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Good News for July 12th

One of Archbishop Nelson Perez's three priorities is building parishes and an archdiocese of Missionary Disciples. Over the past few weeks, I have been writing about what this looks like. This week and next week, I'd like to take a hiatus from that theme and cover some different topics. This week I'd like to announce something that involves me personally but touches the parish too. Next week I'd like to write about the parish Pastoral Staff. Both of those combine to offer challenges and opportunities to the people of St. Raymond. I'll come back to the mission of the laity to the Church and the world later this month. On June 29, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Pope Francis appointed me, along with 9 other priests, as Missionaries of Mercy. This is for ministry within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This ministry was part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy between 2015 and 2016. An insert in the parish bulletin this week provides the description, history, and context of Missionaries of Mercy. How can the Missionaries of Mercy best exercise the ministry in our parish and for the archdiocese? The other priests and I are discerning that. Some ways include:

· Hearing confession (the Sacrament of Reconciliation) at parishes or archdiocesan events. · Being contacted by individuals for individual confession appointments. · Offering extended times for Confessions (early in the morning or later in the evening) · Preaching at Parish weekend masses. · Preaching for Parish missions or 40 Hours Devotions. · Offering faith formation talks in parish area schools. · Giving parents talks on the sacrament of penance and or the holy Eucharist. This is not an exclusive list. So, I am appealing to you, the parishioners of St. Raymond, to provide me with some ideas. How might I best exercise this calling at St. Raymond? Please - I'm not looking for a long list of "nice" ideas that you think "Father can do" for others. Your suggestions should have two characteristics. How can I serve you in a way that (1) you would actually, personally participate and (2) is something not currently offered or available? You can call me (215-549-3760) or email your thoughts to me at I look forward to hearing from you. We recently made some changes to the parish Pastoral Staff and their job scope. I'll go into details about this next week.

Fr. Charles Zlock


This past Friday, a few members of the REST team had the opportunity to attend the Little Flower High School graduation of Ameriance. Ameriance is a young lady who came to Philadelphia from a refugee camp in Brazzaville, Congo back in 2018 with her parents and 3 siblings. When Ameriance arrived, she did not speak English, was not familiar with the food, and did not know how to navigate the city. Fast forward 5 years, this young woman earned her high school diploma, was presented the English award for the senior class, earned an 'A' in AP Biology, and is now preparing to start the Pre-med program at Holy Family University. Ameriance is just getting started! REST in Philly, a ministry within St. Raymond of Penafort Church in the East Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, focuses on refugee resettlement. REST in Philly began in 2017 in an effort to support refugees fleeing war, poverty, and famine in Syria and Northern Africa. We knew praying and donating money were powerful tools, but were not enough. We decided to become co-sponsors for new arrivals. Since welcoming our first refugee, Irene, in June 2017, we have helped resettle twenty-one additional refugees and asylum seekers from Congo, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan. As Christ taught in Matthew 25, welcoming the stranger has been our focus. Learn more about what refugees often are faced with when fleeing their homeland in this 5-minute video - What they took with them. This first half of 2023 has been busy. In May, we learned of a long-awaited family reunification planned. Naomi and her two boys, James and David, arrived in 2019. They fled Sierra Leone and were struggling to find stability in Philadelphia. REST was able to assist the family with housing, enrolling the boys in school, finding employment for Naomi, and helping her obtain her driver's license. The three of them did this all while their husband and father, Peter, was still in Sierra Leone trying to obtain his Visa. Finally, after 65 months, that dream became a reality. Watch the beautiful reunion here (27 seconds): Reunion REST has also had the privilege of working with the Pashai family from Afghanistan. They fled the Taliban in August 2021 and spent two months on a military base in New Mexico before arriving in Philadelphia. Wazmina and her 9 children (6 boys and 3 girls) moved into a home in Northeast Philadelphia and enrolled in school. They completed their second year of school earlier this month and earned rave reviews from their teachers on their hard work, positive attitudes, and perseverance in quickly learning English. Farhad, the oldest child, will graduate from Youth Build Charter at the end of the month with a diploma and a certification in green building trades. And the greatest news is that the family just received their Green Cards and became permanent residents of the US. Next step - US citizens! All of this could not happen without the love, support, continued prayers, and dedication of the REST ministry, the parishioners of St. Raymond, and supporters around the country. As we enter our third year of supporting the Afghan family, we will continue to help with rent, transportation, trips to the doctor, and much more. The need is great, but the belief in helping the stranger is even greater. One of the biggest supporters of REST has been SEER Interactive and their CEO Will Reynolds. SEER committed to covering a year's rent for the Pashai family, an expense of $21,000. From the words of Joanna Bowen, "In the case of supporting the family that came from Afghanistan and needed help, the Seer team is great at rallying around a tangible cause. Many folks are parents at Seer and were sensitive to the challenges of leaving home with children. Seer team members are good-hearted people always looking for ways to help, and REST made it very easy for our team to help this family." - Joanna Bowen, SEER Community Manager. We are asking for your help. There are a number of ways you can get involved:

1 - Help a refugee learn English through Zoom - you do not need to be an ESL teacher, just a desire to help. Please send me an email if you are interested.

2 - Contact your elected officials about voting in favor of the Afghan Adjustment Act -

3 - Provide financial support for the work of REST in Philly. Your donation can assist with music classes, co-pays for dental work, help offset grocery bills or help with rental costs. Donate using: Venmo - @StRaymond-PenafortPhilly (REST in note), Cashapp - $StRaymondPhilly, or send a check payable to St. Raymond's,1350 Vernon Road, Philadelphia, PA 19150 (with REST in the memo).

4 - Live near Philly? - Volunteer with REST and help with homework, take the kids to the park, or just hang out and practice English.

As we celebrate the six-year anniversary of Irene arriving in Philly, we look forward to what the future holds for our new friends here and those we have yet to meet. The United Nations estimates there are more than 27 million refugees in the world, a staggering number. But we can and do make a difference in the lives of those we serve here in the US, and if you ever get a chance to meet one of these families, they will surely make a difference in your life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and for your continued love and support. We pray you have a safe and relaxing summer, and please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or suggestions.


Dan McVay


Calling all Parents, Grandparents & Guardians

Jesus is saying:

“Let the children come to me and do not prevent.

them, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.”

Registration for St. Raymond’s Religious Education Program (PREP) for the 2023 - 2024 sessions will

begin soon. The program is open to all students who do not attend a Catholic School and are entering grades Kindergarten through 7 th. Children who have not received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism,

Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist, or Confirmation)

should attend these classes. Scripture tells us to “Train

up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old, they shall not depart from it.” The faith formation

that a child receives starts in the home and is the

greatest gift that a parent can give, and our PREP

classes are designed to assist you in the process of

imparting the Catholic Faith in your child. PREP

sessions are free of charge and will begin on September 17, 2023. Stay tuned for the revised format and time of classes.


Eucharistic Revival – Join Us! Our world is hurting. We all need healing, yet many of us are separated from the very source of our strength. Jesus Christ invites us to return to the source and summit of our faith: his Real Presence in the Eucharist. The National Eucharistic Revival is a movement to restore understanding and devotion to this great mystery here in the United States. Stay up to date on our local celebration of the Eucharistic Revival at


Special collection 7/2 = Campaign for Human Development

7/16 Hospitality Sunday

7/22, 7/23 World Mission Appeal: Pallotine Missionaries will be present

7/29 and 7/30 Monthly Prayer Team after Mass (always last Sunday)


The Men of St Raymond (Men’s Group) will be having a Meat Raffle Fundraiser! Tickets are $3.00 each or two @ $5.00 Tickets can be purchased in the rectory office or After Mass in the rear of the church.

Drawing will be Sunday, August 27

Proceeds to Benefit Parish Youth & School


Racism has distorted our vision for too long. The time to see one another as human is now. Two women of faith (one Black, one white) acknowledge the sin of racism and proclaim a way forward – together, with respect and kindness, rooted in the example and words of Jesus.

This day of reflection will name the reality of racism and its destructive impact on each of us. Storytelling, conversation, deep listening, and ritual will provide a basis for healing individually and as a Christian community.

Philadelphia, PA 19116




As more people have returned to in-person mass, we’ve had lots of questions about joining the choir at St Raymond. If you’d like to become a part of this amazing ministry, please reach out to our Director of Music, Kenny Arrington, at so that he can set up a time to meet and conduct a voice assessment to determine where your voice may fit. We’re looking for people who are moved to Praise God through song, are humble, patient, and able to commit to attending weekly practices and singing for our 10:00 mass.


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


Saturday, July 8 – Sunday, July 16

Event: Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Annual Parish Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel begins on Saturday, July 8th, at the 5 PM Vigil Mass. For nine consecutive evenings, we will honor Our Lady with devotion and prayer. Throughout the Novena, which will take place at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Doylestown, speakers will lead us in prayer, psalms, meditations, devotions, and preaching.

Location: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Doylestown.

Our Parish


Monday Evenings, 8 PM

Event: Virtual World Mission Rosary

Join hundreds of people throughout the Archdiocese who have regularly been praying the ROSARY LIVE! United in this most powerful prayer, we ask for the miraculous intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to hear our intentions and renew our Catholic faith as we pray in unity for our brothers and sisters in mission lands worldwide. On Mission Mondays, we pray the World Mission Rosary, created by Venerable Fulton Sheen, in which we offer each decade for one of five Mission areas, including the US.

Location: Use this Zoom link to join each Monday:

More Info: Sponsored by the Pontifical Missions Societies (


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!



Please log in to find out what is going on around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


For those who are interested in becoming Eucharistic Ministers and were unable to attend the Monday, 7/10 session in the Church, another information meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, 7/19/23, in the Church.

Wednesday, 7/19/23 Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist Information Session ( 7:00 PM in the Church).


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