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Good News for March 6, 2024



Counsel the Doubtful 

 

Many people do not think there is such a thing; an only one "truth." When the church says that something is wrong or sinful, they reply “Well, who are you to tell me what is right or wrong?” or "Who are you to tell me what I can do with my body?"  

 

That might work until someone wants to take their car or rob them of their money. Then the victim might say "Hey, that’s wrong. That’s illegal and immoral!" But what if a criminal responds, “Well, who are you to tell me what is right or wrong?" What does the victim say then? Suddenly doubts about what is truth, what is just, or what is right or wrong creep in. 

 

The gurus of the new atheism have been immensely effective in proposing the notion that there is no objective truth for everyone. Major figures such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Daniel Dennett have spoken about this throughout our schools and universities. They would say that "What I believe is true might not be what you believe is. What you think is wrong or evil is just your opinion. It does not apply to me."

 

To be honest, the Catholic Church has done a poor job of instructing the doubtful about truth, right and wrong and evil in these places. Thankfully, contemporary Christians and secular figures have not only gone head-to-head with popular atheistic figures. People like Bishop Robert Barron and Jordan Peterson have shown the fallacy of the thinking of the atheists’ proposals. 

 

Doubt about truth, eternity, life after death, good and evil is a form of pain and spiritual suffering. We are responsible for addressing and allaying that doubt. How do we do this?

 

First, start with a prayer. When discussing such an issue with another person, a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit can lay the groundwork for a fruitful discussion. It certainly cannot hurt.

 

Second, provide well-reasoned answers. To do this, we need to study. We need to read. We need to be ready to address the doubts about what is true in a way that is clear and compelling. G.K. Chesterton’s book Orthodoxy is a good place to start. C.S. Lewis' novel That Hideous Strength and Trent Horn's Answering Atheism are other reliable resources. The Catholic Answers website, Bishop Barron's Word on Fire videos, podcasts and website can also help.

 

Third, lead with charity. One of the new atheists' approaches is to scorn and ridicule the Church. We cannot do that. Be gentle, kind, understanding and reverent toward the other person.

 

Fourth, accept that you will not get this right a lot of the time. Young people have been taught these ideas since grade school. Your job might be merely to plant the seed, let someone else water and another person reap the harvest. 

 

Finally, believe that Christ and the Church will have the final say. The Church has seen this before. She has been countering false doctrines, effectively, for millennia. Ultimately the Church, with the help of Christ, will prevail.   


Next week we look at the fourth Spiritual Act of Mercy which is to “Comfort the Sorrowful.”


Fr. Charles Zlock

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Lent at St. Raymond


Confessions


One of the best ways to celebrate Lent is receiving the Lord’s mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As an appointed “Minister of Mercy” by Pope Francis, Fr. Zlock offers several opportunities for Confession to accommodate busy, working schedules:


  • Monday evening from 6:00 - 7:00 pm

  • Tuesday morning from 6:30 - 7:30 am

  • Saturdays from 4:00 - 4:45 pm (Please NO Confessions after 4:45. Fr. Zlock is will be preparing for the liturgy)

  • By appointment. Call 215-549-3760 to schedule a convenient time. 


Take advantage of this opportunity to experience grace and forgiveness at no charge!


Washing of Feet

On (Holy) Thursday, March 28th at 7:00 pm we celebrate The Mass of the Lord's Supper. This commemorates the Last Supper, during which Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Orders. It also commemorates Jesus's commandment and example to love one another. Christ washed the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper. After the homily, the priest follows Jesus's example by washing the feet of 12 parishioners. Would you like to serve as an Apostle by being 1 of the 12 to have your feet ceremonially washed by Fr Charles Zlock? Please contact Brandi in the church office at 215-549-3760.


Holy Week Schedule

  • Holy Thursday, 3/28: Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 pm

  •  Good Friday, 3/29:  Service of the Lord’s Passion at 3 pm

  •  Good Friday, 3/29: Stations of the Cross at 7 pm

  • Saturday, 3/30 at 10 am = Decorating the Church for Easter (No 8 am Morning Mass)

  • Easter Vigil, 3/30: 7 pm (No 5 pm Service)

  • Easter Sunday, 3/31: 8 am and 10 am with Easter Egg Hunt for kids 12 & under after 10 am Mass


Request for Candies

Our annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on Easter, March 31st after 10 am Mass. We are asking for candy donations (no peanuts) and plastic eggs. Please drop off in the box in the back of the church or the church rectory during the week from 9:30 am-4:30 pm. Your kindness is greatly appreciated!!


 

Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!


Join us for "Bible, Boots, and Backpacks" — a series of four unique hikes led by Father Charles Zlock. On these journeys, we'll explore nature while reflecting on Pope Francis' message in Laudato Si’, an invitation to care for our planet and each other. It's a chance to walk, reflect, and connect with both creation and our Creator. Everyone is welcome, so grab a friend and come along for inspiration, community, and a breath of fresh air. Let's walk, reflect, and grow together!


Get detailed information about each hike is here. Call Fr Zlock if you have further questions at 215-549-3760, ext 1.


 

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 brandi@saintraymond.net or 215-549-3760.


Sunday, March 10 - Tying Kickball to Bible Lessons


Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21 - Youth Ministry Bake Sale After all Masses


Sunday, May 26 - Caring for Friends Food Preparation



 

Family Faith Formation Sessions

"Let the children come to me”


Attention Parents/Guardians: Family Faith Formation Sessions will run September 17, 2023 – June 2, 2024.


Parents with children entering grades K through 7th grade are encouraged to attend. Sessions are held immediately following the 10:00 Mass every other Sunday in the lower church. Enrollment forms are located on the desk in the rear of the church. Contact Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760 or arleen@saintraymond.net to receive a form via email. The greatest gift you can give your child is the gift of faith formation. If children do not experience how to live for God, the world will certainly show them how not to!



 

Life Groups

CONNECT + GROW + SERVE

Lenten 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.


Our Week Two Member Guide is attached as a resource for all. Enjoy!


Week Two- Member Guide
.pdf
Download PDF • 429KB

 

Church Announcements

Join us in celebrating Father Zlock's 30th Anniversary on May 4th from 6 pm to 9 pm in the St. Raymond School Hall. Come and enjoy an evening filled with food, drinks, music, and wonderful fellowship as we honor Father Zlock's three decades of dedication to the priesthood.


RSVP by April 7th at this link.


Don't miss out on this joyous celebration!


 

Join Our Events Committee

We are seeking volunteers to help plan events at St. Raymond, including Fr Zlock's upcoming Anniversary. There will be a committee meeting Sunday, March 10th, after the 10 AM Mass in the Sister Rosemary Room. If you are interested in volunteering, please join us!   


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 brandi@saintraymond.net.


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.


Snow and Inclement Weather

In the event of severe snow, the 8 am Weekly Daily Mass Schedule will be based on the Catholic School Schedule. If the school is closed or delayed, there will be no 8 am Daily Mass that day, thus giving time to get the lot cleared for the next Mass. Please check your local news channel for school closings.


Tax Time

As you prepare your taxes, Brandi in our Parish Office is happy to provide a statement for your 2023 Giving. Please call her at 215-549-3760 or email her at brandi@saintraymond.net.


Special Collections

March 3 - Rice Bowl

March 10 - Easter Flower Offering

March 29 - Holy Land Sanctuaries

March 31 - Easter Offering

March 31 - Maintenance and Repairs

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.


Collection for Sunday, March 3, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $7,555.00

Electronic Giving: $6034.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $185.20

REST: $50.00

School Appeal: $25.00

Social Ministry: $40.00

Rice Bowl: $644.00

Easter Offering: $51.00

Easter Flowers: $115.00

Holy Land: $15.00

Christmas Flowers: $10.00

Total: $14,724.20


 

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ... 

... about the homilies you hear. Really! Honestly! The new Catholic Preaching Institute (CPI) at Saint Charles Seminary invites you to participate in what could be the largest-ever study of its kind in the nation. It only takes 10 minutes to do!


Then invite each of your family members to do the same, and share this with all your Catholic friends! With everyone’s input, CPI will design programs to make preaching in the archdiocese more compelling ... so that your experience of the Word of God becomes even more inspiring.


Don't wait! The survey closes March 22. Simply click here to complete the online survey or scan the QR code below.


 

Prayer Team Help Needed


Are you comfortable having a conversation with God? St Raymond’s Prayer Team is seeking volunteers to pray for and with others. The monthly Prayer Team Partners gather on the first weekend of the month after each Mass to hear and respond to prayer needs. The primary requirements are a love of Christ and love of your neighbor. We will help you with the rest. To learn more or volunteer, please email Deacon Bill or call him at 215-549-3760.


 

Wanted: Servers and Sacristans!

Attention, young people of St. Raymond’s! We are in need of new altar servers – and we also wonder whether any students or young parishioners would be interested in being hired as sacristans.

 

Fr. Zlock and Deacon Bill will work with a few adults at St. Raymond to mentor all applicants. They will pray daily for them, observe how they do at Mass, encourage them and offer advice when needed.

 

Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” If you aspire to be one of God’s workers, please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760 or brandi@saintraymond.net.


 

Job Search Assistance Needed

St. Raymond needs to fill 2 - 3 positions over the coming months. The positions are in (1) Social Service Outreach, (2) Sacramental Preparation/Religious Education of our youth, and (3) Director of Parish Finance and Accounting.

 

Fr. Zlock is looking for someone to lead this task. This would include working with Parish Staff to make adjustments to existing job descriptions, posting the jobs on various media and job channels, initial evaluations of any resumes received, initial interviews and helping manage the process for final interviews and hiring. 


The work is important to fill positions that are critical to running the parish. If interested, please contact Fr. Zlock at 215-549-3761 (Ext 1) or czlock@saintraymond.net.  


 

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.

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Community Events & Announcements



 

Presenting the National Black Catholic Congress March Webinars





 

Episcopal Ordination

Click the this link to participate in the livestream.


 

Kimmel Center Offers Free Summer Arts Program for High Schoolers

Rising 9th through 12th grade students with intermediate to advanced-level performing arts experience are invited to audition for a free 3-week camp program at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, focused on Singing, Acting and Dancing.


The program runs weekdays from July 8 to July 26, 9:30 am to 5 pm. Students are expected to attend all days of the program and will participate in skill-building classes, masterclasses, audition preparation, rehearsal and a culminating performance in a Musical Theater production.


Registration deadline is April 1, and acceptance to the program will be audition-based. Register here.


 

College Scholarship Opportunities

High school seniors and juniors – check out this website.


Right now, we know that college costs are really high, and FAFSA is having problems. But we also know that attending college is life-changing. So see if Quest Bridge can take you where God wants you to go! If you have good grades and are involved in extra-curricular activities at school or in your community, this is a resource you don’t want to miss.


 

Lunch and Learn


 

Catechetical Convocation


The Catechetical Convocation is an annual faith formation event that invests in the professional and spiritual growth of the parish through a sharing of theological insights, instructional methodologies, and practical applications. The celebration of Mass, keynote presentations, varied workshops and more will be offered from 8 am - 3 pm. Fr Stephen Thorne and Deacon James Mahoney are two of the workshop presenters.  


There is a group rate of $35 ($40 for individual/single). However, grants are also available through the generosity of the St. Martin DePorres Foundation. The registration deadline is 12pm, March 11th. Please contact Minta (610-329-7256) if interested.  



 

News From the Office of Black Catholics



Check out the March 2024 Newsletter for many exciting events.

 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates


The March newsletter is available here.


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


 

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