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Good News for February 21, 2024

Updated: Feb 23

Lent is about trying to achieve a higher level of holiness. How do we do that? In the Catholic tradition, there is a 14-point checklist. It offers a roadmap that one can follow towards holiness. They are the "Seven Corporal Works of Mercy" and the "Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy."


Bishop Robert Barron and Brian Vogt (Senior Publishing Director, Word on Fire Ministries) had a YouTube discussion about the Works of Mercy. Over the next several weeks I would like to review what they said and offer a synopsis of the seven spiritual works of mercy.


The spiritual works of mercy are:

  1. To admonish the sinner

  2. To instruct the ignorant

  3. To counsel the doubtful

  4. To comfort the sorrowful

  5. To bear wrongs patiently

  6. To forgive offenses willingly

  7. To pray for the living and the dead


To love is to wish the best for the other. The Spiritual Works of Mercy acknowledge that people have more than material, physical, economic, and bodily needs. There are needs in the spiritual order. These involve the mind and the soul. Let us look at them over the next few weeks. 


1. Admonish the Sinner. This can seem very judgmental in our contemporary world. The mantra one hears is typically, “Who are you to tell me how to live my life?" Yet, the root of this work of mercy is “to warn.” We offer a “watch out, you're in danger” warning to a sinner that they are on a bad spiritual path. A continued journey on such a pathway will inevitably lead to dire consequences. Those can be in the bodily, physical, relational, or economic realm. 


We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. Parents naturally are careful about warning their children. They instruct which actions are unacceptable or even dangerous. Not doing so is not only a sin against charity. It is a sin against the 5th Commandment (“Thou shalt not murder”). This comprises any action against the sacredness of the human body - which includes self-care, self-preservation, and self-harm. 


The clergy abuse crisis is an example that points to this. Priests and bishops knew what was going on. Yet they did not admonish their fellow clergymen. They did not hold those in authority accountable. 


It is about ”fraternal correction.” Read Matthew 18:15-17: If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” 

Next week we look at the second Spiritual Act of Mercy which is to “Instruct the Ignorant.”

Fr. Charles Zlock

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Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

Rite of Reception

This year 2024, St. Raymond is blessed with twelve people who will be baptized, join the Catholic Church, or complete their sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil on March 30. 

A Catechumen is an unbaptized person. Our Catechumens are:

  • Dionna Stanton

  • Teresa Zakarewicz

  • Victor Hicks

  • Vincent Hicks

  • Joexiel Gomez               

  • Jazmin Gomez               

  • Jackeline Gómez                   

  • Verónica McMillan       

  • Víctor McMillan                    

  • Krystal McMillan                  

  • Aubrey McMillan 

A Candidate for full communion is a person who was baptized in another Christian church but who is uncatechized in the Catholic faith. Our Candidate is:

  • Daniel Jaffe

All are seeking to learn more about becoming Catholic through a gradual process of faith formation.

At the conclusion of a certain period of religious instruction, a Rite of Sending the catechumens to their election by the bishop is celebrated in the parish. On February 11th, the group celebrated the Rite of Sending at St. Raymond's 10am Mass.

On February 18th, they celebrated the Rite of Election at the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul. Archbishop Perez was the celebrant. The reason we celebrate this ritual is given to us in the introduction to the rite: "Thus the Church makes its 'election,' that is, the choice and admission of those catechumens who have the dispositions that make them fit to take part, at the next major celebration, in the sacraments of initiation. (119) This choice is made by the Church (headed locally by the bishop) as an outward expression of the choice already made by God."

Our Candidate and Catechumens celebrating the Rite of Election at the Cathedral on February 18th.

With these ceremonies, they officially began an intensive time of prayer and preparation prior to the Easter Vigil. Before these Rites, the Candidates and Catechumens undergo three "Scrutinies" over the course of three Sundays. The Scrutinies are the formal, liturgical examination of the suitability of the Candidates and Catechumens to receive the Sacred Mysteries of the Sacraments.

We ask that you pray for them and their continued growth in faith.


Lent at St. Raymond


One of the best ways to celebrate Lent is receiving the Lord’s mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As an appointed “Minister of Mercy” by Pope Francis, Fr. Zlock offers several opportunities for Confession to accommodate busy, working schedules:

  • Monday evening from 6:00 - 7:00 PM

  • Tuesday morning from 6:30 - 7:30 AM

  • 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. 

Take advantage of this opportunity to experience grace and forgiveness at no charge!

Washing of Feet

On (Holy) Thursday, March 28th at 7:00 pm we celebrate The Mass of the Lord's Supper. This commemorates the Last Supper, during which Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It also commemorates Jesus's commandment and example to love one another. Christ washed the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper. After the homily, the priest follows Jesus' example by washing the feet of 12 parishioners. Would you like to serve as an Apostle by being 1 of the 12 to have your feet ceremonially washed by Fr Charles Zlock? Please contact Brandi in the church office at 215-549-3760.

Holy Week Schedule

  • Holy Thursday, 3/28: Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 PM

  •  Good Friday, 3/29:  Service of the Lord’s Passion at 3 PM

  •  Good Friday, 3/29: Stations of the Cross at 7 PM

  • Saturday, 3/30 at 10 AM = Decorating the Church for Easter (No 8 AM Morning Mass)

  • Easter Vigil, 3/30: 7 AM (No 5 PM Service)

  • Easter Sunday, 3/31: 8 AM and 10 AM with Easter Egg Hunt for kids 12 & under after 10 AM Mass

Request for Candies

Our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Easter, March 31st after 10am mass. We are asking for candy donations (no peanuts) and plastic eggs. Please drop off in the box in the back of the Church or the Church Rectory during the week from 9:30am-4:30pm. Your kindness is greatly appreciated!!


Life Groups


Lenten 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 (or see below) and look over the different groups. Then contact 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

Details for all groups are on this handout:

2024 Lenten Life Group Flier
Download PDF • 201KB


Church Announcements

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.

Snow and Inclement Weather

In the event of severe snow, the 8 AM Weekly Daily Mass Schedule will be based on the Catholic School Schedule. If the school is closed or delayed, there will be no 8 AM Daily Mass that day, thus giving time to get the lot cleared for the next Mass. Please check your local news channel for school closings.

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

Special Collections

February 11 - St. Raymond School Annual Appeal (it is not too late)

March 3 - Rice Bowl

March 10 - Easter Flower Offering

March 29 - Holy Land Sanctuaries

March 31 - Easter Offering

March 31 - Maintenance and Repairs

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.

Collection for Sunday, February 18, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $4,525.00

Electronic Giving: $2,482.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $504.00

Rice Bowl: $50.00

School Appeal: $115.00

Christmas Offering:

Thanksgiving Offering:

Total: $7,676.00



... about the homilies you hear. Really!  Honestly! The new Catholic Preaching Institute (CPI) at Saint Charles Seminary invites you to participate in what could be the largest-ever study of its kind in the nation. It only takes 10 minutes to do!

Then invite each of your family members to do the same and share this with all your Catholic friends! With everyone’s input, CPI will design programs to make preaching in the archdiocese more compelling ... so that your experience of the Word of God becomes even more inspiring.

The survey will be live February 24 and closes March 22. Simply click here to complete the online survey or scan the QR code below.


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 1st week monthly Prayer Team Partners gather after each weekend 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.


Black History Month Week 4

Scroll down to see the answers!



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.

Sunday, February 25th - We are making sandwiches and care packages for Kensington in the school Cafeteria after the 10 AM Mass. Please join us.

Sunday, March 10 - Tying Kickball to Bible Lessons

Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21 - Youth Ministry Bake Sale After all Masses

Sunday, May 26 - Caring for Friends Food Preparation


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.


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!


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

Men's Retreat at Malvern

Looking for answers, peace of mind, or simply a deeper relationship with Christ? Then we have the perfect weekend for you. So, take some time out from the troubles of the world and join Fr. Zlock and The Blessed Trinity Men’s Group for an exciting faith-building weekend at Malvern Retreat House.

This retreat will be centered on an inspiring message, uplifting spiritual music, over-the-top hospitality and supportive Christian fellowship. The theme for the weekend is Mark 1:15:

"The time has come,” he said. “The Kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

There will be four talks during the weekend presented by Fr. Charles Zlock and Mark Houck, Co-Founder/President of The King’s Men. The King’s Men is an organization seeking to unite and build up men as true leaders, protectors, and providers.

The four talks are as follows:

  1. The Kingdom: What is it? Where is it? Why is it important?

  2. Repentance and the Mission of Mercy

  3. Time of Fulfillment: Time and the Journey; Completion and Fulfillment

  4. How to live as a first-century Catholic man in a 21th century society

In addition, there will be daily Mass, confession, and other special exercises, as well as the ability to fellowship with about 200 Christian men of all ages, some of whom are your fellow parishioners.

Date: Friday, February 23, 5pm to Sunday, February 25, 11 am (40 Hours)

Location: Malvern Retreat House (35 min from St. Raymond), 315 Warren Ave, Malvern, PA

Suggested Cost: $275.00 covers your private room and all activities and meals.

Please contact Patrick McKay at 610-416-5326 or Melvin Thornton at 215-549-1105 with questions. Register here.


ManUp Philly - Save the Date

Attention, Men of St. Raymond! You are invited to join Catholic Men from throughout the Archdiocese for the 16th Annual Man Up Philly Men’s Conference at Cardinal O’Hara High School on March 2. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be available, and the Conference will conclude with Mass celebrated by our archbishop Most Reverend Archbishop Nelson Perez.

Scholarships Available!

The Martin de Porres Foundation is providing 100 scholarships to pay the registration for African American Men to attend the conference. The deadline to sign up is February 16th.

Contact Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760 if you would like to be registered for this event.


Episcopal Ordination

Click the this link to participate in the livestream.


Lunch and Learn


Catechetical Convocation

The Catechetical Convocation is an annual faith formation event that invests in the professional and spiritual growth of the parish through a sharing of theological insights, instructional methodologies, and practical applications. The celebration of Mass, keynote presentations, varied workshops and more will be offered from 8 am - 3 pm. Fr Stephen Thorne and Deacon James Mahoney are two of the workshop presenters.  

There is a group rate of $35 ($40 for individual/single). However, grants are also available through the generosity of the St. Martin DePorres Foundation. The registration deadline is 12pm, March 11th. Please contact Minta (610-329-7256) if interested.  


News From the Office of Black Catholics

Check out the February 2024 Newsletter for many exciting events.


Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates

The February newsletter is available here.

Please sign up to find out what is happening around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


Black History Month Week 4 Answers

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