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Good News for December 7th

I want to thank you for my opportunity to serve here over the past few months. It was wonderful to pray with a community that has such a deep faith in the Lord. You will be in good hands with Fr. Zlock.

I look forward to seeing you at the farewell social after the 10 am Mass on Sunday, December 11.

This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday. The word Gaudete means rejoice. The joy we have in Christ can remain regardless of what challenges we are facing in life. That is because we know God is in control of our circumstances. Joy remains, and happiness comes and goes. People pursue happiness, but we have to choose joy. Choose Christ. Rejoice because Our Savior is coming!

Fr. Jeff

Guess who is turned 81 today?

Saint Raymond Church!

Since December 7, 1941, Saint Raymond Church has led generations of people to a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ!

As people moved north from Germantown in the late 1930s, it was evident that there would be a need for a new parish in the area. The community that would become St. Raymond Church gathered for Mass in Nolan’s Barn on December 7, 1941. Since America would enter World War II on the same day, our Church was not built until 1948. The Parish grew and added a school in the years that followed. The Parish, like the neighborhood, was mostly people of Irish and Italian heritage until the 1960s, when there was a transition to becoming home to mostly African American families. The parish slowly, and with some pain, made a similar transition under the direction of gentle and wise pastoral leaders. Today, the Church draws from the neighborhood, former neighbors, and Christians from more than 30 zip codes. While we are still very intentionally a Church placed in service of our immediate neighbors, we rejoice in welcoming and including all who desire to worship and serve with us.

(Partially taken and paraphrased from the Parish Jubilee Book of 1992)

Are You Called to Be a Deacon in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?

Who is the Deacon? He is a Minister of the Word, a Minister at the Altar, and a Minister of Charity.

Our Next Permanent Diaconate Information Session Will Be Held On:

Saturday, December 10, 2022, 10:00 AM

Holy Innocents Parish

1337 East Hunting Park Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19124

We invite Catholic men (and wives if married) between the ages of 29 and 55 to

join us for an in-person presentation with a panel of clergy about discerning a

the vocation to the Permanent Diaconate and admittance to the School for Diaconal

Formation program.

For more information, please visit

How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? How are they to hear without a preacher, teacher, or catechist?

Our Religious Education Program is in need of volunteer Catechists and classroom aides. If you are willing to share the faith that was handed on to you with our young people, please contact Arleen Daniels for more information. 215-549-3760.

Advent Life Groups- Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! St. Raymond Advent Life Groups continue through December 22nd. Did you forget to join a group? No worries! The material used each week will be included here for use at home. You, too can experience Jesus through prayer, scripture, and reflection. A more spiritual you is the best gift that can be given! Contact Minta Brown at 610-329-7256 with any questions.

Week 4- Advent Life Group Member Guide
Download PDF • 591KB

Stop by after the 10:00 am Mass on Sunday, December 11 say farewell to Fr. Jeff

Our annual Giving Tree is in the back of the Church. It offers you a way to participate in our Home for Christmas event again this year (we will once again deliver items to the shelters as a precaution due to COVID). We will begin our sign-ups for the various teams that will make the Home for Christmas event possible. WE ARE IN NEED OF A PERSON TO LEAD THE FOOD TEAM (organizing the donations, preparing them for delivery, etc.). Could this be you? Contact Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760.

Christmas Eve (Saturday, 12/24),

7:00 pm, no 5:00 pm service

Christmas day (Sunday, 12/25), 8:00 am and 10:00 am

New Year’s Eve Vigil (Saturday) 5pm; Holy Hour 10:00 pm

followed by Mass at 11:00 pm

Sacrament of Reconciliation,


December 14, 2022

7:00 pm

12/7/22 Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop, and Doctor of the Church

If the noble Saint Ambrose had brought Saint Augustine into the Church and done nothing else, he would have done enough. Augustine’s conversion was a slow boil. He was ripe for baptism when providence placed him and his mother, Monica, in Ambrose’s orbit. In baptizing Augustine, Ambrose harvested what the Holy Spirit had long cultivated. But Ambrose could be a mentor only because he had previously lived his own Christian drama and because he was supremely prepared for leadership.

Ambrose was a high-born Roman, educated in the refined classical tradition of his age. He is emblematic of many scholar-bishops of the fourth and fifth centuries who witnessed Rome’s slow fade and the subsequent Christian dawn. Christ first rose like the sun over Rome’s ruined pagan temples in Ambrose’s own lifetime. Ambrose’s father was the governor of Gaul, and the family was well-connected to fellow elites. Ambrose studied Latin, Greek, rhetoric, law, and the classics in Rome. He was a patrician but also a Christian, albeit unbaptized. At a young age, he was noticed by powerful mentors who recommended him for crucial civil posts. When only thirty years old, Ambrose was appointed governor of two Northern Italian provinces. He was living in Milan, where the capital had migrated from Rome decades before, when his great moment came. And it is in Milan where Saint Ambrose is especially revered even today.

In 374, the Arian bishop of Milan died, leading to conflicts over whether his successor would be an Arian or an orthodox Catholic. Ambrose was a well-known and well-liked political figure who hovered in the Emperor’s court, so he was sent to pacify the crowds in the church where the contentious episcopal election was to occur. When he spoke to the faithful about the need for a peaceful election, they called out “Ambrose for bishop.” He was stunned, refused the honor, and went into hiding. He eventually ceded to the demands of both the region’s bishops and the Emperor and accepted the position. Ambrose was baptized, ordained into Holy Orders, and consecrated Bishop of Milan, where he would spend the rest of his days. Ambrose’s asceticism and generosity increased his popularity. Augustine wrote that “great personages held him in honor.” This widespread esteem gave Ambrose a powerful voice with the emperor, whom he famously called to repentance after Roman soldiers committed a wanton massacre in Thessalonica. He also convinced the emperor, in lofty, elegant terms, to forswear support for pagan altars.

Saint Ambrose came late to the study of theology, but his scholarly training enabled him to master it quickly. He wrote works deftly refuting Arianism, others expounding on the true nature of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and still others on the Sacraments, virginity, ethics, Sacred Scripture, penance, and the duties of the clergy. Although not as original a thinker as Augustine or Basil, Ambrose was the very model of an educated, teaching, preaching, active, governing bishop with a pastoral heart. In his Confessions, Augustine relates how he asked Ambrose about Rome’s and Milan’s different days of fasting. Ambrose responded, “When I am at Rome, I fast on a Saturday; when I am at Milan, I do not. Follow the custom of the church where you are.” This sage advice may be the source of the adage “When in Rome, do as the Romans.” Ambrose may also have been the first to promote antiphonal chant, in which each side of a church or choir takes turns in singing a text. After twenty-two consequential years as a bishop involved in the highest matters of the Church and Empire, and while in his mid-fifties, Bishop Ambrose died in Milan, where his remains are still venerated in a church dedicated to his honor.

Mass December 8th tomorrow 9:00 am with the School and 7:00 pm

12/8/22 Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."

In 1854, Pope Pius IX's solemn declaration, "Ineffabilis Deus," clarified with finality the long-held belief of the Church that Mary was conceived free from original sin. Mary was granted this extraordinary privilege because of Her unique role in history as the Mother of God. That is, she received the gift of salvation in Christ from the very moment of her conception.

Even though Mary is unique in all humanity for being born without sin, she is held up by the Church as a model for all humanity in Her holiness and Her purity in her willingness to accept the Plan of God for her.

Every person is called to recognize and respond to God’s call to their own vocation in order to carry out God’s plan for their life and fulfill the mission prepared for them since before the beginning of time. Mary’s “Let it be done to me according to Thy Word,” in response of the Angel Gabriel’s greeting, is the response required of all Christians to God’s Plan.

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a time to celebrate the great joy of God’s gift to humanity in Mary, and to recognize with greater clarity, the truth that each and every human being has been created by God to fulfill a particular mission that he and only he can fulfill.

“The word of the Lord came to me thus: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you." (Jeremiah 1:5-6)

Helpers needed to decorate the Church for Christmas!

December 17th, 9:00 am Saturday morning. Calling on all creative, strong people. Young and Old.


Congress XIII (2023)

Announcing the Congress Theme — “Write the Vision:

A Prophetic Call to Thrive”

July 20-23, 2023

The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745

News from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

  • Friday, December 9, 2022 – 7 pm-9 pm

Event – Multi-Cultural Benefit Concert

Location - Holy Innocents Church - 1337 E. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia

More Information - This free-will donation multi-cultural benefit concert will showcase the talents of our diverse parish while raising funds for the Young Adults attending World Youth Day. There will be praise and worship in different languages, raffles, and refreshments! Please see the flyer for more information. Ample free parking available!

Attention! Attention!

Men of St. Raymond

Save the Date March 4, 2023

Man Up Philly 2023 will be here before you know it. Please reserve the date on your calendar. More Information to follow in the months to come.

Let's bring people back to the pews.

We ask parishioners to sign up to answer a question about their faith and why they worship at St. Raymond. After the interview, we would like to post it on Social Media and play it before Mass.

Can you help?

Does it sound like something you can do?

Call the office and let us know.

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