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

Monday, August 29, 2011

Children's Mass — 08.25

Photos 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