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Good News for February 1st

Well, I've been in the parish for a little over a month. St. Raymond has lived up to its reputation as a "destination parish" as in. ..."You have to go and visit that church sometime!" I have been touched by your gracious welcome, your generosity, and your patience in the midst of the transition.

An update on some items. A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was looking to put some teams together. I reached out to about 16 parishioners to join me to discern a clear direction for the parish of St. Raymond. This falls under Archbishop Perez's initiative, "Called for More." He has asked each parish to choose three Parish Priorities and six goals associated with those priorities. I am following up on those inquiries and hope to convene the team soon. A reconstituted Finance Council met Thursday, January 19. We covered a lot of ground, especially in the areas of accounting policies and procedures and financial transparency. It is my hope to be able to publish the minutes of the Finance Council meetings on our website. We'll need someone with the "charism of writing" to do that and have not yet identified that person. Stay tuned. One item of concern for the Finance Council, and all of us as well, involved parish finances. We've been doing an informal count of Mass attendance. The numbers have been up since Christmas, which is hopeful and encouraging. Curiously, the weekend collection has declined substantially - by 50%. (I hope it's not homilies. If so, I can change that!) Seriously, when you lose half of your income, it is cause for concern and perhaps some rethinking. The Finance Council discussed that we have several ways to support the parish and our mission. The first is Electronic giving. This is a huge benefit to the parish. It provides consistent, predictable financial support for St. Raymond. If you have not yet signed up for this, please consider doing so. Second, we are considering bringing back the use of the collection baskets. Some parishioners have suggested that. However, for that to work, we would need people (men and women) willing to take up the collection. It's an important ministry. Third, we wonder if the signage near the collection boxes needs to be redone. Here we're looking for ideas and suggestions from the pews. Perhaps you have seen other parishes offer giving opportunities that we should try here. Also, if we're doing something that you feel is ineffective, outdated, or intrusive, let us know. One final item the Finance Council discussed was how the parish can begin considering more sophisticated, long-term, parish financial planning. This conversation is in its early stages but at least merits a mention. Ever since I have been here, St. Raymond has been the recipient of some generous planned giving (also known as legacy giving). This is usually a major gift involving a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning. The end of the year commonly involves discussion of largesse and donations for income tax reporting purposes. If this type of giving is something relevant to you, feel free to contact me for a conversation. In closing, I want to thank the people who have been so generous with intentional prayer, with offers to help, and with kind gifts. I am most grateful. As my friend Dino used to say.... "See ya in church."

Fr. Charles

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 flyer 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 AT THE TABLE. Want to know more? Call Minta Brown at 610-329-7256 or email More information on this handout:

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 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,

On January 31, the Catholic Church celebrates the Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest. John Bosco, or Giovanni Bosco in Italian, was born in Murialdo near Castelnuovo d’Asti in Italy on August 15, 1815. His parents, Francis and Margaret, were farmers. John was the youngest of three sons. His older brothers were Anthony and Joseph. John was not yet even two years old when his father died. There was also a terrible drought in the region and the family, like others in the area, found it very difficult to get by.

John’s mother was very devout and was a great influence on John’s spiritual upbringing. She truly lived her faith in her domestic church – her home – teaching John to pray and preparing him for the sacrament of penance. John was a dreamer – literally! When he was only nine years old he had a dream which had a profound influence on his life. In 1841 John was ordained a deacon and then a priest. He had a gift for preaching and enjoyed teaching catechism to youth.

In 1859 he founded a religious order of men called the Salesians, named after Saint Francis de Sales. The Salesians’ ministry was focused on education of youth and mission work. Later, with the help of Mary Mazzarello, who also is a saint, John founded a religious order of Sisters. He also began a group of lay people, called Cooperators, who assisted his ministry.

John Bosco died on January 31, 1888 in Turin, Italy. Pope Pius X declared him Venerable (the first step to sainthood) in 1907. Pope Pius XI Beatified (second step to sainthood) John in 1929, and Canonized (third and final step to sainthood) him a saint in 1934. Saint John Bosco is the patron saint of apprentices, boys, editors, laborers, school children, and students. Today the Salesian order which he founded has over 40,000 members in 100 countries, and is the third largest (some sources even say it is the second largest) Catholic religious order in the world!

On February 2nd the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus. Also known as Candlemas day since the blessing and procession of candles is included in the liturgy. According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is referred to as the "Purification of Mary." Known as a "Christmas feast" as t points back to the Solemnity of Christmas. Many Catholics practice the tradition of keeping out the Nativity creche &other Christmas decorations until the feast.

On Friday, February 3, the feast day, the blessing of St. Blaise will be given at St. Raymond's 9:00 am school Mass. Saturday, February 4th, and Sunday, February 5th the blessing of St. Blaise will be given after all weekend Masses. Join us!

February 3rd is the Feast of St. Blase, Bishop, and Martyr. St Blaise was the bishop of Sebaste in Armenia who was martyred in the year 316 AD. The oldest accounts tell us that Blaise was a physician at Sebaste before he was made bishop. In the 4th century persecution of Licinius, St. Blaise was taken, prisoner. After suffering various forms of torture he was beheaded. The most popular story attributed to St. Blaise occurred while he was in prison when he cured a young boy who was in danger of choking to death because of a fishbone in his throat. That story, and the fact that St. Blaise was a doctor, made the saint very popular for intercessory prayer for throat ailments.

At an early date, the veneration of this Eastern saint was brought into Europe, and Blaise became one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages. Numberless churches and altars were dedicated to him.

The blessing of the throat is carried out using two white taper candles that were blessed on the previous day, February 2, the Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas Day). The white color of the candles symbolizes purity. A red ribbon draped over the base of the candles symbolizes the martyrdom of St. Blaise. The candles are grasped in an X-shape and held up to the throat of the person receiving the blessing: “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop, and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”



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

Archbishop’s Texting Challenge - Sign Up now!

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