Holy Cross Family Ministries
Father Wilfred (Willy) Raymond, C.S.C., a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, is the President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Previously he was the National Director of Family Theater Productions, a member of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Since September 2000, he has led the Catholic media ministry founded in Hollywood in 1947 by Servant of God Patrick Peyton, the “Rosary priest,” Catholic media pioneer and now sainthood candidate. Family Theater Productions evangelizes culture using mass media to entertain, inspire and educate families, all to fulfill their famous motto, “The family that prays together stays together.” He has an active presence on Twitter @FrWilly and on Facebook.
Prior to his current role as President, Father Raymond was the National Director of Family Theater Productions. Since 2000, Father Willy led a dynamic staff that produces dramas and documentaries for broadcast on television, film and the internet; produced Spanish-language radio dramas, documentaries and public-service announcements; released 500-plus digitally re-mastered classic radio dramas from the golden age of Hollywood; managed a nationwide public-service outdoor advertising campaign with spiritual messages; and supervises “Hollywood Prays,” a series of outreach efforts to young Catholics and others in Hollywood that included a monthly Prayer and Pasta, RCIA, Going Deeper and Theology of the Body. Father Raymond was responsible for collaborating with the Director of Development for Holy Cross Family Ministries in the efforts directly related to Family Theater Productions.
In March 2010, Father Willy, who was executive producer of more than 100 radio and television programs, received the second annual Magis Award for socially conscious filmmaking from the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress Film Showcase, following the award’s inaugural winner, actor Martin Sheen.
Before coming to Family Theater Productions, Father Willy served most of his years as a priest as a vocation director and then as Campus Minister, Director of Residence Life and Administrator at Stonehill College. He was selected assistant provincial and vicar of the Holy Cross’ Eastern Province from June 1994 to 1998. He served as provincial of the same province from 1998 to 2000. In that office he occupied the chairmanship of the corporate members and president of the Board of Directors of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He also served on the Boards of Directors and the Executive Committees of both Stonehill College in Easton, MA, and King’s College in Wilkes Barre, PA.
In 2009, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, appointed Father Willy to serve as the founding chaplain of the Hollywood Chapter of Legatus, an international organization “for Catholic CEOs and their spouses to study, live, and spread the Faith in their business, professional and personal lives.” Also, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, the U.S. affiliate of SIGNIS, a Vatican-sanctioned international organization of Catholic communication professionals. He is a member and past president of the Catholic Communicators of Southern California. He serves as Chaplain to the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League baseball team, and is a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was inducted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre in October 2010. He serves on the Board of Advisers of Catholic Athletes for Christ. Father Willy is in residence at St. Monica’s Catholic community, Santa Monica, CA, where he celebrates Mass and participates in the ministry of the parish.
At twenty years of age he entered the Congregation of Holy Cross in September 1964. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1967 from Stonehill College and a Master of Theology degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. He made solemn vows in 1970 and was ordained a priest of Holy Cross on April 3, 1971. In 1992-93 he pursued a year of theological studies at the School of Applied Theology, Berkeley, CA.
A native of Maine, Father Willy is one of 12 children born to Joseph and Lydia (Belanger) Raymond.
He likes most sports and follows the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and all the Boston professional sports teams, especially the Red Sox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He loves movies and history, especially American, European and Church history. He is also a big fan of the writings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. He follows American and world politics and affairs.
The Rosary is his favorite non-liturgical prayer, and he joins the staff each day to pray the Rosary at 9:00 AM.
In addition to English, he is conversant in French and Spanish.
To stay in touch with Father Willy’s activities, you can read his blog entries at Family Rosary Blog, friend him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @FrWilly.