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Good News for June 12, 2024

What We Have Seen and Heard. Reflections on the 40th Anniversary of the 1984 Pastoral Letter on Evangelization from the Black Bishops of the United States

Part 4: The Gift of Black Spirituality 

Black Americans of all faiths are a people rich with spiritual gifts. Black spirituality can be characterized by four elements.

1. Black spirituality is contemplative. The prayer is spontaneous and pervasive. Every place is a place for prayer. This is because God‘s presence is heard and felt in every place. God‘s transcendence comes close to us in His intimacy with us. God’s power breaks into the “sin sick world” of our “every day.”

In an age of competition and control, Black Spirituality can teach the world how to let go and lean on God. Many in the Black Culture have learned to surrender to God‘s love and let Him work his power through us. This spirituality leads many in ways that might not be understood.

2. Black Spirituality is holistic. As they looked around the country, the US Bishops often saw divisions between intellectual and emotional spirituality. Some emphasize the spiritual, some the physical. Some emphasize action and others contemplate (Martha vs. Mary). Some emphasize the individual. Others emphasize the community. Today there are certainly divisions between the sacred and the secular. These divisions were deemed not as pronounced in Black Spirituality.

Sister Thea Bowman once said, “When I come to worship, I bring my whole self!” She was not afraid of her emotions. Religious experience and experiences of what it means to be fully human are part of the human experience. 

3. Black spirituality is joyful. Joy is first about celebration. Celebration is movement and song and rhythm and feeling and color and texture and sensation and exultation and thanksgiving. We celebrate all of it within the context of our spirituality. This joy is a sign of faith and of hope. Sometimes even amid deep anguish and bitter tears, joy is always present. 

John 16:20, “you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you will grieve for a time, but your grief will be turned into joy.” The Bishops believed that this joy is so unique that it should be shared, not only with the rest of the Catholic Church, but with the world. Evangelization is the good news about Jesus and that good news is of joy.

Finally, one who is joyful, is impelled to love. A joyful person seeks to reconcile and not cause division. A joyful person is troubled in the sight of another’s sadness. A joyful person seeks to console a troubled soul, strives to encourage, and brings true peace.

Such a gift is so clearly needed in our time!


Fr. Charles Zlock

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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), at 9 AM in the rectory office/Sister Rosemary Room.  Moderator: Fr. Zlock

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

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


Please Welcome our House Guest!

Mr. Bernie Faia arrived at St. Raymond on Tuesday, June 4, from St. Charles Seminary, and will be our guest throughout the summer. When you meet him this weekend, please be sure to give him the sort of welcome that always warms the hearts of newcomers to our parish. Take a look at this video to learn more.


Friday is Flag Day!

Fly Old Glory on this special day to show you're proud to be an American.


All are Welcome to Bibles, Boots and Backpacks

Get all the details and directions here.


Join Us for Hospitality Sunday on June 16th

Join us after the 10 am mass for some snacks and fellowship with our church family. All are welcome, and feel free to bring a friend or someone who hasn't been to church in a while! 

PS - It's Father's Day!

So bring your father to Mass this weekend. Or your grandfather, or anyone who has been like a father to you. We're ready to bless them and wish each one a Happy Father's Day.


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

Generation Grace, our amazing youth group, made 24 meals for Aid for Friends this past weekend. Thank you for your wonderful work and support for our brothers and sisters in need!

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, 6/28-Movie Night


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


Friday, 7/19-Family Fun Night


Remembering Father O'Brien

Father John O'Brien, the beloved Pastor of St. Raymond from 1987 to 2008, passed away two years ago on June 13th, the Feast of St. Anthony. In the spirit of St. Anthony, Fr. O'Brien devoted his life to finding the lost, providing them with comfort, and leading them to Jesus. Rest in peace, Father O'Brien... WE KNOW WHERE YOU ARE!


Church Announcements

A Reminder about Call to Prayer

St. Raymond offers a twice-daily opportunity, Call to Prayer on weekdays at 6 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 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.

Guidelines for Church Temperature

As we navigate through the changing seasons, the topic of our church's temperature during mass often arises. Whether it’s too warm or too cool, Deacon Bill, the Bethany Team and I frequently receive feedback.

Firstly, we appreciate when everyone speaks kindly—it really makes a difference. As followers of Christ, how we talk to each other matters.

To simplify things, we've come up with a way to decide when to flip on the AC. For example, last Sunday it was 75 degrees with 55% humidity, and most people thought it felt just right. So, we're using a simple formula: adding the temperature and humidity together. Here's the plan:

  • Below 130: We'll probably leave the AC off, use fans, or open windows if it’s nice outside.

  • At 130: We'll think about turning on the AC.

  • Above 135: We'll definitely turn on the AC.

We know it’s tricky to get the temperature right for everyone, especially with the weather changing from one Mass to the next. 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.

Trauma Kit Now in Sacristy

Did you know that trauma cases are one of the leading causes of fatalities for people over 40? To increase the possibility of addressing medical issues requiring trauma first aid, a "Stop the Bleed" trauma (or tourniquet) kit is now in the sacristy. It is located next to the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED), to the left of the sink.

The trauma kit includes:

  • Tourniquet with windlass rod

  • Heavy gloves

  • Compression dressing

  • Packing gauze

  • Marker

Using the kit is not difficult but does require a bit of familiarity with the items in the kit. A five-minute instructional video can be found here. It's worth taking the time to watch, just in case.

Peter's Pence Collection

Peter's Pence is a special collection for Pope Francis. The funds are given to the Holy Father specifically for his discretion and use for needs closest to his heart. To learn more and donate, click here.

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 9, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $5,686.62

Electronic Giving: $5,363.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $25.00

Catholic Home Missions: $5.00

School Appeal: $30.00

REST: $50.00

Total: $11,159.62

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.

There have been recent issues with envelopes and cash app donations. If you are having problems with either form of giving, please contact Brandi, and she will help to correct the issue.

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.



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

Social Services

The parish is in need of a volunteer driver to pick up Caring for Friends Meals on an as needed basis, (no more than once a month). The facility is located at 12271 Townsend Road Phila., Pa 19154. Pick up hours are between  9:30 am and 4:00 pm, Monday to Friday. Interested parties should contact the Rectory Office at 215-549-3760. Thank You!

Bethany Team

We are grateful for the folks who have expressed interest in joining the Bethany Team. Training has begun, and soon you will see some new smiling faces waiting to greet you as you come to Mass each week. But we are still in dire need of people who regularly attend the 5 pm Saturday Mass 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 for the Saturday Masses.


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.


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

It's a Jubilee - and You are Invited!

Over the last half century, Fr. Rayford Emmons' ministry has spread far and wide. If you know him (or wish you did) and want to join in the celebration of his Jubilee, please RSVP to Holy Cross parish and come to the 11 o'clock Mass on June 23, followed by fellowship. All are welcome!


St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, School of Theological Studies – Registration is open!

The Catechetical Institute provides catechetical courses that can be used towards the catechetical certification program of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Catechetical Formation (OCF). Upon successful completion of a course, the STS Office will send a participant’s name to OCF and they will issue a catechetical credit. Learn more and register here.


Go, Make Disciples: An Introductory Training in Missionary Discipleship

Saturdays, June 29, July 13 and July 27 – 9 AM-12 PM

Event: Go, Make Disciples: An Introductory Training in Missionary Discipleship

Join us for a powerful and practical training in the habits and skills of missionary discipleship. This course will help you deepen your personal friendship with Jesus and acquire relational skills to encounter and accompany others into Christ’s love.

Facilitators: Meghan Cokeley, Office for the New Evangelization, Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Fr. Matthew Biedrzycki, Parochial Vicar, St. Helena, Philadelphia Location: St. Helena Parish, Lower Church Gathering Space, 6161 N. 5th St, Philadelphia, PA 19120

Cost is $25 for all 3 sessions including coffee, snacks and guidebook. Click here to register or visit


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 June newsletter is available here.

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


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