Good News for April 21

How are you? Really, how are you? Are you okay, lonely, sad, frustrated, weary, confused or something else? One of the ways we are able to stay mentally, emotionally and spiritually well in these days is by making the time to acknowledge how we are feeling (not easy for all of us). Feelings are not good or bad, they are just feelings. What we do with them…that is where we might get into some trouble. Start by letting yourself feel what you feel, admit it (maybe write it down) and slowly talk to God about what you are feeling. If you want to feel a different way, mention that to God as well. As you know, feelings will pass. New feelings will come. Just stay in the moment since that is where we meet the Risen Jesus who wants to breathe on you with the gift of His love and mercy!

Take time to think about this and perhaps ask others in your family and among your friends as well… What is one thing you begged your parents or grandparents for when you were a kid that you FINALLY got?

Father Chris is the shepherd of our Parish Family and wants to be present to you in your moment of need. He is available each day to talk by phone or even “Face Time”. Leave a message at the Office (215-549-3760) or send him an email. Do you see his daily reflections on You Tube? Father Chris will be leading a new Bible Study on the Gospel of John starting Wednesday, May 6th. More information on that will be coming within the week (you can participate via Facebook, Telephone or another streaming platform).

Sadly the scene above is not a current photo! Most nursing homes, which seem to be at the epicenter of this pandemic, are on lock down. Visitors cannot come. Activities have been cancelled. Residents spend all day in their rooms. St. Raymond serves Ivy Hill Nursing Home which is on the edge of the parish. The staff have requested magazines, sugar free candy, simple puzzles, large print books and homemade card and pictures that can be shared with residents during this difficult time. Can you help us by gathering these things from around your house or getting them when you go out to the store? They can be brought to Church (if you are making a visit from 7 to 9 or 3 to 4 daily or if you come to receive Holy Communion) or dropped at the Parish Office at 9:30am or 4:30pm (or left in a bag on the door handle). It will be received with gratitude from the residents. Please keep them, and the staff who care for them, in your prayers each day!

The parish welcomed more than 40 people last Sunday for our first “Pandemic Communion Services”. People were respectful of our policies, each put in place to keep you and others safe. We will offer Communion Services once again this Sunday. Please watch this VIDEO which helps you understand how to sign up. Please sign up HERE. We look forward to welcoming you to the Feast this Sunday!

Our parish is so grateful to the wonderful Small Group leaders who helped so many from our parish through these difficult weeks by guiding them in being nourished by God’s Word and healthy spiritual conversation. Please join me in thanking Deacon Bill & Cindy Bradley, Kelli Renn, Ida Gowens. Ken Morris, Arleen Daniels and Minta Brown. These Christ-loving women and men persevered in learning new technologies and mastering how to facilitate our Lenten Groups in this time. Praise God! In the days to come, we will announce new groups, called Fellowship Groups, that will allow our Church Family to connect with others for friendly conversation and prayer on a weekly basis.

Our parish is grateful for your continued generosity and goodness. Our offering for April 18th was $11,841. Our weekly average is now $9312 which keeps us on budget for the Fiscal Year. We have also received $4655 for our Easter Collection and $1397 for Rice Bowl. Praise God for the goodness of so many who mailed in or dropped off envelopes (there is a mail slot at the front door of the Parish Office) or have chosen to use our Electronic Giving option. Please consider supporting our work by making a Cash App offering to: $StRaymondPhilly; our Venmo account is: @St.Raymond-PenafortPhilly. We are also grateful to those who have been making Aid for Friends meals. Need more information? Contact Arleen. We are also grateful to those who have filled our clothing bin (next to Rectory on Williams Avenue). Praise God for your goodness!

As schools remain closed throughout the year, this has made it difficult for us to conduct end of year rituals like move up ceremonies and graduations. These are very difficult times for the Class of 2020 (elementary, high school and college). Please be kind when speaking to these graduates as it is sad for them. Our St. Raymond School will gather for a virtual Mass on Thursday at 9am. Join us HERE. Especially join us if you have school age children as Father Chris tries to comfort them in this difficult time with God’s abiding Word and Love!