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Good News for May 29, 2024

1984 Pastoral Letter on Evangelization from the Black Bishops of the United States.

Part 2: The Gift of Freedom

The good news of the Gospel includes the message of liberation. As we read in John 8:32, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Pope Saint John Paul II spoke at length on the relation between truth and freedom.

Jesus himself links liberation with knowledge of the truth. This is a question of the spiritual process of maturing. It is a way by which a person becomes a representative and a spokesperson of “righteousness and holiness.” (See Ephesians 4:24) This occurs at various levels, be it personal or individual, and in social life. It is not merely a scientific truth or a historical truth. It is Christ himself who says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6)

This service of truth is the task of the Church. It is conducted in different historical contexts. Each age needs to call out and name injustice and exploitation of one man by another. This includes exploitation of people by the state, and the mechanisms of systems and regimes. It is necessary to call by name all injustices, discrimination, and violence inflicted as it affects a person's dignity and his life.

Freedom brings responsibility. Freedom is a gift of God, and we are accountable to God for our loss of it. We are also accountable for the gift of freedom in the lives of others. For unless all are free none are free. Moreover, oppression by some means freedom’s destruction; both for the oppressor and the oppressed. Any liberation liberates the oppressor and the oppressed together.

African American ancestors knew the deliberating hand of God. They clearly understood that without spiritual freedom, there is no fight for a broader freedom. This understanding of and determined desire for spiritual freedom is key to Saint Raymond growing and spreading the Gospel message to the community beyond our doors.   It is the responsibility that freedom brings: to teach others its value, and to work to see that its benefits are denied to no one.  “We actively reach out, to all, with genuine care, encouraging others to live in the life of Christ.” (Saint Raymond 1990 Mission statement)


Fr. Charles Zlock

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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.

  • HOW? There are three steps: Learning, gift interview, and discernment during 5 weekly, 1.5 hour sessions. A Saturday morning and a Thursday evening option will be offered for your preference and selection.

  • QUESTIONS? Get more details by attending one of two Information sessions in the rectory basement/Sister Rosemary Room. Choices are: Saturday, June 1, 9 am (hosted by Fr Charles) OR Sunday, June 9, 11:45 am - after Mass (hosted by Minta).

Sign up here or contact Minta at to reserve your spot.

"Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire." - St Catherine of Siena


House Guest on the Way!

This summer we will welcome Mr. Bernie Faia as a guest Seminarian housed at St Raymond.  June 3rd is his anticipated start date. Take a look at this video to learn more.

Additional information will shortly follow. God is good!


Bibles, Boots and Backpacks

New Dates for Valley Forge and Wissahickon Parks!

The postponed hike at Valley Forge National Park is now rescheduled for Sunday, July 14, at 3 pm.

The postponed hike at Wissahickon Park is now rescheduled for Saturday, August 10, at 10 am. (Meet at Blue Bell Park, off Walnut Lane)

Get all the details and directions here.


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.

Sunday, June 9 - Caring for Friends Food Preparation (date change)

Friday, July 5 - Gospel Skate Night at Rolling Thunder


Church Announcements

Baby Bottles for Guiding Star Ministries

June 1 and 2 is the last opportunity to support Guiding Star Ministries, a maternity home in Germantown for pregnant women and their children. Through counseling, group meetings, and a nurturing faith-based environment, Guiding Star helps residents work toward total independence. If you neglected to take a bottle in the back of church last week, you can add your donation on your way in to Mass this coming weekend. Please help these young women and their babies who are striving for a better life.

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.

Special Collection: May through June 8th

"Did you know one in five people in the Greater Philadelphia area count on the Catholic Charities Appeal for help and hope? We may not notice them, but they are there in every county, town, parish, and neighborhood. It’s time we focus on the women and children looking for shelter, focus on those experiencing poverty and looking for a meal, and focus on individuals with special needs looking for opportunity. Every year, the Catholic Charities Appeal impacts nearly one million lives. But this is not possible without your help. Your gift matters more than you know." Envelopes for Catholic Charities are available in the back of church.

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, May 26, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $3,636.00

Electronic Giving: $5,810.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $621.00

Catholic Home Missions: $5.00

Total: $10,072.00

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.

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.


Volunteer Opportunities

St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, School of Theological Studies – Registration is open!

The Catechetical Institute provides catechetical courses that can be used towards the catechetical certification program of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Office for Catechetical Formation (OCF). Upon successful completion of a course, the STS Office will send a participant’s name to OCF and they will issue a catechetical credit. Learn more and register here.



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!

Bethany Team

Training for serving on the Bethany Team at St. Raymond has begun, and soon you will see some new smiling faces waiting to greet you as you come to Mass each week. Bethany's primary function is to welcome all who attend weekend Mass (5 pm, 8 am and 10 am). The team also guides people in the procession to receive the Eucharist. Please contact Minta at or by phone at 610-329-7256 if you are interested in becoming a part of the team.


We are in dire 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!


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

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


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 June newsletter is available here.

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


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