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Jesus had twelve Apostles, but He also had many other followers whom He called disciples. Jesus walked with two of these disciples, Cleopas and his companion, along the road to Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 
The disciples are downhearted, because they believed Jesus would free them from the power of the Romans, and they think he remains dead. Jesus wanted to comfort them and bring them to true faith in Him and then to be His witnesses. But as they walked along, the disciples did not recognize Him.
Jesus gradually reveals the Resurrection to them. First, He explains all that referred to Him in the Scripture. He showed how the promised Messiah would have to suffer, but then die and rise again.
As Catholics, we believe that the Scripture is the inspired word of God, but we must understand Scripture as the Church understands it. Before there was a New Testament, there was the Church. The Church encourages us to read Sacred Scripture. In fact, St. Jerome said: “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” 
As they are fed with the word, Cleopas and his companion have new and lasting hope. Jesus pretends to continue along the road, but his disciples plead with Him by saying “Stay with us.” Still, they don’t recognize him. It is only when He took the bread, blessed and broke it that the disciples recognized Jesus. The “breaking of the bread” was a term the early Christians used to describe the Eucharist.
At every liturgy, we have an experience similar to these disciples. First, we are fed with the word of God. Then we are fed with the Eucharist in which we receive Jesus in His body, blood, souls and divinity.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our lives. It is the source, because Jesus says “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). He also says “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).
The Eucharist is the summit, because there is no more perfect union with Jesus which we can experience on this earth than receiving Him in the Holy Eucharist. Jesus says “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him” (John 6:56).
The Eucharist is a ledge of eternal life. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that when we receive Jesus in the Eucharist worthily, He helps to separate us from sin, cleanses us of venial sins, strengthens virtue, prevents future mortal sins, renews, strengthens and deepens our incorporation into the Church.
The disciples were strengthened through the word which Jesus explained to them. They recognized Jesus by the “breaking of the bread”. Now they return to Jerusalem to let the eleven remaining Apostles know what has happened. When we leave the Liturgy we go into the world. We should seek opportunities to tell people what God has done for us, what happens at every Liturgy, when we have an opportunity to be fed by the word of God, to be united with Our Lord and Savior in the Eucharist and to receive Him who is our pledge of eternal life.

New Parish Pastoral Council
In accord with the new Eparchial regulations approved by His Excellency, Bishop Elias A. Zaidan, Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, each Parish is to establish a Parish Pastoral Council.  The Parish Pastoral Council is to have nine members, six elected by the parish and three appointed by the Pastor.  The Parish Pastoral Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Pastor. I wish to sincerely thank those members who have faithfully served on the former Parish Board and I prayerfully invoke God’s choicest blessings upon them for their dedicated stewardship.

During the weekend of April 11th and 12th, Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish held an election for the new Parish Pastoral Council.  I wish to thank all of those wonderful parishioners who allowed their names to be placed in nomination for the Parish Pastoral Council.  Whether elected or not, each person on the ballot represented a dedicated individual who has been an outstanding participant in the spiritual, social and family life of Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish.  May God bless them.
On Monday, April 13, 2015, the Nominating Committee met to tabulate the ballots.  I am pleased to announce the following six parishioners (in alphabetical order) were elected to serve on the new Parish Pastoral Council:
Rick Baker
Greg Elking
Gina Fanetti
Mary Ann Powell
John Simon, Jr.
Jim Ulett
In continued accord with Eparchial regulations, as Rector of Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish, I have appointed the following three parishioners to serve on the Parish Pastoral Council:
Nina Bouhasin
Samirah Day
Maged Haikal, MD, Chairman

As we move to adopt the new Eparchial format for advisory governance, I wish to express my gratitude and esteem for ALL of our parishioners who continually sacrifice their time, talent, and treasure for Saint Raymond Cathedral Parish. God bless you all.

Chorbishop Moussa Joseph

Invitations for the kitchen volunteer appreciation luncheon went out last week. Please contact the rectory  at (314) 621-0056 to let us know if you will be attending by April 23rd so we can order the food

The sound system will be installed at the end of April. Please consider donating to this important improvement to our church. Thank you to those of you who have already donated!

As everyone is aware, Saint Raymond Parish has the wonderful custom of gathering for coffee and donuts after the 9 am and 11 am Sunday Liturgies.  These coffee socials are an important fabric of Saint Raymond Parish as they unite family and friends week after week.  We are in need of some help in continuing the hospitality of our coffee socials.  Please consider forming a small team of one or two people to prepare the coffee with the help of the instruction booklet! Our hope is to get several small teams so that each team would only volunteer once per month.  Please considering serving in this important ministry for the Cathedral Parish.  If you want more information, or wish to volunteer, please contact the rectory office at 314-621-0056 or May God bless you abundantly.

The NAM convention will take place in Cleveland, Ohio July 1-5, 2015. Those who wish to attend and participate may pick up fliers and information from the vestibule of the church or visit the website of NAM at for more details.

The Ladies Society is collecting items for April Showers for the entire month of April.  You may bring them to church with you and put them in the designated area in the vestibule. There is a list of items needed in the back of church. Some ideas are: shampoo, conditioner, gel, diapers, pull-ups, crib sheets, kids socks and underwear, adult slippers, lotions, toilet paper, wipes, and gift cards. All donated items go to Our Lady’s Inn.
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New Sunday is the eighth day of the Church’s celebration of the resurrection. The first week of the Season of Resurrection, the Week of Hawareyeen, has come to a conclusion. During this week we have seen the various appearances of the Lord: to Mary Magdalene, the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, to Peter, the disciples on the road to Emmaus, and the disciples gathered in the upper room. Now the appearances of the Lord are over. In overcoming the hesitation of Thomas, the Lord revealed to the apostles the truth of the Resurrection. Christ is risen, truly risen!
New Sunday once and for all puts an end to the old way of looking at the Lord. He is no longer revealed in the flesh (as the disciples experienced him during his life with them); nor in glory (as Thomas did). From now on, he is revealed in Spirit, through the experience of faith and in the Mysteries (sacraments). Only in the Spirit is there a sharing in his mystery of redemption. His word is crystal clear and resounds for all ages and generations:
“You have become a believer,
Because you saw me.
Blessed are they who have not 
Seen and have believed.”

The Catholic church celebrates this Sunday the Divine Mercy Feast. 
Clearly, Divine Mercy Sunday is not a new feast; it was established to 
celebrate St. Faustina’s revelations. . The second Sunday of Easter 
was already a solemnity as the Octave Day of Easter; the title, 
“Divine Mercy Sunday” does highlight and amplify the meaning of the 
Day. In this way, it recovers an ancient liturgical tradition, reflected 
in a teaching attributed to St. Augustine about the Easter octave, 
which he called “the days of mercy and pardon,” and the octave day 
itself “the compendium of the days of mercy.”
Liturgically, the Easter octave has always been centered on the 
theme of Divine Mercy and forgiveness. Divine Mercy Sunday, 
therefore, points out the merciful love of God that lies behind the Paschal Mystery-the whole mystery of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ—made present for us in the Eucharist. Divine Mercy Sunday is meant to be the day of “thanksgiving for the goodness God has shown to us in the whole Easter mystery.”

The Ladies Society is collecting items for April Showers for the entire month 
of April.  You may bring them to church with you and put them in the designated 
area in the vestibule. There is a list of items needed in the back of church. All 
donated items go to Our Lady’s Inn.

The sound system will be installed at the end of April. Please consider donating to this important improvement to our church.

Sincere thanks and appreciation to all those parishioners and friends who sent Chorbishop Moussa Easter greeting, gifts and well wishes. May the Lord bless you all!

The St. Raymond's Ladies Society would like to say "THANK YOU" to everyone who brought in cakes for the Bake Sale we had on Palm Sunday. Also "THANK YOU" to everyone who purchased cakes and helped us raise $739.00. We could not have done it without you! St. Raymond bless you. 

Thank you to all those who helped in so many ways on Palm Sunday. The luncheon made about $8,500.00. Expenses totaled about $3000.00. We couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you!

The Annual Lenten Appeal for the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon is now taking place. Our parish’s goal for this year’s Appeal is $8500.00. We have received $6680.00 of the $8500.00 so far. If we don’t reach our goal, the parish has to make up the difference. Please be generous and support the Eparchy.  Thank you.  
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April 1, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our Maronite ritual on Easter centers around the theme of “Peace”; the Risen Christ is our peace and he grants peace to our minds and hearts. We will never enjoy true peace unless we get closer to Jesus.
Easter grants peace of mind: Christ reveals to us the identity and essence of God.
Easter grants peace of conscience: Christ has reconciled us with God and each other.
Easter grants us peace of heart: Christ calms our anxieties and we enjoy his presence within us.
As we approach this most sacred feast of the Church –the solemn celebration of the Resurrection - I echo the ancient Christian salutation: Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
I also wish to extend to you the blessings of this Holy Feast, asking the Lord to bless you and your loved ones. As the Hoosoyo says for this feast: “Clothe our bodies with the power of the Spirit, so that we may shine in the robe of glory and in its light see you, the true Bridegroom.”
The Feast of the Resurrection also ushers in a new season. A season of exultation and joy because death has been conquered. It is a season of peace and unity. I pray for both.
I assure all that you will be remembered in the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection.
May Christ fill your homes and your hearts with that peace that comes to us from Christ’s love.
A Blessed and Joyful Easter to all of you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ A. Elias Zaidan
Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles
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