The Church is Missionary because of the Holy Spirit
Easter and Pentecost are the most solemn feasts of the liturgical year because they acknowledge with great joy the miracle of God’s gift-of-self to us for the sake of our redemption and sanctification.
Easter celebrates our redemption. Pentecost focuses our attention on sanctification, the work that the Holy Spirit carries out within each of us and in the church as a whole. Redemption and sanctification are gifts from God that are necessary for salvation. Without Christ’s death and resurrection, we would be stuck in our sins, prisoners of our sinfulness and the sins of the world. Without sanctifying grace, we would not have the strength to carry on. We know that we need the Holy Spirit’s sevenfold gifts (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord) to sanctify us, make us holy, and sustain us in life’s journey.
Our Lord promised that He would prepare a place for us in Heaven. He sent His Holy Spirit so that we might have the courage and the confidence we need to be faithful to His promise.
In His apostolic exhortation, (the joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis argues passionately for a renewed missionary spirit in the church. In his final chapter, the Pope exclaims: “How I long for the right words to stir up enthusiasm for a new chapter of evangelization full of fervor, joy, generosity, courage, boundless love and attraction! Yet I realize that no words of encouragement will be enough unless the fire of the Holy Spirit burns in our hearts.” The Pope challenges us no matter who we are, to be “spirit—filled evangelizers,” missionary disciples of Jesus Christ whose hearts are on fire. We are called to be missionary disciples, “who are willing to move beyond our comfort zones to proclaim the good news and serve others. The message of Jesus is clear, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”(Mt 28:19-20). This great commission belongs to each of us and to the whole church.
Because of the Holy Spirit, each baptized Christian, and the entire community of faith, can be missionaries for Christ. We can fulfill the mission given to us by our Lord because of the sanctifying grace poured into our souls by the Holy Spirit at baptism and confirmation.
This same sanctifying grace is renewed and strengthened each time we receive the sacrament of penance and the Holy Eucharist. The church is missionary by her very nature, and so are we. Let’s pray that we will be open to the gifts the Spirit brings to each of us so that we can be courageous in carrying out Christ’s mission.
To the Patrons of St. Raymond’s,
Tony and I would like to thank you for attending our ordination last weekend. We really appreciated the turn out to share our special day. Events like this really show the Christianity and fellowship in our Lord at St. Raymond’s, as a communal expression. Our Church is alive with the Holy Spirit and worth sharing with all we come in contact with each day; let this event inspire all of us to extend an invitation to others to come and take part in this special place.
Thanks and God Bless you and your families,
The Five First Saturdays Devotion
Our Lady of Fatima Promises all the Graces Necessary for Heaven if a Catholic Finishes the Five First Saturdays of Devotion.
“...Tell them that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, in order to make reparation to me, on the First Saturday of five successive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for a quarter of an hour, meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.”
From the Maronite Patriarchal Synod (2008), there are 5 elements of the Maronite identity, they are defined below in an excerpt from the Maronite Patriarchal Synod, Bkerke 2008, discussing the bolded portion.
“…it becomes apparent that she (the Maronite Church) is firstly an Antiochene Syriac Church, with a special liturgical heritage; secondly, a Chalcedonian Church; thirdly, a Patriarchal Church with an ascetic and a monastic aspect; fourthly, a Church in full union with the Apostolic Roman See; fifthly, a Church incarnated in her Lebanese and Eastern environment and the Countries of Expansion…”
Excerpt from the Maronite Patriarchal Synod, Bkerke 2008
A Patriarchal Church with an ascetic and a monastic aspect; The Maronite Faith is built as a patriarchal manner similarly to that of a family. If you imagine the male figure, of the Maronite faith as the clergy, then the Church itself would be the motherly figure with the congregation as the children. Patriarchal Church is one that observes the authority of the Patriarch, he is the leader of the church. Maronites believe in the authority of the Maronite Patriarch and that which he conveys to each of the members of the Maronite clergy. A patriarchal church is one that ascribes to the understanding that God has roles for each of us that we should accept. As the Patriarch leads the clergy; the clergy is to lead the laity. One must understand that although we have roles to follow in God’s design, we cannot exist without one another. What is there to lead without those willing to follow; who can be called a leader without their followers?
St. Maron believed in an ascetic and monastic lifestyle. He believed that this lifestyle of subsistence and labors in the name of Jesus Christ were the way to be in the presence of God. As he attracted followers, the Maronites, they also followed his example of an ascetic and monastic lifestyle.This is from which the reference of “an ascetic and a monastic aspect”, this aspect has existed amongst the Maronites since the beginning.
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.
The Ladies Society will be having a Ladies Night Out on Tuesday June 7th at Trattoria Toscano (11686 Gravois Rd) at 6pm. A private room has been reserved. All are welcome! Please join us!
The Men’s Society will hold their monthly meeting on Thursday June 2nd. Liturgy at 6pm, dinner at 6:30pm and meeting at 7pm.
Liturgy Time Change
Beginning Sunday June 5th, there will only be one liturgy celebrated on Sundays at 10 am .
Saturday liturgy will remain at 5 pm.
Monday May 30th the kitchen will be CLOSED.
Tuesday May 31st-Rolling Grape Leaves at 9 am
The kitchen will not be preparing Tabouli for the months of June and July.
Thank you to all the volunteers for their continued support and dedication to the kitchen. If you are interested in volunteering in the kitchen Mon-Wed we would love to have you!
Weekly Finances May 22-29, 2016
Expenses: $10,877.04 (Eparchy Appeal and Second Collections, Printing for Ordination, Cedars Electric)
Men’s Society Golf Tournament
The Golf Tournament is next Sunday June 5th at Union Hills Golf Course. Registration and Sponsorship forms are available in the vestibule of the church. There is still availability, so please consider putting a team together. Any questions please contact Mike Rask.