"As a religious act, to make something of the new day. To celebrate the arrival of a new dawn is a very fine thing to do. You know, we just barge through it we get up bleary eyed, hung over, make a dash for the kettle and the coffee, and the taster. And then run out the door, worried we're late for work. Imagine starting the day quietly, evenly, considerately, it's a very very different approach."
In the fall of 2004, the 150th anniversary of the building of St. Raphael was celebrated. Soon after, in the fall and winter of 2004, a new copper and stainless steel steeple replaced a badly deteriorating wooden steeple. The parish was just beginning to enjoy the new steeple when – early in the morning of March 14, 2005 – a fire set by an arsonist spread from the choir loft throughout the church. The entire roof burned and caved in, but the steeple withstood the fire.