread, is for the life of the world. How this works is a mystery. We are taught that God’s life comes to us in the Eucharist – we have a role in the mystery! As St. Paul puts it, we participate in the body of Christ. God’s love touches our hearts and moves us to respond with loving actions.
Pope Benedict XVI reminded us that “Jesus taught his disciples to pray by asking the Heavenly Father not for “my” but for “our” daily bread. Thus, he desired every person to feel co-responsible for his brothers so that no one would want for what he needs in order to live.” (12 November 2006)
Did you notice there’s a large green table in the center of the atrium? Have you stopped to say ‘hi’ to a Welcome Table host or to look at some of the materials? We’re in the early stages of developing the Welcome table into a great resource for you; a place to ask questions, register as a member, figure out what’s going on around here, learn your way around the buildings, or maybe even meet a new friend. Big parishes can be busy and exciting places, but they can also be anonymous and overwhelming. And that’s if you’re comfortable being in a Catholic church! What if you’re just sticking your toe in the water and exploring? Stop by and introduce yourself to a Welcome Table host. Whatever the reason you’re here, we’ll celebrate it and work to make this a comfortable place for you. Have a question outside of the weekend? Give Janet Schirripa, Lay Ministry Support Coordinator a call and she’ll help you out. 865.5704 email@example.com
Prayer is powerful more than we can know, and our 50th anniversary year as a parish is a good time to pray together for the future of St. Raphael. I’m asking all groups in the church and schools at St. Raphael to include some version of this intention whenever you come together and pray during this year of 2016-2017: Jesus, as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, please help St. Raphael become more and more the church and schools you want us to be! You don’t even have to pray it word for word. Just remember, the two parts:
In prayer together,
Fr. Phil, Pastor
We pray: Jesus, as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary, please help St. Raphael become more and more the church and schools you want us to be!
Like many of you, I’m excited to see the work moving forward on the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral in west Raleigh. That campaign began several years ago, and the fruits of it are seen today.
Some parishioners recently asked me about the 2017 Bishops Annual Appeal, expressing concern that the funds were going toward buildings and not toward the important work of the Church such as help for the poor. I told them to let their hearts not be troubled. The 2017 BAA does NOT support a building campaign, as important as that may be. Rather it supports the work of the Diocese for charity, evangelization and worship. It’s about investing in HUMAN infrastructure of the Diocese to live out the Kingdom, not the PHYSICAL infrastructure. Both are important, but the work of the BAA supports the ongoing services and programs that we cannot do efficiently and effectively at the parish level.
One of God’s commandments is connected to it: ‘You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt’ (Exodus 22:21); ‘Love the sojourner therefore; for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt’ (Deuteronomy 10:19).
This phenomenon constitutes a sign of the times, a sign which speaks of the providential work of God in history and in the human community, with a view to universal communion.” … Pope Francis
Pope Francis writes:
The mystery of the Trinity also speaks to us of ourselves, of our relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In fact, through baptism, the Holy Spirit has placed us in the heart and the very life of God, who is a communion of love. God is a “family” of three Persons who love each other so much as to form a single whole. This “divine family” is not closed in on itself, but is open. It communicates itself in creation and in history and has entered into the world of men to call everyone to form part of it. The trinitarian horizon of communion surrounds all of us and stimulates us to live in love and fraternal sharing, certain that where there is love, there is God.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Jesuits across the country are supporting Lobby Day, June 13th in Washington DC as a way to let our elected officials know the importance of adequate funding for hunger relief, both domestically and internationally. On the weekends of June 3/4 and June 10/11 we will have materials in the atrium to help you write a quick letter to your Representative and Senator. This isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a Christian issue. Did you know CPO receives 13% of it’s funding through government sources? Over 8,500 people are served each month, and that’s in an area with low unemployment! Hunger is an issue in war torn and developing countries, but it’s also sitting in church next to you! Lend a hand, write a letter and make your voice known. Come prepared to give a few minutes time. Together we can make change happen.
The Welcome Ministry is having a Welcome Reception in the Lewis Room on Sunday, June 11 at 12:30 PM (after 11:30 Mass). All newly registered parishioners and all prospective members are encouraged to come to share fellowship and to learn about the wonderful services that St. Raphael provides. Refreshments will be served. If you have any questions about this reception, please contact Arlene Cocco at firstname.lastname@example.org
We continue our sequential tour of the Communion Rite. To recap, we began with the Our Father prayer, then the Sign of Peace. Today we examine the singing of the Agnus Dei, Lamb of God, which takes place as the priest breaks the bread.
The symbol of the lamb connects the Eucharist directly with the feast of Passover, the feast of unleavened bread and the sacrifice of the lamb. The celebration of the Mass becomes our passover, as the sacrifice of the Lamb of God joins together heaven and earth. Having prayed the Eucharistic Prayer together, we now recognize the Lamb of God present as the Bread and Wine, now the Body and Blood of Jesus, so we echo the words of John the Baptist, and sing “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.”
Abul Mayen is living in Puktap, a remote hamlet filled with people fleeing ongoing violence in the middle of South Sudan. Mayen’s husband was killed in the violence, like many South Sudanese men. She and her two young children left her home village, Duk Payuel, when it was torched during the night in 2013.
“Man, particularly if he is weak, defenseless, driven to the margins of society, is a sacrament of Christ’s presence (cf. Mt 25:40, 45). ‘But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed.’ (John 7:49), was how the Pharisees judged those whom Jesus had helped even beyond the limits established by their precepts. Indeed, he came to seek and to save the lost (cf. Luke 19:10), to bring back the excluded, the abandoned, those rejected by society. ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’ (Matthew 25:35).
It is the Church’s task not only to present constantly the Lord’s teaching of faith but also to indicate its appropriate application to the various situations which the changing times continue to create. Today the illegal migrant comes before us like that ‘stranger’ in whom Jesus asks to be recognized. To welcome him and to show him solidarity is a duty of hospitality and fidelity to Christian identity itself.”
… Saint Pope John Paul II, Message for World Migration Day, 1996
Here’s the ‘want ad’ job description for a wonderful way to be concretely helpful to others as they come to St. Raphael. If you are full of joy, outgoing, ready to greet others with a big smile and make genuine connections than you’re needed at our new Welcome Table. Periodically, at the Mass of your choice, join with others at the Welcome Table to greet, answer questions, pray with, encourage others as they explore St. Raphael as their parish home. 15 minutes before and after Mass, as an individual or even as a family. You do not need to be an expert on St. Raphael or a long time member, we’ll have the resources for you. To learn more, stop by the table to talk to a host or call Janet Schirripa, Lay Ministry Support Coordinator at 919-865-5704 email@example.com
Pentecost: Variety of Gifts in our Parish
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a hand-painted canvas might say even more! A year ago at our parish staff off-site, we ended our days of prayer and ongoing formation by having our excellent school art teacher guide us through painting a canvas of the Holy Spirit stained glass window at Saint Peter’s in the Vatican. (I risk including an image of my own painting here. Bernini I’m not!) What was amazing once we were done, was to look at the whole set of 20 or so images together, all clearly of the same Holy Spirit and drawn from the same original stained glass window, but each quite unique in its particulars.
It makes me think of Saint Paul’s words and our first reading this Pentecost Sunday from 1 Corinthians 12:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.
It was one and the same Holy Spirit represented in each of our paintings; yet the individual personalities and talents of each painter were also clear. It’s an image that reminds us of the diversity of natural and spiritual gifts of all the different people that make up our parish, all of them from the Holy Spirit, given to each of us for some benefit.
Come Holy Spirit! Help each of us continue to discern our gifts, and put them to use for the benefit of our families, our parish, and beyond…
Fr. Phil Hurley, S.J.
Last week we began an extended look at the Communion Rite, starting with the praying of the Our Father. It’s providential that we examine the exchange of peace this weekend, as we observe Pentecost, since the words we use in the ritual come directly from the risen Christ himself in our Gospel reading, John 20:19, “Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.‘”
First, the priest recites the following prayer on behalf of the people: “Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you; look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.” This prayer goes back at least to eleventh century. How many times have we heard this, but not really prayed it? What a beautiful request that ……