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Good News for August 30th

This past week, I participated in a Zoom conference. It was a follow-up meeting to the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC). Fr. Stephen Thorne hosted the meeting. 105 people participated in this week’s meeting. 111 had participated in a previous Zoom meeting. The theme of the NBCC was from Habakkuk: 2:2-4. It read, "Write the Vision: A Prophetic Call to Thrive." The goal of the Zoom call was to follow up and discuss the National Black Catholic Congress. In particular, the conversation focused on a survey put together for Congress. Fr. Thorne was one of the major developers of the questionnaire. In the survey, the NBCC wanted to see demographic data. They wanted to hear how well the Congress was run. They wanted to determine what was important to the participants. They also wanted to see where people were interested in engagement afterward. Fr. Thorne shared some of his thoughts and those of NBCC leadership related to the data. First, we need to develop a “growth mindset.” The history of the parish is something to be proud of, celebrated, and honored. Yet, when parishioners get together, young people are turned off if all they hear is “How great it was years ago," or "The way it was back then” or “How it was before Covid.” This leads to the next point. Second, how is each of us called to be prophetic? What is one “think-outside-of-the-box” idea that interests you? What might you be willing to work on - either by yourself or with others? What is your BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) for the parish? Third, we need to up our game in terms of our spiritual maturity. Studies show that lay people want to grow in their faith. Helping people to do this is a key issue being discussed among pastors. Looking at the questionnaire, overwhelmingly, the #1 issue was clear, by far! It was “The future of the church: youth and young adults.” Other issues that had high scores were parish life, evangelization, vocations to the priesthood, and racism.

This Congress was extremely well run. It was exciting. The speakers were some of the best ever. The technology worked. The accommodations were superb. Yet, one issue discussed at the end was,” Ok, that was great. Now what? What do we do? And who does it?” The delegates from St. Raymond were aware of these dynamics and statistics. And so, they acted. Within one week after the Congress, delegates began sharing notes from the breakout sessions with each other. They made plans. They followed by getting together for lunch and a discussion. They talked about taking “the first, next, best step.” I will go into what those “the first, next, best steps” were next week.

Fr. Charles Zlock, Pastor


SPECIAL COLLECTION, 9/3 Black and Native American Missions

This fundraising initiative was established as the first national collection for the Catholic Church in the United States in 1874. Since then, it has proven itself to be a successful vehicle for sharing the resources of the Church’s members to provide for the unique cultural, pastoral, and temporal needs of our African-American, Native American, and Alaskan Native sisters and brothers. Your support provides the presence of missionaries here in African American, Native American, and Alaskan Native missions, parishes, schools, religious education programs, and the many, many diocesan programs and projects that strengthen the work of the Gospel. Your partnership places Bibles and catechetical materials in the hands of priests, consecrated men and women, and lay leaders. Your sacrifice impacts pastoral work across the country and addresses the need to train catechists, permanent deacons, and seminarians for future generations here in many of our neighborhoods and backyards. Please be generous!




Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Every day this week, when at a stop light or standing in line, instead of checking your phone, spend that time praying intentionally that God will pour his love upon the people you see around you. ~Archbishop Pérez


Are you interested in joining the Catholic faith? Do you know someone else who is? Are you Catholic but want to learn more about your faith? Or do you want to go deeper into your relationship with Christ and journey with others in a more intentional way?

The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults or OCIA (formerly RCIA or the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) Is a new structure meant to invite people on a path to Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.

OCIA is part of an ongoing journey of discipleship that will culminate with baptism and confirmation — usually during the Easter Vigil — but will continue throughout the person’s lives.

It is open to people who have never been baptized (known as “catechumens”) and people who are baptized but never received Confirmation and First Holy Communion (“candidates”)

But wait… there’s more!

It is also open for fully initiated Catholics who wish to do a committed deep dive into their faith. It might appeal to a committed Catholic wishing to develop a more intentional relationship with Christ within a community setting.


Join us for one of two Information Sessions. The first will be with Deacon Bill and Cindy Bradley on Sunday, August 20, at 12:30 PM (after Mass Hospitality in the Sister Rosemary Room underneath the rectory). The second is on Monday evening, August 21, at 7:00 PM with Fr. Charles Zlock in the Sister Rosemary Room. If you can not make either session, Contact Fr. Zlock or Deacon Bill at the rectory. Phone: (215) 549-3760


Fr Charles Zlock, Pastor





9/3 Black and Native American Missions

Thank you for the school supply donations and Uganda shoes

Submit your weekly collection envelopes during your summer vacation and travels…..We are counting on you!


Saturday, September 9

Event: Diaper and Baby Item Drive:

World's Greatest Baby Shower

Catholic Social Services will hold a Diaper and Baby Item Drive. There are two ways to give: scan the QR code (flyer) or purchase baby clothes and gear and drop them off or have them delivered to Amy Stoner at 222 N. 17 St,

Philadelphia, PA 19103, 3rd floor.

More info: Please contact Amy Stoner at for more info!


Youth Corner

Grades 6th-8th

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 or 215-549-3760.

Sunday (9/10)-PB&J Sandwich Making for Kensington

(SRR after 10am Mass)

Sunday (9/24)-School Supplies Collected; Meeting in SRR after 10 a.m. Mass

Sunday, 10/22-Pumpkin Carving & Reflection

Saturday, 10/28-Trunk or Treat

Hope to see your children soon



Attention Parents/Guardians

Family Faith Formation Sessions Start Sunday, September 17, 2023

‘Let the children come to me.” Parents with children entering grades K through 7th grade are encouraged to attend. Sessions will be 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 215-549-3760 at 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!


St. Raymond is collecting School Supplies for the needs of the children in St. Raymond School. We will be collecting Backpacks, pencils, crayons, lined paper & folders. If you can assist, please drop off all items in the back of the Church or the Rectory.

Thank you for your help.


Attention Ladies

Catholic Women’s Conference

Sat. Oct. 28, 2023

Registration Information Packets are located on the desk at the rear of the church. Please complete the pink form and return it to the basket provided to ensure that you are registered for the session of your choice. Please note you may only select one session.

Sign up early- the event fills up quickly!

St. Raymond Church needs you!

Fr Charles Zlock has asked that you volunteer a minimum of 2 hours per month. How can you help? Please see below for a preliminary list of small, yet important activities.

Catechists; Faith Partners (RCIA); Altar server scheduling and training; Altar server robes (weekly straightens, regrouping, and periodic washing); Office volunteers: Administrative support like answering the phone and answering the door. Filling out sacramental forms for baptisms and Godparents. Ordering office and liturgical supplies. Office organization. Filing records and forms. Proofreading articles for the parish bulletin. Moving supplies to the church and office.

Mass slides operation; Camera operators; Ministry to the Sick (phone calls); Home visits to the sick report compiler, communication coordinator, etc;

Weekly exterior campus review with a follow-up report; Counting the collection; Caring for Friends assistant/ coordinator; Church Community Builder database update; ESL volunteers; and Certified drivers for the parish bus.

The engagement of parishioners is critical to leading to a St. Raymond that is alive, vibrant, and joyful. Please contact the rectory office at 215-549-3760, Or contact a member of the staff directly (names, phone numbers, and email addresses are on the front page of the parish bulletin).


The Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel will be producing and sharing a video series for Black Catholic History Month this coming November. We are seeking testimonials over the summer!

The theme for this year is "The Seed that fell on good soil" to honor the work, ministry, witness, and legacy of the Black Catholics who have given the Church the gift of themselves and "bore good fruit!".

If interested, please reach out to or to Gina Ingiosi, Associate Director, St. Katharine Drexel Shrine and Venerable Cornelia Connelly Memorial in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul -, 267-603-7337


Opportunities to Reflect, Renew & Restore

Cranaleith Spiritual Center, 13475 Proctor Rd, Phila. Pa 19116

Gaelic for “sanctuary of trees,” Cranaleith offers serene and rejuvenating space to those who wish to reflect on what matters deeply in their lives, renew their spirit for life and work, or restore themselves from life’s traumas. Individuals and groups are invited to participate in retreats and other programs offered in a spirit-rekindling environment of well-being, respect, and harmony. Cranaleith is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Mercy. For program information log on to,



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