Should Catholics celebrate Thanksgiving Day? The observance originated with the Puritans in Massachusetts. They gave thanks that they had been able to flee from the oppressive Church of England, and set up a Calvinist theocracy in the New World. While we do not share all the theology of those Puritans, we do share some significant elements of the Faith with them. More, many of the Catholics who came to America were also fleeing oppressive conditions in the Old World. But more to the point, Thanksgiving Day now is a national day of thanksgiving, transcending the particular circumstances of its origin. It is one of several holidays (with Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Presidents Day, Martin Luther King Day) when we remember with gratitude God’s bounty to our country, and the deeds and sacrifices of those who have helped to make it great. Our corporate thanksgiving is especially important this year, with the manifest divisions and unrest which afflict our country. To omit gratitude is to deny that there is anything to be thankful for: implying that the country is wicked, or at least that we owe nothing to those who went before us. Gratitude for our Founding Fathers, for example, does not mean that we think they were all without flaws or got everything right, any more than we think that of our current politicians – or of ourselves. Rather it is an acknowledgment that we are in their debt, that we enjoy the goods which they had a part in providing for us: liberties, prosperity, a say in our governance, etc. The goods are real, and we have not provided them all of our own doing. Is everything in the United States perfect? Certainly not. We can still be grateful for a good which is not perfect. It was part of the genius of the Founders that they designed the political system for men who were sinners. So, yes, we should observe Thanksgiving Day. This year in particular we should be doubly thankful – first for ourselves, and then on behalf of those in America who are not. (A reflection by Father David Ousley, St John the Baptist Church in Bridgeport, PA)
We have 15 days until Thanksgiving. Have you started to count your blessings? Father Chris and the Parish want to know what YOU are thankful for this year. While some will be able to gather for the 9am Mass on November 26th, we are aware that some will worship from home. Please take the time to complete this simple form to let us know that for which you are grateful in 2020!
Give yourself a unique experience this Advent (which begins November 29th) and receive daily devotionals from a wonderful group of Black Catholics. This is the first year it is happening and it promises to inspire, equip and help you prepare for Christmas in a wonderful way! Please visit ADVENT MAKE SIMPLE and sign up. Please share this wonderful resource with others as well. To God be the glory!
Over the past several years, Giving Tuesday has become a popular day to share your blessings with others. This year, Giving Tuesday will be on December 1, 2020. St. Raymond will participate through #igivecatholic and you will be able to begin making donations as early as November 13th! Learn about giving options for our parish HERE and please consider sharing it with others as we prepare for Giving Tuesday. Share God’s blessings…it is always the best way for a Christian to live!
Have you downloaded the St. Raymond APP to your phone or tablet? The APP has wonderful features including Daily Reflection, a chance to prayer the Liturgy of the Hours (the Church’s “official prayer”) and more! Download the “myParish” app in your store and find St. Raymond. It has great potential to impact your spiritual life and connection to your Church Family! Join the many who use it each day!
Want to like Venerable Father Tolton? Pick up the ROSARY and pray with us! Pray the Rosary before Mass each weekend of Advent. Want to help lead a decade (we will help you)? Contact Richara and she will make it happen! Want to learn more about the rosary? Visit HERE.
We continue to nourish our young disciples with the Word of God. Please share THIS VIDEO TEACHING FROM RICHARA with your children and grandchildren. Sorry, no handout this week (Father Chris lost it in his email folders…sorry!)
Thank you for your continued faithfulness to your tithe. Our parish remains on target financially through your goodness. Looking for a way to make giving “easier”? CHECK THIS OUT.
We begin the weeks of Advent this weekend. Our homiletic theme for the next four weeks will be REDEEMED. This week Father Chris will preach on REDEEMED FROM SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Join us Live or on Live Stream. Our Parish will also offer a Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 13th from 5pm to 6:30pm. We will have limited seating in the Church (tickets will be available shortly) and we encourage you to join us via Live Stream (while the concert is happening or anytime “on demand”).