Celtic Mass and Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner, Saturday March 8

Father Jerome blessed the Grand Marshall’s sash before the investiture of Sister Patricia Sullivan, R.S.M. as this year’s Grand Marshall during the Celtic Mass, officially opening the Saint Patrick’s Day season for the city of Manchester.  The Ancient Order of Hibernians, the oldest and largest Irish Catholic group in America, processed in with bagpipe accompaniment, and our parish choir sang a variety of Celtic anthems during the liturgy.

Following the Celtic Mass, the parish hosted our annual Saint Patrick’s Day Dinner with a traditional meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, Irish soda bread, and a variety of desserts.  Almost three hundred people came together to celebrate the Irish heritage in the city of Manchester, with traditional Irish music as well step-dancing performed by students from the Cunniffe Academy of Irish Dance.   Joan Bissonnette chaired a diverse committee which decorated the gym at Saint Benedict Academy, organized the meals,  and arranged raffle items, in addition to the more mundane tasks of serving food and cleaning up. Many different baskets and items were raffled off to support parish activities.

Thank you to all who helped make this event such a success!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Bishop Peter Libasci asks that the people of the Diocese of Manchester unite themselves with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, this coming Saturday September 7 by fasting and gathering for prayer for peace in Syria.  Bishop Libasci calls to mind that “in praying for peace in Syria, we are also praying and hoping for the release of one of our own, journalist James Foley of Rochester, NH, who disappeared in northwest Syria on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2012.”

Although it is short notice, the Bishop believes it to be important to encourage us to heed Pope Francis’ plea, made at this past Sunday’s Angelus:

“I have decided to proclaim for the whole Church September 7, the vigil of the birth of Mary, Queen of Peace, a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, the Middle East, and throughout the world.  And I also invite each person, including our fellow Christians, followers of other religions and all people of good will, to participate, in whatever way they can, in this initiative.  We will gather together in prayer, in a spirit of penitence, to ask from God this great gift [of peace] for the beloved Syrian nation and for all the situations of conflict and violence in the world.”

Sunday, August 25

Saint Raphael Parish celebrated Fr. Jerome’s 60th birthday with a surprise party during the brunch following Sunday 9:30 Mass.  Almost two hundred parishioners attended the festivities along with Abbot Mark and several of Fr. Jerome’s confreres from St. Anselm Abbey.  Parish members kept the purpose of the “end-of-summer brunch” secret so that Fr. Jerome was completely surprised on his first day back from a short summer break.

Parishioners were surrounded by British themed decorations and treated to a slide show of Fr. Jerome’s life from babyhood to his present vocation as monk and priest.  An enormous poster-board birthday card provided everyone with an opportunity to write their personal good wishes.   Fr. Jerome was presented with a number of humorous gifts as well as a formal ‘coat of arms’ representing elements of his life and faith journey.   Special thanks to Staff members Kerri Stanley, Therese Dame, Dorene Turner for organizing the event!

Fr. Jerome would like to express his heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in and attended the party; he was deeply touched by the affection of all his well-wishers in the parish as they honored his entry into a new decade of life.

Bishop joins Saint Raphael for Mass,  jazz brunch to mark 125th anniversary

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Saint Raphael the Archangel Parish celebrated its 125th anniversary with a special Mass of Thanksgiving, followed by a jazz brunch and an historical display, on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7, 2013.

The Most Rev. Peter A. Libasci, D.D., bishop of Manchester, was the principal celebrant of the Mass, assisted by the Rev. Jason Jalbert, master of ceremonies and director of the diocesan Office of Worship. During his homily, Bishop Libasci paid tribute to the loyalty and faith of generations of parishioners and the commitment and service of the Benedictine community at Saint Anselm, which has operated the parish since its foundation on behalf of the diocese.

Concelebrants were the Rev. Jerome Joseph Day, O.S.B., pastor; the Rev. Patrick M. Sullivan, O.S.B., infirmarian at Saint Anselm Abbey, the Rev. John R. Fortin, O.S.B. and the Rev. Benedict M. Guevin, O.S.B., professors of philosophy and theology respectively at Saint Anselm College, and the Rev. John D’Orazio, assistant pastor of San Lino Parish in Rome, Italy. Both Fathers Benedict and D’Orazio are native sons of Saint Raphael.

The choir, under the direction of Dennis Delay, director of music at the parish, sang the Mass, with Lyle Hamel as organist and Ian McCarthy as trumpeter. Joseph Spoerl, professor of philosophy at Saint Anselm, served as lector. Gifts for the Eucharist were presented to Bishop Libasci by Margaret Ann Moran, chair of the parish pastoral council, and Diane Bolton, the bereavement coordinator for the parish.

Following the Mass, parishioners and friends were feted at a brunch that featured a specially made 125th anniversary cake made by parishioner Katherine Carignan. During a short speaking program, remarks were delivered by Atty. Moran; Armand Carignan, immediate past chair of the council; Caresse Mailloux, representing the young people of the parish; and Fr. Jerome.

The Gleason-Brown jazz trio performed during the brunch for about 150 persons.

Saint Raphael will conclude its year-long 125th celebration with solemn high vespers in the fall. The Rt. Rev. Mark A. Cooper, O.S.B., abbot of Saint Anselm, will preside at that event. Because the parish’s celebration coincides with the Year of Faith, the first major activity was a 10-day pilgrimage this past October to the shrines of Italy, including major sites associated with Saint Benedict.

Saint Raphael was established in 1888 to serve German-speaking Catholics in Greater Manchester, as well as English-speaking Catholics, mostly Irish, in southwestern Manchester and Bedford. The first pastor, the Rev. Sylvester Yoerg, O.S.B., came from Saint Mary’s Abbey, Newark, N.J., at the invitation of the Most Rev. Denis Bradley, D.D., first bishop of Manchester, and at the direction of Abbot Hilary Pfraengle, O.S.B., to establish the parish and, the following year, lay the groundwork for establishment of Saint Anselm College.