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Good News for September 6th

One of the interesting aspects of being a priest is that people will recommend books to you. Some suggestions I read. Some I don’t. One book that I have been reading is Uncommon Faithfulness, The Black Catholic Experience. It is a collection of articles on a wide variety of topics involving Black Catholics. Orbis Books released the book in 2009. It was edited by Boston College professor M. Shawn Copeland.

One article caught my attention. It is entitled “Pan Africanism - An Emerging Context in Understanding the Black Catholic Experience.” The author is Father Clarence Williams, C.P.P.S. (Missionaries of the Most Precious Blood). Father Williams was a huge figure in the Black Catholic clergy. He was the first African-American priest ordained in Cleveland. For years, he was a major force in initiatives dealing with racial equality and diversity. He led workshops and seminars nationwide. He was a senior Director for Racial Equality and Diversity for Catholic Charities USA. Affectionately known as “the chief,” Father Williams passed away on July 11 of this year.

Father Williams was also the founder of the “Building Bridges for Black and Brown'' initiative. This was a model that had five stages. The stages were: (1) Conversation, (2) Connection, (3) Considerations, (4) Construction and (5) Crossing. The stages were meant to help people from different perspectives, cultures, races, etc... develop more positive relationships between themselves.

A few years ago, the National Black Catholic Congress (NBCC), together with the Pan-African Roman Catholic Clergy Conference (PARCCC), led the effort to apply these five stages in a concrete situation. At the root of the issue was the dearth of priestly vocations in the US. The lack of priestly vocations has been especially pronounced in the black Catholic community. To fill the gap, Philadelphia and other (arch)dioceses have seen an influx of black clergy from Africa.

African-American and African clergy have different experiences, cultures, expectations, and perspectives. The interaction between them presented opportunities. It also introduced complexities. It was not only the case with African and African-American clergy. The NBCC and PARCCC noticed that this was an issue arising with the interaction of clergy from other cultures as well. This emerged from several national dialogues between African-American leaders and Hispanic-Latino leaders.

These two organizations successfully applied Father William’s 5-stage model to bring the two groups together and move the encounter to a positive place. Next week, I will go into detail on how this process looked.

Fr. Charles Zlock, Pastor



World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly September 10th

The Blessing of Long Life

God of Mercy,

Who has given the gift of long life to Your children, grant them Your blessing; let them feel the sweetness and strength of Your presence: Turning back to the past let them rejoice in Your mercy and looking to the future Let them persevere in the hope that does not die. Praise and glory to You for ever and ever.



‍Brothers and Sisters in Christ, For the next four months, our action steps will focus on the four qualities of a missionary disciple outlined by Pope Francis in paragraph 24 of the Joy of the Gospel. This week, take time to reflectively read this paragraph: Then, reflect upon the Scripture verse the Holy Father mentions, 1 John 4:19, meditating on how God takes the initiative with us. ~Archbishop Pérez


Are you interested in joining the Catholic faith? Do you know someone else who is? Are you Catholic but want to learn more about your faith? Or do you want to go deeper into your relationship with Christ and journey with others in a more intentional way?

The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults or OCIA (formerly RCIA or the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) Is a new structure meant to invite people on a path to Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation.

OCIA is part of an ongoing journey of discipleship that will culminate with baptism and confirmation — usually during the Easter Vigil — but will continue throughout the person’s lives.

It is open to people who have never been baptized (known as “catechumens”) and people who are baptized but never received Confirmation and First Holy Communion (“candidates”)

But wait… there’s more!

It is also open for fully initiated Catholics who wish to do a committed deep dive into their faith. It might appeal to a committed Catholic wishing to develop a more intentional relationship with Christ within a community setting.


Join us for one of two Information Sessions. The first will be with Deacon Bill and Cindy Bradley on Sunday, August 20, at 12:30 PM (after Mass Hospitality in the Sister Rosemary Room underneath the rectory). The second is on Monday evening, August 21, at 7:00 PM with Fr. Charles Zlock in the Sister Rosemary Room. If you can not make either session, Contact Fr. Zlock or Deacon Bill at the rectory. Phone: (215) 549-3760


Fr Charles Zlock, Pastor





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

Submit your weekly collection envelopes during your summer vacation and travels…..We are counting on you!


Saturday, September 9

Event: Diaper and Baby Item Drive:

World's Greatest Baby Shower

Catholic Social Services will hold a Diaper and Baby Item Drive. There are two ways to give: scan the QR code (flyer) or purchase baby clothes and gear and drop them off or have them delivered to Amy Stoner at 222 N. 17 St,

Philadelphia, PA 19103, 3rd floor.

More info: Please contact Amy Stoner at for more info!


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 or 215-549-3760.

Sunday (9/10)-PB&J Sandwich Making for Kensington

(SRR after 10am Mass)

Sunday (9/24)-School Supplies Collected; Meeting in SRR after 10 a.m. Mass

Sunday, 10/22-Pumpkin Carving & Reflection

Saturday, 10/28-Trunk or Treat

Hope to see your children soon



Attention Parents/Guardians

Family Faith Formation Sessions Start Sunday, September 17, 2023

‘Let the children come to me.” Parents with children entering grades K through 7th grade are encouraged to attend. Sessions will be 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 at 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!



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.

Want to learn more visit or School of Diaconal Formation website


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!

St. Raymond Church needs you!

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 or to Gina Ingiosi, Associate Director, St. Katharine Drexel Shrine and Venerable Cornelia Connelly Memorial in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul -, 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,




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).


Congratulations to the Meat Raffle Winners

1st place - Eric Ervin

2nd place - Calvin Clement

3rd place - Madeline Hayden


Please log in to find out what is going on around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


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