Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Father Tim's first Children's Mass

Photos by Jane Winstead
Father Tim celebrated the first Children's Mass of the school year on August 26. His homily referred from the Gospel reading Matthew 24:42-51.

Father Tim had several masks to show the children. He said that we could put one (happy) mask on, but in reality we might not be happy or feel happy or sometimes we wear a mask so we can hide behind the mask, so we do not show our true selves.

As we read in the gospel, that is being hypocritical. Father Tim's message to the children was be authentic, be true to yourself.

After Mass, the children sang Happy Birthday to Father Tim.

Welcome, Deacon Jim

Photo by Jane Winstead
Father Tim with Deacon Jim at welcoming party in the Parish Center. See slide show below

By Deacon Jim Grevenites

So, who is this new deacon and where did he come from?

That, of course, is one of the first questions someone new is asked, so, here is an answer to some of that.

It is a delight to be here at St. Raphael, not only is the location wonderful but most importantly, the energy and the excitement of the parishioners is great.

My wife Leslie and I, who lived in the Chicago area most of our lives, met more than 35 years ago on a blind date. Before moving to Florida in October 2001 most of my business career was spent in law enforcement and the corporate world of safety, security and sanitation for a major franchise retailer in the Chicago area.

I studied for the Permanent Diaconate in Chicago and was ordained by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in 1994.

2001 was the whirlwind year for us as we married off a daughter, sent a son to the Air Force, quit jobs, sold a house, moved to Florida, and bought a Ma & Pa Motel on Clearwater Beach.

While living in the Clearwater Beach area I immediately became active as a deacon at St. Brendan Church, and then in 2003, I began to work in all aspects of parish ministry and management until leaving this past August, moving from the gulf coast to the bay coast.

Along the way, we sold the motel and moved to the Largo area where we live with Baxter, (our dog).

In addition to my work at St. Brendan, in 2006 I was appointed the Assistant Director of the Diaconate for the Diocese of St. Petersburg, a position I still hold.

We have four wonderful grandchildren who live in Windemere, (near Orlando) with their mom and dad, otherwise known as our daughter Melonee and son-in-law, Brian. We also have a son, Chris, who works in the Quantico, Va. area.

As I mentioned, we are delighted to be here at St. Raphael and I am looking forward to many happy years as both the parish Business Manager and Deacon serving with Father Tim, Father Dominic, and the entire staff.

Please do not hesitate to call me or stop by to chat, even if it is because of business.

Photos by Jane Winstead

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nursing Home ministry

Photo by Jane Winstead
Louise Barrett speaks with a resident of Shore Acres Rehabilitation Center during a recent ministry visit. “As we minister to the residents, they minister to us,” she says.

By Louise Barrett

I am part of St. Raphael's Nursing Home ministry along with Greg Langston, Linda Champion, Bill and Karen Muhlstadt, Angela Soucy, Mary Baecher, Maggie Moren, Joan Priest, Chris Winstead, Rose York, and Mary Wilson.

Our ministry members visit Shore Acres Rehabilitation and Health Center each Sunday. In addition to our weekly Sunday visits, on the third Wednesday of every month, one of our priests from St. Raphael celebrates a Mass right at Shore Acres for residents who able to participate.

After Mass, our priest does individual room visits for those who are too weak to attend Mass.

Residents receive Holy Eucharist, confession, Sacrament of the Sick, prayers, and holy objects like prayer cards and rosaries when requested. We have seen many Catholics who had fallen away from the faith who return to a full sacramental life.

We have witnessed the baptisms of some residents. The residents become part of our St. Raphael family. Whenever asked, we pray with our Protestant brethren in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In a recent survey about the positive benefits of Shore Acres nursing home, one of the residents listed our Nursing Home ministry as a highlight of his experience there!

Over the years, this ministry has touched the lives of many amazing people who find themselves at Shore Acres because they need round the clock nursing care for various reasons.

Many come for a time and then return home. Some are young, needing rehab. Some are terminally ill. For some, Shore Acres will be their final home for several years until their death.

These residents are dear to us and we look forward to our visits with them.

I have been in the ministry since August 1999. I have met hundreds of residents during that time. I have held their hands and watched them get better, and I have held their hands and been at their side as they died. As we minister to the residents, they minister to us.

This is an incredibly rewarding ministry and you are welcome to join us. We train you on the job and take you through the steps needed to become a volunteer.

If you're interested: Please call Louise Barrett at (727) 821-2561.

Please view two slide shows below showing Father Dominic and Father Tim celebrating Masses at Shore Acres Rehabilitation and Health Center.

Photos by Jane Winstead

Monday, August 16, 2010

Feast of the Assumption

Photos by Jane Winstead
Sunday, August 15, was the Feast of the Assumption. Father Tim celebrated the 9:30 a.m. Mass (above) and Father Dominic celebrated the 11:30 (below).

The feast marking the Blessed Virgin Mary's assumption, body and soul, into heaven has been celebrated in the Catholic Church since Pope Pius XII declared it a major holy day in 1950.

At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.” The Assumption of Mary is the pledge of fulfillment of Christ’s promise.

Father Dominic's family came to visit him this weekend and attended the 11:30 Mass.