Friday, December 11, 2015

Bulletin December 13-20, 2015


Joseph, the spouse of Mary, lived a life of obscurity and devotion to him suffered the same lot during the first centuries of the Church. However, we find that Jerome praises his virginity: John Chrysostom spoke about his sufferings and his joys. It is said that Helen built a church in his honor at Bethlehem and a feast has been celebrated in his memory by the Eastern Churches since the ninth century.

The Maronite Church celebrates his feast on the fifth Sunday of the Season of Announcement and also on March 19.

From the day of the announcement of Gabriel to Mary and her  virginal conception, three months had already passed. During this time, Mary kept silent. Although the consequences could have been disastrous to  her reputation,  her betrothed, or her relative, Elizabeth. She trusted in God and knew that he would reveal the great mystery in his own time and in his own way. The Lord did just this.

When Joseph discovered that Mary was pregnant, he could not understand how something like this could have happened. Mary continued to be modest, kind and compassionate. Saint Jerome describes Joseph’s confusion. “Joseph, knowing the chastity of Mary and admiring what happened , his in a silence the mystery he was unable to understand.” Just as Mary respected the mystery, so did Joseph. However, he decided that it was his duty to send her away in silence, even though he would have to suffer. They would have to separate rather that unveil the mystery. The Holy Family began with this martyrdom of self in the face of God’s mystery.

God intervened in a dream, which Joseph did not doubt as coming from heaven. God told Joseph that Mary was pregnant through the power of the Holy  Spirit. He also gave Joseph his role as the “father” of the family: “Mary will give birth and you will call him Jesus.” This child will deliver   people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). A great responsibility was given to Joseph and, like Mary, he accepted the will of God.

Joseph was called to be the humble servant of God, Jesus and Mary. He would do all his duties in silence. He would serve, protect, provide and die before even seeing a miracle. His entire life       became one of love, immolation, sacrifice, work and self-effacement.

He would take Mary to Bethlehem, flee to Egypt, bring Jesus and Mary out of Egypt, look for Jesus in the Temple-and die in silence. This was his mission and he accomplished it because he trusted God.

Joseph has often been compared to the Joseph of the Old Testament, the son of Jacob. As Joseph of the Old Testament saved Egypt and its neighbors, may the Joseph of the New Testament save the Church and all those who come to him. “Go to Joseph. He has the riches of the king! The King has entrusted to him the distribution of his goods!”


Open House at the Residence of Bishop Shaheen

3900 Blow Street

Sunday January 3, 2016

2:00 P.M.-5:00 P.M.

This is an opportunity to visit the home of our Retired Bishop and enjoy some Holiday Cheer


Sunday December 20th
On Sunday, December 20, 2015, His Excellency, Bishop Elias A. Zaidan, will inaugurate the Jubilee Year at Saint Raymond Cathedral by blessing the entrance doors as “Holy Doors”. The Blessing and Liturgy will be at 10 am.  There will be only one Liturgy.  Due to the special significance of the Blessing of the Holy Door, there will not be a 9 am or 11 am Liturgy on Sunday, December 20th. Please invite your family and friends to take part in the 10 am Blessing and Liturgy. The Cathedral Parish is grateful to Bishop Zaidan for designating Saint Raymond Cathedral as a place of special pilgrimage during the Holy Year of Mercy.
As part of our formation, one of the goals of our ministry is to help parishioners develop a greater understanding of our rich Maronite Catholic History and Heritage. In furtherance of that goal we will be adding a short explanation to each bulletin about some aspect of our faith. This continues the discussion about our Maronite Liturgy.
Rite of Preparation: While the Divine Liturgy consists of two parts, the service of the Word and the service of the Eucharist, each part can be further subdivided. The service of the Word begins with a period of preparation, purification and catechizing as a fitting introduction to the reading of Scripture.
Opening Hymn and Prayer: The opening hymn is usually a psalm of praise or a hymn commemorating the feast. While being an act of worship, this recitation helps lift our minds and hearts to the contemplation of holy things. The celebrant and servers enter the Sanctuary further symbolizing the presence of Christ in the midst of His community. The celebrant proclaims his unworthiness and asks for prayers that he might obtain forgiveness. The first prayer of the Liturgy is intended to announce the feast being celebrated or to cite the theme of the day.
The Celebrant's Greeting and the Hymn of the Angels: The celebrant greets the church community with a salutation of peace, to which the congregation responds with the angelic hymn of peace. We are reminded that the life of Christ begins with the angel's announcement of peace, and that Christ's appearances after His resurrection always opened with a greeting of peace. Isaiah has prophesied a prince of peace. The angels at the birth of Christ proclaimed a new world order of peace between the heavens and the earth. Christ announces the giving of a peace that is not of this world. The Resurrected Christ offers both peace and the forgiveness of sins. The commitment to peace is reaffirmed later in the liturgy when the gesture of peace is offered to each member of the worshiping community.
It is fitting that the Liturgy begins with the angelic hymn, for in our faith we believe that whenever the Divine Liturgy is celebrated on earth, the boundaries between heaven and earth are removed and earthy worshipers join in the eternal Heavenly Liturgy chanted by the angels. During these moments of earthly adoration, we have the opportunity of being mystically transported to the threshold of Heaven. Being in a holy place and about to participate in holy things, we are aware of our finitude and sinfulness. In this service of the Holy Mysteries, we are about to hear the Sacred Word of God and our bodies and souls await the reception of the Body and Blood of Christ. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare and purify ourselves. Part of our preparation consists in being catechized regarding God's plan of salvation and about the event in the Liturgical Year that we are celebrating. We also seek the words to express sorrow for our sins and to solicit God's mercy. And, at this point near the beginning of the Divine Service, we take the occasion to petition God for our needs.
Taken from A Commentary on the Holy Mysteries: The Holy Mystery of Offering (Qorbono)
By Chorbishop Seely Beggiani
If you have questions about Catholic teaching or our Maronite tradition, or would like to suggest a topic, please email us or tell us the next time we see you. Thank you and God Bless.
David Wahby ( and Tony Simon (
Christmas Novena
Beginning  Tuesday December 15th the Christmas Novena will be celebrated at  St. Raymond’s every evening at 7:00 P.M.
On Saturday December 19th , the Novena will be celebrated after 5:00 P.M. liturgy
On Sunday December 20th through Wednesday December 23rd  the Novena will be celebrated at 7:00 P.M.
Christmas Liturgies Schedule
On Thursday December 24th, liturgies for Christmas will be celebrated at 5:00 P.M.  and 10:00 P.M.
Following the 10:00 P.M. liturgy all are invited to the Cedars Hall for coffee, refreshments, and greetings.
On Friday December 25th, liturgy will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. and the Hall will be closed on Christmas Day
                                                 Giving Tree                                             
 Please remember those less fortunate this Christmas Season by picking an ornament off the giving tree. Please return the wrapped gift no later than Sunday December 20th.
The 2016 Calendars are available in the vestibule of the Church on the right side by the Blessed Mother. The Maronite Calendars were printed by Catholic Extension. Sincere thanks to Kutis Funeral Home for the complimentary Roman Calendars
                                                         Please help yourselves!
A special Thank You to John LeCuyer, Michael Vitale, and the Choir for the beautiful Christmas Concert they performed last Saturday. It was a great way to start the Christmas Season.
Thank You to the Ladies and Men’s Societies for hosting Mission Sunday and for all the preparations they did to get ready for the event. It was a big success!
Sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who attended and participated in both events!
We will be
Rolling Cabbage rolls and grape leaves mondays @ 8:00 am
Making Kibbi aras Tuesdays @ 8:00 am
Serving Wednesday luncheon @ 11 am-2pm
The kitchen will be closed the week of December 20th and December 27th. The kitchen will  re-open the week of January 3rd
The kitchen is taking holiday orders until Wednesday December 16th. Pick-up for the holiday orders will be Sunday December 20th 11 am-1pm
Weekly Finances for the week of  12/5/15-12/11/15
Church Income: $5,853.00
Cedars Income: $3,823.02
Total Expenses: $4,350.07
Net Income: $5,325.95
Does not include Wednesday Lunch


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