top of page

Good News for April 17, 2024

Years ago, there was a TV show entitled “Children Say the Darndest Things.“ It was hosted by Art Linkletter. Art was a famous TV personality. The things that children say, and the questions they ask, are often amusing. They are also sometimes quite profound and insightful.


There is something on social media called AMA or “Ask Me Anything.” Someone with knowledge of a particular field gives people an opportunity to ask them anything. He or she then attempts to provide answers. For example, in 2018, Bishop Barron became the first Catholic bishop ever to host a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). With over 11,000 comments, it became the third most-commented-on Reddit AMA of 2018 (behind only Jordan Peterson and Bill Gates).


During Lent and Holy Week, many people make it a practice to come to Mass more often. This time is unusual and liturgically rich. People notice aspects of the liturgy that strike them as curious, unusual, or sometimes confusing. Same with the Scripture readings. Often, they come to me and say something like, “Father, can you explain this?” It is like a liturgical AMA.


I am often impressed by the depth of their questions. I must admit that I usually can answer them to a degree. When I dig deeper, I find the details behind the question quite interesting and profound.


One parishioner recently asked, “What time did Jesus die?” She picked up that there seemed to be a difference between what the various Gospels indicated. I did a deep dive and found this on “Got Questions? Your Questions: Biblical Answers.”


First, the Gospel writers do not refer to time like we do (9 am or 3 pm). Instead, they refer to the third, sixth, or ninth hour after the 6 am daybreak (or 9 o’clock, noon, and 3 pm respectively). So, for the most part, Matthew, Mark, and Luke agree on the details about the time of Christ’s crucifixion.


According to Matthew, Jesus died “about the ninth hour” (or 3 pm) on Friday. This was before the start of Passover which started at 6 pm Friday. Luke 23:44–47 agrees with Matthew about the darkness that descended "at the sixth hour." Both agree that Jesus’ death was about the "ninth hour." Mark 15:25 adds some further information. “It was the third hour when they crucified Him.” The rest of Mark's account agrees with Matthew and Luke about the times of darkness and Jesus’ death.


John seems to go in a different direction and record something different. John 19:13–14 seems to place the hearing before Pilate “about” noon. This would conflict with Mark, who records that Jesus was crucified at the third hour or 9 am.


Why would John do this? Some scholars suggest that John may be making a theological point. The selection of the Paschal lamb would take place around noon on the day before Passover (Friday). Thus, John sees Jesus being chosen around noon as the ultimate “Paschal Lamb” who would take away the sins of the world. 


Taking all the evidence together, Jesus was crucified at some time in the morning. He died at some time in the afternoon. He would have spent somewhere between three and six hours on the cross. A good part of that time was in total darkness. The Gospel writers were not overly interested in precision in this matter. They were far more concerned with the theological implications, which they faithfully recorded.


Fr. Charles Zlock

Follow me on social media!


Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

Jazz Concert Benefiting St. Raymond School

Join us Saturday, April 20 from 7-11pm for Smooth Jazz / R&B featuring Shirley Lites & Company. Enjoy complimentary wine, cheese, and crackers while supplies last. Feel free to bring your own beverages.

Purchase your tickets in advance for $25 by calling the rectory at 215-549-3760. Tickets will be $30 at the door.

Sponsored by the Men of St. Raymond, all proceeds from the concert will benefit St. Raymond School.


Join us Sunday, 4/21 for Bibles, Boots & Backpacks!

Join us for "Bible, Boots, and Backpacks" — a series of unique hikes led by Father Charles Zlock. On these journeys, we'll explore nature while reflecting on Pope Francis' message in Laudato Si’, an invitation to care for our planet and each other. It's a chance to walk, reflect, and connect with both creation and our Creator. Everyone is welcome, so grab a friend and come along for inspiration, community, and a breath of fresh air. Let's walk, reflect, and grow together!

Get detailed information about each hike here. Call Fr Zlock if you have further questions at 215-549-3760, ext 1.


Hospitality Sunday Returns April 21!

Spring has sprung, and the St. Raymond tradition of Hospitality Sunday will return on the third Sunday, all through the warm-weather months. This is a time of conviviality, when we can welcome visitors and chat with friends after Mass while we're munching on some good old Philly soft pretzels and other treats. See you in the office/rectory basement!

In order to make everything run smoothly, we need some help in the following areas:

  • Purchasing food and supplies

  • Set up on day of hospitality

  • Breakdown and clean up on day of hospitality

  • Keeping the supply room stocked

Please contact Brandi at at 215-549-3760 or email if you'd like to be part of our Hospitality Team.


Anointing of the Sick

Jesus healed the sick. He used these miracles to draw people to greater faith and continues this work in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. While the priest prays for the physical healing of the person, the grace of the sacrament goes beyond to strengthen the soul and preserve the person from despair through an outpouring of hope.

Last weekend, we celebrated a Anointing Masses within our parish community. At the Saturday Mass, 25 people were anointed; on Sunday at 8 am, nine people; at the 10 am Mass, 40. Please pray for all our church family members who received this sacrament.


Ministry Moment

Refugee Empowerment Support Team (REST)

It’s That Time of Year…

Cleaning out your closets and changing over from winter to spring and summer clothes is

upon us. It’s also a chance to help Hamira, a young woman from Afghanistan who has recently resettled in Philadelphia, sharpen her skills with a needle. If you have some hems to be shortened, buttons to be sewn on, knitted or crocheted clothing that needs mending, Hamira would love to make those items like new again.

Our parishioner, Bonnie Dalzell, is happy to be the go-between. Just call or text her at 215-823-9910 if a favorite item needs fixing. Then bring your items to the 10 am Mass any Sunday and tell her what you need. She'll take them to Hamira and return them to you when she has worked her wonders with repairs. It’s a possible start to a cottage industry for one of our most-willing workers.

PS Prom time is upon us. Do you know anyone who needs a dress hem shortened?


Celebrating Our Youth with Generation Grace

Do you have a child in grades 6th-8th? Please contact Brandi to get them involved in our Middle School Youth Ministry. Below is the schedule that was created for the children. We would love to have all our Middle School Kids involved. Brandi can be contacted at or 215-549-3760.

Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28 - Youth Ministry Bake Sale After all Masses - (please note new bake sale dates)

Sunday, May 26 - Caring for Friends Food Preparation

Support our Youth


Church Announcements

Funeral for Diane Gilbert

The Mass of Christian Burial for Diane Gilbert will be held at 11am on Friday, April 19, with interment following at Ivy Hill Cemetery. The viewing begins at 9:30 am.

Funeral for Gloria Crittendon

The viewing for Gloria Crittendon will be held from 10 am to 11 am, Saturday, April 20. The funeral Mass begins at 11 am, and will be livestreamed.


Upcoming Sacrament

Daniel Jaffe will make his Confirmation @ 10am Mass, 4/21/2024

Silence Cell Phones

Please remember how distracting cell-phone noises can be during Mass. We prayerfully ask you to silence your phone when you enter church, so that no one is disturbed during this holy hour.

Lost and Found

Have you lost any personal items during Church service and never retrieved them? Please check the bin in the back of Church labeled “Lost & Found”. People turn in items often to the Rectory. All items turned in are put into the bin.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers are back, and they meet here at St. Raymond every Thursday from 4 pm to 6 pm. If you are interested or know someone who is, please contact Brandi in the Church Rectory at 215-549-3760 or email her at

Church Safety Equipment

Recently, the Parish purchased two items that are important to church safety. A fully- equipped first aid kit, as well as an automated external defibrillator (also known as an AED device), are located in the sacristy. Both are on a table to the left of the sacristy sink. This ensures that St. Raymond has sufficient means to address significant medical emergencies during liturgical events.

Trauma Kit Now in Sacristy

Did you know that trauma cases are one of the leading causes of fatalities for people over 40? To increase the possibility of addressing medical issues requiring trauma first aid, a "Stop the Bleed" trauma (or tourniquet) kit is now in the sacristy. It is located next to the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED), to the left of the sink.

The trauma kit includes:

  • Tourniquet with windlass rod

  • Heavy gloves

  • Compression dressing

  • Packing gauze

  • Marker

Using the kit is not difficult but does require a bit of familiarity with the items in the kit. A five-minute instructional video can be found here. It's worth taking the time to watch, just in case.

Financial Facts

We thank those parishioners who, recognizing God’s gifts to them, make their response in our weekly collection. Your continued support is vital, necessary, and deeply appreciated.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $5,365.00

Electronic Giving: $4,683.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $275.00

REST: $50.00

Easter Offering: $240.00

Total: $10,613.00



Matthew 9:37-38:  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Numerous needs have been communicated here and in the bulletin. Unfortunately, responses are nearly non-existent. A vibrant parish has members responding to the call for help. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Please scroll below for several opportunities. We want to hear from you! THE HARVEST AWAITS!

Altar Servers

Attention, parents and young people of St. Raymond’s! We are in need of new altar servers. Training will be provided. Father Zlock and Deacon Bill will will also mentor all applicants. They will pray daily for them, observe how they do at Mass, encourage them and offer advice when needed. Please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760.


We are in dire need of support from those with basic technology skills:

  • Slide Operators – manage slides shown on TV screens during 5pm, 8am or 10am Mass

  • Camera Operator – manage live streaming of 10am Mass via YouTube

  • YouTube Host – Engage with parishioners during 10am Mass

Requirements are a love for your parish, and a willingness to learn and serve. Teenagers and adults can contact Brandi at 215-549-3760.

Prayer Team Help Needed

Are you comfortable having a conversation with God? St Raymond’s Prayer Team is seeking volunteers to pray for and with others. The monthly Prayer Team Partners gather on the first weekend of the month after each Mass to hear and respond to prayer needs. The primary requirements are a love of Christ and love of your neighbor. We will help you with the rest. To learn more or volunteer, please email Deacon Bill or call him at 215-549-3760.

Job Search Assistance Needed

St. Raymond needs to fill 2 - 3 positions over the coming months. The positions are in (1) Social Service Outreach, (2) Sacramental Preparation/Religious Education of our youth, and (3) Director of Parish Finance and Accounting.


Fr. Zlock is looking for someone to lead this task. This would include working with Parish Staff to make adjustments to existing job descriptions, posting the jobs on various media and job channels, initial evaluations of any resumes received, initial interviews and helping manage the process for final interviews and hiring. 

The work is important to fill positions that are critical to running the parish. If interested, please contact Fr. Zlock at 215-549-3761 (Ext 1) or  


Calling all Young Adults!

Sign up for Fr. Zlock’s Young Adult WhatsApp community for prayers, videos, reflections and events for the young adult community. Click here to join the group.


Connect with Us Online

Be part of our awesome virtual community! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get the latest scoop, see fun pictures, and hear about our exciting events.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Facebook


Community Events & Announcements

Christ in the City

Christ in the City with Sign-Up Genius link - for neighboring parishes
Download DOCX • 167KB



News From the Office of Black Catholics

Check out the March 2024 Newsletter for many additional exciting events.


Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates

The April newsletter is available here.

Please sign up to find out what is happening around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


215 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page