Lectio Divina is an ancient form of prayer using the Bible as a tool. One chooses a place in the Bible and begins reading from that section. At some point, your eyes will light upon a word, a sentence, an idea, or a concept. The person then stops reading, closes the Bible, and begins to ask questions. “Why did this passage catch my attention?” “Is something in the passage important in my life now?” “Is this something I am struggling with?” “Is there something good about this that I can celebrate?” The person then has a conversation with God about these questions. Begin to consider what thoughts from the Lord manifest themselves in your mind. At the end of the reading, the person finishes with a prayer of thanksgiving. One should also resolve to perform some action based on the meditation that they had. The Bible is the classic instrument used for this prayer meditation exercise. Other items can be used to do a Lectio meditation. One can use a painting, a holy card, or a stained-glass window. Let your eyes wander around the object. Notice when your eye stops at a particular object, color, or scene. Begin the questions and meditation based on that. I often use icons as an object for meditation. This is a favorite form of Lectio for me. One aspect I notice in icons is colors. For example, red signifies divinity. Blue signifies humanity. I have noticed stars or crosses or Greek letters on pieces of clothing. I have an icon of St. Benedict. It contains a raven, a shepherd’s staff, a thorn bush, as well as St. Benedict’s very distinctive clothing. There is plenty of material there on which to focus and build a conversation with the Lord, don’t you think? Recently, I was praying with an icon of Mary. The icon has the title (in Greek) “Hagia Skepe.” This is translated as “Holy Protection.” It is a famous and very popular icon in the Eastern churches. It is a favorite of mine. Our Lady is stepping towards the viewer. There is a horizon in the background. The striking item is that she is holding and seems to be presenting a deacon’s stole or shroud. There are several interpretations of this. One idea is that it represents a deacon’s stole. This would be a symbol of service. The idea behind the shroud is that she throws it upon the believer to cover them. This is protection from spiritual attacks, from evil, or difficulties in life. Depending on the style of the icon, five stars or five crosses are often seen on the shroud. The crosses were the basis for recent prayers of mine about St. Raymond. Next week, I’ll go into details.
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
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, A missionary disciple takes initiative. As God takes initiative with us, let's take initiative with others. This week, be the one to initiate a call or visit to someone you know who is estranged, feeling lonely or lost, or who may be in need of God's love. Listen to my teaching on taking initiative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqA-RXiFpjQ ~Archbishop Pérez
Good things are happening at St. Raymond.
Good things are happening at St. Raymond Celebrating Our Youth.
1. There has been a GREAT start for Brandi’s Youth Group
2. Sunday, 9/10, our youth kids made PB&J for Kensington
3. St. Raymond Alumni Mass will be on 11/12 @ the 10 am Mass
4. Some REALLY GOOD news:
Connor Williams recently defended his thesis at the University of Rochester and earned his Ph.D. in Physics. He will join Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a staff physicist beginning in December. Connor thanks the many St. Raymond parishioners who supported him along the way. Connor is the son of Kevin and Dawn Williams.
5. Congratulations to Trophee and Fils, who became citizens on 8/28/2023 & 9/12/2023. Our newest US citizens!
10/8 = Annual Stewardship Collection - The Lord loves a Generous Giver
9/17 Hospitality Sunday
9/23 and 9/24 Monthly Prayer Team after Mass (always last Sunday)
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, 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 email@example.com or 215-549-3760.
NEXT Sunday (9/24)-Back to School
Meeting in SRR after 10:00 a.m. Mass.
(Jenn Cresina will facilitate)
Candy Apple Making
Pumpkin Picking and more @ Kohler Farms
(After 10:00 a.m. Mass)
Saturday, 10/21-Trunk or Treat Halloween Celebration
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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
email@example.com 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!
ARE YOU BEING CALLED?
Permanent Diaconate Information Session
Thursday, September 21, 2023, 7:00 PM
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Vianney Auditorium
100 East Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, PA 19096
We invite Catholic men (and wives if married) between the ages of 29 and 55 to join us for any-person panel of clergy about discerning a vocation to the Permanent Diaconate and admittance to the School for Diaconal Formation program.
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!
Fr Charles Zlock has asked that you volunteer a minimum of 2 hours per month. How can you help? Please see below for a preliminary list of small, yet important activities.
Catechists; Faith Partners (RCIA); Altar server scheduling and training; Altar server robes (weekly straightens, regrouping, and periodic washing); Office volunteers: Administrative support like answering the phone and answering the door. Filling out sacramental forms for baptisms and Godparents. Ordering office and liturgical supplies. Office organization. Filing records and forms. Proofreading articles for the parish bulletin. Moving supplies to the church and office.
Mass slides operation; Camera operators; Ministry to the Sick (phone calls); Home visits to the sick report compiler, communication coordinator, etc;
Weekly exterior campus review with a follow-up report; Counting the collection; Caring for Friends assistant/ coordinator; Church Community Builder database update; ESL volunteers; and Certified drivers for the parish bus.
The engagement of parishioners is critical to leading to a St. Raymond that is alive, vibrant, and joyful. Please contact the rectory office at 215-549-3760, Or contact a member of the staff directly (names, phone numbers, and email addresses are on the front page of the parish bulletin).
The Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel will be producing and sharing a video series for Black Catholic History Month this coming November. We are seeking testimonials over the summer!
The theme for this year is "The Seed that fell on good soil" to honor the work, ministry, witness, and legacy of the Black Catholics who have given the Church the gift of themselves and "bore good fruit!".
If interested, please reach out to DrexelShrine@archphila.org or to Gina Ingiosi, Associate Director, St. Katharine Drexel Shrine and Venerable Cornelia Connelly Memorial in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul - Gingiosi@archphila.org, 267-603-7337
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, www.cranaleith.org
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).
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