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Good News for July 3, 2024

Updated: Jul 3

The University of Mary is a Christian, Catholic, Benedictine university. It is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. It was founded in 1959 by the Benedictine Sisters of the Annunciation. According to their Mission, the University of Mary prepares leaders in the service of Truth. It strives to serve the religious, academic, and cultural needs of the people in their region and beyond. 

To fulfill the desire to teach the truth “beyond their region,” University of Mary has published three books. The Vocation of the Catholic University Professor was published in 2020. Much is being written about the state of American universities today. A Catholic university should invite students into a community of profound intellectual conversion. This atmosphere should be alive with “the joy in the truth” (St. Augustine). The “stupor” or astonishment of mind of Dante’s Convivio should be found in a classroom, the laboratory or at the end of the hallway. This kind of academic conversion will simply not happen on its own. It requires a teaching faculty that sees this task as a vocation. They are the lifeblood.

The air that is breathed at American universities reflects a particular worldview. Young people say they are not interested in “organized religion.” Unknown to them, they are living in a highly-religious age. Secular gospels and dogmatic faiths promising salvation are all around us. What is the belief system, the new “religious vision,” that is displacing Christianity? It is the assumed narrative by which our post-Christian, modern societies live. And what is the religion that we ourselves need to be converted out of, if we are to be fully converted to the Christian faith? The Religion of the Day (written in 2023) examines these questions. 

Religion of the Day was the sequel to a book written in 2020. The title is From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age. I hear parishioners ask question such as:

  • We sent our children to Catholic school and they left the Church. Why?

  • What is happening to our parish and other churches today?

  • Why do colleges and universities seem to hate the church so much?

  • I look around. I read the papers. I don’t understand the world anymore. What is going on?

What is going on is not an era of change. It is the change of era. To be specific, after thousands of years, it is the end of the age of Christendom.  From Christendom… is not a long book. It's only 96 pages. It is one of the most poignant books I have read. Archbishop Perez certainly thinks so. He sent a copy to every priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and asked them to read it. At the Priest convocation in Hershey earlier this year, he said, “People keep asking me what my vision is for our archdiocese. This book describes it. You want to know what I am thinking, the direction I think we need to go? This is it.” 

I’d like to go over the contents of this book over the coming weeks. I hope you find it interesting, perhaps even compelling. It should scare you a little. It should also give you great hope and enthusiasm about the Church in the future. That is what an Apostolic Missionary Church is all about.  

Fr. Charles Zlock

Follow me on social media!


Congratulations to Our Pastor - He is Now a Dean!

We’re excited to share that Fr. Charles Zlock has been appointed as the Dean of the Philadelphia Northwest Deanery through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As Dean, Fr. Zlock will oversee pastoral care and support for 9 parishes in the Northwest Philadelphia region, ensuring that our spiritual needs are met and that our faith continues to thrive.

Don't worry—he'll still be pastoring us at St. Raymond, but now he'll have the opportunity to share his gift with an even larger community.

Join us in congratulating Fr. Zlock on this significant appointment and in offering prayers for his continued leadership and dedication to our community. 

View the official announcement here:

Download PDF • 77KB



Matthew 9:37-38:  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Numerous needs have been communicated here and in the bulletin. Unfortunately, responses are nearly non-existent. A vibrant parish has members responding to the call for help. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Please scroll below for several opportunities. You can sign up here or complete a signup sheet on the table in the back of church (on the Williams Ave side). We want to hear from you! THE HARVEST AWAITS!

Volunteer Opportunities

Bethany Team

We are grateful for the folks who have expressed interest in joining the Bethany Team. But we are still in dire need of people who regularly attend Mass at 5 pm Saturday and 8 am Sunday, and might like to welcome others who come to Mass at that time. Please contact Minta at or by phone at 610-329-7256 if you can help her fill the empty spaces on her Bethany schedule.


Likewise, our Lector Team has a major shortage of readers for the 5 pm Saturday and 8 am Sunday Masses. St. Raymond lectors know the joy that comes from proclaiming the Word of God to His people. If you want to share in this ministry, you’ll have the encouragement of the entire team as you do your training. Please contact Brandi at or by phone at 215-549-3760 if you’d like to know more.


We are in urgent need of support from those with basic technology skills:

  • Slide Operators – manage slides shown on TV screens during 5pm, 8am or 10am Mass

  • Camera Operator – manage live streaming of 10am Mass via YouTube

  • YouTube Host – Engage with parishioners during 10am Mass

Requirements are a love for your parish, and a willingness to learn and serve. Teenagers and adults can contact Brandi at 215-549-3760.

To volunteer for any of the above tasks, please complete this form and someone will be in touch soon! Or, call Brandi at 215-549-3760.


Part Time Employment Opportunities

We are excited to announce two fantastic part-time job opportunities at St. Raymond:

Director of Religious Education and Social Services

This role involves coordinating faith formation, religious education, social outreach, and related activities to enhance the vibrancy, religious development, and social services of the parish. View the job description:

Finance Manager

The Finance Manager collaborates with the Pastor and Finance Council to manage the financial and temporal affairs of the parish. This role ensures compliance with the policies, procedures, and guidelines of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (AOP) and supports the stewardship of the parish’s resources. View the job description:

To apply, please send your resume to Saunja Johnson at and/or Minta Brown at

Please share these opportunities with anyone who might be interested!


St. Raymond School Needs Your Help!

We are looking for a staff member to take control of St. Raymond's social media platforms.  This staff member would be in charge of making/posting weekly updates and announcements for the school. 

This position will be a paid stipend with the following duties but not limited to:

  • Posting pictures

  • Updates

  • Announcements

  • Mass

  • Major events

  • IG, Facebook, School website, etc.

We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible.

Please reach out to Mr. Harris and Ms. Jennings if you're interested. Phone: 215-548-1919. 


Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

"As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace." 1Peter 4:10

We were each given gifts (charisms) by the Holy Spirit during baptism. Examples include knowledge, craftsmanship, intercessory prayer, teaching, service, music, administration, and many more! These gifts give you the power to be a channel of God's goodness to others. We can help you to identify, discern and practice using your gifts via The Called & Gifted™ Discernment Process.

  • SMALL GROUP MEETING OPTION 1: Saturdays, 7/13 – 8/17 (6 weeks), 9 - 11 AM in the rectory office/Sister Rosemary Room.  Moderator: Fr. Zlock

  • SMALL GROUP MEETING OPTION 2: Thursdays, 7/18 – 8/22 (6 weeks), 6 - 8 PM in the rectory office/Sister Rosemary Room. Moderator: Minta Brown

Pre-registration is requested. Sign up here. Please contact Brandi (215-549-3760) or Minta (610-329-7256). Minta can also provide additional details, if needed. Contact her at


In Case You Didn't Notice...

We're Having a Heat Wave!

Here are some tips to stay safe this summer:

Stay hydrated:

  • Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks.

When you’re outside:

  • Avoid working, exercising, or playing outside during the hottest part of the day (usually noon to 5 p.m.).

  • Slow down. Rest in the shade or a cool place when you can.

  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes.

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella for shade.

At home:

  • Use air conditioners and fans. If you use a fan, make sure your windows are open to release trapped hot air.

  • Use drapes, shades, or awnings in your home. Outdoor awnings can reduce the heat that enters the home by up to 80 percent.

  • Take a cool shower or bath.

  • Visit a friend with air conditioning or spend time in a cool place like a mall, library, senior center, or cooling center. Even a few hours in air conditioning during the hottest part of the day can help your body recover.


  • Never leave older people, children, or pets alone in cars.

  • Check on older adults who live alone.

You can always call the Heatline: 215-765-9040 for help in keeping cool.

And take a look at this site - "It's a Summer Thing" - for lots of ideas to keep your kids cool, safe and happy: #ItsASummerThing 2024! | Department of Human Services | City of Philadelphia


All are Welcome to Bibles, Boots and Backpacks

We've got some great hikes coming up in July and August! Get all the details at this link. Come alone, bring a friend, all are most welcome!


Explore Your Faith in a New Way with Formed

Did you know that you have access to an incredible resource called Formed? This wonderful faith formation tool will allow you and your family to experience our faith in a new way through e-books, audio recordings and a great variety of movies and video teachings, including a great variety of Bible Studies. Follow these instructions to sign in.

  1. Visit

  2. Enter St. Raymond Philadelphia

  3. Follow instructions to set up your own account and be formed in Christ!


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.

Friday, 7/5 - Gospel Skate Night at Rolling Thunder

Friday, 7/19 - Family Fun Night

2024 Graduates

Do you have a graduate in your family? Please email Brandi at or call her at 215-549-3760. We would like to acknowledge our graduates!


Church Announcements

July 4

The rectory office will be closed on Independence Day. Wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July!

Monthly Prayer Team

St. Raymond's Prayer Team stands ready to offer prayer after all the Masses on the last weekend of every month. Join us to lift up your needs and intentions to our loving God, who hears and answers every prayer.

A Reminder about Call to Prayer

St. Raymond offers a twice-daily opportunity, Call to Prayer on weekdays at 6:30 am and at noon. Taking a little time (five to seven minutes) to turn to the Lord will remove stress and restore peace in your life. 

Call toll-free 1-877-309-2073, then enter code 319-414-445#. At 6:30 am, we reflect on God's Word. During the noon call, we pray the Angelus, reflect on the first reading of the day, and have intercessory prayer for those in need.

Donate to Support St. Raymond Church

Online giving is a wonderful way to make a one-time or a recurring gift to St. Raymond. We greatly appreciate your goodness and promise to be good stewards of your gift. DONATE HEREYou can also make a gift with your phone: send a text with the message straymond to 833-363-7471. You will receive a text that will give you simple instructions to make a gift!

Or, scan the QR code to donate.

Please note that we are no longer using Cash App as a form of payment for tithes. 

We will accept Venmo (@StRaymond-PenafortPhilly), PushPay, Parish Giving & Envelopes. If you would like to receive envelopes, please contact Brandi at and she will add your name to the list of envelope recipients. If you prefer to use PushPay, text straymond to 833-363-7471 to donate.

St. Raymond's expenses continue all year 'round. Your vacation giving is so important to us!

Collection Envelopes for July 7 through September 1 have been mailed out. If you did not receive yours, please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760 or at

Upcoming Special Collections

July 7 - Campaign for Human Development

August 19 - Mission Appeal

September 1 - Black and Native American

To our Online Parishioners

We at St. Raymond are extremely pleased that you continue to be part of our community via livestream. Although you may be unable to attend Mass in person, please remember that we need your financial support in order to remain a vibrant parish. You may give online anytime here:  Feel free to contact the rectory for assistance at 215-549-3760.

Guidelines for Church Temperature

As we navigate through the changing seasons, the topic of our church's temperature during mass often arises. We appreciate when everyone speaks kindly—it really makes a difference.

We know it’s tricky to get the temperature right for everyone. While we can't make everyone perfectly comfortable, we're doing our best to keep things pleasant. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together to create a welcoming atmosphere for all our Masses.

Silence Cell Phones

Please remember how distracting cell-phone noises can be during Mass. We prayerfully ask you to silence your phone when you enter church, so that no one is disturbed during this holy hour.

Lost and Found

Have you lost any personal items during Church service and never retrieved them? Please check the bin in the back of Church labeled “Lost & Found." People turn in items often to the Rectory. All items turned in are put into the bin.

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.

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.

Sunday, June 30, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $5,433.75

Electronic Giving: $2,788.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $273.00

REST: $275.00

Total: $8,769.75


Job Openings at Guiding Star Ministries

Part-Time and Live-In Intern Positions Open at Guiding Star Maternity Home

Guiding Star Ministries is a residential program for pregnant women and their children located in the Northwest section of Philadelphia. 


Live-In Intern

Our GSM Intern lives at the Guiding Star Home and must be 21 years old or older with an interest in supporting pregnant women and their families. She must be mature, assertive, and believe in the mission and philosophy of our organization. Clearances are required. Intern is responsible for 4-5 overnights and additional on-call coverage of the home.  The live-in intern attends GSM staff meetings and is available for one evening of GSM programming support and community events.  Compensation includes room and board and a generous stipend. The intern has her own private room and full bathroom with a sitting room. GSM has cable, wireless network, laundry no charge, plus kitchen use. The intern can go to school and/or work during the day.


Please submit your interest and experience to   

P.S. -- Baby Bottles Still Wanted!

If you have any of the plastic baby bottles leftover from the recent collection for Guiding Star Ministries, please return them to the rectory (full or empty), so they may be recycled for future collections.


Part-Time Rectory Cook Needed

Saint Andrew in Newtown, Pa. is looking for a part-time Rectory Cook, Monday-Friday from 1:30-6:30pm. Duties include: shopping, preparing and serving meals. Please contact Colleen Carroll at (215) 968-2262 x11.


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.


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.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Facebook

Community Events & Announcements

Mass to Honor St. Peter Claver, Minister to Enslaved People


The Office for Black Catholics has a NEW Director, Stacy Williams 


Independence Mission Schools is Hiring!

Are you looking for a rewarding, mission-driven career or do you know someone who is? Further your career and make  a difference in a young person’s life. Independence Mission Schools is a network of 14 independent, non-profit Catholic schools providing a transformative education of all faiths in low-income neighborhoods across the city of Philadelphia. 

Visit our careers portal to view open positions, complete an online application, and upload your credentials. Please send a copy of your resume to our Talent Recruitment Manager, Natalie,


Fiat Days Retreat


Catholic Women's Conference


News From the Office of Black Catholics

Check out the Newsletter for many additional exciting events.


Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates

The July newsletter is available here.

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


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