Friday, October 12, 2018 at 4:03 PM
A Special Collection for Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee will be taken on the weekend of October 20 & 21 for relief efforts from Hurricane Michael.

Fr. Tim's Pastor's Pen

Let us rejoice together because for the first time in about 18 years St. Raphael is now debt free!  Last week we processed a onetime final payment for the outstanding debt to the Diocese which was about $263,000.  I feel blessed and relieved.  As pastor, it is a good feeling to not owe the bank or Diocese any money!  As I mentioned last week, the yearend financial report should be in the mail this week, however, I am pleased to inform you that since the June 30th date of that report we were the recipients of a generous bequest which allowed us to take this step.  Again, my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of you for your continued support and encouragement to help us get to this point.  We are also able to get a good start on the funds needed for our roofing project.  More information about that is available on the website.

Please join me in extending congratulations to Fr. Kevin.  He, along with 8 priests, 9 sisters, and 1 brother, are celebrating milestone anniversaries of their profession of vows to Religious Life.  Fr. Kevin is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of his Vows to the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans).  This event will be marked with a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Parkes at the Cathedral of St. Jude this Sunday, October 14th at the 11:30am Mass.  Fr. Kevin has been Parochial Vicar here at St. Raphael for just over 4 years and he has brought a spirit and liveliness of ministry to the parish.  We are happy to count him among our family! 

I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to the Marriage Preparation Team, led by Phil and Stephanie Graham, for coordinating the opportunity to have Monica Burton offer last Sunday’s event “Nurturing Your Marital Relationship.”  We had a great turnout of over 30 couples of all ages and years of marriage to enjoy the afternoon.  I also want to thank Monica for taking time on Sunday to be with us.  It was a great success and we look forward to having more opportunities like this in the future.    

Finally, there are two dates that you should have on your calendars.  First is the Family Faith Fest.  This is an all-day event, Saturday, October 27th from 10am until about 6pm at Al Lopez Park in Tampa.  This event is being put on by the Diocese of St. Petersburg to mark the end of our 50th Anniversary, so let’s bring the “family” of the Diocese together for food, fun, music, and prayer.  And it’s free.  The second date is the St. Raphael Festival taking place November 9th, 10th & 11th.  We are looking forward to great rides, food, and fun here at St. Raphael.  Be sure to plan on joining us!

Your friend in Christ,

Fr. Timothy H. Sherwood

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