Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Fun Fest time

Friday, September 24, 2010

We’ve got spirit … Spirit FM, that is

For nearly 25 years, Spirit FM 90.5 has provided a safe alternative to mainstream radio for our Diocesan families and helped to move our faith forward. Click the player to hear what's on right now.

Show your spirit during Shareathon 2010 (September 25 – October 1), by calling 1-800- 223-9286 or make your gift online.

No matter how you choose to make your gift, know you are investing in the strength of our Diocese’s broadcast ministry and moving the Tampa Bay area Forward in Faith.

Communicate: Truth· Charity· Justice· Peace· Love· Mercy

Dads, daughters rock around the clock

Photos by Jane Winstead
The Fab Fifties was the theme for St. Raphael's first Father-Daughter dance on Friday, September 17 with dads and their Li'l Darlin's all decked out in period costume. Poodle skirts and polka dots were the order of the evening and many dads resorted to the time-tested blue jeans and t-shirts, like the youth of those bygone Happy Days. There were hula hoop contests, snake dances and, of course, good old-fashioned dancing to early rock n' roll.

Want a photo?: If you would like to download any of the photographs from this slide show, please click on the slide show. You will be taken to the Picasa Photo Album Web site. Choose the photo you want to download and click the DOWNLOAD button at the top of the page. The photo will be saved to your desktop.

Parish Fun Fest is coming up

Mark your calendars for the third annual St. Raphael Parish Fun Fest. We are one month away.

This year, the event will take place from Thursday, October 21, through Sunday October 24, right here on our beautiful waterfront campus.

Anyone who attended last year knows it was a great time, and this year’s will be bigger and even better!

We will have lots of carnival rides, delicious food, games, live music, bingo and a rummage sale – something for all ages!

We have lots of ways for the entire church family to help make this a great weekend. You can volunteer at the event. You or your business can be a sponsor. You can place a yard sign in front of your home or business, and you can buy your discounted ride tickets and arm bands before the event. You can also sell them to your friends and neighbors.

This is one of St. Raphael School’s major fundraisers. With your help, last year we raised nearly $25,000. This year we hope everyone here will take part in supporting this great weekend event as we exceed last year’s dollar amount.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2010 Fun Fest.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

40 Days for Life Prayer Service

Photos by Jane Winstead
Faithful followers gathered on Tuesday evening for a prayer service to begin the 40 Days for Life campaign at the abortion clinic, All Women's Health Center, on Centeral Avenue. Parishioners and clergy from all over the Diocese of St. Petersburg gathered for the occasion.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sign up for 40 Days for Life

Photos by Jane Winstead
Maggie Moren, right, speaks with parishioners about 40 Days for Life

By Maggie Moren

This weekend we will again be present at all Masses in hope that if you have not signed up yet to pray at the abortion clinic, All Women's Health Center at
4131 Central Avenue, you will stop by and do so. This effort is part of the national 40 Days for Life campaign that begins Wednesday, September 22.

Your prayers and presence at the abortion clinic is so very important. Please check your calendar. We have a lot of empty spaces that need to be filled.

The 40 Days for Life campaign includes 40 days of prayer and fasting combined with round-the-clock vigil at the abortion clinic. It also includes proactive community outreach.

On Tuesday, September 21 at 7 p.m we will again have our kick-off at the abortion clinic. It will last an hour. Bishop Robert Lynch will lead the prayers. Please come join our bishop in prayer.

Those who would like to carpool down there will meet at the parish parking lot. We will leave at 6:15 p.m.

For those who are unable/or not interested in the carpool then please come and join us at the clinic.

The 40 Days for Life campaign started in 2o04 in Texas. It now has spread to cities across the country as well as cities in Australia, Canada and Northern Ireland. The 40 days idea comes from the Bible. Noah endured 40 days of the flood. Moses spent 40 days on the mountain. Jesus spent 40 days in the desert.

Below is a video from the 40 Days for Life Web site.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who wants Big Money?

Photo by Jane Winstead
Shawn Abentroth displays the Big Money Father Tim was extravagantly handing out to illustrate the point of his homily.

By Jane Winstead

That was the question Father Tim asked as he started his homily on Sunday, September 12. He proceeded to throw the Big Money that he was holding out into the congregation. He was being extravagant with the money.

Then he shared with us about lost items. He said that the average person in their lifetime spends about a year looking for lost items.

As we read in the Gospel of Luke 15:1-32 about three different parables: lost sheep, lost coin and the lost son, Prodigal Son. Did you know that the word prodigal is not in the Bible? The word prodigal means extravagant. Our Father in Heaven love for us is extravagant. Just like the father with the two sons in the Gospel reading.

The younger son wanted his share of his father’s estate and the father divided up property between them and the younger son collected his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.

After a severe famine struck he found himself in dire need. Coming to his senses he realized that he sinned against heaven and against his father and he decided to return to his father.

While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and he was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. He repented to his father, and the father ordered his servants to quickly bring the finest robe and put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet and take the fatted calf and slaughter it.

The father wanted to celebrate because his son was lost and has been found. The father had extravagant love for his son. This is how our Heavenly Father loves us. Our heavenly Father has extravagant love for us.

Who is worthy of the Father’s love? Who is worthy of coming to church and receiving the sacraments? We are all not worthy, but our God’s extravagant love makes us worthy. He is waiting for us to receive His extravagant love.

Father Tim shared with us about the story of the two young men wanting to bury their friend, a soldier. They came to a Catholic Church with a graveyard beside it.

The young soldiers asked the priest if they could bury their friend and the priest asked if their friend was a Catholic and they said no. The priest told them that this cemetery was only for Catholics, but they could bury their friend outside the fence and the priest assured them that he would care for the grave site.

After a time, the soldiers came to visit the grave site, but they could not find it, so they asked the priest if he moved the grave. The priest explained that he thought about the location of it, so they asked the priest where did he moved the grave and the priest told them that he did not move the grave, but he moved the fence.

This is what God wants to do is move the fence and let us in His extravagant love. All we have to do is to allow His extravagant love in.

Photo: Father Tim holds up the Big Money during his homily.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Two Bible study series for you

Photo by Jane Winstead
Wednesday Morning Bible Study.

Click on the photo above and the one at the bottom. The people in these pictures are part of a new Bible study series being offered at St. Raphael.

In the photo above, for the Wednesday morning series, there are at least 50 people, not counting Father Tim and Father Dominic. The photo below is for the Wednesday evening series. Look closely at both pictures. You probably know most of the people in these two pictures. They are your fellow parishioners and they are attending this Bible study series.

The series is called The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Timeline. It was developed by Jeff Cavins, a former Protestant minister who returned to the Catholic Church in 1995. That's a picture of Jeff Cavins at the left above. If you click on the picture you will be taken to a video in which he discusses The Bible Timeline for a program that was presented earlier this year in New Jersey. It is the same program being presented at St. Raphael.

In another video, that you can click on above, you can hear people who have completed the series in another parish talking about their experiences.

The series is 24 weeks and it just started last Wednesday so you really haven't missed much at all. Some of the people in the video say that even if you can't go to all 24 sessions you will get a lot out of any of the ones you attend.

Cavins' plan identifies the 14 narrative books of the Bible that lead you chronologically through the story of salvation history. The series also shows where the remaining 59 books fit into the story.

The series divides salvation history into 12 identifiable periods to help participants remember the progression of the story. They include significant details from secular history to help put Bible events in time.

The series explains how God's plan unfolded through a series of covenants so you can understand not just the story but where it is headed and how you fit in the big picture.

The point of all of this is to encourage you to attend one (or both) of the Bible study series. The Wednesday morning series begins at 9:15 a.m. It covers the book of Matthew and will parallel our Sunday liturgy. You can e-mail Marybeth Finster at mbfinster@tampabay.rr.com for more information.

The Wednesday evening series begins at 7:30 p.m. It gives an overview of the Bible from the Old Testament through the New Testament. You can e-mail Denise Debord at Wdebord727@yahoo.com for more information.

Each session runs 90 minutes.

Marybeth Finster and Denise Debord say you don't need any previous Bible study, you won't have a lot of homework, you won't have to get up and talk in front of others and you don't have to make it to every class.

And they quote St. Jerome: "Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ."

Photo by Jane Winstead
Wednesday Evening Bible Study.

Recycle your paper at St. Raphael School

St. Raphael Student Council
Photos courtesy of Pat Kranik
St. Raphael Student Council: Back row, from left, Amanda Sherwin, Bella Hendriksson, Kathryn Vigrass, Tess Youmans, Katie Taylor, Gabby Crespo, Sarah Bermudez, Heather Finster (president), and Maddie Fernandez. Kneeling in front are Tanner McNulty, left, and Jordan Hallsted.

St. Raphael Catholic School Student Council is starting a paper recycling program to be planned and run by student representatives, It will include the entire school, parish, and neighborhood. Any paper is accepted.

Please bring your family, business, or office’s old phone books, magazines, junk mail and more to our new dumpster specifically for recycling paper (located in main parking lot right next to trash dumpster). We will accept any paper at anytime.

The collection will be picked up twice a month and will be a fundraiser for student council, contributing to service projects benefiting various charities throughout the community, our recycling program, and fun events for the students.

Please help us make a difference and show the world that we care about our planet! For more information, contact heatherfinster@gmail.com

Photo: Students put a load of paper into the recycling dumpster.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Father Dominic's first baptism

Photo by Jane Winstead
Father Dominic, left, officiated at the baptism of Owen Martin Kirchner on Sunday, Sept. 5. His parents are Patrick and Christine Kirchner. At right are the godparents, Adrienne Forkois (Christine's sister) and Michael Kirchner, Jr. (Patrick's brother). The Forkois family from Pensacola and the Kirchner family from Winter Park attended the baptism.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

You heard his plea

Photo by Jane Winstead
A message from Father Tim: Let me extend my sincere thanks to all of you for your generosity and hospitality to Msgr. Claro Caluya of the Philippines.

We often get a new perspective when we speak to someone who lives in circumstances quite different than what we might experience. Our initial collection number for his diocese was just over $10,000. Truly you heard his plea; your offerings will do a lot to support the priestly formation in the Philippines.

If anyone is interested in sending additional support they may send it to the following address:
Diocese of Masbate
Bishop of Masbate
5400 Masbate City