Sunday, December 11, 2011

St. Vincent de Paul Giving Tree abounds with gifts

Photo by Jane Winstead
The St. Vincent de Paul Giving Tree in the Narthex was overloaded with gifts from generous parishioners for the annual drive to provide gifts for needy local children.

St. Raphael Santa Breakfast 2011

Video by T. Allan Smith
Cub Scout Pack 219 put on the annual Santa Breakfast on Sunday, December 11, 2011 in the Parish Center. Pack leader Bill Condon said proceeds go to local charities. Youngsters visited Santa and parents snapped pictures.

Photos by Jane Winstead

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First candle of the Advent season

Photo by Jane Winstead
Father Dominic lights the first candle to mark the beginning of the Advent season on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Mass. It is the first of the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

St. Vincent de Paul Giving Tree

Photo by Jane Winstead
St. Raphael parishioners selected the gift ornaments for the St. Vincent de Paul Giving Tree after Masses on Sunday. There's still time to get an ornament and purchase a gift for a needy child in the area. The ornaments indicate the age and gender of the recipient so appropriate gifts can be chosen. Gifts should be returned with the ornament attached to the St. Vincent de Paul Box by the Giving Tree by December 11.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Inspiring words of Matthew Kelly

Have you ever wondered if God was speaking to you or if it was just a voice in your head? Do you know how to tell the difference? Come hear dynamic Catholic speaker Matthew Kelly and find out.

Matthew Kelly will speak from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 at White Family Center at Clearwater Catholic High School, 2750 Haines Bayshore Road in Clearwater.

Tickets are just $39! Call Mary Russell or Robin Babka
at St. Cecelia Church: 727-447-3494

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Help us with the rummage sale

By Denise Debord
Are you starting to clean out closets in anticipation of the holidays and holiday visitors? Are you downsizing or do you know friends or family who are moving or downsizing? If so, CCW has a way to help you out.

The St. Raphael Chapter of the Council of Catholic Women will hold its annual Pack Rat Rummage Sale on Saturday, January 21, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Every year the event gets bigger and better but to insure this we need donations. This year I have some storage space available for those of you who have some items and don't have anywhere to store them until the sale. The space is somewhat limited but it is available so let me know and we'll try to make whatever arrangements we can.

Volunteers have signed up to help with the event but we still need more volunteers to help not just on Friday, January 20 with the set up and Saturday, January 21 with the sale, but with helping to receive and sort the items in the afternoons the week of January 16 through the 19.
And please, don't think that this is a ladies only event. We need to enlist the help of husbands, daughters and sons. Every year we have a few more teens and men helping out but we always need more help.

This is an opportunity for the teens, school, parents—all of our parish organizations to pull together to make this a fun, successful fundraiser. This year's festival showed how much we can do if we all support each other. I'm asking that you redirect this message so I can get the word out to everyone.

We could use some additional storage space so if anyone has a bit of extra room in their garage or storage unit that we could utilize for a few months it would be greatly appreciated. We also need volunteers who have a truck or van and can help out with transporting some of the items to and from storage and the church.

Please contact me by phone or email if you have items to donate, have some space or a truck or can spare some time to volunteer. You can reach me at home at (727) 526-7580 or on my cell at (727) 502-2761 or with this email address

Look forward to hearing from a lot of you. Thanks.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The sweet gifts of Father Candy

Photo by Jane Winstead
When a school parent remarked to Father Tim that Halloween marks the beginning of the Candy Season (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter), it may have spawned an idea. Father Tim was giving candy to parish youngsters after Sunday's Masses. What a treat! Maybe we should call him Father Candy.

Do you have a pint of blood to spare?

Photo by Jane Winstead
The Florida Blood Services Bloodmobile was at St. Raphael on Sunday for the blood drive. All donors received a wellness checkup, including cholesterol screening. Donors' pint of blood will be used to help save lives of three or four people.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Please return St. Raphael Festival signs

A message from Heidi Sutton, co-chair of the St. Raphael Festival: Thank you to everyone who helped with our marketing efforts by displaying a Festival sign in your yard. If you have not already done so, please return your signs to the school office. Thank you!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Spooktacular Costume Contest

Tara Newsom emcees the 2011 Spooktacular Costume Contest at St. Raphael Festival. The contest was conducted during the St. Raphael Festival.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday: 2 Dog Night

2 Dog Night: Bill Alves and Alan Horner

2 Dog Night will perform on Sunday during the Family Night Spaghetti Dinner and afterward.

Alan Horner is a well known St. Raphael parishioner who plays with the St. Raphael Praise Band and often performs at parish functions. Alan also served as the chairman of the entertainment committee for St. Raphael Festival, lining up the array of bands performing this weekend.

Alan Horner along with Bill Alves perform as 2 Dog Night in Tampa Bay area venues. They have an amazing music range that stretches from 1950s rock through contemporary music. They cover a variety of genres, including rock, Top 40, rhythm and blues, country and dance music.

The duo plays regular gigs at local American Legion posts, Elks lodges, restaurants and bars, and private parties.

Friday, October 21, 2011

St. Raphael Festival -- Friday 1

Photos by T. Allan Smith
Here are photos from the St. Raphael Festival. Check back for more later.

Saturday: Ocean Roads

The Ocean Road Band is well known to many people at St. Raphael. Band members Dave and Janie Scheiber and their daughters Laura and Mollie are former St. Raphael parishioners. The band will perform Saturday night after the Oktoberfest performance of Jeanne Zube and Happy Music.

The band is popular in local music venues and events. Ocean Roads has headlined over the past decade at many major annual fundraisers for the American Cancer Societies of Tampa, Pinellas, Pasco, Orlando and Sarasota/Venice; the annual Children’s Dream Fund gala and auction inside Tropicana Field; the Commodore’s Ball -- the “Super Bowl” of dances each year at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club; the Davis Island Yacht Club’s Christmas Party and Commodore’s Ball.

The band has also performed at the Beaches Chamber of Commerce gathering at the Don CeSar; Country in the Park in Pinellas Park, where it has been the featured local band for a decade; Mainsail Arts Festival in St. Petersburg; the St. Anthony’s Triathlon post-race athletes party; and the 75th anniversary celebration of St. Paul’s Catholic Church at the St. Petersburg Coliseum.

The band also took its longest road trip to perform at the Richard Montgomery High School Class of 1966 Reunion in Rockville, Md.

The group also plays weddings from St. Pete to Tampa to Boca Grande.

Here's a brief rundown on the various members of the band:

Joe Terrana (vocals, keyboard, bass) is a veteran of the popular ‘80s-’90s After Midnight Band, and has frequently performed with Tampa Bay’s longtime rock group the Impacs and as part of a standout area Beatles tribute group;

Dave Scheiber (guitar/vocals) has played in country and rock bands such as Stalled On the Tracks, Green Grass Revival and the Fabulous Nosecaps. He won the 1998 Mid-Atlantic Song Contest’s Grand Prize for a song called Catch Me In The Net.

Hank Shaw (drums and percussion) kept the steady beat for years with Coyote and has long been a familiar voice on local airwaves - as overnight deejay on WQYK-FM 99.5;

Janie Scheiber (lead female vocals, harmony) was well-known for her evocative vocals in Stalled on the Tracks and was for 10 years a member of contemporary Christian singing group, GRACE Ministries;

Bob LeMay (lead vocals and lead/rhythm guitar) is a longtime stellar performer in the Tampa Bay area, from cruise ships to clubs all over town.

Joe Terrana Jr., formerly of Cuban Sandwich Crisis, lends his ample talents on sax.

Laura Scheiber (lead singer, harmony) grew up listening to her parents’ bands and now adds beautiful vocals from Motown hits to country to modern favorites.

The band also taps the talents of veteran virtuoso guitarists and singers Lee Ahlin and Butch Hanson and drummer/percussionist Mollie Scheiber.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

St. Raphael Festival opens Friday

At last, it's time for the St. Raphael Festival, a three-day, fun-filled extravaganza, with carnival rides for children of all ages, delicious specialty food booths, two themed dinner nights (Oktoberfest and Family Spaghetti Night), live music and Bingo.

Saturday: Oktoberfest, German music!

Jeanne ZubeJeanne Zube and her band, Happy Music, will appear at the St. Raphael Festival on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. during Oktoberfest. Come out for brats, sauerkraut, German potato salad and apple dumplings and enjoy the traditional German music.

Jeanne Zube started playing the accordion when she was 11 years old. By the next year, she had added piano and clarinet — at her mother's insistence. She was in the high school band in Cincinnati and loved it.

But when she was 19, her instructor told her mother she ought to put her clarinet in the closet and concentrate on the accordion. She was thrilled. Her instructor happened to be the president of the musician's union and he knew accordion players were in demand. It wasn't long before Jeanne was playing in various groups around town.

She enrolled in the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, majoring in clarinet and minoring in piano. but the accordion continued to be her instrument of choice. While she was a college student, she played local clubs, had 80 students she was teaching accordion and performed on a weekly television show.

Happy Music"I was getting about three hours sleep," she says. but she was young and energetic and the performing was more important than sleep.

When the College Conservatory of Music merged with the University of Cincinnati, Jeanne transferred to Mount St. Joseph University and continued to study music. She loved it.

It wasn't long before she was asked to play accordion with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, under the direction of Erich Kunzel. Working with the famed conductor was a thrilling experience. "He could get two hundred percent out of you," she says. She was asked to play solo parts in recordings by the orchestra.

It could be a grueling schedule, though. Sometimes there would be a rehearsal in the morning, a recording session in the afternoon and a performance the same night "After rehearsal, I'd go home and go to bed," she said.

Jeanne remembers when she was first introduced to German music. Her father had just died in December of 1989. The following January she landed a spot with the premier German group in Cincinnati, The Polka Dots.

She loved the music, though she found it a bit daunting at first. Traditional German music may change meters every measure and as a newbie she found a challenge to keep up. But she persevered and played with the group for many seasons, and continues to do so when she revisits her hometown.

Cincinnati has the distinction of the World's Largest Chicken Dance, performed each year at the Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati celebration. When the record was originally set in 1994 some 48,000 people participated. Jeanne has played with The Polka Dots at many Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati celebrations.

Today Jeanne Zube's group, Happy Music, performs at the Polish Club in Hudson, the Pinellas Park German Club, seniors dances and private parties.

The most requested song: The Chicken Dance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Friday night: Nonsense makes sense

Carrie Underwood sings birthday wishes for Garrett Goodwin.

Expect a special treat for the musical entertainment on Friday night at the St. Raphael Festival. Nonsense might be a hastily assembled band but some of its members are no slouches when it comes to professional entertainment.

Take, for instance, Garrett Goodwin, who has come on the musical scene in both style and class. Garrett is the drummer for country singer-songwriter Carrie Underwood, multi-platinum selling recording artist, winner of several Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards, Golden Globe Award nominee and two-time ACM Entertainer of the Year. At age 23, Garrett’s career includes live performances on Saturday Night Live, Jay Leno, The Grammy Awards, The American Music Awards, and many more.

And then there's Charlie Goddard, attorney and former guitarist for Grammy-nominated artist, Sonic Flood/Jeff Deyo from 2003 to 2005 and two-time Dove winning band, By the Tree from 2001 to 2003, with four No. 1 radio hits and more than a million records sold worldwide. His musical career included performance tours in 14 countries and all states in the domestic United States. You can catch Charlie playing with Jeff Devo in this video.

Rounding out the band are attorneys David and Kim Salmon, St. Raphael parishioners, Gilbert Rodriguez and Erin Buchanan. They may be setting some sort of record in jurisprudence.

Nonsense will perform Friday night 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the Big Tent.

Monday, October 17, 2011

CCW-K of C luncheon card party

Photos by Jane Winstead
The Council of Catholic Women and the Knights of Columbus sponsored a lunchtime card party on Saturday, October 15, in the Parish Center. Participants played bridge, rummy, poker and other games. Numerous people won great door prizes. Chris Winstead was surprised with a special birthday cake.

Lots of food choices at St. Raphael Festival

Friday, October 14, 2011

40 Days for Life — prayer day

Photos by Jane Winstead
St. Raphael parishioners participated in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil in front of All Women's Health Center, the abortion clinic in downtown St. Petersburg, on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The campaign runs through Nov. 6.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gruban: A new taste for St. Raphael Festival

By Lisette Crespo Shields

When you are Latin most every big event is surrounded by food. My Cuban family is no different.

My dad, Dr. Artagnan Crespo, was the cook in our family. Exiled from Cuba in 1960, he went to live with my mom’s ailing dad who had a house on Key Biscayne in Miami.

My grandfather was quite the cook, but when he lived in Miami he was so ill he was not able to cook, so he taught my dad all the family recipes. My dad learned to love to cook and went on to add to that great pile of family recipes.

One of my dad’s most famous dishes was his black beans. Christmas Eve we would always have the traditional Noche Buena meal consisting of pork, black beans, rice and yucca. My dad did all the cooking for this meal and it was always amazing. He never followed a recipe, adding a little here or there until he liked the way it tasted.

He would often have his nurses and staff over and cook for them. I am so glad they encouraged him to put a few of his recipes in a cook book the clinic had put together.

After my father passed away in 1986 from lung cancer, family dinners were not the same. My mom, Beatriz, had to step up and start cooking all the major holiday foods. She did not enjoy it as my dad did, but she would follow the recipes my dad left and it was like he was back cooking. The meals were a great.

My mom was more than willing to pass the torch of the holiday dinners to her children. I got Christmas Eve and Noche Buena. Following my dad’s recipes to the letter, my first Christmas Eve dinner was a hit. I enjoy making the beans, and I would often make them for family parties or for friends. As my dad always said, “the flavor is all in the paste you grind together in the mortar."

When I met my husband, he bragged “wait to you taste my mom’s cooking.” Boy, was he right. His mom, Yiota, could cook!

They had a lot of the same traditions as my family. Holiday and family parties were celebrated around the dinner table with one of Yiota’s amazing meals. Lamb, tzatziki sauce, Greek dolmades and avgolemono soup became part of my kids' normal dinners.

I found out that my mother-in-law's start with food was similar to my dad’s in that she was not a cook or had not always wanted to be a cook.

She married a U.S. Air Force lieutenant general and lived in a new place every few years. She tried to make American food, fried chicken to be exact, and it was disastrous.

Yiota learned how to make fried chicken from her North Carolina husband Woody. Yiota’s fried chicken is made so well now that my husband often requests it as one of his birthday dishes.

The tradition continues. I am passing my dad’s recipes on to my daughter, Kalista, who loves to cook. She often cooks with Yiota, learning all the Greek recipes as well.

The last 15 years of my life have been such a combination of Greek and Cuban food that when I heard we were going to have specialty booths at the St. Raphael Festival I suggested the Gruban booth.

Of course, I had to explain what a Gruban was. Recently we added on an addition to the back of the house. It was a room for the kids and we wanted to name it to make it their own.

My husband, Frank, said that since the kids were part Greek and Cuban how about naming it the Gruban room. The name Gruban took birth and it now a part of our regular vernacular.

I hope everyone gets a chance to come out and enjoy this wonderful festival and don’t forget to stop by the Gruban booth for some amazing food.

Photo: From left, Beatriz Crespo, Lisette Crespo Shields, Woody Shields, Yiota Shields, Frank Shields.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pinellas Hope dinner 10.08.11

Photos by Julie Lynch and Ed Lynch
St. Raphael parishioners and supporters of Pinellas Hope around the diocese attended a fundraising dinner in the Parish Center sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on Saturday, October 8. Sheila Lopez, chief operating officer of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, was among the speakers. She told of the great work being done at Pinellas Hope to help homeless people find shelter and get back on their feet.

A history of the project was also presented. Pinellas Hope began in 2007 when Bishop Robert Lynch opened 10 acres in downtown St. Petersburg as a temporary shelter for the homeless. The program has grown now much larger. A new 20-acre site was opened last year and, with the help of local and state governments and donations from Catholics in the diocese, Pinellas Hope is providing a safe living environment for homeless people and support to become self sufficient.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

St. Raphael Festival schedule

St. Raphael Festival Schedule of Events posted on the Festival Page. Click the logo at the top of the column on the right to go to the page. Don't forget, school is out for Catholic schools in the Diocese of St. Petersburg on Friday. So come and enjoy the fabulous food on our newly expanded food court.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A day for St. Francis—and our pets

Deacon Jim blessed the pets of the parish and neighborhood on Tuesday as pet owners brought their animals for the annual Blessing of the Pets. The ceremony is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi, who was known for his love of all creatures, and it is on his feast day that the blessing takes place.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Remember Frog Hopper? It's back!

Photo by Jane Winstead
Remember Frog Hopper from last year's festival? Well, it'll be back again along with other midway rides. Check out our other photos on Facebook.

Help us get to 3,000 invitees on the St. Raphael Festival event on Facebook.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Promoting the St. Raphael Festival

Parishioner Tim Skarupa takes a yard sign to help promote the St. Raphael Festival. The annual event features carnival rides and games, delicious food, great musical entertainment and Bingo will be Oct. 21-23 at St. Raphael Catholic Church.

Visit the St. Raphael Festival on Facebook.
See our St. Raphael Festival page

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

40 Days for Life campaign kickoff

Photo by Jane Winstead
Faithful Catholics gathered on Tuesday on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg for the kickoff of the 40 Days for Life campaign. The prayer campaign to end abortion is conducted each year in front of the All Women's Health Center, an abortion clinic. Father Dominic lead the group in prayer. Parishioners are invited to participate in the campaign and represent St. Raphael in prayer vigils on Saturday, October 8 and Tuesday, October 11. Your one hour on either of those days can help. | View slide show

Monday, September 26, 2011

Women's CRHP weekend retreat

Photo by Jane Winstead
Women of the parish completed the Christ Renews His Parish fall retreat on Sunday. Women were treated to a weekend of prayer, reflection and pampering. Watch for announcements of the next Women' CRHP weekend.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Aloha from the Father-Daughter Dance

Photos by Jane Winstead
Dads and their daughters at St. Raphael Catholic School were all decked out in island garb for the annual Father-Daughter Dance on Sept. 16. There were hula hoop contests, games, food, conga lines, limbo contests, and, of course, lots of dancing to while the night away.

Those who teach the Catholic faith

Photos by Jane Winstead
The parish celebrated Catechetical Sunday to honor and bless those who teach the Catholic faith. Father Tim asked teachers of St. Raphael Catholic School, our Faith Formation Program in both home and school and the RCIA Youth and Adult programs. Father Tim offered a blessing for all the teachers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What's proper for Communion

Photo by Jane Winstead
Father Tim explained Sunday that non-Catholics or Catholics not properly catechized should not receive Communion but may come up with their arms crossed over their chest for a blessing by the priest or to receive a short prayer by a lay minister. Receiving Communion is special and sacred for Catholics. The consecrated host is the Body of Christ. Catholics who receive Communion should consume the host. Hosts have been found in hymnals and outside the church in the front area recently. The issue was addressed in June and August but incidents have occurred since then.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

Photo by Jane Winstead
The Wednesday Evening Bible Study meets in the St. Joseph Room each Wednesday. It not too late to join the group. Check the new St. Raphael Bible Study Page for regular updates.

Meeting in the new Parish Hall

Photo by Jane Winstead
The Wednesday Morning Bible Study group met in the new Parish Hall for the first time on Wednesday, September 14. The new hall, formerly the original St. Raphael church, will provide much-needed meeting space for parishioners.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Join us for Wednesday Bible Study

Photo by Jane Winstead
Father Tim speaks to the Wednesday Morning Bible Study group.

Thinking you don’t have time to fit one more thing in your schedule? You are not alone. But please consider one of the most important things we can do as Christians … learn more about what Christ said and did through scripture study. The only way to know him and to pass this on and teach our children is to spend time with him. | Read more on our new Bible Study page.

Have they taken the FUN out of the FEST?

You may be out of the habit of seeing nuns wearing the traditional black clothing, but for the next few weeks, at least, chances are good that you'll spot the nun in the logo above somewhere around town.

It's all part of the festivities leading up to the newly named St. Raphael Festival (Oct. 21-23), which is really the old Fun Fest, leading some wags to note that they've taken the FUN out of FUN FEST! But really, this festival seems to be shaping up to be as much fun as the previous events, only more so.

You'll want to keep up with the antics of the St. Raphael Festival Nun, so you won't miss out on any of the fun. Expect to see the St. Raphael Festival Nun in the most unexpected places. That's all we're saying for now.

For people who like food but don't care much for fair food, there are some new twists coming. The details will be available soon but here's an early tip: Saturday night and Sunday night will have special themed dinners with great menus that haven't been part of the festival before. Furthermore, there will be new food booths this year, so there will be more choices.

If you love the corn dogs and can't wait to savor all that sugary fried dough, never fear. Traditional fair food will be available, too.

There are other surprises in store as well. This community-wide event is an important fundraiser for St. Raphael Catholic School and it is shaping up to be the most fun-filled St. Raphael Festival ever, regardless of whether FUN is in the name. It'll be anything but FUN in name only.

Okay, enough with the FUN PUNS.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

St. Raphael Festival looking for volunteers

signupgenius.comYou could have a fun-filled weekend in October, meeting parishioners you never knew existed and working hard for a good cause. The annual parish event formerly known as St. Raphael Fun Fest is looking for a few good workers. There are all kinds of jobs available — food preparation, food booths, game booths, sports games, beer and wine booth.

Sign up online at Sign Up Genius. It's easy. Just click on the FIND A SIGN UP tab, enter, then click on Festival 2011. Pick the date, time and booth. That's all there is to it.

Except for showing up, of course. Please arrive 15 minutes before your shift to check in at the Volunteer Table and receive instruction. And don't forget to check out at the Volunteer Table at the end of your shift.

Then you can stick around to enjoy all the fun and excitement of the St. Raphael Festival, a major fundraiser for St. Raphael Catholic School.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sign up for Women's CRHP

Photo by Jane Winstead

It's nearly time for Women's CRHP. The Christ Renews His Parish program is a retreat offering a relaxed invironment for women with a bit of pampering, a chance to make friends, enjoy some quiet time, and connect with Christ. Coe let Jesus fill that void. If you're interested, call Suzanne Tredo at (727) 4243-4544, or email at

New Roman Missal information sessions

For many people, change does not come easy. Change requires us to stop doing things a certain way in order to do something else. But change is also an opportunity to stop and reflect on what we are doing and to come to a better understanding of God, who does not change. To learn more about the Roman Missal changes that will be taking place, plan on attending one of three information sessions.

• Tuesday, September 13 — 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. — St. Joseph Room
• Wednesday, September 21 — 7:30 p.m to 9 p.m. — Marion Room
• Monday, September 26 — 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. — St. Joseph Room.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome new youth minister

Photos by Jane Winstead

Father Tim welcomed Christen Christian, the new youth minster, on Sunday, August 31 at the 5:30 p.m. Mass. Father Tim urged young people of the parish to stop by and meet Christen and become involved with the Youth Ministry.

He said Christen had been working hard to develop an active program for the start of the new season.

High school teens gather for the 5:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday and then meet afterward in the Parish Center. The middle school youth group meets on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Center. The weekly meetings begin September 18 and 19.

Father Tim invited young people interested in becoming more active with the youth programs to call Chrisen or just show up. "You will be most welcome," he said.

Celebrated 35 years marriage

Father Tim offered special prayers and a blessing for Norm and Ronda Russick as they gathered with friends to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary on Aug. 7 after the 9:30 a.m. Mass.

They were married at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in St. Petersburg and have lived in the Tampa Bay area since.

Ronda recently participated in the Women's Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) weekend retreat at St. Raphael.

She is director of the Health Center at St. Petersburg Free Clinic. Norm is president of Enviro-Sweep, a company that handles environmental clean-ups.

Photo by Jane Winstead

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Potluck

Photos by Jane Winstead
Here are photos from the Dog Days of Summer Potluck on Saturday night. Parishioners socialized, had a delicious dinner and listened to the tunes of 2 Dog Night.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Glimpses of the final Mass

Photos by Jane Winstead
Parishioners gathered as Father Tim celebrated the final Mass in the old church on Sunday afternoon, August 14. The Mass marked the end of the use of the original St. Raphael Catholic Church building as a worship space. The first Mass was celebrated there in October 1962 and it has been in continuous use since then. A new church building was dedicated in June 2005 and the old church was used for daily Masses. After the pews are removed and minor renovations made, the building will be used as a meeting and event space for parish activities. A long range plan will be developed for permanent renovations and use of the building as a parish facility, serving the needs of various ministries and the school.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Final Mass in the old church

Photo by Jane Winstead
Don't miss the historic occasion of the final Mass celebrated in the old church. The original St. Raphael has been in use for almost 50 years. The final Mass there will be this Sunday at 2 p.m.

The space will be converted to a Parish Hall to provide a much-needed medium meeting room for various events and organizations. It will take several weeks for the conversion to occur.

Pews will be removed and the space made ready to accommodate meetings. The immediate renovations are expected to be minimal. Plans will be developed later for permanent use of the building, including space for St. Raphael Catholic School. Father Tim is seeking suggestions from all parishioners for the final use of the building.

In the meantime, parishioners will be able to use the space for larger meetings, coffee and donuts and other activities.

There are no plans to change the outside facade of the building. It will retain its historic appearance of a Spanish mission-style church.

The first Mass was celebrated in the church in October 1962 by Father William J. Weinheimer, the first pastor. Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley of St. Augustine officially dedicated the church in February 1963.

Original church building under construction in 1961.

Father Tim's homily – 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

A foreigner's faith

By Dr. Scott Hahn

Most of us are the foreigners, the non-Israelites, about whom Sunday’s First Reading prophesies.

Coming to worship the God of Israel, we stand in the line of faith epitomized by the Canaanite woman in Sunday’s Gospel. Calling to Jesus as Lord and Son of David, this foreigner shows her great faith in God’s covenant with Israel.

Jesus tests her faith three times. He refuses to answer her cry. Then, He tells her His mission is only to Israelites. Finally, he uses “dog,” an epithet used to disparage non-Israelites (see Matthew 7:6). Yet she persists, believing that He alone offers salvation.

In this family drama, we see fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy and the promise we sing of in Sunday’s Psalm. In Jesus, God makes known among all the nations His way and His salvation (see John 14:6).

At the start of salvation history, God called Abraham (see Genesis 12:2). He chose his offspring, Israel, from all the nations on the face of the earth, to build His covenant kingdom (see Deuteronomy 7:6-8; Isaiah 41:8).

In God’s plan, Abraham was to be the father of many nations (see Romans 4:16-17). Israel was to be the firstborn of a worldwide family of God, made up of all who believe what the Canaanite professes—that Jesus is Lord (see Exodus 4:22-23; Romans 5:13-24).

Jesus came first to restore the kingdom to Israel (see Acts 1:6; 13:46). But His ultimate mission was the reconciliation of the world, as Paul declares in Sunday’s Epistle.

In the Mass we join all peoples in doing Him homage. As Isaiah foretold, we come to His holy mountain, the heavenly Jerusalem, to offer sacrifice at His altar (see Hebrews 12:22-24,28). With the Canaanite, we take our place at the Master’s table, to be fed as His children.

Dr. Scott Hahn is professor of theology at Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio. He was formerly a Presbyterian minister who converted to Catholicism in 1986. Lighthouse Catholic Media has many of his talks on CD or for download.

The Gospel this Sunday

Sunday, August 14, 2011
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 15:21-28

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
"Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon."
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus' disciples came and asked him,
"Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us."
He said in reply,
"I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, "Lord, help me."
He said in reply,
"It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs."
She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters."
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
"O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish."
And the woman's daughter was healed from that hour.

• Read the first and second readings and the Respoonsorial Pslam

– United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Have your recipes been lost?

If you have already sent in your recipe for the St. Raphael 50th Anniversary Cookbook, it might be a good idea to log into the cookbook Web site to make sure your recipes are there. Some recipes have been lost.

Here's how to check: Go to Use your name as the contributor. The group logon is ccwladies. The password is mmyra

Recipes are still needed. If you have not sent in your recipe, you may still do so. You can send in multiple recipes, so if you've already sent your in but think of another one, send it, too. You can type it right into the database using the link above.

If you can't type your contribution, typists are available. Just drop your recipe in the box in the Narthex.

"I just want to thank all of you wonderful CCW ladies," said Christine Winstead, chairman of the 50th Anniversary Cookbook committee. "We are going to have an awesome cookbook for St. Raphael parish."

You may email Chris at or call her at (727) 481-3936. You can email Marty Foreman at or call her at (727) 894-7766.

Here are the contributors so far:

Aida Lee

Allison Garrett

Allison Garrett, Susan Garrett

Angela Soucy


Antoinette Falk

Barbara Dippelhofer

Barbara Dippelhofer, Henry Dippelhofer

Bernadette M. Bailey

Candice Buttitta

Celia Vena

Claudia Soucy

Claudia Soucy,

Connie Moore

Connie Smith

Denise DeBord

Denise DeBord, Beth Valette

Denise DeBord, Hazelann Pace

Denise DeBord, Terry Traum

Diann O'Connor

Dolores Smith

Eileen Sousa

Elsie Tugman

Fran Maloney

Gail Brazzell

J. Tymon

Jo Ann Brat

Jo Ann Burkart

Jo Ann Burkart, Eileen Kitzmiller

Jo Ann Burkart, Olga Michaels

Joan Priest

Jody Timmel

Judy Geier

Karen Cocker

Karen Cocker, Andrea Maranto May

Kathy Condon

Kathy Guckenberger

Kathy Guckenberger, Dru Brooks

Kathy Guckenberger, Lorraine Christensen

Kerry Brazzell

Laura Anderson

Linda Mims

Linda Mims, Aunt Loretta

Lisa Hansel

Louise Barrett

Lucille Perrin

Lynn Denson

Lynne Douglas

Lynne Douglas, Shirley Crockett

Maggie Moren

Maggie Moren, Tracy Bolt

Margaret Knepprath

Margaret Peck

Marge Colravy

Maria Cianca

Marlene D'Abramo

Marlene D'Abramo, Anthony D'Abramo

Marty Maranto Foreman

Mary Anne Reilly

Mary Boyle

Mary Holland

Mary Jo Cillian

Mary Kay Horaty

Mary Montecki

Mary Montecki, Lindy's Restaurant NY

Mary Satchwell

Michelle Pope

Mona Disla

Mrs. Eugenia Gallagher

Myrna Casorio

Patricia Bax

Peggy Flatley

Peggy Flatley, Suzanne Flatley

Peggy Hawkins

Peggy Nolan

Phil Maranto

Robin Ahlquist

Rosemary Early

Ruth Mattick

Stephanie Graham

Stephanie Graham, Carol Von Kaenel

Susan Hicks

Terry Hamm

Therese Johnson

Ursula Abner

Valerie Walker

Yolanda Gallagher

Dog Days of Summer Potluck August 20

Here's a reminder about the Dog Days of Summer Potluck on Saturday, August 20. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. Music from 2 Dog Night until 11 p.m.

Join in a community gathering of food and music to celebrate the end of summer! Bring a dish to share! Stay for great music and dancing! Beer, wine, sodas and water available.

Please bring a canned good for the Knights of Columbus Food for Families program.

Please call (727) 894-7766 for information, potluck ideas and to sign up to help with clean up.

Music: Kevin MacLeod -- Shiny Tech

Christmas in July!

Santa Breakfast 12.12.10

Did you know that it is Christmas in July? Well, that's what I have been hearing on the TV commercials lately. With all this talk about Christmas in July, it has put me in the mood to go through all those photos that I took in December 2010. So, now I am sharing them with you on this last day in July. I hope you make the time to look at them and maybe you might see a photo of yourself or a loved one. I hope you enjoy looking at all the photos and the different events. It might bring back memories or maybe if you were not able to attend, this will give you an idea of what you missed.
-- Jane Winstead

Children's Christmas Mass 12.24.10

Christmas Eve Mass 12.24.10

Christmas Midnight Mass 12.24.10

• Below are photos from Palm Sunday, too. Easter in July?

Palm Sumday 04.07.11

Our seminarians were on hand to serve at the 5:30 p.m. on Palm Sunday. The celebrant of the Mass was Father Dominic.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Deacon Victor Amorose at St. Raphael

Photos by Jane Winstead
It's nearly time for transitional Deacon Victor Amorose to leave St. Raphael parish at the end of his summer assignment. He'll be returning to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach for his final year of formation. Jane Winstead assembled this retrospective of Deacon Victor's time at St. Raphael.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The eyes of our hearts

Video by Louise Barrett
This song was composed by 8th grade graduating students, Heather, Gabby, Bella, Alexa, Amanda, Katie and Katherine in honor of their choir director, Becky, after the discovery that Becky's infant son, Gabe, was blind.

Our hope is that we will all see with the eyes of our hearts, especially that we are God's beloved children, some with physical sight, and some without physical sight.

Gabe is shown at his baptism, back in December 2010, as he becomes a child of God and part of God's family, and receives the spiritual sight that will reveal to him the Light of the World.

Congratulations to the graduating 8th graders on a BEAUTIFUL song.

-- Louise Barrett

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A yoke for the childlike

By Dr. Scott Hahn

Jesus is portrayed in Sunday’s Gospel as a new and greater Moses.

Moses, the meekest man on earth (see Numbers 12:3), was God’s friend (see Exodus 34:12,17). Only he knew God “face to face” (see Deuteronomy 34:10). And Moses gave Israel the yoke of the Law, through which God first revealed himself and how we are to live (see Jeremiah 2:20; 5:5).

Jesus too is meek and humble. But He is more than God’s friend. He is the Son who alone knows the Father. He is more also than a law-giver, presenting himself Sunday as the yoke of a new Law, and as the revealed Wisdom of God.

As Wisdom, Jesus was present before creation as the firstborn of God, the Father and Lord of heaven and earth (see Proverbs 8:22; Wisdom 9:9). And He gives knowledge of the holy things of the kingdom of God (see Wisdom 10:10).

In the gracious will of the Father, Jesus reveals these things only to the “childlike”—those who humble themselves before Him as little children (see Sirach 2:17). These alone can recognize and receive Jesus as the just savior and meek king promised to daughter Zion, Israel, in Sunday’s First Reading.

We too are called to childlike faith in the Father’s goodness, as sons and daughters of the new kingdom, the Church.

We are to live by the Spirit we received in baptism (see Galatians 5:16), putting to death our old ways of thinking and acting, as Paul exhorts in Sunday’s Epistle. Our “yoke” is to be His new law of love (see John 13:34), by which we enter into the “rest” of His kingdom.

As we sing in Sunday’s Psalm, we joyously await the day when we will praise His name forever in the kingdom that lasts for all ages. This is the sabbath rest promised by Jesus—first anticipated by Moses (see Exodus 20:8-11), but which still awaits the people of God (see Hebrews 4:9).

Dr. Scott Hahn is professor of theology at Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio. He was formerly a Presbyterian minister who converted to Catholicism in 1986. Lighthouse Catholic Media has many of his talks on CD or for download.

The Gospel this Sunday

July 3, 2011
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 11:25-30

At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to little ones.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”

Read the first and second readings and the Responsorial Psalm
– United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rays-Red Sox Tailgate Party July 16

Plans for the Rays-Red Sox Tailgate Party are shaping up, says organizer Eric Foreman. The party starts at noon on July 16. The first 100 cars with four occupants park free. There will be live entertainment. Eric has 110 tickets, with 70 of them on the TBT Party Deck and 40 of them in the outfield. Game time is 4:10 p.m.

Eric says help is needed in setting up, lots of coolers with ice, food to share, a couple of small grills, folding chairs and umbrellas and pop-up tents or 20-foot tents.

He already has lined up two pop-up tent, a beer keg trailer, a 40-foot RV (see photo) with electric power for fans, blenders and more, a first aid kit, and air conditioning for anyone suffering from the heat. There also are three port-potties, a sound system, a five-piece rock band, karaoke and two Weber Q grills.

Call Eric Foreman at (727) 641-9981 for tickets and information. Call Marty Foreman at (727) 894-7766 for more information.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Angels in Africa update

Seminarians Bob and Dan Angel write of their experiences in Africa this summer working with Catholic Relief Services. Bob is in Sierra Leone. Dan is in Liberia. Read their blog, Angels in Africa. Latest update was today (Friday).

Don't forget the babies!

Photos by Jane Winstead
Jesus and Lily Morales (center) with Jesus' parents, Wanda and Jorge Antunez, and children, from left, Aidan, Alejandro, Azariah and Ariel. Mom is holding Anthony James. | Click to enlarge photos.

The photos of Jesus and Lily Morales and their family (above) and Wendell Winstead and Maggie Moren (below right) on Father's Day at St. Raphael parish serve as a reminder for parishioners to return the baby bottles to Mass this weekend filled with donations to help pregnant women and their families in need.

It's part of the diocese fund raising project Baby Bottle Boomerang. Parishioners throughout the diocese were asked to take an empty baby bottle from those distributed at Masses last weekend. They were asked to prayerfully fill the bottle with loose change, extra dollar bills, or a check with a generous donation.

Proceeds go to support Foundations of Life Pregnancy Center, a ministry of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. The center was previously called Pregnancy Plus Medical and Pregnancy & Parenting Support Service. There are center offices in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hernando and Pasco counties.

Foundations of Life is a comprehensive program ministry providing services to women and families experiencing unplanned or "crisis" pregnancies. Mothers and families can obtain much needed services and support through the pregnancy centers.

The centers' adoption services offer a life option that allows ta birth mother or birth parents to make a long-term care plan for their child. The Foundation of Life Villa provides mothers with support and a safe and secure place to live during their pregnancy.

The Foundations of Life name change provides an umbrella name for the pregnancy centers, adoption services and residential pregnancy program in the diocese.

Wendell Winstead is a member of the St. Raphael Knights of Columbus chapter. Maggie Moren is active in the diocese Respect Life program.

St. Raphael Eight Grade Graduation

Photos by Jane Winstead
Here are photographs from the St. Rapahel Catholic School Eighth Grade Graduation. Here is an article about the graduation.

Word of the ‘Living Father’


By Dr. Scott Hahn

The Eucharist is given to us as a challenge and a promise. That’s how Jesus presents it in Sunday’s Gospel.

He doesn’t make it easy for those who hear Him. They are repulsed and offended at His words. Even when they begin to quarrel, He insists on describing the eating and drinking of His flesh and blood in starkly literal terms.

Four times in Sunday’s reading, Jesus uses a Greek word—trogein—that refers to a crude kind of eating, almost a gnawing or chewing (see John 6:54,56,57,58).

He is testing their faith in His Word, as Sunday’s First Reading describes God testing Israel in the desert.

The heavenly manna was not given to satisfy the Israelites’ hunger, as Moses explains. It was given to show them that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.

In Sunday’s Psalm, too, we see a connection between God’s Word and the bread of life. We sing of God filling us with “finest wheat” and proclaiming his Word to the world.

In Jesus, “the living Father” has given us His Word come down from heaven, made flesh for the life of the world.

Yet as the Israelites grumbled in the desert, many in Sunday’s Gospel cannot accept that Word. Even many of Jesus’ own followers abandon Him after this discourse (see John 6:66). But His words are Spirit and life, the words of eternal life (see John 6:63,67).

In the Eucharist we are made one flesh with Christ. We have His life in us and have our life because of Him. This is what Paul means in Sunday’s Epistle when He calls the Eucharist a “participation” in Christ’s body and blood. We become in this sacrament partakers of the divine nature (see 1 Peter 2:4).

This is the mystery of the faith that Jesus asks us believe. And He gives us His promise: that sharing in His flesh and blood that was raised from the dead, we too will be raised up on the last day.

Dr. Scott Hahn is professor of theology at Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio. He was formerly a Presbyterian minister who converted to Catholicism in 1986. Lighthouse Catholic Media has many of his talks on CD or for download.

The Gospel this Sunday

June 26, 2011

Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Corpus Christi Sunday

John 6:51-58

Jesus said to the Jewish crowds:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my flesh for the life of the world."

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food,
and my blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me
will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever."

Read the first and second readings and the Responsorial Psalm
– United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Monday, June 20, 2011

Honoring the fathers

Photo by Jane Winstead
In recognition of Father's Day, Father Dominic asked all fathers to stand at the end of 9:30 a.m. Mass. He offered a special blessing for all fathers.