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Good News for June 14th

I’ve been doing a deep dive into parts of a homily I gave a few weeks ago. I spoke about Four calls from God: The Call to Identity, The Call to Repentance, The Call to Forgiveness, and The Call to Mission. Last week I wrote about the first one, The Call to Identity. This week let’s look at The Call to Repentance.


This past weekend Archbishop Perez published a pastoral letter on the topic of racism. It was entitled, Archbishop Pérez Issues Pastoral Letter on Racial Healing: “We Are One Body.” The US Catholic Church continues to invest resources into addressing the topic, and reality, of Racism. The US Catholic Bishop‘s Conference (USCCB) formed an Ad Hoc Commission on Racism. In 2018, the USCCB published a letter on the topic called “Open Wide Our Hearts, The Endearing Call to Love.” Archbishop Perez formed his own “Commission on Racial Healing” in 2021. Parishioners of St. Raymond have been asked to serve as members of this Commission, lead focus groups, provide talks at conferences, and participate in other archdiocesan initiatives.

I read both documents. When applying the virtue and practice of repentance to racism, my question was, “Where do you start?” This is a huge issue. What struck me from reading the articles, and my own brief experience is the overwhelming complexity of the issue. The documents pose poignant questions: How do we overcome this evil of rejecting a brother or sister’s humanity, the same evil that provoked Cain’s sin? What are the necessary steps that would lead to this conversion?


Pope Francis said, “Let no one think that this invitation is not meant for him or her.” I found that as a place to start, however. Racism arises from suppressing the truth. So, acknowledge that it exists. Racism is real - and it is really big. Don’t remain silent. If you can’t say a lot, say something. Action is needed. Take a first step and do something small to get some momentum started.


We can find inspiration in the words of the prophet Micah:


"You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the LORD requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God." (Mi 6:8)


First, on a macro level, justice recognizes and respects the legitimate cry of our brothers and sisters that what they say is true. On a micro level, to do justice requires an honest acknowledgment of our failures and the restoration of right relationships between us. “If we acknowledge our sins, [God] is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing” (1 Jn 1:9).


“We Are One Body” states that, “Societal realities indicate a need for further catechesis to facilitate conversion of hearts." As Christians, we are called to listen and know the stories of our brothers and sisters. We must create opportunities to hear, with open hearts, the tragic stories that are deeply imprinted on the lives of our brothers and sisters, if we are to be moved with empathy to promote justice.’


What does this have to do with repentance? The first step is to be aware of racism – in your neighborhood, in your company, in your family, school, and church…. The second is to examine yourself. Is it possible, present, and maybe even prevalent, in your heart, in your language, in your behavior? Next, if you can see this, admit and acknowledge it honestly. Then we can seek repentance from the Lord and others.


In light of this, I have been fortunate, and honored, to be invited by several of our parishioners to engage in informal conversations about this topic. Since we’re Catholic, this small group is doing what Catholics always do - we engage in table fellowship of bread and wine (with humus, other appetizers, and alternative beverages available). The conversations have been deep, honest - sometimes brutal. The atmosphere is one of vulnerability, care, respect, and forgiveness. I love it and it has been very helpful, revealing, and humbling.


I showed this to a parishioner. They asked, What’s next?” My answer was, “I have no idea. This is too big for me. I am not ready to ask people what they should be doing. But, at least, it’s a start.”



Fr. Charles Zlock


 



 




 



 




 





 

2023 Philadelphia March for Life


March for Life will be June 24, 2023.

Please plan to join others on a walk to save our unborn Children.


9:00am-Mass at the Cathedral

10:30am-March down Race Street

11:30am-Rally at Independence Mall



 







 

Congratulate Fr. Zlock

as he celebrates

the 29th anniversary

of his ordination.






Congratulate Deacon Bill

as he celebrates

the 10th anniversary

of his ordination.







 

Any graduates in your family? Special awards received? Email Brandi at Brandi@saintraymond.net We want to acknowledge all of our achievers!


 






 


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, www.cranaleith.org

 

CALLING ALL SINGERS!


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 Tua20523@temple.edu 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.

 

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

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 Website:www.ourladymtcarmel.org



 

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: https://zoom.us/s/494480541

More Info: Sponsored by the Pontifical Missions Societies (phillymissions.org)


 



 


Called & Gifted - Charism Discernment


  • SMALL GROUP MEETING OPTION 1 BEGIN: Saturday, 6/3, Session #1, 9:00 AM in the rectory office/Sister Rosemary Room. Moderator: Fr. Zlock

  • SMALL GROUP MEETING OPTION 2:BEGINS Monday, 6/5, Session #1, 7:00 PM in the rectory office/Sister Rosemary Room. Moderator: Minta Brown

"Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire," - St Catherine of Siena



 

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


https://www.phillyevang.org/










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