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Good News for May 1, 2024

I have been spending a few days in Hershey Pennsylvania - “The Sweetest Place On Earth.” I’m here with Archbishop Perez, the other bishops, and the priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. We’re attending the 2024 Priest Convocation. 

Every year the priests get together twice. One time is a one-day workshop in the fall. This usually involves a discussion about a particular topic that is especially relevant to the priest, the people of God in Philadelphia, and the parishes at the moment. The other gathering is in the spring. This usually involves a multi-day workshop around a particular theme. Usually there is a choice of venues and dates from which each priest can choose one.

In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI declared “The Year of the Priest.” Cardinal Rigali saw this as an opportunity to gather all of the priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphian together in one convocation at the same time. This was the first time this had ever been done in Philadelphia. Since then, the priests have gotten together in Hershey about every two years. The priests share fellowship, good food, swap stories, discuss their ministries, share their hopes, discuss their challenges and the issues of the archdiocese.


The theme of this year’s convocation is “Toward a Pastoral Change of Heart.” The hope of Archbishop Perez was that we would have an opportunity to renew our priestly hearts, continue to discern the working of the Holy Spirit in the archdiocese and our local churches, and to fortify our priestly vocations. 

The Convocation has had a number of components. One has been how to ignite the faith of our parishioners, with a particular look towards our young people. The keynote speaker at the conference was Curtis Martin. He is the founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. This is an evangelization ministry primarily focused on sharing the faith with students at colleges and universities. They have had success in four locations in Philadelphia: Temple University (their  first location in Philadelphia), West Chester University, and at the Penn and Drexel Newman Centers. 

A second topic has been a discussion on homilies and preaching. The archdiocese has received a $1.2 million grant from the  Lilly foundation with the goal to help improve the quality of the preaching in the Philadelphia area. An organization, “The  Catholic Preaching Institute,” has been set up at St. Charles Seminary to do this. Recently, several questionnaires were sent out to priests and parishioners to begin to gather data about preaching in our parishes. The initial results of these  studies was presented to the priests.

The third topic was an in-depth discussion on what the church - and where the church - in Philadelphia needs to be in the future. Catholic Leadership Institute in cooperation with the Office for Clergy has been spearheading this project.


Integrated with these items have been the celebration of the Eucharist, the priests praying together throughout the day, celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation, and time together socially.

I’ll provide some details about what has been happening here at Hershey in future articles.


Fr. Charles Zlock

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Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

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 or 215-549-3760.

Sunday, June 9- Caring for Friends Food Preparation (date change)

Friday, July 5-Gospel Skate Night at Rolling Thunder


Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

Welcome to the Clifford Scott Green Chapter of the National Bar Association Judicial Council

Thanks to the members of The Clifford Scott Green Chapter of the National Bar Association Judicial Council for attending our 10 AM Mass this past Sunday. It was a pleasure to have you worship with us! And a special thank you to all of our parishioners for giving them a warm Saint Raymond welcome!


Thank you!

Generation Grace would like to thank everyone for your generosity during the recent Bake Sale. The outpouring of support was overwhelming and appreciated! We are also glad that you found our treats delicious, and hope to do it again soon. Stay tuned!


Church Announcements

It's Time to Celebrate!

Father Zlock's 30th Anniversary celebration is happening this Saturday, May 4th, from 6 pm to 9 pm in the St. Raymond School Hall. The event is open to all who submitted a RSVP of attendance. There will be food, drinks, music, and wonderful fellowship as we honor Father Zlock's three decades of dedication to the priesthood. Bring your own bottle (BYOB) is also permitted.

Pentecost is Coming

The "Birthday of the Church" soon will be upon us. Let's show our true colors by wearing red on May 19, to mark the coming of the Holy Spirit among us. May 19 is also, fittingly, Hospitality Sunday at St. Raymond. Join us for light refreshments and fellowship after the 10am mass. Please note this will not be a full lunch since we are dedicating our time and resources to celebrating Fr. Zlock’s ordination party this weekend.


Silence Cell Phones

Please remember how distracting cell-phone noises can be during Mass. We prayerfully ask you to silence your phone when you enter church, so that no one is disturbed during this holy hour.

Lost and Found

Have you lost any personal items during Church service and never retrieved them? Please check the bin in the back of Church labeled “Lost & Found”. People turn in items often to the Rectory. All items turned in are put into the bin.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers are back, and they meet here at St. Raymond every Thursday from 4 pm to 6 pm. If you are interested or know someone who is, please contact Brandi in the Church Rectory at 215-549-3760 or email her at

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.

Trauma Kit Now in Sacristy

Did you know that trauma cases are one of the leading causes of fatalities for people over 40? To increase the possibility of addressing medical issues requiring trauma first aid, a "Stop the Bleed" trauma (or tourniquet) kit is now in the sacristy. It is located next to the Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED), to the left of the sink.

The trauma kit includes:

  • Tourniquet with windlass rod

  • Heavy gloves

  • Compression dressing

  • Packing gauze

  • Marker

Using the kit is not difficult but does require a bit of familiarity with the items in the kit. A five-minute instructional video can be found here. It's worth taking the time to watch, just in case.

Financial Facts

We thank those parishioners who, recognizing God’s gifts to them, make their response in our weekly collection. Your continued support is vital, necessary, and deeply appreciated.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $4,836.75

Electronic Giving: $2,926.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $155.00

REST: $50.00

Rice Bowl: $10.00

Holy Land: $3.00

Stewardship: $5.00

Social Ministry: $40.00

Total: $8,025.75

To our Online Parishioners

We, at St. Raymond, are extremely pleased that you continue to be part of our community via livestream. Although you may be unable to attend Mass in person, please remember that we need your financial support in order to remain a vibrant parish. You may give online anytime at this link.

Feel free to contact the rectory for assistance at 215-549-3760.



Matthew 9:37-38:  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Numerous needs have been communicated here and in the bulletin. Unfortunately, responses are nearly non-existent. A vibrant parish has members responding to the call for help. YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Please scroll below for several opportunities. You can sign up here or complete a signup sheet on the table in the back of church (on the Williams Ave side). We want to hear from you! THE HARVEST AWAITS!

Altar Servers

Attention, parents and young people of St. Raymond! We are in need of new altar servers. Training will be provided. Father Zlock and Deacon Bill will also mentor all applicants. They will pray daily for them, observe how they do at Mass, encourage them and offer advice when needed. Please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760.

Bethany Team

The Bethany Team's primary function is to serve as greeters to welcome all who attend weekend Mass (5PM, 8AM and 10AM). The team also guides people in the procession to receive the Eucharist. Requirements are a warm smile and hospitality. A monthly schedule will be provided. Please contact Minta at or by phone at 610-329-7256 if you would like to join the team.


We are in dire need of support from those with basic technology skills:

  • Slide Operators – manage slides shown on TV screens during 5pm, 8am or 10am Mass

  • Camera Operator – manage live streaming of 10am Mass via YouTube

  • YouTube Host – Engage with parishioners during 10am Mass

Requirements are a love for your parish, and a willingness to learn and serve. Teenagers and adults can contact Brandi at 215-549-3760.

To volunteer for any of the above tasks, please complete this form and someone will be in touch soon!


Job Search Assistance Needed

St. Raymond needs to fill two positions over the coming months. The positions are: (1) Social Service Outreach, and (2) Director of Parish Finance and Accounting.


Fr. Zlock is looking for someone to lead this task. This would include working with Parish Staff to make adjustments to existing job descriptions, posting the jobs on various media and job channels, initial evaluations of any resumes received, initial interviews and helping manage the process for final interviews and hiring. 

The work is important to fill positions that are critical to running the parish. If interested, please contact Fr. Zlock at 215-549-3761 (Ext 1) or  


Calling all Young Adults!

Sign up for Fr. Zlock’s Young Adult WhatsApp community for prayers, videos, reflections and events for the young adult community. Click here to join the group.


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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Community Events & Announcements


News From the Office of Black Catholics

Check out the Newsletter for many additional exciting events.


Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates

The May newsletter is available here.

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


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