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Good News for June 26, 2024

Painting by: Jan van 't Hoff at Gospel Images

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 6: The Gift of The Black Family (Continued), Black Men, Black Women 

Central to the discussion of the Black family today is the question of the Black man as husband, father, co-provider and co-protector. Black men have borne a crushing burden of racial hate and economic repression. Lack of access to decent employment has stripped him of his dignity and manhood. He often feels depreciated and relegated to the margins of family life and influence. In addition, another evil fruit has been the artificially- fashioned rival between Black women and men.

It is important to encourage a reevaluation of the fundamental vocation of Black fatherhood and black manhood. Both provide courage and wisdom to maintain the family and ensure growth. Forty years ago, the US Bishops challenged Black men to assert their spiritual strength, and to demonstrate their sense of viability and ethnic pride. Today - as then - they are needed as models of virtue for children, and as partners of love and nurture with their wives. Fatherhood shares in the fatherhood of God. It nourishes us, guides us, cherishes us, and makes us holy in a family of grace.

The civil rights movement raised the consciousness of people to the reality of many inequalities and social injustice. Within the last years, many have become more conscious of the social inequalities that women have suffered. This is not only in America, but around the world.

Black women have a unique place in the Black community. They are a source of strength. They are examples of courage and resolution, a source of power, and a powerful gift to be shared with the larger society. (You can say THAT again).

The role of Black women cannot merely be a supportive role to Black men. It is a complementary role. Women like Sojourner Truth, Michelle Obama and Mary McLeod Bethune exemplified a tradition of cooperation with Black men to achieve the great works that they accomplished. It is important to note that before there were Black Catholic priests in the United States, there were Black women religious, even in hostile environments. Elizabeth Lang founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence in Baltimore. Henriette Delille founded the Sisters of the Holy Family. Mother Theodore Williams established the Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary in Georgia. Today, Black women witness in various non-ordained ministries both as religious and lay women, directors of formation, administrative assistants, and disciplinarians of Pastors, Their potential for serving in their own communities, needs to be recognized and utilized by the Catholic Church in the US.

Fr. Charles Zlock

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Thank you Ms. Arleen!

Please join us in extending our heartfelt thanks to Ms. Arleen Daniels for her dedicated service as Pastoral Associate of Religious Education & Social Ministry at St. Raymond over the last 12 years. As she embarks on retirement, we are grateful for her leadership, compassion, and the blessings she has brought to our community. May God bless her abundantly in this new chapter.



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

New Need: Van Driver

We are in need of a van driver on the third week of each month, for the 10 am Mass. Please contact Brandi if you can help us bring parishioners who are unable to drive themselves to church. Email

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 Philadelphia, 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 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 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.


Part Time Employment Opportunities

St Raymond has two fantastic job opportunities for the right people. Both are part-time positions. Please review and share with others:

Director of Religious Education and Social Services

The incumbent will coordinate faith formation, religious education, social outreach, and other related activities necessary to maintain and increase vibrancy, religious development, and social services in accordance with the mission of the parish. The incumbent (part-time) will report directly to the Pastor.

Finance Manager

The Finance Manager works with the Pastor and Finance Council to oversee the financial and temporal affairs of the parish. He/she operates in concert with the policies, procedures, and guidelines set forth by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (AOP). This position supports stewardship of the resources and goods of the parish. The incumbent (part-time) will report directly to the Pastor.

To apply, please send your resume to: Saunja Johnson -; and/or Minta Brown


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.

THIS Friday, 6/28 - Movie Night

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

Friday, 7/19 - Family Fun Night


Church Announcements

July 4

The rectory office will be closed on Independence Day.

Monthly Prayer Team

St. Raymond's Prayer Team stands ready to offer prayer after all the Masses this Saturday and Sunday (always the last weekend of the 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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 23, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $2,906.00

Electronic Giving: $2,868.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $556.00

Total: $6,330.00


Wanted! Baby Bottles, Full or Empty

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.


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

Weekend Fun on Wadsworth!


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,


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


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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