The dispensation to not attend Mass due to the pandemic that was issued last year is coming to an end. Please read these words from our Archbishop:
We have all felt the impact of COVID-19 in as individuals and families. It has been a time of acute hardship and struggle, of separation and isolation. It has also had an impact on our lives of faith. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has been with us throughout this challenging period and is most especially near to us when we encounter him in the Eucharist. The Eucharist offers us His healing and peace, His mercy and reconciliation. It is now time for everyone to return to the Eucharist with renewed faith and joy.
As many aspects of life are now returning to normalcy, each Catholic Bishop in Pennsylvania will reinstate the obligation to attend Mass in person on Sundays and Holy Days beginning on Sunday, August 15, 2021, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Bishops previously jointly decided to dispense the faithful from this obligation in March of 2020 in order to provide for the common good given concerns over the developing pandemic. Now, with the impact of the pandemic considerably reduced, it is again possible for the faithful to assemble for the Eucharist. It is time to lift the dispensation from the obligation.
The obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days comes from our Baptism as Christians. Baptism compels Christians to unite themselves with Christ at the altar in his saving Sacrifice of the Cross. Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2182). This is the foundation for the law of the Church that binds Catholics to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days (Code of Canon Law, canon 1247) and the Christian way fully to observe the Third Commandment, to keep holy the Lord’s Day (Deuteronomy 5: 12; Exodus 31: 15; Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 2180-2181).
This obligation, as is always the case, does not apply to those who are seriously ill, have a serious health risk, as well as those who have serious anxiety about being a part of large groups at this time. Likewise, the obligation does not apply to those who care for those who cannot attend Mass in person (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2181). Those who are legitimately excused from Mass on Sundays and Holy Days are encouraged to spend time in prayer, meditating on the Death and Resurrection of the Lord, reading the Sacred Scriptures, and uniting themselves to Christ in his worship of the Father of us all. Those who are legitimately excused are also encouraged to view a broadcast of the Mass which is intended for those who cannot participate in person.
As Bishops, we welcome this moment of the reinstatement of the obligation for all Catholics in Pennsylvania. This is a moment to thank God anew for the great gift of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus to us in His Holy Body and Blood as well as the joy of gathering together as people of faith.”
Most Reverend Nelson Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia
On July 24th & 25th, as the Church remembers the lives of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, parents of Mary and Grandparents of Jesus, we will be celebrating the World Day for Grandparents with the Church throughout the world! You are invited to complete a form remembering your grandparents in the back of Church this weekend. If you unable ot be with us, email your grandparent's name along with a special memory of them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be sure to include your grandparents in our liturgy.
Remember the painting of the King who brought Myrrh? The painting itself has been finished with a protective coat and is not being framed at a shop on Germantown Avenue. We hope to be able to welcome it into our Church in August! Father Chris and the parish and grateful to all those who so generously contributed towards this project and we look forward to praying before the image soon!
Did you read last week's BULLETIN? Have you "subscribed" to our YouTube Channel (it does not cost anything but helps us build our reach; please do so today). Worshipping in person is safe for you, please be with us! You are welcome to worship from the front lawn at the 10 am Mass. Please continue to invite your family, friends and neighbors to return to worship or worship with us for the first time! Our world needs a people committed to prayer, worship, common beliefs and acts of charity. May be that people. Remember Father Chris' challenge for us to prophets as well:
Speak the name of God often this week (God bless you; God be praise; Thank God; as wlel as praying grace before meals)
Be ready to give a reason for your hope and faith to others as a witness in an unbelieving world
Speak out against injustices with an awareness of how sins offends God (and His love for us)
Ground yourself in being a person of great prayer and reliance of God.
We are a Church blessed with many young people! As we seek to serve their needs and help them grow as disciples, we are always seeking ways to meet their needs. As we move through this post-pandemic season, we believe it is time to GATHER IN PERSON FOR CHILDREN'S LITURGY OF THE WORD on the 1st & 3rd Sundays of the Month (which includes this weekend)! The children will be sent out with their Catechists during the 10 am Mass and we will use an air-conditioned classroom in the Church Basement to allow for some distancing. Please spread the word ( we had a great crowd of young people this past week). If this is the first time for your child (normally ages 4 to 9) to attend Children's Liturgy of the Word, you are welcome to join them as well. God be praised! Please pray for our Catechists and children as we reengage in this wonderful ministry for the good of our young disciples!
Friday, July 16th is the Feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is an ancient title given to Mary by a group of hermits who lived on Mt. Carmel in Israel (where Ezekial did battle with the prophets of Baal and the site of Armageddon). The devotion sees Mary as protector in the spiritual battle in which we live - she leads us again and again to her Son Jesus in whom we find victory. Learn more about the devotion HERE including the Scalpular of Mount Carmel!
BETHANY MINISTRY TEAM: Assist us in welcoming people to Church at all Masses and keeping things smooth during Mass. You will serve once a month (this replaces Restore, Ushers & Greeters). Call Minta in the Parish Office or email her at email@example.com to sign up or get more info.
NURSING HOME MINISTRY: Assist in bringing the love of Jesus (and Holy Communion) to local nursing homes. The opportunities vary regarding the day of the week and time of the day so please be in touch with Deacon Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will assist you in coming to understand what God desires for you!
Archbishop Perez has created a Commission on Racial Healing to address the many diverse needs of the Church in Philadelphia. Read more about their initial work (our Parishioner, Lucretia Clemons is on the Commission).
St. Raymond School is in need of a PreK Teacher, a 3rd Grade Teacher. We also need a person to coordinate the After School Program (Monday to Friday, 3 pm to 6 pm) and a Part Time Maintenance person (Monday to Friday, 2pm to 6pm). Interested? Want more information? Contact our Principal, Mr. Harris at email@example.com
Many people have converted to the Catholic Faith because of our teaching that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Read there stories....
This was a great year for black men being ordained to the Catholic Priesthood throughout the USA. Read their stories...
There are many opportunities to develop your Catholic Faith throughout the Philadelphia area. CHECK THIS OUT!
As we have shared before, we are transitioning to a new online system for electronic giving Parish Giving has served us well, Pushpay will take us to a new level with text to give and more (and the processing fees are less). As we begin our new Fiscal Year on July 1, perhaps it is time for you to think about your sacrificial giving to St. Raymond. Please consider signing up for PushPay (and stopping other online giving accounts once that is done; if you need assistance with that do not hesitate to contact us). START HERE. If you choose to start the process from your mobile device, simply text straymond to 833-363-7471. We are most grateful for your goodness!
THIS GUY NEEDS PRAYERS! The vocation to holiness is always a challenge. These days, it is especially difficult for many priests. Did you know that we only ordained two men as priests this year? Did you know that many priests leave the priesthood after only a few years of service? Some become overwhelmed by the burdens of priestly ministry. Some fall into unhealthy habits or addictive behaviors. Some burnout. Others rust out! Praise God Father Chris remain happy as a priest and very happy as our Pastor. But he needs prayer. The Archdiocese is launching a new program that will allow people to pray a Eucharistic Holy Hour once a week for a priest. There will be seven people praying for each priest so the graces are flowing each day. Could you pray a Holy Hour (ideally in Church in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament) one day a week for Fr. Chris? Three people have signed up so far...we need four more please!!! Learn more about the program. If interested, let Richara know at firstname.lastname@example.org