LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES
CHANGES AS CHRISTMAS APPROACHES
The Covid 19 virus has caused everyone to re-think and re-assess every aspect of their social activities. Among these changes are the various ways that have altered our ability to worship together.
Since the re-opening of our beloved church building in May we have steadfastly complied with safe practices such as hand sanitation, social distancing and wearing masks.
In light of the rules limiting personal attendance in the Church itself, we have utilized the Parish Hall to allow parishioners to watch the Mass on a large screen and to have Holy Communion brought to them from one of the Eucharistic Ministers.
Since Christmas is approaching and virus cases continue to rise we feel that now is the best time to describe what Christmas will “look like” at St. Raphael Parish.
As Catholics, our desire to come together to worship and celebrate “Emmanuel” [“God is With Us”] is especially unrelentingly on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
But the Covid-19 virus is unrelenting too and just as there was no “room … at the inn” for Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem [Luke 2:7], the circumstances of this year dictate that there simply will not be sufficient room at the Church to accommodate an overwhelming attendance rush on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Remember, the dispensation granted by Cardinal Seán from the Sunday Mass obligation remains in effect. Please keep this in mind especially if you are elderly or have a complicating physical/medical condition.
Here are the changes:
On Christmas Eve, [Thursday, December 24, 2020] there will be Masses at 3:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Attendees at these Masses will have the ability - if they choose- to sit in the Parish Hall to view Mass on a large screen. As is our practice, Holy Communion will be brought to them by a Eucharistic Minister.
Please note that there will not be a 4:00 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve nor will there be a Midnight Mass.
On Christmas Day, [Friday, December 25, 2020] there will be Masses at 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Each Mass will be shown “live” on the Parish Facebook page. In addition the 3:00 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve will be re-broadcast on Christmas Day on local cable television on Channel 3 [Comcast] and Channel 47 [Verizon] at 8:00 a.m and 11:00 a.m.
Please recall that as Catholics we celebrate “Christmas” on more than a day- it is a liturgical season that begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 10, 2021. This brings us many opportunities to attend mass to celebrate “Emmanuel” [“God is With Us”].
Sadly, as has been the case since the virus began, there will not be any Choir at any of the masses.
The door to the Church will be open 30 minutes before each mass and we respectfully request that all attendees leave the church promptly and safely after each mass.
Please consider these factors as Christmas approaches and make appropriate decisions to insure the health of your personal families and our parish family as well.
Christmas blessings to the many volunteers who have made worship possible by staying after each Mass or service to disinfect the church. Without their great generosity the doors of our church would be closed.
May the grace and wisdom of the Child born in Bethlehem be upon you and your families this Christmas Season.
Dear Parishioner and Friend:
It is unquestioned that this year has brought dramatic change in so many ways. Among them, the pandemic has profoundly altered our ability to come together as a parish community.
Our Parish has faced these realities energized by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke encouraging us to “pray alwaysand not lose heart”. We have put a renewed emphasis to bring forth Christ’s message of Love in ways never before utilized.
We have been aided by technological transformations. Great effort was placed into making “user friendly” improvements on the Parish website. Also, the timely installation of wireless internet access [Wi-Fi] in the church was crucial. When the pandemic struck and personal attendance at church was prohibited, the existence of Wi-Fi in the Church permitted us to broadcast weekly Mass via Facebook and on local cable twice every Sunday morning.
These electronic updates also allowed us to present:
Live-streaming of the entire Triduum [Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday Passion of the Lord and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night] on our Parish Facebook page. More than 2.400 people viewed these three nights alone.
The Stations of the Cross and the Marian Devotion for May.
The broadcast of Sunday Mass each week on local cable access television [Channel 3 or Channel 47].
The broadcasts of all Masses, devotions and announcements archived on our Parish website for viewing at anytime.
Since the pandemic, our offertory collection is down by approximately 12%. While this is admirable, none of us knows when the Covid-19 crisis will come to an end. Until then, our Parish maintenance and improvement needs remain constant and our expenses are ever rising. For example, this year the fire alarm control panel in the Church needs to be replaced. The safety of our parishioners is our first responsibility. The replacement of the panel assures us a quick emergency response in the event of a fire so everyone in the building will be able to leave safely.
I am very aware that your ability to give to the Parish must come after your family needs. That is why I suggest that you make a gift of $350. It is the same amount that I have requested for the past 2 years.
Once again, I respectfully request your participation in our Annual Parish Support collection that is scheduled for the weekend of October 24 and 25. You may also participate through the Parish online giving program. More information is available on our Parish website.
My deepest gratitude for your faithful commitment to our Parish. Be assured that you and your families are always in my prayers.
May God Bless You,
Rev. Paul F. Coughlin, Pastor
2020 Giving Tree Update
As promised, here is the information you need to take part in this year’s “HYBRID GIVING TREE"
Why “hybrid”? Because there are several ways to receive or pick up your request tag and then to return your gift card.
- Choosing from the socially distanced boards in the church or in the parish center
- Requesting one (or more) by emailing Ginny McCabe and Margo Malone in the Religious Education Office at [email protected] or Margie Chisholm at [email protected]
- Calling the parish center—781-488-5444
Tags will be available beginning on November 14 and are due back by Sunday, December 6. Please return gift cards in an envelope with the tag securely attached to ensure that all cards are allocated/delivered correctly.
They can be returned -
- to the parish center-- in person or by mail (514 High Street, Medford, MA 02155)
- in church in the collection boxes
- to the school office through your child’s homeroom
Special note: When we discussed how best to conduct the Giving Tree this year, we were buoyed by the awareness that you would accept and handle all of the changes and new requirements with enthusiasm, generosity, and an encouraging sense of common purpose. How wonderful is that? It reveals your true Christmas spirit and inspires gratitude and joy. As always, THANK YOU!
St. Raphael Parish is back open! The weekday & weekend Masses have resumed. We are following the guidelines set forth by the City, State & Archdiocese of Boston. The dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation will continue for the foreseeable future. Cardinal Sean strongly encourages people in vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and those with complicated physical conditions, to continue to watch Mass from their homes. We will continue to stream Sunday Mass on YouTube and on channels 3 (Comcast) & 47 (Verizon).
Statement in the Aftermath
Of the Killing
Of George Floyd
The Roman Catholic Community of Saint Raphael Parish joins its voice with all others to express its outrage over the killing of George Floyd. This tragedy is the latest in a seemingly unending series of killings and the continual devaluation of human life the basis of race fostered by a flawed legal system and inequities in housing, educational opportunities, employment and incarceration- to name a few.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that equality for every person “rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it: “Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.”
In a “Pastoral Letter against Racism” issued in 2018 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the bishops stated “We read the headlines that report the killing of unarmed African Americans by law enforcement officials. In our prisons, the number of inmates of color, notably those who are brown and black, is grossly disproportionate. Despite the great blessings of liberty that this country offers, we must admit the plain truth that for many of our fellow citizens, who have done nothing wrong, interactions with the police are often fraught with fear and even danger.”
Describing “racism” a “sin” the Bishops went on to say that “Every racist act—every such comment, every joke, every disparaging look as a reaction to the color of skin, ethnicity, or place of origin—is a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God. In these and in many other such acts, the sin of racism persists in our lives, in our country, and in our world.”
The Saint Raphael Parish community will continue to live Gospel values and to fight racism in all its nuances standing in solidarity with our black sisters and brothers. Working toward a reality of equality and justice invites each one of us to follow the commandment of Our Lord Jesus Christ to “Love one another” in word and action.
Father Paul Coughlin & Deacon Mark Rumley
WELCOME TO ST. RAPHAEL PARISH!
We are located at: 512 High St. Medford, MA 02155
If you are a newcomer to our parish, please accept our invitation to introduce yourself to a member of our staff. We are confident that you will find a welcoming spirit that is reflected in liturgical hospitality, inclusion and most of all, to those with special challenges. We pray that as you join our parish in prayer, sacrament and presence that you will also grace us with your talents and support according to your means.
To register as a parishioner, click HERE for our Registration form PDF, or click HERE to submit an email request and we will send you a registration form via email. You can also call the Parish Center Office and we will be happy to mail it out to you.
Sunday at 7:30 AM
9:15 AM, 11:30 AM, 5:00 PM
Daily Mass: Wednesday-Saturday at 8:00 AM
Monday-Friday 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
514 High Street
Medford, MA 02155
“Saint Raphael is a Catholic community committed, with God’s grace, to living gospel values and sharing these with all people. As a Eucharistic people united in faith and worship, we affirm the gifts of the Spirit among us and celebrate the uniqueness of each of our members. Supporting one another in love, we strive to respect and use these diverse gifts in joyful service to those within our parish and beyond.”
AN ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. Embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
There are no upcoming scheduled events.
Pastor & Administrator
Parish Secretary & Tuition Manager
Director of Religious Education
Assistant - Religious Education
School Development Office
Readings for the week of November 29, 2020
- Sunday: Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7 / Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19  / 1 Cor 1:3-9 / Mk 13:33-37
- Monday: Rom 10:9-18 / Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11  / Mt 4:18-22
- Tuesday: Is 11:1-10 / Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17 [cf. 7] / Lk 10:21-24
- Wednesday: Is 25:6-10a / Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 [6cd] / Mt 15:29-37
- Thursday: Is 26:1-6 / Ps 118:1 and 8-9, 19-21, 25-27a [26a] / Mt 7:21, 24-27
- Friday: Is 29:17-24 / Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14 [1a] / Mt 9:27-31
- Saturday: Is 30:19-21, 23-26 / Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6 [cf. Is 30:18d] / Mt 9:35—10:1, 5a, 6-8
- Next Sunday: Is 40:1-5, 9-11 / Ps 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14  / 2 Pt 3:8-14 / Mk 1:1-8