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Good News for April 3, 2024

Pray for the Living and the Dead

 In my years of priesthood, I have often encountered people “of a certain age” who perform this Work of Mercy. They do it to a heroic degree. 


Often, they have to stay at home. A few things have struck me about them. First, they are genuine and authentic. They mourn their health (or lack thereof). They fondly remember their active life. They are sad that it has gone. Second, they seem cheerful. There is a calm demeanor to them. 


Third, you notice the table next to their chair. There is a huge stack of prayer cards -- cards of people from funerals, cards of their favorite saints, and prayer books. Every day they methodically work through every booklet, card, and prayer bookmark. They do not forget a single person. It gives them purpose. 


They always mention that I am the subject of some of their prayers. This also includes other priests who were assigned to their parish over the years. It is extremely disarming and humbling. 


One of the “vows” (technically called “promises”) that I took at ordination was to “daily pray for the people of God. The words were:


“I am resolved to maintain and deepen a spirit of prayer appropriate to my way of life and, in keeping with what is required of me, to celebrate faithfully the Liturgy of the Hours for the Church and for the whole world.”


This promise is repeated every year on Holy Thursday morning during the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral. 


How grace and prayer work is beyond our comprehension. With prayer, we channel something. We become a vehicle of God’s Providence in His mercy to each other. 


People will sometimes ask, “Do we have to pray? Is it a rule?” That strikes me as a minimalistic approach to a relationship with Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains forty-five chapters and subchapters on prayer. I would say that it seems rather important to the Church and, I would venture to say, to God, too. (See Catechism Catholic Church: Part Four: Christian Prayer) Finally, I need your prayers! The dead "who have someone to pray for them" need your prayers. Your family and friends need your prayers. You need your prayers. 


Remember the ultimate prayer, where this comes together in the highest form, is the Mass. Not been there in a while? Well, “come and see” (John 11:34) and come and pray with us. 


Next week we summarize the Spiritual Works of Mercy. We will look at why the Works of Mercy are important. We will also examine how we can use them to achieve holiness.


Fr. Charles Zlock

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Happy Easter!

We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!” -Pope John Paul II

We celebrated the most blessed Holy Week and Easter weekend as a church family. Eleven people were welcomed into St. Raymond and, together, parishioners and guests shared in the joy of our Lord's resurrection!


  • Saturdays from 4:00 - 4:45 pm (Please NO Confessions after 4:45. Fr. Zlock is will be preparing for the liturgy)

  • By appointment. Call 215-549-3760 to schedule a convenient time. 

PLEASE NOTE: Effective the beginning of April, there will no longer be 6 pm Monday evening and 6:30 am Tuesday morning Confessions. As noted above, you may always schedule a time to receive this sacrament of Mercy with a call to the office/rectory, or text or email Fr. Zlock. No matter when, take advantage of this opportunity to experience grace and forgiveness at no charge!


Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

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 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, 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?


Can you support Farhad?

When Farhad completes the The Preservation Trades Center (PTC) program, he will need connections in the Masonry Union in order to secure a full-time job to provide for his family. If you have a contact in the Union or can make an introduction to someone who does, please email as soon as possible.


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.


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

Bake Sale


Family Faith Formation Sessions

"Let the children come to me”

Attention Parents/Guardians: Family Faith Formation Sessions will run September 17, 2023 – June 2, 2024.

Parents with children entering grades K through 7th grade are encouraged to attend. Sessions are held immediately following the 10:00 Mass every other Sunday in the lower church. Enrollment forms are located on the desk in the rear of the church. Contact Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760 or to receive a form via email. The greatest gift you can give your child is the gift of faith formation. If children do not experience how to live for God, the world will certainly show them how not to!


Life Groups


Lenten Life Groups are open to parishioners, family, and friends (pretty much anyone).

This is the final week for group meetings. Thanks to the Group Leaders and Members who participated. Our Week Five Member Guide is attached as a resource for all. Enjoy!

Week Five - Member Guide
Download PDF • 400KB


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.

Men's Group Meeting

Our Men’s group meeting will be Tuesday, April 9th in the rectory dining room at 7:00pm.


Church Announcements

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.


RSVP for Fr. Zlock's Anniversary Party by April 7th

Join us in celebrating Father Zlock's 30th Anniversary on May 4th from 6 pm to 9 pm in the St. Raymond School Hall. Come and enjoy an evening filled with food, drinks, music, and wonderful fellowship as we honor Father Zlock's three decades of dedication to the priesthood.

RSVP by April 7th at this link.

RSVPs are required. Don't miss out on this joyous celebration!

Upcoming Sacraments - So You are Aware:

Henry Blocker III-Confirmation @ 10am Mass, 4/7/2024                          

Daniel Jaffe-Confirmation @ 10am Mass, 4/21/2024

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.

Tax Time

As you prepare your taxes, Brandi in our Parish Office is happy to provide a statement for your 2023 Giving. Please call her at 215-549-3760 or email her at

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, March 31, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $4,886.69

Electronic Giving: $6,506.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $895.00

Rice Bowl: $55.00

REST: $250.00

Easter Flowers: $40.00

Easter Offering: $3,448.00

Holy Land: $736.00

Christmas Offering: $100.00

Total: $16,916.69



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!


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.


Wanted: Servers and Sacristans!

Attention, young people of St. Raymond’s! We are in need of new altar servers – and we also wonder whether any students or young parishioners would be interested in being hired as sacristans.


Fr. Zlock and Deacon Bill will work with a few adults at St. Raymond to mentor all applicants. They will pray daily for them, observe how they do at Mass, encourage them and offer advice when needed.


Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” If you aspire to be one of God’s workers, please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760 or


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.


Anointing of the Sick

On the weekend of April 13th & 14th 2024, the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick will be administered at the Saturday 5 pm and Sunday, 8 am and 10 am Masses. Parishioners who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, diseases of the heart, lung,  kidney, etc.), undergoing treatment for another disease/illness or living at a very advanced age are encouraged to receive this Sacrament.

If you qualify and desire to be anointed, sign-up sheets are available on the desk in the rear of the church, or you must call the rectory no later than  April 10. No names will be accepted after this date. Should you have any questions please call Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760.


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.

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Community Events & Announcements

Archdiocese and Villanova School of Business offer Master of Science Degree in Church Management

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is pleased to announce it has renewed its unique partnership with Villanova University’s Center for Church Management (CCM) to offer an innovative two-year, online Master of Science in Church Management (MSCM) degree designed to provide students with a high-level skill set in effective church management. Qualified students in the Archdiocese who are interested are eligible for a $14,700 scholarship—equivalent to 50%—thanks to the generosity of Villanova University benefactors. The Partnership scholarship can be coupled with additional Villanova MSCM scholarships. In addition, CCM will award up to fifteen scholarships of $5,000 each for Hispanic pastoral leaders seeking to earn an MSCM.

For more information, click here.


Depaul USA Offers Part-Time Position at St. Joseph's House


Depaul USA, who operates a shelter program in the former St. Raymond's convent, is hiring a part-time, overnight residential aide for St. Joseph's House (in the former St. Athanasius convent). The program supports 24 college students experiencing homelessness and is directed by a parishioner, Sr. Bethany Welch, SSJ. She's looking for a reliable, compassionate person to come alongside these young adults. Contact her at for details.


Christ in the City

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


Presenting the National Black Catholic Congress April Webinars


Calling All Parents of Teens!

Mark your calendars for April 13 to watch a half-day conference offering practical help to parents of teens. Engage24 is a uniquely-tailored event offering practical help, experience and wisdom to parents from one of today's leading voices on the subject of parenting teens. Mark Gregston, author and host of Parenting Today's Teens podcast and radio broadcast will share offer thoughts about the joy and challenges of raising teens in today's fast-paced culture. The event is free, and promises to be fun and informative.


College Scholarship Opportunities

High school seniors and juniors – check out this website.

Right now, we know that college costs are really high, and FAFSA is having problems. But we also know that attending college is life-changing. So see if Quest Bridge can take you where God wants you to go! If you have good grades and are involved in extra-curricular activities at school or in your community, this is a resource you don’t want to miss.



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.


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