Tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick. On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in the apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus. A little more than three years later, on February 11, 1858, a young lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. This began a series of visions. During the apparition on March 25, the lady identified herself with the words: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Bernadette was a sickly child of poor parents. Their practice of the Catholic faith was scarcely more than lukewarm. Bernadette could pray the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Creed. She also knew the prayer of the Miraculous Medal: “O Mary conceived without sin.” During interrogations Bernadette gave an account of what she saw. It was “something white in the shape of a girl.” She used the word aquero, a dialect term meaning “this thing.” It was “a pretty young girl with a rosary over her arm.” Her white robe was encircled by a blue girdle. She wore a white veil. There was a yellow rose on each foot. A rosary was in her hand. Bernadette was also impressed by the fact that the lady did not use the informal form of address (tu), but the polite form (vous). The humble virgin appeared to a humble girl and treated her with dignity. Through that humble girl, Mary revitalized and continues to revitalize the faith of millions of people. People began to flock to Lourdes from other parts of France and from all over the world. In 1862 Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions and authorized the cult of Our Lady of Lourdes for the diocese. The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes became worldwide in 1907. Here is a prayer to Our Lady for the Sick: O ever-Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comforter of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; look with mercy on me. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors; and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with complete confidence to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. (mention your petition) Through gratitude for your favors, I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one day share your glory, and bless you in eternity. Amen
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?
Like everything, Ash Wednesday will be very different this year! We will gather NEXT WEDNESDAY, February 17th for a Mass with Distribution of Ashes at 8am and two Prayer Services with Distribution of Ashes at 10:30am (with School Children) and at 7pm. The 10:30am and 7pm Services will be available on YouTube. If you would like to come “just for ashes”, please arrive at the Church at 8:40am or 11:30am and you will be able to quickly enter and exit the Church. Ashes will be distributed using a Q-Tip to allow for COVID safety.
Lent starts NEXT WEEK, Wednesday, 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 RICHARA and be sure to download the handout as well so our young disciples will remain in a place of grace!
At last weekend’s Masses, Father Chris spoke about Mary Smith Peake, the founder and inspiration of Hampton University in Virginia. Through her kindness, she inspired HOPE in others. We are called to this as ALLELUIA people! We are called to meet people where they are in life, with all the challenges, and help them praise the Lord just as they are…even when they are waiting for the blessings yet to come! Listen to the HOMILY. Catch up up St. Raymond news with out BULLETIN as well. Knowing that many were unable to worship with us because of the snow, please be faithful to your tithe in the weeks to come.
As we celebrate Black History Month, please enjoy this wonderful VIDEO PRESENTATION on the life of Ven. Pierre Toussaint and learn what he can teach us as we live through our challenges today. Look forward to a new video each week of the month! TONIGHT, WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10TH Father Thorne will share his reflections on the life of Father Augustus Tolton, the first African-American priest to be ordained in the United States, whose cause for canonization is under way. In sharing Tolton’s story, Father Thorne will also speak about the past and present experience of Black Catholicism in the United States and where he sees new opportunities for growth and renewal in the Church today. REGISTER HERE. You can attend in person or through live streaming on Wednesday evening.
Our parish mourns the passing of Ms. Earlene King who passed after a long battle with cancer. Her funeral will be on Saturday, February 13th at 10am in our Church. WE extend our sympathy to her family, especially her daughter, Donna Ackridge, who has been a faithful catechist to generations of our young people. Her funeral will be available via YouTube.