Friday, May 22, 2015

April 18, 2015

Jesus had twelve Apostles, but He also had many other followers whom He called disciples. Jesus walked with two of these disciples, Cleopas and his companion, along the road to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.
The disciples are downhearted, because they believed Jesus would free them from the power of the Romans, and they think he remains dead. Jesus wanted to comfort them and bring them to true faith in Him and then to be His witnesses. But as they walked along, the disciples did not recognize Him.
Jesus gradually reveals the Resurrection to them. First, He explains all that referred to Him in the Scripture. He showed how the promised Messiah would have to suffer, but then die and rise again.
As Catholics, we believe that the Scripture is the inspired word of God, but we must understand Scripture as the Church understands it. Before there was a New Testament, there was the Church. The Church encourages us to read Sacred Scripture. In fact, St. Jerome said: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
As they are fed with the word, Cleopas and his companion have new and lasting hope. Jesus pretends to continue along the road, but his disciples plead with Him by saying “Stay with us.” Still, they don’t recognize him. It is only when He took the bread, blessed and broke it that the disciples recognized Jesus. The “breaking of the bread” was a term the early Christians used to describe the Eucharist.
At every liturgy, we have an experience similar to these disciples. First, we are fed with the word of God. Then we are fed with the Eucharist in which we receive Jesus in His body, blood, souls and divinity.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives. It is the source, because Jesus says “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He also says “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).
The Eucharist is the summit, because there is no more perfect union with Jesus which we can experience on this earth than receiving Him in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus says “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him” (John 6:56).
The Eucharist is a ledge of eternal life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist worthily, He helps to separate us from sin, cleanses us of venial sins, strengthens virtue, prevents future mortal sins, renews, strengthens and deepens our incorporation into the Church.
The disciples were strengthened through the word which Jesus explained to them. They recognized Jesus by the “breaking of the bread”. Now they return to Jerusalem to let the eleven remaining Apostles know what has happened. When we leave the Liturgy we go into the world. We should seek opportunities to tell people what God has done for us, what happens at every Liturgy, when we have an opportunity to be fed by the word of God, to be united with Our Lord and Savior in the Eucharist and to receive Him who is our pledge of eternal life.

 New Parish Pastoral Council
In accord with the new Eparchial regulations approved by His Excellency, Bishop Elias A. Zaidan, Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, each Parish is to establish a Parish Pastoral Council.  The Parish Pastoral Council is to have nine members, six elected by the parish and three appointed by the Pastor.  The Parish Pastoral Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Pastor. I wish to sincerely thank those members who have faithfully served on the former Parish Board and I prayerfully invoke God’s choicest blessings upon them for their dedicated stewardship.

During the weekend of April 11th and 12th, Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish held an election for the new Parish Pastoral Council.  I wish to thank all of those wonderful parishioners who allowed their names to be placed in nomination for the Parish Pastoral Council.  Whether elected or not, each person on the ballot represented a dedicated individual who has been an outstanding participant in the spiritual, social and family life of Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish.  May God bless them.
On Monday, April 13, 2015, the Nominating Committee met to tabulate the ballots.  I am pleased to announce the following six parishioners (in alphabetical order) were elected to serve on the new Parish Pastoral Council:
Rick Baker
Greg Elking
Gina Fanetti
Mary Ann Powell
John Simon, Jr.
Jim Ulett
In continued accord with Eparchial regulations, as Rector of Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish, I have appointed the following three parishioners to serve on the Parish Pastoral Council:
Nina Bouhasin
Samirah Day
Maged Haikal, MD, Chairman

As we move to adopt the new Eparchial format for advisory governance, I wish to express my gratitude and esteem for ALL of our parishioners who continually sacrifice their time, talent, and treasure for Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish. God bless you all.

Chorbishop Moussa Joseph
The sound system will be installed at the end of April. Please consider donating to this important improvement to our church. Thank you to those of you who have already donated!
As everyone is aware, Saint Raymond Parish has the wonderful custom of gathering for coffee and donuts after the 9 am and 11 am Sunday Liturgies.  These coffee socials are an important fabric of Saint Raymond Parish as they unite family and friends week after week.  We are in need of some help in continuing the hospitality of our coffee socials.  Please consider forming a small team of one or two people to prepare the coffee with the help of the instruction booklet! Our hope is to get several small teams so that each team would only volunteer once per month.  Please considering serving in this important ministry for the Cathedral Parish.  If you want more information, or wish to volunteer, please contact the rectory office at 314-621-0056 or May God bless you abundantly.
The NAM convention will take place in Cleveland, Ohio July 1-5, 2015. Those who wish to attend and participate may pick up fliers and information from the vestibule of the church or visit the website of NAM at for more details.

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