The Feast of the Assumption of Mary will fall this year on Monday, August 15th, and since the feast falls on a Monday, it is not a holy day of obligation this year. The Church does not declare whether Mary died and then was assumed into heaven or whether she was assumed before she died. It leaves open both possibilities. However, the majority of theologians and saints throughout the centuries have believed that Mary did experience death—not as a penalty for sin but in conformity to her son, who willingly experienced death on our behalf.
I thought I would address our teaching on Mary being conceived without sin since it is a challenging teaching to many other Christian communities. To carry out the role as the Mother of God, Pope Pius IX stated that “the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was in the first instant of her conception, by the singular grace and privilege of God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."
Mary was the precious vessel or the “Ark of the New Covenant” that gave birth to our Savior. I do not have enough room in the bulletin to address this theological point and give adequate justice to the teaching. Please enjoy this extended article on Mary’s Sinlessness by Eric Shearer. Feel free to read the full article at tinyurl.com/pptdjn4c
Religious Education Program for Catholic (PREP) children attending public school, ages 5 - 12, resumes on Sunday, September 18th. Please contact Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760, or sign up via the clipboard on the table in the back of the church.
“A Place At the Table: African Americans On the Path to Sainthood,” a documentary released this year by Stella Maris Films, was crowdfunded in early 2021 and covers the exceptional lives of the six venerated US Black Catholics. Simply put, the two-hour film drew me in from start to finish and touched me in a surprising way.
While we are all called to be saints, those who have lived particularly heroic and virtuous lives often enter the canonization process by way of their religious community and/or local diocese. “A Place At the Table” goes into detail on Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Mary Lange, Venerable Henriette DeLille, Venerable Augustus Tolton, Servant of God Julia Greeley, and Servant of God Thea Bowman.
Be sure to see this amazing film! A Place at the Table can be viewed on Formed.Org
Please pray for these six venerated US Black Catholics.
Join us for a Meet and Greet BBQ for St Raymond Church and School families. Festivities are from 4-7 pm in the Schoolyard on Wednesday, 8/24. Food and music will be provided. We are requesting volunteers to make salads (pasta, potato, garden, etc.). So that we know what to expect, please call the office (215-549-3760), use this link https://saintraymond.ccbchurch.com/goto/forms/17/responses/new or use the signup sheets (for attendance and for salads) in the back of the church. You are also invited to join the Planning Team. You must register to attend!
National Black Congress XIII (2023)
“Write the Vision: A Prophetic Call to Thrive”
July 20-23, 2023
The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745
Registration Costs for Attending Congress XIII
Early-bird registration (August 2022, through February 28, 2023) $395.00
Regular registration (March 1, 2023, through July 15, 2023) $450.00
On-site registration $495.00
GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS! GOOD NEWS!
The elevator in the Rectory (office) has been repaired and is operational for transportation between the first floor and basement/Sister Rosemary Room. Coming soon!! Bible Story resumes for four weeks, at 7 pm, starting August 31st. We will meet in the rectory basement (Sister Rosemary Room).
Wednesday, 8/10/22, is the Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr Saint Lawrence's Story:
The esteem in which the Church holds Lawrence is seen in the fact that today’s celebration ranks as a feast. We know very little about his life. He is one of those whose martyrdom made a deep and lasting impression on the early Church. Celebration of his feast day spread rapidly.
He was a Roman deacon under Pope Saint Sixtus II. Four days after this pope was put to death, Lawrence and four clerics suffered martyrdom, probably during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian.
Legendary details of Lawrence's death were known to Damasus, Prudentius, Ambrose, and Augustine. The church built over his tomb became one of the seven principal churches in Rome and a favorite place for Roman pilgrimages.
A well-known legend has persisted from the earliest times. As a deacon in Rome, Lawrence was charged with the responsibility for the material goods of the Church and the distribution of alms to the poor. When Lawrence knew he would be arrested like the pope, he sought out the poor, widows, and orphans of Rome and gave them all the money he had on hand, selling even the sacred vessels of the altar to increase the sum. When the prefect of Rome heard of this, he imagined that the Christians must have considerable treasure. He sent for Lawrence and said, “You Christians say we are cruel to you, but that is not what I have in mind. I am told that your priests offer in gold, that the sacred blood is received in silver cups, that you have golden candlesticks at your evening services. Now, your doctrine says you must render to Caesar what is his. Bring these treasures—the emperor needs them to maintain his forces. God does not cause money to be counted: He brought none of it into the world with him—only words. Give me the money, therefore, and be rich in words.” Lawrence replied that the Church was indeed rich. “I will show you a valuable part. But give me time to set everything in order and make an inventory.” After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame, maimed, leprous, orphaned, and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the prefect arrived, Lawrence simply said, “These are the treasures of the Church.”
The prefect was so angry he told Lawrence that he would indeed have his wish to die—but it would be by inches. He had a great gridiron prepared with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence’s body placed on it. After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, the legend concludes, he made his famous cheerful remark, “It is well done. Turn me over!”
Once again, we have a saint about whom almost nothing is known, yet one who has received extraordinary honor in the Church since the fourth century. Almost nothing—yet the greatest fact of his life is certain: He died for Christ. We who are hungry for details about the lives of the saints are again reminded that their holiness was, after all, a total response to Christ, expressed perfectly by a death like this.
Saint Lawrence is the Patron Saint of: