Friday, June 24, 2016

Bulletin June 26-July 15, 2016

Today we honor Saints Peter and Paul, two great apostles and two great heroes of our faith. We know, however, that they were very human heroes. Their limitations are spelled out for us in the Scriptures. We all know Peter’s shortcomings from the Gospels. We know Paul’s limitations from his own letters. That very human dimension of their personalities makes them very attractive models for us. It is very hard for us to identify with saints who are portrayed as perfect. We can all recognize something of Peter and Paul in ourselves.
Our Gospel reading recounts Peter’s great profession of faith and the special office that Jesus gives him to be the rock or center of the Church. It becomes clear that something much larger than a personal commission to Peter is being enacted. Since Peter will eventually be put to death, the Lord is speaking of His Church for all time. Jesus is establishing an office that will endure beyond Peter and whose purpose is to affirm and be the touchstone of the apostolic faith. This moment is important because it shows that the place of Peter and his successors in the Church was not a position that they assumed on their own but one they were given by the Lord.
If Peter was to be the rock of apostolic faith, Paul was to be the great missionary who would bring that faith to the world he knew. Paul seemed to have had a “roving commission” to establish churches throughout the Mediterranean and he gave expression to the apostolic faith in categories and words that non-Jewish people could understand. In the letters to the Colossians and Ephesians we see Peter’s confession of faith expressed in a way that  people in a non-Palestinian culture could understand.
St. Paul represents the local bishops who must bring the Gospel to people of different cultures and deal with problems and challenges that are very individual. The Church lives by the interaction between Peter who represents our roots and Paul who manifests our reach. Peter stands for our unity and Paul for our universality. The last century has seen emphasis  on our universality or catholicity.
How universal are we? To be a universal Church is, on the one hand, to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The missionary work of the Church is never over. The Church is not a European phenomenon but was created by Christ to fill the world. Every place on earth is a place that the Church can call home. Every culture adds a new and gracious branch to the growing tree of the Church. No two branches are identical yet they all draw life from the same roots and are part of the same tree.
The question of the universality of the Church, on the other hand, is about much more than the geographical spread of the Church. It raises the question of how inclusive we are. Can the Church be home for people who are poor, unconventional, inquiring, intellectual, divorced, criminals or weak of faith? Is the church only for people “like us” or is the Church called to be a model of the Kingdom that will gather all people within her? In a divided world, the Church can be a vivid sign of God’s universal salvation, the mystery that St. Paul remarked was hidden to Israel and only made known in Jesus Christ. We need Peter and we need Paul.

 IDC Meeting
The next IDC (In Defense of Christians) meeting will be held on Wednesday July 27th at 7pm. The location of the meeting will be announced in the next bulletin.

 Coffee Hour
There will be no coffee hour on Sunday July 3rd due to the Holiday weekend. Coffee hour will resume after 10 am liturgy on Sunday July 10th.

2016 Festival
The next festival meeting will be Thursday July 28th at 7pm in the Lebanon room. The festival is a parish event and St. Raymond’s only fundraiser to help support the complex for the year. Many hands do make the work load lighter and it takes a lot of time and preparation for this event.  More help would be greatly appreciated even if it’s only a few hours of your time.

Let’s show a strong parish effort to make this event a success!

 Sub-Deacon’s Corner

A group of visitors from a nearby Roman Catholic parish ask you about the difference between the Maronite Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Here is some information that you can use to answer the inquiry.

The Maronite Rite firstly observe the authority of the Maronite Patriarch assuming the station between the Pope and the Maronite clergy.  Traditionally the Maronite Rite has been in union with the Apostolic Roman See as one of the churches established by Saint Peter ministries.  Once the Church of Jerusalem fell in 70 AD, the Church of Antioch, from whence St. Maron (Maronites are “those of St. Maron”) began his teachings, became the mother of the Catholic Church.  Similarly as the Church of Rome, the Church of Antioch were began by St. Peter. Maronites observe and follow most of the rules from Vatican I and II. Although the Maronite Church observes the Holy See in Rome, the liturgical calendar and celebrations are very different.
First Liturgical calendar  of the Maronite Rite is broken into six seasons:
1. The season of Glorious Epiphany                                                                             
2. The season of Great Lent                                                                
3. The  season of Glorious Resurrection
4. The season of Glorious Pentecost
5. The season of the Holy Cross                 
 6. The season of the Glorious Birth of Our Lord                           

The Latin Rite celebrates the liturgical year into six seasons:
1. Epiphany                                    3. Easter                                              5. Advent
2. Lent                                             4. Pentecost                                        6. Christmas

The Maronite liturgical calendar does not have the season of Advent as we look differently at preparing for the arrival of our Lord. The Maronite Rite considers Lent a journey of hope as we  await the resurrection. As well the Maronite Lent begins with Ash Monday, not Ash Wednesday.

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 (

Kitchen Scoop
The Kitchen will be CLOSED the week of the Fourth of July.
Rolling Cabbage Rolls Mondays @ 8am
Making Kibbi Aras Tuesdays @ 8am
Rolling Grape Leaves Tuesday July 5th at 9 am  and  Tuesday July 19th at 4:30pm.
We are in need of kitchen help because we are not only preparing for Wednesdays, but also beginning to prepare for the festival.
The kitchen is one of the main attractions to the festival and any amount of time you can volunteer will be greatly appreciated.

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