Bevilacqua is expected to take over Krol's office at 222 N. 17th St., where the archdiocesan administration is located. Another office will be found there for Krol, whose church-wide duties as a cardinal include serving on the council that oversees Vatican financial affairs.
Moving into the Overbrook mansion should prove fairly easy for Bevilacqua, since he has no personal furniture and a wardrobe of basic black with the purple trim of a bishop. The mansion's second and third floors are arranged into individual suites - bedroom, sitting room and bath. Krol's suite is on the second floor.
A large living-reception room dominates the first floor. It is flanked by a formal dining room and chapel.
The gray stone residence was known as The Terraces when Cardinal Dennis Dougherty bought it for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1935. It cost $150,000 then, and would bring many times that today. Dougherty added a wing in 1945 for the housekeeping staff. Cardinal John O'Hara had the swimming pool filled with dirt and planted over.
The residence is furnished in older upholstered pieces with Oriental carpets on the marble floors. Most of the walls are covered with pictures of popes, cardinals and bishops along with oil paintings of saints. Krol also has displayed photographs of himself with Pope John Paul II and with Ronald Reagan. Three nuns, semi-cloistered Little Sisters of the Holy Family (who live in the separate wing), handle the housekeeping.
The neighborhood is generally quiet. Episcopal Academy lies across City Avenue. Across Cardinal Avenue is St. Joseph's University. Just south of the cardinal's residence is the convent of the Sisters of the Visitation of Mary. These cloistered nuns created a stir recently among neighbors when they built a wooden fence along their property's northern border, shielding the nuns
from view when they are in their garden. However, only a scraggly hedge separates the convent from the cardinal's residence.
The current residents of the cardinal's house are Krol, McFadden and Msgr. Samuel Shoemaker, who heads the chancery office that oversees priests and parishes. At 7 a.m. yesterday, they and Bevilacqua concelebrated Mass in the first-floor chapel before having breakfast and attending the press conference at which Krol's retirement was announced.
If Krol becomes ill and requires long-term nursing care, he probably would move to Villa St. Joseph in Darby, the archdiocesean residence for its elderly priests.
According to McFadden, the timing of the announcement wasn't because yesterday, Dec. 8, is the Catholic feast day of the Immaculate Conception, but
because the Vatican announces administrative changes on Tuesdays. However, McFadden said that the Feb. 11 changing of the guard was significant. Since Krol was appointed to serve as archbishop on Feb. 11, 1961, "it will make it a clean 27 years," said McFadden.