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Good News for February 15th

A few weeks ago I introduced Jerome Kropp’s “The Top Ten Excuses Not To Pray.” We began by looking at reasons 10 through 7. Today let’s look at the next three.

#6 - God already knows what’s in my heart. He doesn’t need me to tell Him. Well, yeah, God’s pretty smart and possesses all of that omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence (all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-present). But that’s not the point. Are you sure that you know what’s truly in your heart? How do you determine that?

We live in a fallen world. We have been compromised, scarred, scared, and injured. An honest look at our-self would determine that we are not always clear about our own intentions and motivations. Honestly looking into our own hidden agendas can be a difficult and painful process. That should drive us to prayer.

This kind of prayer heals us of past injuries, purifies our intentions, points us in the direction of our purpose, mission, and destiny, and helps us to become that person that God intended us to be. frame of mind

#5 – I’m rarely in the right mood or frame of mind to pray. While there might be a benefit to being in the “right frame of mind, if you always wait for that moment, you might never pray. If we reached out, took care of – and loved people only when “we felt like it,” our lives would be impoverished and we would become selfish and small people. If you are in a good frame of mind, halleluiah! Thank the Lord for that. If not, pray anyway! The only clear mind is one that is conscientious that he/she needs God right now, regardless of the mood.

#4 – I don’t pray because I have way too many distractions that take me away from prayer. – A favorite, especially for busy parents with kids. Then again, do you know anyone who isn’t active and busy? A large part of prayer is not the calendar but choice. Many things in life distract us: vanity, the esteem of others, money, power, and pleasure. These are the things that might better be termed temptations rather than distractions.

So let’s try that excuse again, “I don’t pray because I have way too many temptations. These take me away from prayer.” Really? One of the best ways to fight temptations is prayer. Say to God, “Lord, help me overcome my distractions and my temptations.” This isn’t to say that temptations and distractions are not present. They’ll be back. But you’ll be back fighting them again, with God – in prayer.

Next week we close with the TOP three reasons people mention why they don’t pray.

Fr. Charles,

Volunteers needed to lead the rosary before Mass during lent. Sign-up sheets will be in the back of the church or see Toni. Looking for people to lead the rosary beginning Saturday, February 25th through Sunday, April 2nd. Need leaders to lead at 4:40 PM on Saturday, 7:40 AM Sunday, and 9:40 AM Sunday.

A Place At the Table: African Americans On the Path to Sainthood,” a documentary released this year by Stella Maris Films, was crowdfunded in early 2021 and covers the exceptional lives of the six venerated US Black Catholics. Simply put, the two-hour film drew me in from start to finish and touched me in a surprising way.

While we are all called to be saints, those who have lived particularly heroic and virtuous lives often enter the canonization process by way of their religious community and/or local diocese. “A Place At the Table” goes into detail on Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Mary Lange, Venerable Henriette DeLille, Venerable Augustus Tolton, Servant of God Julia Greeley, and Servant of God Thea Bowman.

Be sure to see this amazing film! A Place at the Table can be viewed on Formed.Org

Please pray for these six venerated US Black Catholics.



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

You are Cordially invited to the

Installation of Fr. Charles Zlock

as Pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort

Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia

Sunday, March 5, 2023

at the 10:00 AM Mass

Luncheon - Reception to follow after Mass.

Use this link

Sign-up sheets in Church or contact the office at (215) 549-3760

if you plan to attend the Luncheon.

*******Please RSVP by 2/26/23 ********

How will the month of February enrich your knowledge of Black History (in the world, our nation, our city, and our neighborhood? There is much to learn and much to share. What is your plan? There are things to do in Philadelphia.


Life Groups are open to parishioners, family, and friends (pretty much anyone). If you have never joined a Saint Raymond Life/Small Group, now is the time! 90 minutes + once a week + 4 weeks = a new relationship with Jesus and others. What are the next steps? Pick up a flier from the back of the Church and look over the different groups. Then make a phone call to the Life Group Leader to save your spot at the table (or on the couch). YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE TO ENSURE YOUR PLACE. Want to know more? Call Minta Brown at 610-329-7256 or email

NOTE: The flier was recently updated with a new day/time for Fr Charles Zlock’s group. His time is now 8:30 am Monday, immediately following 8 am Mass, in the office basement. Details for all groups are on this handout:

2023 Lenten Life Group Flier
Download PDF • 270KB

Friends of Bishop McDevitt will again be offering a limited number of $1000 grants to grade school students who are related to a graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School.

These grants may be used at any Catholic high school, private or diocesan.

The Friends of Bishop McDevitt

The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are made from the burning palms blessed in the previous year’s Palm Sunday. Please bring your palm from last year to Church over the next few weekends so it can be burned to make the ashes you will receive on February 22, 2023 - Ash Wednesday ashes. We will be accepting Ashes through Sunday, February 19, 2023.

Ashes will be given out on

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

At the 8:00 AM Mass

10:30 AM School Mass

7:00 PM Mass

St. Malachy’s Catholic Church

1429 N. 11th St Phila. Pa 19122

Presents “The Source” Holy Hour with Music

Come, Receive The Lord’s Mercy & Healing

Confessions are Available at 6:30 pm

On the following Dates

Feb. 18th, March 18th, April 15th & May 20th

Social to follow.

Permanent Deacon of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia assigned to St. Athanasius Parish located in West Oak Lane. Deacon James was ordained on June 6, 2004. He is responsible for teaching the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and instructing a bible study class at St. Athanasius Parish. He is currently employed as the Associate Director of the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal in East Germantown. He is also an instructor in Homiletics for the Permanent Diaconate Program of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Attention! Attention! Men of St. Raymond Save the Date March 4, 2023

15th Annual Man UpPhilly

Men’s Conference

March 4, 2023

Join other Brothers in Christ for

this special experience and stand

united as true Men of God.

Cardinal O’Hara, High School

St John Vianney Hall Theater.

1701 S. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064


His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Archbishop of New York

Deacon James Mahoney

St. Athanasius Parish

Assoc. Director Miraculous Medal Shrine

Jim Wahlberg

Producer, Writer, Film Director

and Catholic Revert

Music By Mark Forrest, (Irish Tenor)

Archbishop Nelson Perez,

Mass Celebrant

To register for this event contact

Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760

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,

Their story began in Thessalonica, Greece, a territory first evangelized by Saint Paul. Seven sons were born to a Greek-speaking imperial magistrate and his wife. Two of the boys were named Constantine and Michael. After completing his education, Constantine decided to become a priest. Shortly after his ordination, he was invited to teach and soon became well-known as the “Philosopher.” Constantine’s brother Michael, about twelve years older than Constantine, began his career in civil service in Macedonia but chose to abandon that position to become a monk, taking the name Methodius.

In Great Moravia, Constantine and Methodius began to translate the Bible and liturgical books into the Slavic language. Since there was no written form of the language or even an alphabet, Cyril created one. In addition to their translations, they began to teach the people and future Slavic clerics how to read their new written language. Eventually, the new alphabet developed into what is now known as the Cyrillic alphabet.

Despite the fact that the Slavic people were overjoyed to hear the Gospel and pray the liturgy in their native language, many of the Germanic clergy took issue with this approach. To solve this problem, the brothers traveled to Rome where they received the approval of Pope Adrian II, who ordained them bishops and sent them back to Great Moravia. Before leaving Rome, however, Constantine fell sick. Before dying, he fully consecrated himself to God as a monk in one of the Greek monasteries, taking the monastic name Cyril. His brother Methodius then returned to Great Moravia to continue his work. Bishop Methodius spent the next fourteen years evangelizing the people in their native language, forming clergy, and effectively administering the Church. He continued to endure harsh treatment from the Germanic clergy, even being imprisoned by them for a time, but he pressed on, extending his missionary work even beyond the borders of Great Moravia.

It wasn’t until a millennia later that these brothers received the universal honor they deserved when the Western Church added them to its liturgical calendar. A century after that, Pope Saint John Paul II, a Slav himself, honored these two brothers with the title of co-patrons of Europe and Apostles to the Slavs.

The Martin de Porres Foundation will cover fees for those needing assistance to attend the Break every Chain Retreat.

Archbishop’s Texting Challenge - Sign Up now!

Volunteers are needed to resume pew-to-pew collections. Please see a staff member, or call the office at 215-549-3760

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