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Good News for March 8th

Last week I began to outline a summary of important actions that have occurred over the past weeks. Certainly, my installation as the new Pastor by Bishop Timothy Senior of St. Raymond was a highlight. I am deeply indebted to the Parish Staff for the hours of work they invested in the planning and achievement of such a fine event. I was also touched by the number of people who offered hospitality, music, song, set up, and clean up, and the myriad of actions – large and small – that led to a tremendous day for me, family, friends, and the parish. Thank you!

This was one activity of a larger on-boarding process. Activities began weeks before I even arrived at St. Raymond. A team of parishioners and Parish Staff put together an action plan that included some of the following areas to cover. Let me outline some of them:

There were normal business transition activities. This included familiarization of legal and financial procedures, signing of documents, passwords, new email addresses, and change of address issues. There was the training of immediate pastoral needs such as the daily Catholic Call to Prayer, Mass, Confession, Adoration, and Benediction schedules, where various liturgical items are kept, and the Lenten Life Groups sessions. Deacon Bill and Brandi Whitehead were instrumental in this.

Various forms of parish communications and use of technology are significant. What were my responsibilities for the email blast and the parish bulletin? Ms. Toni Reaves helped here.

Each parish has its own particular idiosyncrasies when it comes to sacraments. How do we do funerals, weddings, Baptisms at St Raymond? How do we handle Mass intentions and Mass cards? Brandi and the Deacon teamed up on this part.

It was important to soon get over to the St Raymond School, meet the Principal Mr. Harris, the faculty, and students. Soon after my arrival, Mr. Harris asked if I could plan, organize and lead an off-site faculty retreat. We accomplished that at the IHM Sisters Spiritual Center in Bryn Mawr. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and minister to our fine faculty. If I needed an answer to a question, I could always count on Mrs. Cooper to locate the principal for me (He’s a moving target).

There were other typical priestly pastoral duties such as visits to the sick, calls or visits to parishioners who had lost a loved one and wedding preparations.

Oh yeah, and then there was that Christmas thing….

A frozen and burst water pipe. The sudden unexplained cut-off of our internet, phone, wifi and livestream service. The shutting down of our church heating system (in the midst of a cold snap). A new snow plow service. In the midst of that, the Parish Staff, Mr. Aloysius Stevens, Mr. Minnie Spady, parishioners and others jumped in in heroic ways and kept the ship afloat. For better or worse, I quickly got to know some of our service providers and contractors rather well.

Relationships are an important part of any church community. I met with the wonderful Covid nurses from Jefferson, REST, our local City Council representative, and DePaul House. The Christmas season showed me how these relationships interact with the parish to offer the tremendous and broad outreach programs that St. Raymond does. It was very impressive.

These are overwhelmingly practical and tactical items. Next week let me outline more strategic items that are, and continue to be, part of my onboarding process.

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


There are two upcoming special collection envelopes:

March 12th Rice Bowl

March 19th Easter Flowers

Clocks spring forward one hour this weekend



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:

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.



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,


March 7th Feast Day St. Perpetua and St. Felicity. Saint Perpetua: c. 182–203 Patron Saint of cattle and martyrs Invoked against the death of children

Saint Felicity: Unknown–203 Patron Saint of martyrs, help to have male children, and widows. Invoked against sterility and the death of children Pre-Congregation canonizations

March 8th Feast Day- St. John of God, OH was a Portuguese soldier turned health-care worker in Spain, whose followers later formed the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God, a worldwide Catholic religious institute dedicated to the care of the poor, sick, and those suffering from mental disorders. Born: March 8, 1495, Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal

Died: March 8, 1550, Granada, Spain

Full name: João Duarte Cidade

Nationality: Portuguese, Spanish

March 9th Feast Day- St. Frances of Rome, Obl.S.B., is an Italian saint who was a wife, mother, mystic, organizer of charitable services and a Benedictine oblate who founded a religious community of oblates, who share a common life without religious vows. Born: 1384, Rome, Italy Died: March 9, 1440, Rome, Italy Parents: Iacobella dei Roffredeschi, Paolo Bussa de' Leoni. The organization founded: Oblates of St. Frances of Rome Canonized: 1608, Rome, Papal States, by Pope Paul V. Patronage: Benedictine oblates; automobile drivers; widows


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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Joyce Richardson
Joyce Richardson

Welcome Father Zlock! Your enthusiasum and openness is refreshing. A huge thank you to all of St. Raymond's Parish who have made your transition as smooth as possible. We as a parish are blessed and happy to have you.

God Bless You and St. Raymond's Parish


Sounds like you’ve had a trial-by-fire introduction here. Bless all those who got you through it. Now it’s time for the rest of us pitch in some extra donations to help pay for damage and repair. We all know how much all that can cost🥴. I’ll put a check in the mail tomorrow. I’ll pray that others will help if they can. God bless your work here, Father.

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