Good News for February 3rd

Wednesday, February 3rd is the Feast of Saint Blase and the day we normally “get our throats blessed”. We know more about the devotion to Saint Blaise by Christians around the world than we know about the saint himself. We know that Bishop Blaise was martyred in Armenia, in 316. The legendary Acts of St. Blaise were written 400 years later. According to them Blaise was a good bishop, working hard to encourage the spiritual and physical health of his people. Blaise was apparently forced to flee to the back country (Christianity was still new and often Christians were persecuted). There he lived as a hermit in solitude and prayer, but he made friends with the wild animals. One day a group of hunters seeking wild animals for the amphitheater stumbled upon Blaise’s cave. They were first surprised and then frightened. The bishop was kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions and bears. The legend has it that as the hunters hauled Blaise off to prison, a mother came with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blaise’s command the child was able to cough up the bone. Agricolaus, governor of Cappadocia, tried to persuade Blaise to sacrifice to pagan idols. The first time Blaise refused, he was beaten. The next time he was suspended from a tree and his flesh torn with iron combs or rakes. Finally, he was beheaded. Thus, he is remembered as a martyr. While we certainly pray we can be healed of all diseases of the throat, what we really desire if to be willing to give our whole life to Jesus. What is ONE THING (a sin, a bad habit, an attitude, a lack of forgiveness toward someone) that Jesus is asking from YOU?

Are you imitating the blind skiers and “listening to the voice that is speaking to you”? God wants to speak into YOUR fear, worry, anxiety, loneliness. Please make a commitment to daily prayer – speak to God but also listen to God. Need to listen to Father Chris’ homily again? GO HERE! Here are some handouts that might help too:

As you prepare your 2020 Tax Return, you are welcome to request a End of Year Statement of your Charitable Offerings to Saint Raymond. The letter can be mailed, picked up or emailed to you. Please contact Brandi in the Parish Office (215-549-3760). Have you decided what you are doing with your Stimulus Check? Perhaps a tithe on that blessing to your parish as well?

Lent starts February 17th and we want YOU in a SMALL GROUP this Lent. Make the time to join (in person or on zoom) and reflect on God’s Word with fellow disciples. Contact Minta to find a group that fits your schedule (groups meet throughout the day and throughout the week). Check out your option here…

As we move through the long season of this pandemic, we must keep our young people connected to the Good News of the Gospel. Please share this VIDEO TEACHING FROM FATHER CHRIS and be sure to download the handout as well so our young disciples will remain in a place of grace!

As we begin Black History Month, there is so much to celebrate and learn. While we can all agree that Black History needs to be “integrated” into the mainstream curriculum of our schools, it is good to take a month (as we do for other groups throughout the year) to be very intentional in our learning! Get an overview of the history of Black Catholics HERE (and lots of other great stuff here) and give yourself time to watch/listen to this inspirational and challenging message on where we as a Church (Catholic & Protestant) need to be headed (hint: works of justice) if we are to be who Jesus needs us to be in this time in history. This beautiful “eulogy” was created by a young man known to on of our members (wait until you hear this gifted voice of James Weldon Johnson). It is especially relevant as so many grieve people lost to COVID or others causes who have not been able to be mourned properly. Enjoy and perhaps even share with others!

How are you moving forward in Christ? While many people have been able to return to worshipping in person, many are still worshipping from home on our YouTube Channel (or with the Channel 6 5:30am Mass which will be celebrated by Father Chris this Sunday and next Sunday). If you are not ready for the weekend crowds (we average 75 people at the 5pm, 50 at the 8am and 120 at the 10am), why not join us for 8am Mass on Monday to Thursday or Saturday (where we average 20 people)? If you prefer, why not join us for the Eucharistic Holy Hour on Tuesday or Thursday (8:30am to 9:30am) or even stop in for a visit with Jesus during the day (simply come to the Parish Office door and we will guide you in the Church in a safe way for you and others)? If you are making it to the doctor’s office, grocery story or the home of a friend, it is time to return to Church as well! Make it a goal this LENT!

We had a wonderful second session of our webinar on the COVID Vaccine. If you were not able to join us, please CLICK HERE to listen. Please share with others as well. We still have not received any information on when vaccines may be available on our campus, please remain hopeful!

Saint Joseph, pray for us