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Good News for May 15, 2024

Updated: May 16

I have been musing about the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Priests’ Convocation which I

recently attended. It was held in Hershey, PA. A topic that was discussed at the 2024

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Priest Convocation was homilies and preaching. The

archdiocese has received a $1.2 million grant from the Lilly Foundation with the goal of

helping improve the quality of preaching in the Philadelphia area. An organization to do

this has been set up at St. Charles Seminary. It will be called The Catholic Preaching


Recently several questionnaires were sent out to priests and parishioners to begin to

gather data about preaching in our parishes. The questionnaires asked questions like,

“What needs to change (improve) in preaching? What did priests and deacons need to

learn about preaching? What is needed by the priests and deacons to support better


In terms of homily preparation, “offering feedback after the homily” was the #1

suggestion. The availability of homiletic resources was second. In terms of homiletic

quality and content, the number one item - by far - was “relevance of the homily to the

lives of the people in the pews.” Nothing else was close. This coincided with the

question, “What are the characteristics of a compelling homily?” #1 was “relevant” (by a

wide margin). Being well-repaired, a call to conversation, emotive and passionate

preaching, using stories, and clarity of thought were seen as important but significantly

less so.

Do priests and deacons preach too long? The answer was … no! And significantly so.

68% said the length of homilies were about right. 29% said the length of homilies were

too long. 88% of people said that priests/deacons use language that is clear and

understandable. People understand the message. It just does not inspire them. It is not

“igniting the flame of faith”’ that Curtis Martin of FOCUS talked about to the priests.

How to change this? Stay tuned.


Fr. Charles Zlock

Follow me on social media!


Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

Pentecost Is Almost Here!

The "Birthday of the Church" is this weekend. 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 10 am Mass. Please note this will not be a full lunch since we are dedicating our resources to celebrating Fr. Zlock’s ordination party last week.

Prayer Team Practice

Immediately following all Masses this weekend (May 18 and 19), there will be a prayer team practice for all who volunteered to serve on the monthly Prayer Teams (last weekend of every month).


House Guest on the Way!

This summer we will welcome Mr. Bernie Faia as a guest Seminarian housed at St Raymond.  June 3rd is his anticipated start date. More information will shortly follow. God is good!


Bibles, Boots and Backpacks

Our next hike is coming soon -- Saturday May 25  at Valley Forge National Park. Details and information can be found here. 


Welcome our New Altar Servers

We are truly blessed to have so many dedicated young people stepping up to serve at our masses, and we are equally grateful to Atiba for his leadership in our altar server training at St. Raymond. Your commitment and enthusiasm are a blessing to our community. Thank you all for being such an important part of our church family! Please welcome our newest altar servers:

Karlie Ogden

Ma’Lan Rose

Vincent Hicks

Victor Hicks

Jesse Phillips

Victor McMillan

Veronica McMillan

Krystal McMillan

Zachary Jones

Paris Rose

Shania Jones

Ella Holley

Kourtney Ogden 

Bella Marion


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


Church Announcements

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.

Special Collection:

May - Catholic Home Missions

Baby Bottles for Guiding Star Ministries

Guiding Star is a maternity home in Germantown for pregnant women and their children. They also provide life skills for future success. Please take a bottle in the back of church, fill it with your donation, then bring it back to church no later than June 1st and 2nd.

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, May 12, 2024

Budgetary Goal: $13,500.00

Collection & Envelopes: $5,003.00

Electronic Giving: $4,435.00

Monthly Church Maintenance: $265.00

Catholic Home Missions: $173.00

Total: $9,876.00

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!

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!


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.

Follow us on Instagram

Follow us on Facebook


Community Events & Announcements

Priesthood Ordination

Please pray for our new Archdiocese of Philadelphia Ordinandi, who will be admitted into the priesthood on Saturday, May 18 at 10 am. Those being ordained to the Diocesan Priesthood are Deacon Bernard O. Ekeagwu; Deacon Gregory H. Miller; and Deacon Brendan H. Zehner. A live stream of the event can be viewed via the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and  Paul website here.


Catholic Women's Conference


Father Joseph Ita-Sam's New Book

Father Joseph Ita-Sam's new book, Confronting Situations: A Guide to Living a Fulfilled Life, is inspired by the gospel words, "I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). The book offers motivational insights, real-life stories, and empowering scriptures. Each chapter combines inspiration with practical therapeutic approaches, including short prayers for solace. There are a limited number of copies in the rectory. They may be purchased for $20 each. If you are interested, please contact Brandi at or 215-549-3760.


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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