Good News for June 2nd

Friends, the past week has been very difficult. Witnessing the brutal murder of George Floyd and the trigger it has become for so many people in our community is painful. The anger that has been unleashed can be a catalyst for change but in some cases we saw it become a means of destruction. We are confused. We are numb. We are sad. We are frustrated. We are weary. Yet, please God, we are also HOPEFUL The prophet Jeremiah, speaking for the Lord, tells us: I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Struggling with being hopeful? Ask the Lord to renew you!

After many weeks of waiting, we have been given permission to restore public worship this Sunday, June 7th. Thins will be very different. We will be restoring things very slowly and prudently. This weekend and next weekend we will have just the 10am Mass with 50 people in attendance. You are welcome to also worship from the front lawn (we will set up speakers; bring your own chair). If you wish to worship inside of the Church, please WATCH THIS VIDEO so that you understand what things will be like when you arrive for Mass (come early, please). If you choose to worship (you can still worship from home until you feel ready; you are not obliged to come out for Mass), please SIGN UP TO ATTEND MASS. If you plan to worship from home via Live Stream but want to join us for a brief Prayer Service with Distribution of Holy Communion, please SIGN UP. If you have questions or need help signing up, please call the Parish Office (215-680-3496) or contact Minta Brown who is leading our RESTORE Team.

We continue our study of the Gospel of John this week (Wednesday Night form 7pm to 8pm). Please join on Zoom or on Fr. Chris Facebook Page. Please have your Bible ready and maybe a friend who is also participating that you could call when it is time for discussion. If you have never done Bible Study with us, please consider joining in. If it is not what you want. you can drop out and no-one will know! Try it…you have the time! Be sure to download the handout and print it out so you can take some notes as well… (sorry, Father Chris was not able to prepare the handout at the time of this publication; it will be on the website under “news” by Wednesday afternoon; he apologizes for any inconvenience).

A Town Hall on Race – Monday, June 1st

Please join a panel from our Church Family (Dawn Evans, Judge Lucretia Clemons, Lt. Eric Ervin, Nicole Stocklin, Joe Hejlek, Brandon Cornner, Richara Krajewski and Father Chris) from 7pm to 8pm Monday Evening for a Town Hall on the issues of race in America. Our panelists are diverse with varied life experiences. The conversation was planned before the riots and looting and we will move forward with the conversation as planned as I believe God desires. Please join us. You will be able to participate via the comments on FB or Zoom as well. You are also welcome to use the Call to Prayer Line option to listen in on the Town Hall. Father Chris hopes this will be the first of many such conversations for the good of the human family.

Join via Facebook

Join via Zoom (limited to 100 people)

Toll Free Call Line: 1-877-309-2073; Code 319-414-445

RIP George Floyd

Statement of Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez Regarding the Death of George Floyd
The hearts of Americans across the country are joined together in collective mourning following the tragic, disturbing, and unnecessary death of George Floyd. In the name of the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I express my prayerful condolences and join with all who are struggling to cope with this heavy burden of sorrow and grief. 

Recent events in Minneapolis are a stark reminder that the vile evil of racism has not been stamped out in this country. Rather, it has been resurgent in communities throughout our land for the last several years with old wounds being painfully ripped open time and again. 

Racial hatred has no place in our world, including here in the United States, or in the hearts of people. Every life is a precious gift from God. Racism is a mortal sin and an attack on that gift. All of us share a responsibility to bring an end to this evil and to do so in a way that seeks justice and peace. The perpetual cycle of pain and anguish must end. 

May God give all of us courage and solace as we work together for social justice and to preserve our land as one of equality and opportunity for every citizen. May He bring peace to Minneapolis and to our Philadelphia region and may He rekindle within each of our hearts true love and respect for our fellow human beings. 
+Most Reverend Nelson J. PérezArchbishop of Philadelphia

Statement of U.S. Bishops Chairmen in Wake of Death of George Floyd and National Protests

May 29, 2020
WASHINGTON – Seven U.S. bishop chairmen of committees within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued a statement in the wake of the death of Mr. George Floyd and the protests which have broken out in Minneapolis and in other cities in the United States. 

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the Committee for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs; Bishop David G. O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; and Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, chairman of the Subcommittee on African American Affairs have issued the following statement:

We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes. What’s more astounding is that this is happening within mere weeks of several other such occurrences. This is the latest wake-up call that needs to be answered by each of us in a spirit of determined conversion. 

Racism is not a thing of the past or simply a throwaway political issue to be bandied about when convenient. It is a real and present danger that must be met head on. As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference. We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice. 

While it is expected that we will plead for peaceful non-violent protests, and we certainly do, we also stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged. Too many communities around this country feel their voices are not being heard, their complaints about racist treatment are unheeded, and we are not doing enough to point out that this deadly treatment is antithetical to the Gospel of Life.

As we said eighteen months ago in our most recent pastoral letter against racism, Open Wide Our Hearts, for people of color some interactions with police can be fraught with fear and even danger. People of good conscience must never turn a blind eye when citizens are being deprived of their human dignity and even their lives. Indifference is not an option. “As bishops, we unequivocally state that racism is a life issue.” 

We join Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis in praying for the repose of the soul of Mr. George Floyd and all others who have lost their lives in a similar manner. We plead for an end to the violence in the wake of this tragedy and for the victims of the rioting. We pray for comfort for grieving families and friends. We pray for peace across the United States, particularly in Minnesota, while the legal process moves forward. We also anticipate a full investigation that results in rightful accountability and actual justice. 

We join our brother bishops to challenge everyone to come together, particularly with those who are from different cultural backgrounds. In this encounter, let us all seek greater understanding amongst God’s people. So many people who historically have been disenfranchised continue to experience sadness and pain, yet they endeavor to persevere and remain people of great faith. We encourage our pastors to encounter and more authentically accompany them, listen to their stories, and learn from them, finding substantive ways to enact systemic change. Such encounters will start to bring about the needed transformation of our understanding of true life, charity, and justice in the United States. Hopefully, then there will be many voices speaking out and seeking healing against the evil of racism in our land.

As we anticipate the Solemnity of Pentecost this weekend, we call upon all Catholics to pray and work toward a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for a supernatural desire to rid ourselves of the harm that bias and prejudice cause. We call upon Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for the Spirit of Truth to touch the hearts of all in the United States and to come down upon our criminal justice and law enforcement systems. Finally, let each and every Catholic, regardless of their ethnicity, beg God to heal our deeply broken view of each other, as well as our deeply broken society.

Good News for May 29th

Lord, send out your Spirit! As we gather this Sunday for Mass we celebrate the Birthday of the Church. We rejoice in the gift of the Holy Spirit and we pray that the Spirit will be given in a double portion to our Saint Raymond Family. May the Holy Spirit bring healing to those who are sick, freedom to those trapped in sin, comfort to those who are fearful and zeal to us all that we might be generous in inviting others to Christ!

The Archbishop has issued a Pastoral Letter as we begin the return to Church. Please download it here and share with your family as you are able.

Are you hungering for the Body and Blood of the Lord? Join us for a Communion Service this Sunday and you too can Feast on the Holy Eucharist. Proper precautions are followed. Please sign up HERE. Let Jesus comfort you, console you and free you from your fears! Next Tuesday’s email will have information about our restoring public worship next Sunday at the 10am Mass. Worshippers will be required to sign up thru Sign Up Genius (as we have done for Communion Services). This is so that we can maintain an accurate list of who attends which service in the unfortunate event that anyone were to become Covid-19 Positive. We will limit attendance to 50 people until we can evaluate. We will follow all precautions as recommended by public health experts. As you worship virtually this weekend…here is a worship aid.

Are you as excited for Pentecost as James is for this cupcake? Are you excited to pick up your T-shirt on Saturday (1pm to 4pm in front of the Church; only for those who signed up already) If you are not so excited these days – and you are feeling alone, afraid or struggling with faith, please schedule a time to talk with Father Chris. If you are feeling great and want to talk with him, that is great too! Be sure to follow his daily mediations on You Tube. We are now streaming our 10am Mass to this You Tube Channel as well. This is a great resource for those who prefer Closed Captioning.

Good News for May 27th

Soon and very soon…June 7th

You will be able to join us for Mass in the Church starting June 7th with the 10am Mass. We will continue to Live Stream (as always). We will be distanced. No hand shaking, hugging or touching. No sharing of the Precious Blood by the congregation. It will be different. You will need to register for Mass (50 people). You will be able to sit on the lawn and listen to Mass is you feel more comfortable doing that at this time. We will continue to one Communion Service at 12:30pm as well, for those who are not yet comfortable being in the Church for a prolonged period of time. Our RESTORE Team met to further develop our plan and more information will be shared in the Friday email (want to join our 10am Mass or 5pm & 8am Mass Teams; contact Minta Brown) . Pray that we make good choices!

Our Church Family rejoices once again as a young disciple received our Lord for the first time. Congratulations Elize – may you know the joy of being nourished by the Lord all the days of your life. Are you hungering for the Body and Blood of the Lord? Join us for a Communion Service this Sunday and you too can Feast on the Holy Eucharist. Proper precautions are followed. Please sign up HERE. Let Jesus comfort you, console you and free you from your fears!

The Jewish Community (JEVS) is offering boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables for FREE. There are various sites for pick up, including one of the large synagogues on Old York Road in Elkins Park (about 10 minutes from Saint Raymond). Please make us of this wonderful resource of share it with another. Sign up HERE.

Father Chris is most grateful for your continued generosity to the parish. Despite the many hardships our community is facing, our contributions have actually increased. Thank you for your goodness. Our weekly average is now $9,5050 (which is up about 2% from last year). Did you see last Sunday’s Bulletin? Did you know you can schedule time to chat with Father Chris? Use this TOOL to set 10 minutes on his calendar to have a chat (your choose the topic; he is here to serve you). If you know of people facing financial need, please contact Deacon Bill (who continue to recover well at home and will be making an appearance at Bible Study on Wednesday Night).

LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP FOR YOUR FREE T-SHIRTS! Celebrate your being a part of the Saint Raymond Family and get one of these great shirts. Shirts must be picked up during our Drive Thru Pentecost Blessing on Saturday. May 30th from 1pm to 4pm in front of the Church. At this time, we are only able to offer shirts to those who are members of the parish (or intend to join when this craziness ends). We will make every effort to make additional shirts available to those who would like to receive one and represent our Church (yes, still free…we will let you know when to sign up)! COMPLETE THIS FORM BY WEDNESDAY AT 5PM in order to receive a t-shirt on May 30th.

We continue our study of the Gospel of John this week (Wednesday Night form 7pm to 8pm). Please join on Zoom or on Fr. Chris Facebook Page. Please have your Bible ready and maybe a friend who is also participating that you could call when it is time for discussion. If you have never done Bible Study with us, please consider joining in. If it is not what you want. you can drop out and no-one will know! Try it…you have the time! Be sure to download the handout and print it out so you can take some notes as well…

Miss the choir? Get your FIX…

Good News for May 22nd

Please join us on Monday, May 25th at 8am for Memorial Day Mass via Livestream. Let us pray for all those who died to pay the price for freedom.

Zoe Mackey, a member of St. Raymond Class of 2020 and a regular at our 5pm Mass, crowned our Statue of Mary at the Ascension Thursday Mass. May we know the protection of Our Lady throughout this time of pandemic.

We are getting a little tired of doing things “virtually” but for now, this is all that we can do. We remain attentive to the directives of the state. We are hopeful we can gather at some point in June. If you are willing to be a part of our RESTORE Team to plan for our restored public worship, please contact Minta Brown. RESTORE will have a Zoom Meeting on Tuesday at 7pm. Please join us for one of our Communion Services this Sunday afternoon. Use our Worship Aide to assist you with Mass at 10am this Sunday (and consider joining other members of the Church for “Virtual Hospitality” after Mass on Zoom.

FREE T-SHIRTS! Celebrate your being a part of the Saint Raymond Family and get one of these great shirts. Shirts must be picked up during our Drive Thru Pentecost Blessing on Saturday. May 30th from 1pm to 4pm in front of the Church. At this time, we are only able to offer shirts to those who are members of the parish (or intend to join when this craziness ends). We will make every effort to make additional shirts available to those who would like to receive one and represent our Church (yes, still free…we will let you know when to sign up)! COMPLETE THIS FORM in order to receive a t-shirt on May 30th.

Lord, unite us as we honor our nations’ heroes this weekend.

T-SHIRT LINK (CORRECTED)

Sorry…the wrong link was given in the earlier email. this has been corrected. FREE T-SHIRTS! Celebrate your being a part of the Saint Raymond Family and get one of these great shirts. Shirts must be picked up during our Drive Thru Pentecost Blessing on Saturday. May 30th from 1pm to 4pm in front of the Church. At this time, we are only able to offer shirts to those who are members of the parish (or intend to join when this craziness ends). We will make every effort to make additional shirts available to those who would like to receive one and represent our Church (yes, still free…we will let you know when to sign up)! COMPLETE THIS FORM in order to receive a t-shirt on May 30th.

Good News for May 19th

Our Church Family rejoices once again as a young disciple received our Lord for the first time. Congratulations Jania – may you know the joy of being nourished by the Lord all the days of your life. Are you hungering for the Body and Blood of the Lord? Join us for a Communion Service this Sunday and you too can Feast on the Holy Eucharist. Proper precautions are followed. Please sign up HERE. Let Jesus comfort you, console you and free you from your fears!

FREE T-SHIRTS! Celebrate your being a part of the Saint Raymond Family and get one of these great shirts. Shirts must be picked up during our Drive Thru Pentecost Blessing on Saturday. May 30th from 1pm to 4pm in front of the Church. At this time, we are only able to offer shirts to those who are members of the parish (or intend to join when this craziness ends). We will make every effort to make additional shirts available to those who would like to receive one and represent our Church (yes, still free…we will let you know when to sign up)! COMPLETE THIS FORM in order to receive a t-shirt on May 30th.

At some point in the weeks (or months) to come we will be given the okay by the State of Pennsylvania and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to RESTORE Sunday Worship and gather for the Holy Mass once again. It will be a glorious day to begin the process of being restored to worship. It is likely that we will be limited to 25%-35% of our capacity at first. Our plan is to begin with gathering for the 10am Mass (with a maximum of 50-75 people ) and after a few weeks add the 5pm Mass and then the 8am Mass when that is needed as well. We will move slowly and prudently for the glory of God and the safety of all. We want to spread the Gospel, not germs! In order the plan effectively, Father Chris is seeking to build a Restore Team to assist in planning for our return to Worship and implementing the precautions we will need to follow. We will need lots of help…including YOU! If you would like to learn more, please email Minta Brown and let her know. Thank you to the many who have already signed up, will you help us too?

LAST CHANCE: We are grateful to the 199 people who have completed our Parish Survey on how you are dealing with this pandemic. Please take 3 minutes and give your thoughts. It will help the parish staff in our planning.

Please join us at 9am on Ascension Thursday for Holy Mass. We will gather our Church & School communities virtually as we recall our Lord Jesus’ return to the Father. The liturgy will include our Annual Crowning of the Blessed Mother. Worship with us via LiveStream (if you cannot worship at 9am, please plan to gather with your family at another time that day to worship virtually).

We continue our study of the Gospel of John this week (Wednesday Night form 7pm to 8pm). Please join on Zoom or on Fr. Chris Facebook Page. Please have your Bible ready and maybe a friend who is also participating that you could call when it is time for discussion. If you have never done Bible Study with us, please consider joining in. If it is not what you want. you can drop out and no-one will know! Try it…you have the time! Be sure to download the handout and print it out so you can take some notes as well…

Good News for May 15th

In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus commands us to keep his commandments! Praise God for the freedom we can all find when we walk in the way of Jesus. Please join us at 10am (dressed and ready for worship). Thank you for your full and active participation during this season of faith. We remain hopeful of being able to gather for Mass soon. Until then, please consider joining us for a Communion Service this Sunday. Download the Worship Aid to assist you in having a wonderful experience during Sunday Mass:

It has been 21 years since Father Chris was ordained a priest (this is a photo of him with his family on that day). He is grateful for the kind messages and cards on his anniversary and remains joyful to be a priest…especially the priest at Saint Raymond. Want to schedule time to speak with Father Chris over the phone? Use this LINK. Father Chris is also grateful to the 175 who have completed our Parish Survey. Have you? DO IT RIGHT NOW (it takes 3 minutes)

Deacon Bill got great news this week as his condition improved and he is headed home at some point on Friday. Alleluia! He will have therapy and he promises to make time for rest and recovery so we will can have him back in service soon. Please keep Deacon Bill & Cindy in prayer (and the therapists who will be serving him). You are welcome to send him an email: Deacon Bill to say hello!

Want a great T-shirt? The parish will be giving these to all of our registered members who sign up for a t-shirt (starting next week). Yes, they are FREE! Watch your email! T-shirts will be picked up during a Pentecost Blessing Drive Thru on Saturday, May 30th in front of our Church. Stay tuned…

At some point in the weeks (or months) to come we will be given the okay by the State of Pennsylvania and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to RESTORE Sunday Worship and gather for the Holy Mass once again. It will be a glorious day to begin the process of being restored to worship. It is likely that we will be limited to 25% of our capacity at first. Our plan is to begin with gathering for the 10am Mass (with a maximum of 50 people) and after a few weeks add the 5pm Mass and then the 8am Mass when that is needed as well. We will move slowly and prudently for the glory of God and the safety of all. We want to spread the Gospel, not germs! In order the plan effectively, Father Chris is seeking to build a Restore Team to assist in planning for our return to Worship and implementing the precautions we will need to follow. We will need lots of help…including YOU! If you would like to learn more, please email Minta Brown and let her know. Thank you.

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. Martin Luther King Jr.

Good News for May 12th

We rejoice with the Ogden Family as their daughter Kourtnei received Jesus for the first time last Sunday! May she always know the joy of walking with Jesus!

If you were not able to worship with us last Sunday, you can still do it by going HERE. Did you see last weekend’s Bulletin? If you wish to join us for Holy Communion next Sunday afternoon, please sign up HERE. Allow Jesus to help you as you overcome your fear and isolation. He is Lord!

We are grateful to the 159 people who have completed our Parish Survey on how you are dealing with this pandemic. Please take 3 minutes and give your thoughts. It will help the parish staff in our planning.

Deacon Bill continues to recover. He is being a humble and obedient Christian 89% of the time. Pray for his patience with the process (even harder than during the 76ers Season). He will have another swallowing test on Thursday and we are hoping for good results. He will have a better sense of the course of treatment then. He is grateful for the texts, emails, cards and prayer. Please raise up Cindy…she misses her partner in charity!

Do you have the Saint Raymond APP on your phone or tablet? Please download it today. It has resources for prayer, a chance to have a daily devotional, access to our Sunday Mass and a daily Mass and more. Please go here to get links for downloading the App and search by our zip code (19150).

We continue our study of the Gospel of John this week (Wednesday Night form 7pm to 8pm). Please join on Zoom or on Fr. Chris Facebook Page. Please have your Bible ready and maybe a friend who is also participating that you could call when it is time for discussion. If you have never done Bible Study with us, please consider joining in. If it is not what you want. you can drop out and no-one will know! Try it…you have the time! Be sure to download the handout and print it out so you can take some notes as well…