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Good News for March 1st

A number of important things have happened over the last several weeks. Over the next few weeks, I would like to give you a summary of what occurred. Later I will provide a general idea about what’s coming up. The topics I'll address include parish discernment and planning (AKA “Called for More”), changes in parish staff, parish finances, parish policies and procedures, and the pastor’s transition plan. This week I start with the Called for More initiative. I will address other topics in subsequent weeks.

Called for More is the directive from Archbishop Perez. Every parish is to submit three significant parish priorities with two to three goals for each priority. These priorities should be bold and complex enough to need two to five years to complete. These priorities and goals were due February 20. Because of my sudden reassignment, St. Raymond was granted an extension until March 31.

Over the past two weeks, we held two “listening sessions” for the parish They were well attended with between 30 – 35 people at each session not including Parish Staff and members of the Discernment Team. The conversations were open, honest, and candid, as well as excited, hopeful, and enthusiastic.

The initial concerns of those who attended was who would be making the decision and how were those people chosen. My process was to initially ask Parish Staff and parishioners who they would recommend. I was given a list of about 25 names. I contacted them via email, described the process, explained the goals, described the commitment (2 – 3 years), and asked for their willingness and availability for the project. About half said that they could not make that long-term commitment. Next, I came up with a schedule to determine the priorities. It was an aggressive, 6-week schedule of 6 Discernment Team meetings and 2 listening sessions. In the end, about 9 people committed to the project.

Another concern was how the priorities would be chosen. In the end, we let the people of Saint Raymond help determine that. Parishioners, Parish Staff, and the Discernment Group looked at parish information from three sources: (1) from the listening sessions themselves, (2) from recommendations and ideas from Fr. Chris and other parishioners from two years ago, and (3) from data pulled from the Disciple Maker Index (or DMI). The DMI is the questionnaire that St. Raymond took a few years ago. It measures the health of parish vibrancy, spirituality, worship, and leadership.

Parishioners in the listening sessions helped refine the list of potential priorities. We prayed to the Holy Spirit. We then asked parishioners to look at the list of possible priorities. Each person was given 2 votes to select two priorities they thought were most important. We tallied up the highest scores for an initial sense of where the parish and the Holy Spirit were leading us. Ideas offered as potential parish priorities are listed below. This list does NOT reflect any ranking or level of importance:

  • Outreach To whom? to youth, inactive parishioners, shut-ins, the needy, non-Catholics, people who feel alienated from the Church, and others? It is envisioned that a series of individual and regularly scheduled socials and events will be a part of this.

  • Ministries, Mentoring, Accompaniment. Which are most important? What is the fruit (the specific outcomes)?

  • Worship, Liturgy, Music. Contemporary, traditional, gospel, or all three? How do we determine and grow our talent base? Recruiting, training, and scheduling sacristans, servers, Lectors, greeters, ushers, and cantors. The role of technology, finances, and infrastructure.

  • Campus-Wide Technology Support, Upgrades, and Improvements.

  • Assessment and improvements of parish finances, buildings, grounds, and equipment.

  • Prayer, spirituality, the role of Scripture-based ministry in the parish

  • Radical Welcoming (to include internal parish assessment of this)

  • Youth. The focus would be on young people approximately between 6th grade and 35 years of age

Having done that exercise, the Pastor, the Discernment Team, and the Parish Staff examined the information. We compared it to data from the DMI. We prayerfully came up with three broad priorities. In this, we gave special emphasis to the ones that the parishioners said were most urgent. For the following three weeks, we will come up with a series of goals corresponding to each priority. We will communicate this information to the parish.

I have been touched and impressed with the enthusiasm of the Parish Staff and the parishioners involved. Their commitment is admirable. They have families, jobs, and busy schedules. Yet they have committed to 7 meetings in 6 weeks. It is a major sacrifice. They have invested their time and talent to help set a pathway for the future of St. Raymond. I am grateful for their willingness to support me and the parish.

Fr. Charles


Looking forward to seeing you this Sunday, March 5th at the 10:00 am Mass for the Installation of Fr. Charles Zlock

as Pastor of St. Raymond of Penafort

Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia




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


The Rite of Election and of the Call to Candidates to Continuing ConversionRite of Calling the Candidates to Continuing Conversion took place Sunday at 3:00 pm.

(RCIA 446) This rite may be celebrated with baptized but previously un-catechized adults who wish to complete their Christian initiation through the sacraments of confirmation and eucharist or who wish to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

Nadirah Dickerson and Madison Warner will be received into full communion and complete their sacraments this Spring.



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:

2023 Lenten Life Group Flier
Download PDF • 270KB

Lent Week 1 - 2023 Member Guide
Download PDF • 159KB

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:

Feb. 18th, March 18th, April 15th & May 20th

Social to follow.


Permanent Deacon of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia assigned to St. Athanasius Parish located in West Oak Lane. Deacon James was ordained on June 6, 2004. He is responsible for teaching the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and instructing a bible study class at St. Athanasius Parish. He is currently employed as the Associate Director of the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal in East Germantown. He is also an instructor in Homiletics for the Permanent Diaconate Program of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


Attention! Attention! Men of St. Raymond Save the Date March 4, 2023

15th Annual Man UpPhilly

Men’s Conference

March 4, 2023

Join other Brothers in Christ for

this special experience and stand

united as true Men of God.

Cardinal O’Hara, High School

St John Vianney Hall Theater.

1701 S. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064


His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan

Archbishop of New York

Deacon James Mahoney

St. Athanasius Parish

Assoc. Director Miraculous Medal Shrine

Jim Wahlberg

Producer, Writer, Film Director

and Catholic Revert

Music By Mark Forrest, (Irish Tenor)

Archbishop Nelson Perez,

Mass Celebrant

To register for this event contact

Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760


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,


Katharine Drexel, SBS was an American heiress, philanthropist, religious sister, educator, and foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She was the second person born in what is now the United States to be canonized as a saint and the first one born a U.S. citizen.

Born: November 26, 1858, Philadelphia, PA

Died: March 3, 1955, Cornwells Heights, Pennsylvania

Feast Day: March 3

Casimir Jagiellon was a prince of the Kingdom of Poland and of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Second son of King Casimir IV Jagiellon, he was tutored by Johannes Longinus, a Polish chronicler, and diplomat. After his elder brother Vladislaus was elected as King of Bohemia in 1471, Casimir became the heir apparent. Wikipedia

Born: October 3, 1458, Wawel, Kraków, Poland

Died: March 4, 1484, Grodno, Belarus

Full name: Casimir Jagiellon

Feast Day: March 4


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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