As people moved north from Germantown in the late 1930s, it was evident that there would be a need for a new parish in the area. The community that would become St. Raymond Church gathered for Mass in Nolan’s Barn on December 7, 1941. Since America would enter World War II the same day, our Church was not built until 1948. The Parish grew and added a school in the years that followed. The Parish, like the neighborhood, was mostly people of Irish and Italian heritage until the 1960s when there was a transition to becoming home to mostly African American families. The parish slowly, and with some pain, made a similar transition under the direction of gentle and wise pastoral leaders. Today, the Church draws from the neighborhood, former neighbors and Christians from more than 30 zip codes. While we are still very intentionally a Church placed in service of our immediate neighbors, we rejoice in welcoming and including all who desire to worship and serve with us.
(Partially taken and paraphrased from the Parish Jubilee Book of 1992)
OUR PATRON, ST. RAYMOND
Raymond was born in 1175 to a wealthy family (the Peñafort) who lived near Barcelona, Spain. He was known as a good student and by the age of twenty he was professor of philosophy. He taught in Barcelona for fifteen years and then went to Italy to study civil and canon law. He received the degree in 1216 and three years later returned to Spain. In 1222, Raymond entered the Dominican Order in Barcelona. He always lived with great humility and was known for his holiness. Raymond was a zealous preacher of the Gospel and a spiritual guide to Kings, Queens and even the Pope.
Raymond was also charged with the task of rearranging and codifying the canon laws of the Church, quite a task, since he had to rewrite and condense decrees that had been accumulating for centuries. Completed in 1234, the work remained the most authoritative compilation within the body of canon law until 1917, when a new code was published.
In 1238 Raymond was elected Superior General of the Dominican Order. He humbly obeyed the decision of his brothers, served them for two years, then resigned because of ill health. Although he was now an elderly man, Raymond had no intention of retiring. He continued preaching and teaching, seeking to draw all to Jesus Christ. Raymond died on January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, in 1275. He was 100 years old. He was canonized in 1601 by Pope Clement VIII.