What we're about

Welcome!

St. Raphael's has been serving the Bay Area since 1925. At our newly opened Chapel (October 2015) in Richmond we offer Sunday services beginning with a homage to Our Lady at 9:45 a.m. and culminating with the Holy Eucharist. We open our gift shop and book nook upon appointment, providing rosaries, prayer cards, and books encompassing spiritual paths and wisdom traditions in partnership with a well known book seller that has had to recently close their doors. Our clergy also continue to serve the greater Bay Area, giving Communion and solace to those in need.

"We hope you will take some time to discover what the church stands for and teaches. Further, I hope that if you live near you will consider visiting and worshiping with us. Please be assured that you are welcome to our fellowship and to join us in celebration and participation.

It is hoped that as the result of your visit you will discover some Light on your Path. To that end, I pray in the words of St Paul, from his Epistle to the Ephesians “that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”"

~ The Rt. Rev. William Downey, Regionary Bishop of The Liberal Catholic Church, Province of the United States

The Liberal Catholic Church is an independent and self-governing body; neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant — but Catholic… It aims at combining the traditional sacramental form of worship — with its stately ritual, its deep mysticism and its abiding witness to the reality of sacramental grace — with the widest measure of intellectual liberty and respect for the individual conscience. It therefore permits to its members freedom in interpretation of the scriptures, the creeds and the liturgy. Regarding the mind as one of the great avenues to spiritual apprehension, it encourages among its adherents the freest play of scientific and philosophic thought.

The Liberal Catholic Church is a living Christian church which maintains that the form of religion should keep pace with human spiritual growth and enlightenment; but it also holds that the church has handed down a very precious heritage from Christ himself.

In short we are a progressive, non-dogmatic, mystically-oriented Christian Church that offers the Holy Eucharist to people of ALL faiths. The orders of the clergy of The Liberal Catholic Church were derived through the Old Catholic Church of Holland which became independent from Rome over two centuries ago. Through this Apostolic Succession, unbroken since the time of Christ, The Liberal Catholic Church aligns itself with the historic church in past centuries. The clergy are neither forbidden nor enjoined to marry. They serve without personal remuneration. The clergy claim no authority over the individual conscience; rather, stress is laid on their function as ministers of the Divine Sacraments, ready to serve those who may ask or need their help.

A CEREMONIAL CHURCH: It teaches the Christianity of the Christ and administers the seven Sacraments which are regarded as channels of His blessing. It is a church wherein there is intellectual and religious freedom and a natural balance between ceremonial worship, devotional aspiration, scientific and mystic thought. It uses a revised Liturgy, a Liturgy devised to sound a note of joyous and uplifting aspiration. The Liberal Catholic Church welcomes all and everyone to its services, those who have faith and those who have lost faith; those who believe in the literal exposition of the scriptures and those who accept the allegorical spiritual interpretation. Above all, it wishes to serve those who are earnestly seeking spiritual enlightenment.

FREEDOM OF BELIEF: The Liberal Catholic Church erects no barriers around its altars. All who come in a spirit of reverence are welcome to Holy Communion and to all other services of the Church. What opinions or beliefs an individual holds is considered to be his/her own affair. The mind that is free is in the best condition to grow. Growth into spirituality enhances the perception of truth which each one must discover for himself/herself and in his/her own way. Anything less than full mental freedom is thought to retard progress. Thus, our difference lies in the fact that with the ancient sacramental worship have been associated the widest measure of intellectual freedom and respect for the individual conscience.

Upcoming events (5)

The Holy Eucharist Service

St. Raphael's Liberal Catholic Church

The Holy Eucharist Rightly do we regard this service as the supreme act of Christian worship and offer thanks to Him who gave it. All the love and devotion which are so freely poured out during the service and the infinite abundance of spiritual power which is called down from on high in response, are gathered together by the directing angel and shed abroad upon the world along with the benediction given by the celebrant. Through the ceremony of the Holy Eucharist, each time it is celebrated, there passes forth into the world a wave of peace and strength, the effect of which can hardly be overrated; and this, which is indeed the primary object of the service, is achieved at every celebration, whether the priest be alone in his private oratory or ministering to a vast congregation in some magnificent cathedral. Therefore it offers to us an unequaled opportunity of becoming laborers together with God, of doing Him true and laudable service by acting as channels of His Wondrous Power. ~ From The Liturgy of The Liberal Catholic Church

The Holy Eucharist Service

St. Raphael's Liberal Catholic Church

The Holy Eucharist Rightly do we regard this service as the supreme act of Christian worship and offer thanks to Him who gave it. All the love and devotion which are so freely poured out during the service and the infinite abundance of spiritual power which is called down from on high in response, are gathered together by the directing angel and shed abroad upon the world along with the benediction given by the celebrant. Through the ceremony of the Holy Eucharist, each time it is celebrated, there passes forth into the world a wave of peace and strength, the effect of which can hardly be overrated; and this, which is indeed the primary object of the service, is achieved at every celebration, whether the priest be alone in his private oratory or ministering to a vast congregation in some magnificent cathedral. Therefore it offers to us an unequaled opportunity of becoming laborers together with God, of doing Him true and laudable service by acting as channels of His Wondrous Power. ~ From The Liturgy of The Liberal Catholic Church

The Holy Eucharist Service

St. Raphael's Liberal Catholic Church

The Holy Eucharist Rightly do we regard this service as the supreme act of Christian worship and offer thanks to Him who gave it. All the love and devotion which are so freely poured out during the service and the infinite abundance of spiritual power which is called down from on high in response, are gathered together by the directing angel and shed abroad upon the world along with the benediction given by the celebrant. Through the ceremony of the Holy Eucharist, each time it is celebrated, there passes forth into the world a wave of peace and strength, the effect of which can hardly be overrated; and this, which is indeed the primary object of the service, is achieved at every celebration, whether the priest be alone in his private oratory or ministering to a vast congregation in some magnificent cathedral. Therefore it offers to us an unequaled opportunity of becoming laborers together with God, of doing Him true and laudable service by acting as channels of His Wondrous Power. ~ From The Liturgy of The Liberal Catholic Church

Our Lady’s Rosary of the Seven Rays Service

St. Raphael's Liberal Catholic Church

Our Lady’s Rosary of the Seven Rays An Esoteric Christian Yoga Enlightenment Method The Rosary is generally associated with the tradition of Roman Catholic Christianity, but because the rosary method is excellent for the development of the spiritual life, there are rosary practices in two other of the world’s great religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. The Rosary is, in fact, valuable esoteric spiritual development method — a method which places in the hand of the Rosarian (the Rosary user) a process of receiving angelic aid and a process for attunement to the Seven Rays. The Ray Rosary (Our Lady’s Rosary Of The Seven Rays) is a prayer and meditation method which safely raises the human consciousness, which quickens the devotional powers of the heart chakra, and which can be used on behalf of those who need help. The Ray Rosary is the esoteric practice used with what is known as the “Franciscan Crown Rosary,” sometimes also called the “Rosary of the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” The Franciscan Rosary is NOT the same as the better-known “Dominican Rosary” which has five decades (set of ten beads). The Dominican Rosary has fifteen mysteries; to say them all, the Rosarian must go round the five decades three times. However, the Rosary of the Seven Rays or Ray Rosary has seven decades, each one corresponding to the Seven Joys of Mary; in turn, each Joy corresponds to one of the Seven Rays which flows through the ray crosses and ray candles in the Liturgy of The Liberal Catholic Church. These correspondences make the Ray Rosary perfect for use by esoteric Christians who have an occult understanding of the inner laws of the Cosmos. Where did the Rosary of the Seven Rays come from? According to the famous Roman Catholic Franciscan historian, Fr. Luke Wadding, our Heavenly Mother, the Holy Lady Mary, appeared to a young novice of the Franciscan Order in 1422 and gave this lad specific instructions on which of the Joyous Mysteries were most important to Her. After She instructed the novice in how to say this Rosary, Mary vanished, and the novice began immediately to say the new Rosary. (NOTE: The Ave Maria of the Ray Rosary is the original form given by Mary in her 1422 appearance — “Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. Amen.”) As he did so, his superior in the monastery (who was a natural clairvoyant) was passing by and was astonished to observe an angel weaving a "wreath of roses." These the angel placed on the head of the novice when the Rosary was finished. (The angel was probably manipulating the energies of the novice’s crown chakra, which the monastery superior interpreted to resemble a “wreath of roses”.) When the novice explained to his astonished superior what had happened, the superior made it known to the brothers of the monastery, and the “Franciscan Crown” became established. For esoteric use, remember that the Franciscan Crown Rosary is re-named as Our Lady’s Rosary of the Seven Rays as being a more accurate description of what it does. This name has then been shortened to Ray Rosary. The Ray Rosary is a spiritual process which can be considered in three aspects: (1) as a mantra meditation practice; (2) as Bhakti Yoga; and (3) as a true Magical process.

Past events (272)

The Holy Eucharist Service

St. Raphael's Liberal Catholic Church

Photos (9)