With Him It Is Easier – A Message from Father Phil

A little while ago I had the chance to do something I hadn’t taken the time to do in a long while: a crayon drawing! I sat down with Lillian, a second grader at Saint Raphael Catholic School, and after we read this weekend’s Gospel we each did a drawing as we imagined the scene of Jesus at the lakeshore teaching and calling his apostles. You can see the drawings below. Lillian is really good not only at drawing but at coloring in, so she helped color in the water on mine…

Jesus Lake Lillian t Jesus Lake Fr Phil t

We actually read the Gospel from an app on my phone. Lillian noticed that on my home screen wallpaper I had a quote from Pope Francis. It’s from his document The Joy of the Gospel and I have this phrase underlined: “With him it is easier…” Pope Francis is speaking about Jesus. He says, “We know well that with Jesus life becomes richer and that with him it is easier to find meaning in everything” (para. 266).

As we talked about that I said to Lillian,

Join sharing Grace at Jason’s Deli Feb 6

Sharing Grace is our informal/drop in as needed, monthly grief gathering. We meet the first Saturday of each month at Jason’s Deli at noon. You’re welcome to join us, once, twice or ongoing. Events and circumstances sometimes wear us down when we’re working through this first year or two since our loved one has passed. Stop in to share with those who understand, and build a bit of community as we recognize the struggles, learn new perspectives or techniques that might aid us in our journey. Have questions? Call or email Janet Schirripa to learn more or to register for this group. jschirripa@saintrapahel.org  919,865.5704


2016 BAA CharityLAs we build toward our parish goals of $294,914 and 100% participation, we thank everyone who’s already made a pledge to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal. There remains time for those still prayerfully considering a pledge. You can bring your personalized pledge card or fill out a BAA envelope and drop it in the collection basket. It’s also easy to donate online at BAA.DioceseofRaleigh.org.

How do our BAA gifts support the work of the Catholic Church throughout Eastern North Carolina?
• Build our faith communities through ministry education and training in each parish
• Provide our future Priests with their seminary education
• Serve over 64,000 people through Catholic Charities, which focus on Emergency Assistance, Counseling, Poverty Reduction Services and Disaster Preparation and Recovery
• Create an environment for our children where they will learn fundamental life values and receive a quality education through our Faith Formation programs and Catholic School system

These are among the many ways that the BAA impacts people and parishes, including our own, across the Diocese of Raleigh. Please join your fellow parishioners in supporting and praying for the BAA, as we endeavor to be Instruments of God’s Mercy, the theme of this year’s BAA.

If you have any questions, please contact Rick Gall, galls@bellsouth.net.  No gift is too small or large!


Lenten Intergenerational Event Feb 7

All parishioners are invited to kick-start their Lenten Journey on Sunday, Feb 7, 10:45 AM – noon in Ignatius Hall. In this Year of Mercy, we’ll remind ourselves of the Corporal Works of Mercy, and perhaps be surprised to learn all the ways our parish is involved in these Works. All participants should bring either a canned good, toiletry, or package of underwear for donation to our recognized ministries. Everyone will leave the Event with a Catholic Relief Services Rice Bowl, to encourage the Lenten tenet of almsgiving. Join us! For more information, contact Linda Lenzmeier at llenzmeier@saintraphael.org or 865-5715.

Can You Help Us During Mass?

We will be holding training sessions for potential new EMHCs on Sat. Feb.6th from 12noon -1:30pm and Tuesday Feb.9th from 7-8:30pm in the main church sanctuary. Open to all confirmed members of our parish. For more information and/or a copy of our Guidelines contact Jay Comi at jaycomi@summitrs.com.

Renewing Hope Grief Support Starts Again SIGN UP NOW

Renewing Hope, our six session grief support gathering is for those who are working through grief and are seeking a supportive setting to learn what resources and approaches can help us to keep our loved ones deep in our hearts as we respond to a new reality. This group would be appropriate for someone perhaps four or more months following the loss of a loved one, or for someone who’s loss is a few years ago, but is feeling the need to process things, gain some insights and tools. Meeting dates are Feb 7 and 21, March 6 and 19, April 3 and 17. Please call or email Janet Schirripa to learn more or to register for this group. jschirripa@saintrapahel.org  919,865.5704

Friday Lenten Dinners Return Starting Feb 12



As has been a tradition for many years, the parish, with the assistance of the Knights of Columbus, will be having Lenten Dinners for the Fridays of February 12, 19, 26 and March 4, 11, 18. Come to Raphael Hall. This is a family-friendly opportunity to share with friends great conversations, over a meal of fish, shrimp or spaghetti. Live music too!  $12 dinners (fish,shrimp) and $7 dinners (spaghetti).  $6 for under 12.  Mark your calendar now!


taxesIf you have a low income or speak limited English, volunteers from St. Raphaels VITA Ministries can help prepare BASIC tax returns for you. You may be eligible for important tax credits if you have children or support other family membersMust bring social security cards, picture id and all tax forms.

Appointments (approx. one hour long) are available 9am-12pm Saturday mornings starting January 30th through April 9th at St. Raphael Catholic school in the media center. TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT (ENGLISH OR SPANISH), CALL 865.5700 ext.303.         en Español

Heart Month at Our Preschool

ECC Practicing with foam hearts tThe 3 year old Frogs had a special visitor recently- a parent who is also a physician’s assistant! Mrs. Higgins spoke to our class about her job in the cardiology department at Rex Hospital and taught us about our hearts.

We learned where our hearts are located and how they pump blood all throughout our bodies. With large foam hearts we acted out how our heartbeats are slow when we are resting and fast when we are active. Mrs. Higgins said we need to exercise and eat lots of vegetables and fruits to keep the hearts God gave us healthy and strong. The highlight of the visit was listening to our hearts with her stethoscope. With February being Healthy Heart Month, it was a great time for Mrs. Higgins to visit!  Why don’t you visit our Preschool for your child?

Can You Chaperone in Jacksonville this Summer? June 26

I would like to ask you if you would please bring to prayer the possibility of ministering with us this Summer as chaperones with our youth in Jacksonville, Florida!  We need 9 adult chaperones and I am confident that the Lord will send laborers into his vineyard!

Dates: Sunday- Friday June 26-July 1, 2016
Benefits of being an adult Chaperone: