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Good News for January 10, 2024



We have been looking at different strategic aspects of a parish’s outward focus. We examined sustained outreach and seasonal outreach. The final outward focus level is special outreach. 


This is a short-term or one-time event for a small, targeted group. It has a longer-term emphasis with the goal of seeing people return after the event. “Bring Just One” Sunday is an example. Parishioners commit to invite and bring someone to the parish for just one Sunday. It can be a friend, family member, or colleague. Offer hospitality to the person invited. Provide a small token of appreciation or a gift. If they come once, at least one or more might be inclined to come again. Pick a group or demographic. 


One parish I know has a special focus on young people with disabilities. This would include children with physical handicaps, Down Syndrome, or autism. The parish had several families with children who had these special needs. They built a foundation and their own 501C-3 to support the children and families (All Abilities Foundation of Greater Philadelphia). They reached out and invited families across the tri-state area. They offered a series of sports camps, clinics, and social activities over the year. Parishioners helped in different ways with time, resources, finances, driving to events, donating food or cooking, chaperoning, and decorating. 


They would emphasize and integrate these social events with the liturgy. They would encourage families to come to Mass with their children first. People with disabilities were already assisting in the liturgy as altar servers or greeters. When other families arrived, they saw other children already active in the life of the church. Between Mass, the social event, and the hospitality and support, the hope was that they would return.

 

The St. Raymond “Home for Christmas” is a similar initiative. Other days can emphasize fire, police, and first responders. Invite kids in sports to a special Sunday Sports Mass and have them wear their uniforms. You get the idea. It only takes some creativity and dedicated parishioners/disciples to plan and execute creative, and hopefully fruitful, special outreach events.


Fr. Charles Zlock


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Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!


MLK Day of Service


Spend your day serving in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday, Jan. 15th at 10 am. We are in need of volunteers to help us clean out all items in the School Hall storage room. Tasks will include sorting them by type/purpose, then purging, re-packing, labeling storage bins and re-stacking them on the shelves. Lots of work for willing volunteers, especially teens. To sign up, click here or call the Rectory Office at 215-549-3760 to RSVP.

 

St. Blase Blessing of Throats

Saturday, February 2 and Sunday, February 3



Saint Blase was an Armenian Bishop during the fourth century who had a great story of grace. He was reputed to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died because of a fishbone in his throat. Despite terrible persecution in Cappadocia, where he was ultimately beheaded for refusing to renounce Christianity, the faith and mercy of St. Blase lives on in the sacramental known as The Blessing of the Throats. A priest, deacon or other designated individual places two crisscrossed candles around or near a person’s throat while invoking the intercession of St. Blase. It is a way to honor him and ask for protection from illnesses of the throat.  

On the first weekend of February, Fr. Charles Zlock and Deacon Bill will be blessing throats after all Masses. Join us!

 

Celebrating Our Youth with Generation Grace

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 brandi@saintraymond.net or 215-549-3760.

 

Family Faith Formation Sessions

"Let the children come to me”


Attention Parents/Guardians: Family Faith Formation Sessions will run September 17, 2023 – June 2, 2024.


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 at 215-549-3760 or arleen@saintraymond.net 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!


 

Connect with Us Online

Be part of our awesome virtual community! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get the latest scoop, see fun pictures, and hear about our exciting events.

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Church Announcements

Fake Phishers of Men (and Women)

Like many clergy, Father Charles is being "phished" with requests that did not come from him. Hackers get clergy names off the diocese web site or other public sites. The email address they use is fake, but sometimes our parishioners don't notice that. Please be aware that Father would never email or call anyone, asking for help. If the message sounds fake, it is. Please call the Rectory if you feel confirmation is needed (215-549-3760).


Service Opportunity - St. Raymond's Repast Committee

A meeting for anyone interested in finding out more information will be held on Sunday, January 14th immediately following the 10 am Mass, in the lower church.


Monthly Prayer Team

Monthly Prayer Team will meet on 1/27 and 1/28 after Mass.


Special Collections

January 21 - Catholic Relief Services

February 11 - St. Raymond School Annual Appeal

March 3 - Rice Bowl

 

Church Safety Equipment

Recently, the Parish purchased two items that are important to church safety. A fully equipped first aid kit, as well as an automated external defibrillator (also known as an AED device) are located in the sacristy. Both are on a table to the left of the Sacristy sink. 

This ensures that St. Raymond has sufficient means to address significant medical emergencies during liturgical events.


Snow and Inclement Weather

In the event of severe snow, the 8 am Weekly Daily Mass Schedule will be

based on the Catholic School Schedule. If the school is closed or delayed, there

will be no 8 am Daily Mass that day, thus giving time to get the lot cleared for

the next Mass. Please check your local news channel for school closings.


Tax Time

As you prepare your taxes, Brandi in our Parish Office is happy to provide a statement for your 2023 Giving. Please call her at 215-549-3760 or email her at brandi@saintraymond.net.


 

Community Events & Announcements

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King

 

2024 MARCH FOR LIFE WASHINGTON DC

Friday, January 19, 2024



John Immaculate Conception parish in attending the annual March for Life! Mass at Immaculate Conception, Jenkintown, 7:00 am. Departure from Immaculate Conception immediately following. Return to Immaculate Conception, 7-8 pm. Suggested donation: adults, $40; students, $25. For more information, contact Patrick Stanton (267) 718-4851.

 

Feast of St. Francis de Sales


 

Catechetical Convocation



 

ManUp Philly


Attention! Men of St. Raymond!

ManUp Philly Returns to Cardinal O’Hara High School.

Save the Date - March 2, 2024 - and get more details here.

 

Mt Airy Baseball



Attention, players aged 7-12! Here's the best way to be sure you are ready when "Batter Up" time comes this spring. Mt. Airy Baseball Winter Clinics are sure to keep you in shape. Register soon, using the QR code above.

 

Missionary Discipleship in 2024


Learn more about this great opportunity and register here.

 

News From the Office of Black Catholics

Check out the January Newsletter for many exciting events.

 

Sunday's "Go Forth" Suggestion from Archbishop


 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates

Please sign up to find out what is happening around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


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