Fr. Tim's Pastor's Pen

Happy New Year!

Things are starting to get back to our normal routine around here.  Let me first express my sincere and heartfelt thanks for your overwhelming generosity to our parish.  By the end of the calendar year, we received numerous year-end gifts, a Christmas collection of $81,605.00, and a fully paid 2019 APA.  Again, I thank you so much!  This support allows us to maintain all that we strive to accomplish in ministry here at St. Raphael Church and School.  We look forward to a great 2020 and a decade of hope and peace, remembering that we are rooted in the love of Christ.

This Sunday at the 11:30am Mass we are celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Unfortunately, we learned last minute that, due to a chronic foot issue, Bishop Parkes is unable to join us.  When that happens, it is common that either the Vicar General or parish Pastor, with the Bishop’s specific delegation, celebrates the Sacrament.  The Vicar General is not available in this case, so I have been given delegation to celebrate the Sacrament with our 38 candidates, two of whom are adults and the remainder are our 9th graders who have been preparing since September.  Though I am saddened that the bishop cannot attend, I am honored to have the privilege of filling in for this key role.  It is always a joy and pleasure to witness these young people take this important step in their faith.  I want to express my appreciation to our Youth Ministry Team, Mike Specht and his assistant Amy Pittendreigh, as well as the catechists who assisted them in preparing our candidates. 

We are in the process of completing the final set of stained-glass windows in the church. You may be aware that four windows behind the statue of our Blessed Mother are the only remaining clear windows in the church.  And as beautiful as the area is, there are times during liturgies or private prayer that the open windows can become distracting.  Plus, stained-glass brings honor and recognition to important people or moments in the church.  With that in mind, two generous donors have come forward offering the funds to complete all four windows.  Elsewhere in this bulletin you will find colored renderings of the planned windows and the thought behind them.  The drawings have been approved and the artist is now in the process of constructing the windows.  It is the same artist who has done all the windows in our church.  I am confident that you will be pleased with the results.

Finally, it is just two weeks away: Saturday, January 25th.  I am speaking of the CCW annual Pack Rat Rummage Sale.  This January event on Snell Isle has become a mainstay for Saturday morning bargain shoppers; and for the CCW, it is their biggest fundraiser of the year.  Please stop by and enjoy the treasures while also supporting our Council of Catholic Women.   

Your friend in Christ,

Fr. Timothy H. Sherwood

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