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Good News for March 15th

There has been a lot going on in Saint Raymond since I arrived in mid-December. Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to inform the parish about what has occurred. My goal is to improve communication. This should provide transparency and lay a platform for future dialogue. People want to know the future direction of the parish. This involves defining the parish's vision and mission. I described this within the context of the Archbishop’s “Called for More" initiative. Last week I outlined a pastor's onboarding plan. Parish staff and parishioners were key in the development of this task. The goal was for the plan to assist me and ensure a smooth and fruitful transition. Administrative nuts and bolts are important. Yet, personal, community and cultural issues also need a focus. Effective pastoral leadership builds on generations who have come before us. It is important to honor their commitment and the foundation they built. In this way, we become good stewards of the Saint Raymond story. The Paris staff proposed an enculturation program. This introduced me to the life and culture of the black Catholic community. It included a history of black Catholics in the United States. It provided an overview of this history in Philadelphia and in Saint Raymond Parish. It outlined the character and history of the neighborhood. It discussed the current national and local political climate. It touched upon tragic events in the black community over the past few years. It outlined the impact that these events have had on the parish.

Parish mission, vision, and values were also a part of the onboarding plan. I'll cover those next week.


Parish mission, vision, and values are part of any parish onboarding plan. Parishioners and the Pastoral Staff outlined for me what these were at STt Raymond.

Parishioners and the Parish staff outlined the vision and mission of the parish. The parish vision has been a Philadelphia that knows, loves, and serves Jesus Christ. The mission has been to introduce people to Jesus. Thus, they grow in their faith. They discover their purpose and make a difference because, with Jesus, life is better.

Finally, the values of St. Raymond were outlined. St. Raymond values excellence and innovation and their impact on the church family. The parish values the treasury of traditions. This includes the black church and the universal Catholic church. St. Raymond values the presence of children. There is a strong will to mentor, guide, and accompany them in their lifelong journey of discipleship. The parish values authenticity. First, this includes the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be. It then embraces who Jesus calls us to be today. Saint Raymond values opportunities to connect with those who do not know Christ. It also wishes to reach out to those who do not have a church family. Finally, the parish values intentional service. This is a regular part of the life of every Christian in general and members of St. Raymond in particular.

Fr. Charles





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


3/25 + 3/26 = Monthly Prayer Team after Mass

Special Collection Envelope

March 19th Easter Flowers



Life Groups are open to parishioners, family, and friends (pretty much anyone). If you have never joined a Saint Raymond Life/Small Group, now is the time! 90 minutes + once a week + 4 weeks = a new relationship with Jesus and others. What are the next steps? Pick up a flier from the back of the Church and look over the different groups. Then make a phone call to the Life Group Leader to save your spot at the table (or on the couch). YOU MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE TO ENSURE YOUR PLACE. Want to know more? Call Minta Brown at 610-329-7256 or email

NOTE: The flier was recently updated with a new day/time for Fr Charles Zlock’s group. His time is now 8:30 am Monday, immediately following 8 am Mass, in the office basement. Details for all groups are on this handout:

Lent Week 2 - 2023 Member Guide
Download PDF • 185KB


Friends of Bishop McDevitt will again be offering a limited number of $1000 grants to grade school students who are related to a graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School. These grants may be used at any Catholic high school, private or diocesan. #LancersForLife


St. Malachy’s Catholic Church

1429 N. 11th St Phila. Pa 19122

Presents “The Source” Holy Hour with Music

Come, Receive The Lord’s Mercy & Healing

Confessions are Available at 6:30 pm

On the following Dates:

March 18th, April 15th & May 20th

Social to follow.



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.


Holy Thursday, 4/6/23 Mass 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Good Friday, 4/7 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

  • Stations of the cross

Easter Vigil, 4/8/23 Mass 7:00m pm (No 5:00 pm service)

Easter Sunday, 4/9/23 Mass 8:00am & 10:00 am


From February 22 to April 2nd, local Churches and groups will sign up participants for a peaceful prayer vigil, Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm, and Saturday, 8 am to 3 pm at Planned Parenthood, 1144 Locust St in Philadelphia. Our Parish will serve Monday, March 20. Please call the Parish Rectory at 215-549-3760 if you would like to sign up.


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,


St. Patrick

Feast Day March 17th

Saint Patrick was a fifth-century Romano-British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is the primary patron saint of Ireland, the other patron saints being Brigid of Kildare and Columba.

Nationality: Roman

Attributes: Crozier, mitr holding a shamrock, carrying a cross, repelling serpents, harp

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Feast Day March 18th

Cyril of Jerusalem was a theologian of the early Church. At about the end of 350 AD, he succeeded Maximus as Bishop of Jerusalem but was exiled on more than one occasion due to the enmity of Acacius of Caesarea, and the policies of various emperors.

Died: March 18, 386 AD, Jerusalem


Archbishop’s Texting Challenge - Sign Up now!


THE OBSERVANCE OF THE MEMORIAL OF SAINT PATRICK AND THE LENTEN OBLIGATION TO ABSTAIN FROM MEAT ON FRIDAY, MARCH 17, 2023 Archbishop Nelson J. Perez, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, in accord with the Code of Canon Law (canon 87), grants a dispensation to all Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from the obligation to abstain from meat on the Memorial of Saint Patrick on Friday, March 17, 2023. Lent does not disappear with the festive celebration of Saint Patrick. Rather, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Roman Catholics may fittingly observe March 17, 2023, with another choice of penance rather than abstaining from meat.


Thank you for your patience as we address our sound issues in church and online is greatly appreciated.

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