patron (noun): a person chosen, named, or honored as a special guardian, protector, or supporter
Dear St. Raphael Church family and friends,
Twenty years ago, the missionary Bishop Raphael Hawaweeny was glorified as a saint in the Orthodox Church. And it was right around this time, that God was making His move to establish an Orthodox Church in Iowa City. The first services of the Iowa City Orthodox Christian Mission began a year later and soon after, Metropolitan Philip, of blessed memory, named it after St. Raphael of Brooklyn. Thus, through the providence of God, St. Raphael became our patron.
In order to continue to honor our patron saint, we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of his glorification by redoubling our requests that St. Raphael help us. In order to thrive and prosper as a fully functioning parish, we need to grow and mature. This includes growth in numerical membership, growth in spiritual knowledge and experience, growth in stewardship and stability and growth in love and outreach.
Beginning on February 27, the anniversary of his repose, and ending on November 7, when we will gather to celebrate his feast day, we will focus our petitions to our patron. We want everyone to feel like they are able to participate in this effort. Can you commit to singing or praying his troparion or the enclosed prayer daily or weekly? Then you can contribute to the effort! Can you commit to praying his akathist weekly? Then you can contribute! Perhaps you would like to coordinate with friends to agree to be praying in your homes at the same time on a schedule of your own choosing. Following Pascha, we will offer the akathist of St. Raphael once a month on the third Wednesday of the month. We encourage all to join us! In whatever way you can ask St. Raphael to pray for us during this year, we are grateful.
Your servant in Christ,
Prayer Card - includes Troparion of St. Raphael and a brief prayer for daily use
Hymns to St. Raphael - his Troparion and Kontakion (hear these at the first two links below)
Akathist Hymn to St. Raphael
Kontakion (English, Byzantine style)
Troparion (English, Byzantine style)
Troparion (English, Russian style)
Megalynarion for St. Raphael
News story about St. Raphael of Brooklyn (Nov 2015)