Sunday of Deceased Priests
Today the Maronite Church begins a series of three Sundays dedicated to prayer for the dead. This first Sunday is set aside as a commemoration of all the deceased priests of the Church.
Christ has established the priesthood for his Church and entrusted it with great responsibilities. The priest is given the task of caring for the spiritual needs of the people of his parish. The bishop, however, is responsible for not only all the people of the diocese, but also for his priests and other ministers.
The more the Lord gives to the Church, the more he asks from it. The gift of the priesthood called the people of God, the Church, to pray for those who were entrusted with the divine mysteries and carried on the salvific work of Christ. The bishop and priest are called to be the salt of the earth and the light and presence of Christ among us. All these responsibilities have been given to men who possess human weakness and frailty.
The gospel for the eucharist today speaks of the “faithful servant” which is, of course, the role of the priest and bishop. They are to be like the wise virgins always ready to serve the Lord, and like the faithful servant, eager to multiply the talents God has given them.
Because the priest and bishop have been given so much responsibility over the Church of God, they must know, not only God’s will, but must also constantly strive to be examples of fidelity and prudent action. The Church’s ministers always must seek to be strong in virtue, preserving in willingness and humble and constant in action. If not, they may delay the Master’s coming.
Because of the dangers and temptations that assail the bishop and priest, we must pray for them. This is our Christian duty and it arises out of our gratitude for the service they have rendered God in his Church. We pray that all God’s priests and bishops may enter into the house of the Lord and reap the rewards of the faithful servant. May the Lord entrust them with even greater things!
Farewell Father Swift
Dear friends at St. Raymond’s. I want to let you know that I’ve accepted an assignment in Dallas, to be in charge of a college-level seminary there. Holy Trinity Seminary has seminarians from some 13 dioceses, mostly Texas dioceses, and prepares men for entering the last 4 years of formation leading to ordination as priests. I wasn’t looking for this assignment. I was pretty happy here in St. Louis where I’ve spent 32 of the last 36 years, including 15 very happy years helping out at St. Raymond’s. But after prayer and consultation, I’m sure the Lord is asking me to head south. I won’t be moving until sometime in the spring. Before then, probably sometime in April, at the gracious invitation of Msgr. Moussa, I’ll say the Masses at St. Raymond’s some weekend, and so we’ll have a chance to visit. I hope you can understand that my schedule just doesn’t allow me to accept personal invitations. Instead, we can do something as a family – all together – some weekend in April. In the meanwhile, please say a prayer for me as I wrap up things back here and start learning about the new challenges facing me. And know that you are and will always be in my prayers. You are and will always be my home! God bless you.
Fr. Jim Swift, C.M.
Fr. Jim Swift, C.M.
New Daily Liturgy Time
As of Ash Monday, March 3rd, our daily Liturgy at St. Raymond’s will be celebrated at 8 am instead of 9 am Monday—Friday.
Hope this new timing will help some of you to start your day with a Liturgy on your way to work or before getting involved in your busy day!
SAVE THE DATE!
VOCATION DISCERNMENT WEEKEND
On April 5-6, 2014 Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Seminary in Washington, DC will be hosting its annual Discernment Weekend for men, 18 and over, interested in finding God's will in their life. This weekend will be a chance to meet current seminarians, Father Geoffrey Abdallah, Rector of the seminary, the Vocation Directors, and the opportunity to sight see one of the greatest cities in the world. This weekend is open for men who feel the call to priesthood, or are interested in finding out how to discern God's will. More details to come soon.
SAVE THE DATE
SUNDAY, March 9th 2014 is the St. Raymond’s Ladies Fashion Show. This event includes lunch, a fashion show and shopping. We are in need of girls and women models ages 6 and up. We also need vendors for the show. If anyone has any suggestions, please contact Gina Fanetti at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-704-1149