Friday, December 4, 2015

Bulletin December 6-13, 2015

The Birth of John the Baptizer
Fourth Sunday of Announcement
The Church does not usually celebrate the earthly birthdays of the saints, but rather their birthdays in heaven, namely the day of their deaths when they obtain their crown of glory. However, in the case of John the Baptist, we celebrate his earthly birth-his coming into the world to announce the Son.
John’s coming was filled with marvels. The angel announced his birth. Because of his doubt Zechariah was struck dumb. John leaped with joy in the womb of his mother when visited by the Virgin. He was sanctified at that time by the Holy Spirit. As soon as John was born, Zechariah was able to speak and sing the beautiful song of “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,” a hymn the Church continues to sing even today.

The angel predicted that many would rejoice at John’s birth and that he would be great in the sight of God, and holy, ascetic, and just before the people. He will bring many back to God. He will be the Forerunner of the Savior and return the hearts of parents to their children, and the unbelievers to the wisdom of the just. He will prepare for God a holy people.

Some months before the Lord began his preaching ministry, John came out of his solitude and  appeared  near the Jordan River, as the Forerunner of the Lord predicted by the prophets. He impressed the crowds by his poverty, austerity of life, severity of preaching and the practicality of his exhortations. His ministry was quite successful. Many people came to him to receive his baptism and confess their faults as he announced the imminence of the messianic kingdom. He was so humble that he declared himself unworthy to untie the sandals of the Lord. “I have baptized you in water; he will baptize you the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8)He will separate the sinners from the just.

When Jesus came to be baptized, John wanted to withdraw, saying that it was he who should be baptized by the Lord, but Jesus insisted. John said, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” and told his disciples to follow Jesus. When the disciples complained that Jesus was becoming more and more popular, John said, “He must increase and I must decrease.” He   reproached Herod for his scandalous conduct and was put in jail. In prison he sent his disciples to Jesus. He wanted them to follow him and to let Jesus declare himself as the Savior predicted by Isaiah. John was praised as  superior to all the faithful of the Old Testament.

His Holiness, Pope Francis, has announced an extraordinary Year of Jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy, to highlight the Church's mission to witness to God’s mercy.  The Pope selected December 8, 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin, as the beginning of this Jubilee Year. His Excellency, Bishop Elias A. Zaidan, Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles, has designated Saint Raymond Cathedral, among several other parishes, as places of pilgrimage. Bishop Zaidan will bless the interior entrance door (designated as a Holy Door) at Saint Raymond Cathedral on Sunday, December 20, 2015, in an extraordinary celebration for the Holy Year of Mercy. By visiting Saint Raymond Cathedral, and walking through the Holy Door during this Holy Year of Mercy, specifically as a place of pilgrimage, it is possible to obtain an indulgence, or remission of the punishment due to sin. As is traditional, those making a pilgrimage will be asked to make a confession of sins, attend the celebration of the Eucharist, and pray for the pope's intentions. The Holy Year of Mercy calls each one of us to be merciful in our daily lives and to accept the Holy Father’s invitation to amend our lives in order to build up the Kingdom of God in our own family and in our own parish community. The Church is asking us during this Holy Year of Mercy to renew our own spiritual life and to cleanse ourselves of whatever is separating us from the love of God.  Can we let go of family disagreements?  Can we let go of disagreements within the parish?  At Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish, let us renew ourselves in this Holy Year of Mercy by resolving to attend one of the three Sunday Liturgies, by possibly attending daily Liturgy once each week, and by receiving the Sacrament of Confession regularly. Can we resolve to arrive at Mass a few minutes early to collect our thoughts and thank the Lord for our many  blessings?  Can we resolve to take part in the recitation of the Holy Rosary before the 9 am  Liturgy on Sunday?  The Holy Year of Mercy is an extraordinary time for us to show mercy towards others and to accept the mercy offered by our family, our friends, and our fellow parishioners. May Almighty God grant countless blessings upon the families of Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish in this Year of Mercy.
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.
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
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. Last week we are reminded that the liturgy is an act of offering by the whole community where as stewards we bring our time, treasures, and talents to the Eucharistic celebration.  Below is a stewardship prayer to help remind us of the gifts we can offer to God.
 Dear Heavenly Father,
My parish is composed of people like me; I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am. Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I work. It will be prayerful, if I pray.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a parish of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, and a parish with a noble spirit,
if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with Your help, O God, I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all things that I want my parish to be.
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 (
Third Banns of Marriage between
Danielle D. Skitt and Nicholas J. Godfrey
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 their complimentary Roman Calendars.
 Please help yourselves!
Weekly Financial Income 11/30/15
Offertory:  $3,075
Maintenance and Repairs: $65
Candles: $88
Coffee Hour: No coffee hour 11/29
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.




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