Fr. Tim's Pastor's Pen

Unfortunately, both the Parish Office and School Office experienced an extended phone outage the prior week and continued into late Monday.  Please accept our apology for the busy signals that you received.  Many found that our email (on another service) was working fine.  We expect to be back to normal by the time you read this, but we know that it may have caused some delays and frustrations. 

Let me heartily offer my thanks and appreciation to all of you, because for the first time we have hit our APA annual target before Christmas.  THANK YOU.  As you know, your direct gift to the Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA) helps in two ways: it provides us with many services and ministries throughout the Diocese, and it means that we do not need to use our monthly operating funds to meet our APA assessment.  Again, THANK YOU.  If you have made a pledge, I ask that you uphold your commitment, any excess to APA goes into a reserve account to be used for future APA assessments.  We do anticipate an increase in next year’s APA.  That is not always a bad thing, it signifies both the good growth and generosity of St. Raphael Parish.

I hope by now that you have picked up your 2019 parish calendar.  This year most every parish in the Diocese took advantage of the calendar’s focus on the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.  I want to express my thanks and appreciation to Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home for their sponsorship of the calendars.  The calendars include special dates for all the parishes in the Diocese.  If you check out December 22nd (1961), you will see a note that it was the founding of St. Raphael Parish. 

Finally, this weekend at the 9:30am Mass we will receive five people into the Catholic Faith.  Gale Anderman, David Finsterle-Gawain, Gina Misenhelder, Lisa Pollard, and Beth Servedio will be received into full Communion, meaning that they have been baptized in another Christian denomination and have prepared and asked to be accepted into the Catholic Church.  My thanks to Lynn Edmonds for working with them directly, but also my thanks to all of you, our parish members, for the example and encouragement you offer.  Whether directly or indirectly, you have been a positive source of invitation for these new members. 

Your friend in Christ,

Fr. Timothy H. Sherwood

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