Fr. Raymond celebrates daily mass in the school’s new Chapel at 7:15 a.m. for all students, faculty, staff and community members, as well as teaching religion courses throughout the day to all senior students.
This is the first priest to be appointed full-time as a staff member at St. Anthony High School since the early 1990’s, 25 years ago.
St. Anthony High School has been Long Beach’s only Catholic high school since it was founded in 1920. For years, the school was administered by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Brothers of Holy Cross, but there has been no full-time religious presence on campus for the past 25 years.
St. Anthony’s President, Gina Rushing Maguire, commented that, “Fr. Raymond is a welcome presence on our campus, providing invaluable clerical support and spiritual guidance to our community. He joins a long line of dedicated religious men and women who served the high school since its founding.”.
“I’m really happy to be here at St. Anthony’s because I like smaller schools. When I was told the size of St. Anthony’s, I thought that was perfect, especially for the first time going into high school ministry”, said Fr. Raymond.
Fr. Raymond attended Whittier College, worked as a social worker for severely and emotionally disturbed children, and went on to attend and graduate from St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo. While at the seminary, Fr. Raymond always enjoyed the high school ministry field assignments the most. He loved going to classes, teaching, getting to know teens and working with campus ministry.
When asked about his contribution to the St. Anthony High School community, Fr. Raymond said, “I want to offer the chance for students, faculty and staff to always be able to come and talk to me. The students are asking for class Masses, and I would love to be able to do that. Working with students in Campus Ministry, I have already met with those involved in preparation of liturgical music for school Masses. I love to sing; I play the guitar, and that’s something I want to share with them also, to give them support. I love music ministry.”
Our Lady of Refuge parish will be hosting a welcome picnic for Fr. Raymond on Sunday, September 7th from 12:30pm-3:30pm at Stearns Champions Park in Long Beach. Click here for further event details.