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Good News for October 4th

This week’s reflection will be a rambling cornucopia of random items. First, let me discuss Mass as prayer and different types of Mass intentions. As Catholics, we pray for people. We pray for their needs and their intentions. We have different types of prayers to intercede for others.

The highest form of prayer of the Catholic church that we can offer is the Eucharistic liturgy. We often offer Masses for people and their intentions. We offer a Mass for the person, their family, their intentions, etc.

A Mass usually has an intention associated with it. In this regard, there are two types of Masses (and Mass cards that are available) that you can offer someone. There are “ announced” Masses and “unannounced” Masses. Requests for announced masses appear in the parish bulletin. These Masses have a specific date and Mass time assigned to them. The intention is then announced during the Mass. They are quite common and popular at St. Raymond.

Unannounced Masses are not as common at our parish. I have heard from several people that some are not aware of what they are. In the case of unannounced Masses, people will come in and request that a Mass be said. No specific date or Mass time is requested. The intention can be for a person or a group of people or another intention. The understanding is that the priest will pray the Mass at some point. He usually does this while he’s on vacation, on his day off, or while he’s attending a seminar or on retreat.

It is not unusual for someone to come in and request several unannounced Masses. For example, someone might request ten Masses. These could be for four parents, three grandchildren, and three children. People send unannounced Mass cards to people anticipating medical procedures or surgery. Unannounced Mass cards are often offered at funerals for the soul of someone who has died.

In both cases, the person requesting the Masses receives a mass card. The stipend for both unannounced and announced Masses is the same: $10 per mass.

Next, let me provide a few “Save The Date” events that are pending.

On Sunday, November 12, a Saint Raymond School Alumni Mass will be celebrated. This will be during the 10 AM Mass. A reception in the school hall follows the Mass. If you graduated from St. Raymond School, or if you know people who did, begin to contact them and invite them to come.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 23, 24, 25, I will be the Director for a Men’s Weekend Retreat. This will be at Malvern Retreat House. The Blessed Trinity men’s group is the sponsoring group. The group includes men from Saint Raymond. DADS ... this is a great opportunity! Bring your son (or sons). Experience the beautiful grounds of Malvern Retreat House and enrich your faith life.

A few months ago, I mentioned that I had been appointed by Pope Francis to be a Missionary of Mercy. This is a special ministry, focusing especially on the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Eight of the Missionary of Mercy priests were commissioned last week. Another priest and I were out of the area. Thus, our Commissioning Ceremony will be done by Archbishop Perez on Sunday, November 5 at 3:00 PM. The location will be the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul.

This seems somewhat providential. It is also the Mass that celebrates Saint Martin de Porres. This Mass has traditionally been a significant celebration for the Black community. I would be honored if anyone from St. Raymond‘s could attend. Come down and experience the splendor of the Martin de Porres Mass and celebrate my commissioning by the Archbishop. I was recently interviewed by the archdiocese about this special Ministry of Mercy. I will publish that interview in a future bulletin.

Fr. Charles Zlock, Pastor



Each year, our parish has been very generous in supporting the AOP Catholic Charities Appeal. I just received a report that we have achieved 41% of our assigned goal. Please consider contributing to this effort that helps our Church lead the way in helping those in need. If you cannot find a Catholic Charities Appeal special envelope, please place your contribution in a plain envelope marked Catholic Charities. Your contribution can be placed in our Mass collection baskets. God will bless you for your generosity to others.

Fr Charles Zlock



Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez recently commissioned ten new Missionaries of Mercy with their mandate from the Holy See. St Raymond’s Pastor, Reverend Charles Zlock is honored to serve in the new role! This is a special ministry, focusing particularly on the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The St. Raymond Church family is invited to witness the Commissioning Ceremony led by Archbishop Perez on Sunday, November 5 at 3:00 PM at The Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul. Please contact Brandi (215-549-3760) if you are interested in riding in the church van. Fr Zlock is overjoyed that the brief ceremony will be included in the annual St Martin de Porres Mass, honoring the first Catholic Saint of color.

More information is available at Catholic Philly:


Good things are happening at St. Raymond.

1. FAMILY FAITH FORMATION had an amazing attendance so far!

There are 22 parents who signed up with 30 children.

· The first gathering on Sept. 17th, there were 8 parents with 9 Children

· The Sunday after, Sept. 24th, there were 13 parents and 23 Children

2. Youth Ministry met last Sunday to make candy apples and reflection. There were 12 kids in attendance. Jenn Cresina-Allen did a great job facilitating with the help of the rest of the Youth Ministry Core Team!


Annual Stewardship Collection

Dear St. Raymond Family,

I am writing to you with an update on the finances of the parish. I apologize for the delay with this report. More on that below. I also wish to ask for your generous support of St. Raymond during this year’s Stewardship Sunday.

Perhaps you remember 1978. It was the “Year of Three Popes” (Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II). It was a disorienting time during the church. Last year was the “year of three pastors.” Similarly, it was a complex and, at times, unsettling time. Nevertheless, St. Raymond came through the transition well. There are many signs why St. Raymond enjoys a fine and well-deserved reputation within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Much occurred over the past 9 months. On the request of Pope Francis, We held two parish listening sessions in light of the worldwide synod. Archbishop Perez asked us to form a select committee to develop three parish priorities and six SMART Goals. We reconstituted a new Finance Council. We hired a new director of Finance and Accounting. The archdiocese asked us to implement new finance and accounting procedures.

We accomplished this while still having our Advent and Lenten Life Groups. We begin to update the musical and liturgy infrastructure. REST continued to help several families transition as citizens. We initiated a new family catechesis program for our PREP program and started a new RCIA program for people desiring to be received into the Catholic faith. Our weekend liturgies also continue to be vibrant and nurturing.

In the midst of these changes, we continued to deal with the finance and accounting challenges associated with a rapid turnover of three pastors, two finance/accounting directors, and one bookkeeper. When you consider the spiritual, liturgical, temporal, and pastoral changes, ensuing financial challenges are reflected and supportable.

The financial picture of St. Raymond is mixed (see statistics below). Our overall church income declined by 5%. Weekend and Christmas collections were down. However, the Easter collection increased significantly (+145%). The expense side of the ledger was positive. Overall expenses decreased by 1%. Some of this was due to changes in Pastoral Staff personnel. Some was due to the excellent work of the Finance Council, which monitored and helped to control expenses.

As a general rule of thumb for churches, the weekend collection alone should cover the cost of the parish mission. This is a sign of a viable and vibrant parish. Coming out of Covid, we are not doing badly, but the financial picture is still tenuous. I am exceedingly grateful to all of you for your generosity. I am well aware of the sacrificial giving of many of you in support of St. Raymond.

I am asking for you to prayerfully consider two requests. First, sign up for electronic giving rather than weekly envelopes.The printing, sending, collecting, and counting of envelopes is a labor-intensive and costly process. Electronic giving reduces expenses.

It also provides a consistent, reliable source of church income, especially during holidays, summer vacation, and those times when your family might be away from the parish.

Second, consider offering $150 during the Stewardship Sunday weekend (October 7 & 8). When you consider inflation, people on fixed income and family financial responsibilities, this might simply not be feasible for some of you. I understand. Give what you can. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

In closing, as I look ahead towards the Advent/Christmas season, I am excited about the momentum in the parish, especially coming out of the National Black Catholic Congress. I am honored to be the Pastor of such a wonderful "Parish Family.” To quote one former pastor, "There’s something about St. Raymond.”

Fr Charles Zlock



Income:  $625,394

Of which:

·         Weekend: $552,573

·         Christmas    $6,852       

·         Easter:              $4,856


Total Expenses: $519,734

Net:    $105,661

Expenses as a percent of income: (83%)





Income:  $595,773 (-5%)

Of which:

·         Weekend: $498,170 (-10%)

·         Christmas $5,257 (-23%)

·         Easter: $11,956 (+146%)


Total Expenses: $515,714 (1%)

Net:    $80,059 (-24%)        

Expenses as a percent of income: (87%)


Brothers and Sisters in Christ, A missionary disciple gets involved. Who in your life is far away from the Church right now? Get involved in their life. Make a plan to be present at something important to that person, e.g. a sports game, a party, a hobby they enjoy. Here are some more of my thoughts on getting involved that may help you: ~Archbishop Pérez




10/8 = Annual Stewardship Collection - The Lord loves a Generous Giver

  • 10/22 Hospitality Sunday

  • 10/28 and 10/29 Monthly Prayer Team after Mass (always last Sunday)


Have Leftovers???

Why not package them for Caring for Friends.

Containers are located in the Sacristy. We are in constant need of a variety of meals for ailing seniors. The one meal that you discard can be a meal for an ailing senior living alone. Frozen meals can be dropped off at the Rectory between the hours of 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM. Volunteers are also needed to deliver meals to seniors on a weekly basis. For more info, contact Arleen at 215-549-3760.


Youth Corner

Youth Corner, Grades 6th-8th

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, 10/15

  • Pumpkin Picking and more @ Kohler Farms

(After 10:00 a.m. Mass)

St. Raymond Church is having a Trunk or Treat!!

Saturday, October 21st, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in the Church Parking Lot

  • Sign up to be a “Trunk.”

o Registered “Trunks” will bring candy to hand out PLUS be entered into our “BEST TRUNK” Contest.

Please register below

(Please copy and paste this link to your web browser.)

  • Sign Children up to “Treat”

o Registration is REQUIRED by using the link below

o $1 (per child) entry fee at the entrance of the parking lot

(Please copy and paste this link to your web browser.)

There will be activities, games, face painting, and more!

Come out and help OUR Youth Kids Celebrate Halloween!!

Please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760 or at if you have any questions.


Attention Parents/Guardians

Family Faith Formation Sessions

Sept.17, 2023 – June 2, 2024

"Let the children come to me.”

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 215-549-3760 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!


Attention Ladies

Catholic Women’s Conference

Sat. Oct. 28, 2023

Registration Information Packets are located on the desk at the rear of the church. Please complete the pink form and return it to the basket provided to ensure that you are registered for the session of your choice. Please note you may only select one session.

Sign up early- the event fills up quickly!



Come back home to see old friends and to visit your school. The day starts with 10am Mass, followed by a reception in the School Hall. Spread the word!


Olive Wood

Bethlehem Olive Wood Arts is Coming To Our Church on Saturday, 10/28 & Sunday, 10/29, to all masses!!

Christian Carvings & Statues, handcrafted Olive Art Straight From the Holy Land to our Parish.

A representative from the Bethlehem olive wood arts factory from the holy land will be present after all the masses to display and sell handcrafted olive wood art pieces. Olive wood items are made of authentic olive trees from Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Take advantage of this opportunity to find a unique and beautiful gift for yourself or someone you love this Christmas. Everything is hand-carved and all proceeds will benefit Christian families in the holy land.

Made By Christian Hands. Loved By Christian Hearts



The Third Annual Mother Mary Lange Lecture in Black Catholic Studies will be held on Thursday, November 2, at 7:00 p.m. at Villanova University’s Charles Widger School of Law. There is free parking in that area of campus. We will also live stream the event.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Maureen O’Connell, professor of Christian social ethics at LaSalle University. Dr. O’Connell is also the author of Undoing the Knots: Five Generations of Catholic Anti-Blackness (Beacon Press 2021).


Uncommon Faithfulness of Black Catholics: An Invitation to All

Join us on Saturday, October 14th, 2023, for a morning with Sister Cora Marie Billings, RSM. She will share her story and the story of her family to educate and inspire us.

The event will start with a meet & greet at 9:30 a.m., and Sr. Cora’s presentation will go from 10:00 a.m. until Noon.

Location: Saint Vincent de Paul Church, 109 East Price Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19144

Parking is available in the Church Lot on East Price Street, between Lena and Wakefield Streets.


If you have any questions, please reach out to:

This is a joint presentation of the Archbishop’s Commission on Racial Healing and New Encounters: Catholics Confronting Racism.




The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez has appointed Reverend Timothy Tarnacki, O.S.P.P.E., as the Director of the Office for Ministry with Young Adults (OMYA). He succeeds Mr. Matthew Davis, who served in this post since November 2020. In making this appointment, Archbishop Pérez said, “The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is home to a vibrant and passionate young adult community. Over the past several years, the Office for Ministry with Young Adults has worked with great zeal to build a spiritual formation program that engages young men and women from various backgrounds as they work to develop an authentic relationship with Christ.” I ask the people of our local Church to join me in prayerfully congratulating Father Tarnacki as he prepares to assume his new role. I know that he will help young adults encounter the transformative love of Jesus and inspire them to live a joyful life as a missionary disciple.”

To learn more about the Office for Faith Formation for Youth and Young Adults, please visit



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