Sunday, September 22, 2013

Finishing up the Annual Pastoral Appeal: What $5 a week could do

Fr.Tim's talk at 9:30 Mass Sunday about the Annual Pastoral Appeal offers some interesting facts about annual effort to raise money to support diocese programs. Fr. Tim noted that St. Raphael is only about $60,000 short. That's amazing, actually.

More finance-savvy parishioners should correct me if I'm wrong but this may be the smallest deficit in many years, certainly in recent memory.

 I think it represents an amazing opportunity. Here's the thing, as Fr. Tim notes in the video, about 33% of registered households in the parish have donated or pledged about $200,000. That leaves about 980 families who haven't given anything.

What if we had a culture of 100% giving in our parish? Here's the astounding math: If 980 families who haven't given anything gave $5 a week for the 14 weeks left in the year, St. Raphael would exceed its goal. In fact, money would come back to St. Raphael.

Yes, $5 a week for 14 weeks. Now I know that even that might be a stretch for some people, and that's fine. If everyone in our parish gave whatever they felt they could, no matter how small, it could still be done.

100%. Think of it!

Why give to the Annual Pastoral Appeal? APA supports many ministries of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. Some services from the diocese even come back to the parish – every day, as Fr. Tim notes in the video.

This is just my opinion – one parishioner. It was not solicited by Fr. Tim, nor approved by him. Seems to me this is doable. And that it ought to be a matter of parish pride to be a 100% parish. What do you think?

 – T. Allan Smith

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rest in Peace, Sir Knight Richard 'Dick' Haight

Photos by Jane Winstead 
Color Corps Commander
Richard "Dick" Haight, 72, who was known for his local service in the Knights of Columbus council, died Monday, September 2. He most recently served as Commander of the Color Corps and frequently led K of C ceremonies at St. Raphael. (Above is a photo tribute to Dick Haight assembled by Jane Winstead.)

He was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church and a former parishioner at St. Raphael.

 Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 5, at St. Paul's Catholic Church. The Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 6 at St. Paul's.

Please pray for Dick's wife, Glenda, and their family. Here is a link to the obituary for Dick Haight in the Tampa Bay Times. 

Knights prepare free pancake breakfast after Mass

Photos by Jane Winstead 
Knights of Columbus prepared a free pancake breakfast for St. Raphael parishioners on Sunday, September 1. It is just one more way in which the K of C give back to the parish and diocese community.

Fr. Sojan celebrates Children's Mass; Student Council makes presentation

Photos by Jane Winstead 
Fr. Sojan experienced his first St. Raphael Children's Mass last week. The Student Council made a presentation.

Fr. Tim celebrates first Children's Mass of the school year

Photos by Jane Winstead 
Things are back into full swing with school under way and numerous school activities being planned. Fr. Tim celebrated the first school Children's Mass of the year recently. Fr. Tim punctuated his homily with an amazing magic trick to make an important point.

Fr. Sojan's first Mass at the nursing home

Photos by Jane Winstead 
Father Sojan celebrated his first Mass at the Shore Acres nursing home on Wednesday, August 21. Parishioners assisted with the Mass.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Welcome, Father Sojan! We're glad you are here!

Photos by Mary Stoft 
A reception for Father Sojan Punakkattu, our new parochial vicar, was held on Sunday, July 7, in the Parish Center. Parishioners turned out to welcome him to St. Raphael. Members of the Knights of Columbus served a pancake breakfast to honor the occasion.