Friday, February 20, 2015

Feb 22, 2015


The miracle of Jesus curing the leper took place when Jesus was visiting the cities of Galilee. At that time, many diseases of the skin were re-ferred to as leprosy. In the time of Jesus, the leper was declared to be "unclean" and was separated from the rest of the community.

The physical disease of leprosy can be compared to the spiritual diseases of sin. A person who sins eventually loses the image of the divine im-printed upon his soul. He becomes hateful to others and even to himself. He becomes separated from the rest of the community, the Body of Christ, and forced to dwell alone.

In the Old Testament , a leper who was cured was treated similar to a repentant person. A cured leper was required to offer two birds at the Temple. One bird was killed and the second live bird was dipped in the blood of the sacrificed bird and allowed to go free. We are also cleansed by the blood of Christ.

We must consider the courage of the leper who approached Jesus for healing. According to the law, he was forbidden to go near anyone, but the leper does not consider the law. He simply wants to be cured and he knows where the healing is to be found. Jesus does not reproach the man for breaking the law, but shows him mercy. Jesus stretched out his hand and touched the leper. (This act itself was forbidden by the law.) His only concern was the desperate need of this suffering man. After curing the man, he instructed him to perform the ritual imposed by the law.

The cure of the leper manifests what sin can do to us and what the miraculous healing power of the Lord can do for us. Just as the leper showed courage and sought the healing power of Jesus, let us seek the healing power of Jesus in confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness.

"Everyone knows something about God, but when we really encounter God, most of us discover he is not like we thought. You may know about God, but now its time to get to know God. And you may dis-cover that much of what you thought you knew was wrong."

Quote from Matthew Kelly from the


To help us prepare ourselves spiritually for lent, sign up for this "daily inspiration"


Every Friday during Lent, service of the Benediction of the cross will be celebrated at St. Raymond’s Cathedral at 7:00 pm followed by pot luck dinner in the Lebanon room.

Below is a list of committees who will sponsor the dinner:

February 20: The Ladies Society

February 27: The Men’s Society

March 6: Faith and Heritage

March 14th: Choir

March 20th: Kitchen volunteers

March 27th: Donors

St. Raymond’s will be receiving 100 copies of the Maronite Voice every month for our Parishioners. The members who requested and paid for the subscription through the envelope, will receive a copy delivered to their home. Next year, there will be no home deliveries as it will be available at church and online. A new edition is available in the vestibule of the church. Please help yourselves.
Ash Monday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence.
There will be a second Collection for Caritas on Saturday February 28th and Sunday March 1st . Please be generous in helping this organization for all the humanitarian deeds they do for the needy in Lebanon.
Applications for college scholarships are available in the back of church. High school seniors please take one and return it by April 15, 2015.
Mark your calendars for  Sunday, March 8, 2015 for the spring fashion show featuring lunch, shopping, fashion show and a cash sangria bar! For more information, please contact Gina Fanetti at:
Paperdolls Boutique, Unique Ideas -n- More, Thirty- One, Tru Candle, Longenberger Baskets, Dimvaloo Active Living, Stella & Dot, & Tupperware by Dolores Nordman are some of the vendors that will be present to sell their items. Also Salon Antebellum is doing hair and make-up!
Massabki Award
Congratulations to Mrs. Marie Kallial as she received that NAM Massabki award last Sunday for her dedication, support and commitment to St. Raymond’s. I encourage you to join the National Apostolate of Maronites (NAM) so this award can be presented to those of you who work  hard and dedicate much of your time to St. Raymond’s.  You must be a member of NAM for one year to receive this award.
The Annual Lenten Appeal for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon is now taking place.  A copy of a letter from Bishop Elias Zaidan was sent to every family in the mail, together with a special gift.  The Eparchy relies upon you to support our Maronite parishes, like this one, and train our future Maronite priests.  Every family is asked to participate in the Appeal at a level which is meaningful for them and be generous.  You can make your donation with a credit card, and make a pledge payable over 10 months.   Our parish’s goal for this year’s Appeal is $8500.00. Please be generous and support the Eparchy.  Thank you. 
Mark your calendars! First Communion will be celebrated on Sunday April  26, 2015 during the 9:00 am Liturgy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

January 30, 2015


Great Lent is a  time for change, for transformation. The Maronite Church begins Great Lent with Cana Sunday, a commemoration of the transformation of water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana at Galilee. This change prepares us for the evening when we change wine into his blood and bread into his body.

Mary had only to mention to Jesus that something was wrong: “They have no wine.” Jesus understood that his Mother was not simply making an observation, but was seeking his powerful intervention. On her part, Mary was confident that he would listen to her. She had given birth to him and had lived with him for thirty years, so she had faith in him. At first, Jesus responded with an apparent refusal, “Woman, (a term of respect which he would also use on the cross) how does this concern of yours involve me?” The reason for his response was that his hour had not yet come, namely the hour of his death and resurrection, after which he would answer all the prayers of his Mother.

Jesus came into the world for a definite purpose and task, as we all do. He did not see his life in terms of the immediate needs of any particular moment, but only in terms of his purpose and the eternal plan of the Father. All of his deeds had to correspond and lead to the ultimate fulfillment of his life.

Mary knew that her prayer would not be refused; she told them to do whatever he told them. Mary trusted in her Son and her request was fulfilled. She told the servants as she tells all of us: do whatever my Son tells you.

Jesus instructed the servants to fill the six waterpots. The number six might be significant because in the mentality of the time, six was an imperfect number. (Seven was considered as perfection.) The six waterpots can represent the imperfection of the old law, which Jesus is to fill with the wine of the Gospel and of his grace. The imperfection of law was transformed into the perfection of grace. The imperfection of law was transformed into the perfection of grace. These jars held 180 gallons of water, which was to be transformed into excellent wine. What was originally lacking is now to be found superabundance.

Aside from the rich theological significance of the transformation of water into wine, let us reflect on the simplicity and “homeliness” of the act. Jesus knew that the lack of wine would be source of embarrassment to the groom and misfortune for the guests. He did not rejoice in the misfortune of others, but used his great power to save a simple man of Cana from humiliation. Let us imitate his example and be concerned with the simple needs of those around us and how we can fulfill them.





The Ladies Society will hold their monthly meeting Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm. All Ladies of the parish are invited.

The Men’s Society will hold their monthly meeting Thursday,  February 5,  2015 at 6:30 pm.  All men of the parish are invited.



Sincere thanks and appreciation for all your support and your generosity to the Little Sisters during their visit at St. Raymond’s last weekend.



Every Friday during Lent, service of the Benediction of the cross will be celebrated at St. Raymond’s Cathedral at 7:00 pm followed by pot luck dinner in the Lebanon room.

February 20: The Ladies Society will sponsor the dinner

February 27: The Men’s Society will sponsor the dinner.

The rest of the schedule will be posted in the next bulletin.



Lent begins February 16th. To help us prepare ourselves spiritually sign up for this “daily inspiration” Lets have the best lent ever!


In our Maronite liturgical calendars, we will commemorate  The Faithful Departed the week of February 7-14 this year. During that week, please remember your faithful departed as family members or loved ones. Pray for them!

May all the Faithful departed through the Mercy of God, rest in peace! Amen.



The Armenian A Cappella Trip Zulal will be at the Historic Wildey Theater in Downtown Edwardsville, Illinois on Sunday February 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm. Go to for more information.



There will be no Wednesday lunch on Ash Wednesday, February 18th. We will reopen Wednesday February 25th. We appreciate your business!



Mark your calendars for  Sunday, March 8, 2015 for the spring fashion show featuring lunch, shopping, fashion show and a sangria bar! Tickets go on sale February 1st! For more information, please contact Gina Fanetti at