Good News for May 17th
Recently I took part in a priest's convocation. The topic was Eucharistic Revival. This revival was called for by Pope Francis and the bishops of the United States.
The Eucharist is the center of the Catholic Church. Nevertheless, an examination of the state of Eucharistic participation and Catholic’s understanding of Holy Communion is alarming. Some examples:
· Mass attendance among Catholics in Nigeria stands at 94%. It is 16% in the United States. After Covid 30% of Catholics who attended Mass in 2020 no longer do.
· There is an extremely erroneous understanding of the Eucharist. Only 17% of Catholics believe that the Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus Christ.
· Young people observe the way adults receive Holy Communion. It is scandalously casual at times. The youth don't take the Eucharist seriously because adults don't.
· This is reflected in the public scandal about politicians going to communion who support laws contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
· The number of people attending Confessions on a regular basis is declining.
What are the causes of this? Some reasons:
· Catechesis - Catholics have been poorly educated in the fundamentals of the faith in general and the Eucharist in particular.
· Secularism - This leads to the idea that God or anything transcendent, doesn’t exist.
· Individualism and Emotivism - This is reflected in the statement: "I don't get anything out of Mass." Unless people feel something emotionally or get something out of attending Mass they don’t see the value in going.
· “Good seed falling among thorns” - The increased emphasis on entertainment, children’s sports programs, or work on weekends can choke off the desire to attend Eucharistic liturgy.
There is good news, however. The Eucharistic revival is a hopeful sign as well as an approach to provide a counterforce to this situation. There are a number of local and national offerings currently scheduled (See below). These can foster Eucharistic devotion. They will help catechize the faithful. They will offer opportunities to meet as a community to receive Holy Communion.
June 11, 2023, 11 AM, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: Mass followed by Eucharistic Procession at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
September 30, 2023 - Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress - National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown
November 26, 2023, 11 AM, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe: Mass followed by Eucharistic Procession at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
March 17, 2024, 11 AM, Fifth Sunday of Lent: Mass followed by Eucharistic Procession at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
June 2, 2024, 11 AM, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ: Mass followed by Eucharistic Procession at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
The National Eucharistic Congress will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana between July 17 – 21, 2024. Catholics from across the country are invited to attend this nation-wide celebration of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
More events are being planned. Perhaps you can help. We are looking for a liaison between St. Raymond and the archdiocese to help communicate these events and work with parish staff to coordinate any activities. If you (or you and a friend) have a strong devotion to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, and wish to help out in this way, contact Fr. Zlock or Deacon Bill.
Fr. Charles Zlock
May 18, 2023, is Ascension Thursday
The Ascension of the Lord always falls on Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter and is an Holyday of Obligation.
On the weekend of May 20th and 21st, the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick will be administered on Saturday at 5:00 pm and Sunday, at 8:00 am and 10:00 am. Parishioners are invited to be anointed who meet the following criteria: dealing with a chronic illness (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, lupus, diseases of the heart, lung & kidney, etc.) undergoing treatment for a disease/illness, or living at a very advanced age. If you qualify on the desk in the rear of the church or you must call the rectory no later than May 15th. No names will be accepted after this date. Should you have any questions please call Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Raymond of Penafort “Called for More” Parish Priorities and SMART Goals
Update from Fr Charles Zlock
PRIORITY COMMUNICATED THE WEEKEND OF MAY 6-7: MINISTRIES, MENTORING, ACCOMPANIMENT Isaiah 6:8 - And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” SMART GOAL #1: By the end of 2025, St. Raymond will develop 175 newly trained Disciples who will determine, and actively move into, their God-given leadership purpose through participation in the “Called and Gifted” process. Approximately 30 former participants were individually contacted. Parishioner Action Needed: Information Sessions Monday May 15 (7:00 pm) and Saturday May 27 (10:00 am) PRIORITY COMMUNICATED THE WEEKEND OF MAY 13-14: WORSHIP, LITURGY, MUSIC: SMART GOAL #1 - TECHNOLOGY: “Evaluate, implement and financially support an improved, comprehensive worship technology platform to include: Sound (microphones, speakers) Instruments Internal Visual (cameras, monitors, screens). External Visual (Livestream, website, social media) Operations/IT Management/Leadership. Parishioner Action Needed: people to work with Kenny and John Regula to help with development of “wish list” perform evaluation and make recommendations to Fr. Zlock and Finance Council.
Any graduates in your family? Special awards received? Email Brandi at Brandi@saintraymond.net We want to acknowledge all of our achievers!
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, www.cranaleith.org
CALLING ALL SINGERS!
As more people have returned to in-person mass, we’ve had lots of questions about joining the choir at St Raymond. If you’d like to become a part of this amazing ministry, please reach out to our Director of Music, Kenny Arrington, at Tua20523@temple.edu so that he can set up a time to meet and conduct a voice assessment to determine where your voice may fit. We’re looking for people who are moved to Praise God through song, are humble, patient, and able to commit to attending weekly practices and singing for our 10:00 mass.
Please support the “Giving Hope to All” - Catholic Charities Appeal’s special campaign. Funds generated directly support over 180 ministries, organizations, and programs serving nearly a million people each year who come from all walks of life. Mail-in information envelopes are in the back of church
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
Congress XIII (2023)
Announcing the Congress Theme
“Write the Vision: A Prophetic Call to Thrive”
July 20-23, 2023
The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745
5/18 Ascension Thursday
5/20 and 5/21 Anointing of the Sick.
5/21 Hospitality Sunday after the 10 am Mass
5/27 and 5/28 = Monthly Prayer Team after Mass (always last Sunday)
5/28 Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost party after 10 am mass.
Three New Transitional Deacons
Bishop Joseph Perry of Chicago to head USCCB anti-racism committee
St. Raymond Nature Walk was Postponed
Due to the anticipated rain Saturday morning, we have decided to postpone the
Come and join us on Saturday, June 3rd.
Join us for a quiet, informative walk in the woods. Please call the rectory if you are interested.
We will meet at St. Raymond in the church parking lot at 8:40 AM.
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