The AVILAS is a group of women and men who have joined together under the patronage of St. Teresa of Avila to pray for an increase in vocations. Associate members join in a monthly Mass, holy hour, recitation of the Rosary and vocation prayers.
Jesus calls us to spend time with Him and to pray in His presence. Jesus longs for a quiet time with each of us to speak to our hearts. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed for us to see and to draw close to Him. Prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament is an intimate time with the One who knows and loves you completely.
Focused primarily on the various configurations of "family" (two parents and children; adult caring for elderly parent; single parent with children, etc.), the Family Ministry addresses the prayer, worship, catechetical and spiritual dimensions of the family. In addition to publishing a monthly newsletter, this ministry hosts various events that help deepen the relationship between family members and with the parish community as well as with our Lord Jesus Christ. Activities include family retreats, pot luck events, family rosary gatherings and service opportunities.
Legion of Mary
The St. Raphael Legion of Mary seeks to bring Jesus, through Mary, to our parishioners by performing spiritual works of mercy. In teams of two, Legion members perform an hour of service each week, for example, by sending cards to families of the newly baptized parishioners, praying the Rosary at wakes or attending funerals, or making home visits to pray the Rosary. We meet every Tuesday at 10 a.m. after Mass to pray the Rosary, read from the Legion handbook and hear a reflection by our Spiritual Director. The Legion of Mary was founded by Servant of God Frank Duff in Dublin, Ireland, on September 7, 1921 with a mission to serve the Church under the influence of the Holy Spirit and the powerful leadership of Mary. St. Raphael's Legion of Mary was founded on September 7, 2010 and named its praesidium (group) after Our Lady of Guadalupe. See the Legion's international web page, http://www.legionofmary.ie/ or http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/LOM.htm for more information.
St. Raphael's Marriage Ministry focuses on the preparation and continued enrichment of the Sacrament of Marriage through activities and experiences that help form authentic relationships and community among engaged and married Catholics. The emphasis is on helping couples deepen their sense of belonging and ownership of their Catholic identity, as well as providing a living example of the Sacrament of Marriage to the greater community. The Marriage Ministry welcomes married and engaged couples of all ages. Besides the annual Pre-Cana Day for engaged couples, the Marriage Ministry hosts social events throughout the year and an annual couples retreat
Weekend Marriage Retreat
This annual retreat experience away from the parish allows couples to deepen their prayer life and relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church, and each other. It includes prominent speakers, group discussions, private sharing time for the couple, Mass, prayer walks, as well as opportunities for fun activities.
Couples planning to be married in the Cleveland Diocese are required to attend PreCana as part of their preparation for their commitment to each other and the Sacrament of Matrimony. This conference gives the couple the opportunity to learn about the sacramental commitment from a priest and from members of the community, including couples who are living the sacrament who volunteer to lead sessions. St. Raphael hosts a day for those couples being married at St. Raphael and other surrounding parishes. Topics include: communication skills, parenting issues, the role of faith life in marriage, and plans for the actual ceremony.
Ministry of Consolation
The Ministry of Consolation is the response of a living faith to minister to those who suffer from the death of a loved one. This multi-faceted ministry develops from assessing the needs of the parish community. It is a bereavement ministry that attends to the specific needs of children and adults. It provides support, education and hope for the grieving.
The Prayer Ministry offers daily prayer for specific requests from parishioners and throughout the community. The "prayer partners" insure that requests are circulated among their community of concerned individuals, either by phone or email.
The Patriotic Rosary resulted from a Thanksgiving Day (1988) vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Alabama, to Marija, the visionary from Medjugorje. The prayers of the Patriotic Rosary include quotes from our Founding Fathers, patriotic songs, and a remembrance of each of the 50 states. This special prayer for the consecration of our nation is recited to its Patroness, 2-3 times a year.
The Women's Retreat brings women of the parish and outside the parish together to encounter the living Lord Jesus in a deeper, more personal way. It is time set apart from the busy world to be quite and listen to the voice of God within each individually and as sisters united with God and one another under the guidance of outside guest speakers.
Conquest is a National network of leadership programs, clubs, and camps for boys and young men 5 - 16 years of age. Conquest trains boys to become self-disciplined and confident young men, Catholic leaders who possess moral integrity and are committed to improving the communities in which they live. John Hull , (440) 892-7788
Faith Sharing Groups were formed by the women of St. Raphael Parish after the first Women's Retreat. In the Christian tradition, faith sharing is a time of prayer, reading and reflecting together on the Word of God. The mission is to continue nourishing the Eucharistic Faith we celebrate each Sunday by coming together at regular intervals to share our faith experiences through the Word of God. Karen Kozsey, (440) 835-1422
As an extension of our St. Raphael faith community, this ministry has been formed to give comfort and strength to those in need of prayer. The Guardian Angels will pray with you privately in church. Specially trained prayer teams will be available after certain Masses to offer their assistance, comfort and support. A special prayer attendant will guide you to the appropriate prayer team at the front of our church. Your prayer intentions will be held in full confidence by the Guardian Angels.
Ignatian Spiritual Exercises
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola is offered to adults, families, and fifth grade students of St. Raphael School. This nine-week (or thirty-week) retreat experience can deepen one's relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through disciplined prayer based in scripture. In addition, the retreatants are taught through the Examen to prayerfully reflect how God is present in their daily experiences. Becoming more sensitive to the movement of the Holy Spirit through discernment is another component of the retreat. Dr Andrew Kereky. (440) 871-1100
Liturgy of the Hours
This is the "prayer of the Church" and is also referred to as the "Hours," "Breviary," and "Office." Consisting primarily of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours is a way to "pray always" and to consecrate each day to our Lord Jesus Christ. The Liturgy of the Hours is a tapestry of psalms, canticles, readings, and antiphons. It's roots stretch back to Jesus and the apostles.
The Marriage Retreat—the gift of love to each other. The Marriage Retreat is a 7 week retreat designed to strengthen and enhance marriages, no matter, how long you have been married. Each week the presenter offers marriage enhancing concepts and techniques followed by each couple, husband and wife privately working and sharing together. No one is ever asked to share or speak publically. The Marriage Retreat is normally held in January and last for 7 weeks, one night per week.
This is an excellent opportunity for quiet prayer and reflection. The Men’s Retreat weekend away from the busy’ness of our everyday lives is an opportunity to rest in the presence of the Lord, and be aware of what the Lord has to say to each of us. Retreatants find that the Lord brings peace and direction to their lives. The Men's Retreat provides an opportunity to be together and share with other men, our Pastor, Father Tim, and the Presenters, in order to focus primarily on our spiritual lives, and to realize the depths of the riches of God’s grace and the special helps available, where busy men can find rest for the soul and the strength to carry on the daily tasks of family, work and other cares, concerns and joys. This Retreat is also a wonderful way to prepare for the Lenten season.
Parish Feast Day
The Feast of St. Raphael the Archangel is celebrated on September 29th. It is an opportunity for members of the various ministries and organizations to pray together for the intercession of the parish patron.
Every other year, during Lent, the pastoral staff presents a Parish Mission. This is an opportunity for spiritual nourishment, inspiration and prayer. The mission is a concentrated period usually led by an outside speaker.
The Spiritual Life Committee promotes the nourishing and caring of one's spirit. They help the staff to develop, plan and implement various programs, workshops, and days of reflection to enhance growth and development in adult spirituality.
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