Thank you for allowing me to serve you over the past few months. I know that you will receive Fr. Charlie Zlock with a very fond welcoming. He is a wonderful priest, and St. Raymonds is in good hands. I would like to share with you the words of Pope Benedict from his Wednesday reflection in St. Peter's Square in 2005:
"In this season of Advent, while the Ecclesial Community is preparing for and celebrating the great mystery of the Incarnation, it is invited to rediscover and deepen its own personal relationship with God. The Latin word “adventus” refers to the coming of Christ and brings to the fore God’s movement toward humanity, to which each is called to respond with openness, expectation, seeking and attachment. And as God is sovereignly free in revealing and giving himself because he is motivated solely by love, so the human person is also free in giving his or her own, even dutiful, assent: God expects a response of love."
As the holy father reminds us, we are praying with hopeful expectation during advent for the infinite love of God coming to us in the form of an infant child! May we receive Christ with humility and allow ourselves to be disposed to the will of God.
Are You Called to Be a Deacon in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?
Who is the Deacon? He is a Minister of the Word, a Minister at the Altar, and a Minister of Charity.
Our Next Permanent Diaconate Information Session Will Be Held On:
Saturday, December 10, 2022, 10:00 AM
Holy Innocents Parish
1337 East Hunting Park Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19124
We invite Catholic men (and wives if married) between the ages of 29 and 55 to
join us for an in-person presentation with a panel of clergy about discerning a
the vocation to the Permanent Diaconate and admittance to the School for Diaconal
For more information, please visit https://archphila.org/deacon.
St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Appeal 2022-23
The St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Appeal 2022-23 begins the weekend of November 5 -6. Envelopes are mailed and are also in the back of the church. Your contribution is a faithful investment in the future of our Church.
How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? How are they to hear without a preacher, teacher, or catechist?
Our Religious Education Program is in need of volunteer Catechists and classroom aides. If you are willing to share the faith that was handed on to you with our young people, please contact Arleen Daniels for more information. 215-549-3760.
Advent Life Groups- Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season! St. Raymond Advent Life Groups started this week and continue through December 22nd. Did you forget to join a group? No worries! The material used each week will be included here for use at home. You too can experience Jesus through prayer, scripture, and reflection. A more spiritual you is the best gift that can be given! Contact Minta Brown at 610-329-7256 with any questions.
Apologies for the inconvenience
Last Sunday, we were unable to Live Stream the 10:00 am Mass due to technical difficulties. While we hope to have the system up and running this coming Sunday, it would be nice to have you back in Church to worship with us in the pews.
Our annual Giving Tree is in the back of the Church. It offers you a way to participate in our Home for Christmas event again this year (we will once again deliver items to the shelters as a precaution due to COVID). We will begin our sign-ups for the various teams that will make the Home for Christmas event possible. WE ARE IN NEED OF A PERSON TO LEAD THE FOOD TEAM (organizing the donations, preparing them for delivery, etc.). Could this be you? Contact Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760.
Christmas Eve (Saturday, 12/24),
7:00 pm, no 5:00 pm service
Christmas day (Sunday, 12/25), 8:00 am and 10:00 am
New Year’s Eve Vigil (Saturday) 5pm; Holy Hour 10:00 pm
followed by Mass at 11:00 pm
Sacrament of Reconciliation,
December 14, 2022
Supported by the Office of Black Catholics (215) 587-3541 Join us on Facebook and Instagram
11/30/22 Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle. Saint Andrew was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and was the brother of Peter, the chief of the Apostles who founded the Church in Rome. St. Andrew had first been a disciple of John the Baptist; afterward, on hearing the Baptist's witness concerning Jesus, when St. John pointed Him out with his finger and said, "Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29,36). Andrew then began following Christ and became His first disciple, and is therefore called the Protocletus, the First-Called of the Apostles. After the Ascension of the Lord, he preached in various land and founded the Church in Byzantium, the future site of Constantinople. Having suffered many things for the Lord's sake, he died in Patras of Achaia: he was crucified on a cross in the shape of an "X," the first letter of "Christ" in Greek; this cross is also the symbol of Saint Andrew.
While Peter symbolically came to represent the Church of the West, Andrew likewise represents the Church of the East. The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle is made up of Archons who are selected by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for their outstanding service to the Church and are significant, distinguished, and well-respected leaders of the Orthodox Christian community. Their special concern and interest is to serve as a bulwark to protect and promote the Sacred See of St. Andrew the Apostle and its worldwide salvific mission.
As first of the Apostles to be called, O Andrew, brother of him (Peter) who was foremost, beseech the Master of all to grant the world peace and our souls great mercy.
12/3/22 Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier, Priest. St. Francis Xavier was known for his long hours of hard work. He loved the poor and sick and showed great joy in their service. He had given his life to bringing the Good News to people who had never known Christ.
Today we honor the patron of the missions, St. Francis Xavier. While the Church has sent many good and holy missionaries into the world, Francis Xavier is generally considered the greatest after St. Paul the Apostle. Born in Navarre, Spain, in 1506, to a noble family, he eventually went to Paris to study philosophy. He began a promising academic career and tended to be focused on the things of this world. But Francis’ plans changed after he met Ignatius Loyola, who guided him into more spiritual interests. In 1534 Francis Xavier became one of the founding members of the Society of Jesus (better known as the Jesuits) and was ordained two years later. Within a few years, he had set sail for India with the title of papal nuncio. He spent almost a decade bringing Christ’s message to the people of Goa, Malacca, and other areas before going to Japan in 1549. After establishing a Christian community there, he returned briefly to India before setting his sights on China. However, Francis Xavier died of a fever on an island off the coast of China on this date in 1552. He was canonized in 1622.
St. Francis Xavier was known for his long hours of hard work. He loved the poor and sick and showed great joy in their service. He had given his life to bringing the Good News to people who had never known Christ. He strove to do all God asked of him, however difficult. In the Gospel for today, we hear, “Jesus said to His disciples: ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven’” (Matthew 7:21). St. Francis Xavier did everything he could to obey Almighty God and help His people, body, and soul. We, too, can make an effort to do what our Lord wants each day for the good of others, as well as our own souls.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
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 https://nbccongress.org
Black and African Saints and Martyrs
St. Josephine Bakhita was a slave for many years, but her spirit was always free, and eventually, that spirit prevailed. Born in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven, sold into slavery, and given the name Bakhita, which means “fortunate.” She was resold several times, finally in 1883, to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. Two years later, he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became the babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice’s Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian Sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine’s behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had been free since 1885. Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later. St. Josephine Bakhita was a slave for many years, but her spirit was always free, and eventually, that spirit prevailed. Born in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, Josephine was kidnapped at the age of seven, sold into slavery, and given the name Bakhita, which means “fortunate.” She was resold several times, finally in 1883, to Callisto Legnani, Italian consul in Khartoum, Sudan. Two years later, he took Josephine to Italy and gave her to his friend Augusto Michieli. Bakhita became the babysitter to Mimmina Michieli, whom she accompanied to Venice’s Institute of the Catechumens, run by the Canossian Sisters. Josephine felt drawn to the Catholic Church. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890, taking the name Josephine. When the Michielis returned from Africa and wanted to take Mimmina and Josephine back with them, the future saint refused to go. During the ensuing court case, the Canossian Sisters and the patriarch of Venice intervened on Josephine’s behalf. The judge concluded that since slavery was illegal in Italy, she had actually been free since 1885. Josephine entered the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa in 1893 and made her profession three years later.
St. Monica is a saint with whom most black women can readily and easily identify. St. Monica was born in Tegaste in northern Africa, in about 331. She was a devout Christian and an obedient disciple of St. Ambrose. Through her patience, gentleness, and prayers, she converted her pagan husband. She gave her son, St. Augustine, religious training during his boyhood, only to feel the disappointment of seeing him scorn all religion and live a life of disrepute as he grew older. But before her death, Monica had the great joy of knowing that Augustine had returned to God and was using all his energies to build Christ’s Church. Her youngest daughter also became a nun.
Saint Moses, the Black, was a desert monk born around 330. He was an Ethiopian of great physical strength and unruly character. Moses was a big man, and his enormous strength was well known. He belonged to a band of professional thieves and robbers in Egypt. Fearing eventual death from his Ethiopian master or other criminals, Moses ran away into the Scete Desert. No regular people were there, only poor hermits with nothing worth stealing. The hermits converted Black Moses to Jesus, yet his former bad ways held on to him. In order to fight harder for Jesus, Moses moved further into the desert. He was chosen for priesthood, and at his ordination, the bishop remarked to him, “Now the black man is made white.” Moses replied, “Only outside, for God knows I am all black within.”
News from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
December 2 - 4, 2022
Event: Sister-To-Sister Weekend Retreat for African/Black Catholic Women. Sister-To-Sister Weekend Retreat is an annual event for Catholic and non-Catholic Women who want to spend quality time and deepen her relationship with God. More Info: Flyer - Arrival Time: Friday @ 4:30 PM - Departure Time: Sunday after 11:00 AM Mass; Cost: $110
Friday, December 2 – Sunday, December 4
Event: Traditional Men’s Retreat with Jeff Cavins (in-person and virtual option)
We are pleased to welcome back Jeff Cavins, Bible teacher, speaker, and host of “Life on the Rock” on EWTN, to lead this weekend retreat for men of all ages and backgrounds. This retreat will include Mass each day, talks by Jeff, adoration, and time for personal reflection.
Location: Malvern Retreat House, 315 S Warren Ave, Malvern PA
More info: Registration is required for this event. Contact the retreat house at 610.644.0400
(Discount is available if you need it)
Friday, December 9, 2022 – 7 pm-9 pm
Event – Multi-Cultural Benefit Concert
Location - Holy Innocents Church - 1337 E. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia
More Information - This free-will donation multi-cultural benefit concert will showcase the talents of our diverse parish while raising funds for the Young Adults attending World Youth Day. There will be praise and worship in different languages, raffles, and refreshments! Please see the flyer for more information. Ample free parking available!
Men of St. Raymond
Save the Date March 4, 2023
Man Up Philly 2023 will be here before you know it. Please reserve the date on your calendar. More Information to follow in the months to come.
Let's bring people back to the pews.
We ask parishioners to sign up to answer a question about their faith and why they worship at St. Raymond. After the interview, we would like to post it on Social Media and play it before Mass.
Can you help?
Does it sound like something you can do?
Call the office and let us know.