January 18, 2016
The first time Celeste Morello succeeded in getting a Roman Catholic church mural listed on the city's historic register, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia issued a statement applauding the news. Emboldened, Morello filed another nomination in December to protect a group of important paintings in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. But this time, her efforts did not go over so well. On Jan. 7, the archdiocese responded by sending a stern letter to all parish priests warning them not to cooperate with preservationists, and to report any attempts by "independent parties" to landmark church property.
January 16, 2016 |
A Philadelphia judge has ruled that documents and other evidence from pretrial proceedings in a lawsuit involving sexual abuse of minors by a Catholic priest will remain public before trial. The two-paragraph ruling by Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein was a setback for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which had asked for an order barring public disclosure of the materials. The church has insisted on confidentiality as a condition for engaging in pretrial discovery with lawyers in suits seeking damages for being sexually molested by priests.
January 11, 2016 |
Brian McDonnell lies in his small, dark room under the crucifix on his wall, praying Hail Marys on his blue plastic rosary beads. Symbols of a church that had forsaken him, but one that he has never abandoned. He worries that he is dying. It is all he thinks about. "I don't know how long I'm going to last," he said the other afternoon. "I just feel like I'm fading quick. I just fall asleep saying Hail Marys. " Brian suffers from schizophrenia, dementia, and depression. The manifestations of his mental illness are inextricably intertwined with the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest as an altar boy at now-closed St. Gregory's in West Philadelphia.
December 23, 2015 |
A Philadelphia priest who was temporarily removed in the wake of the 2011 investigation into clergy sex abuse, and then reinstated, has again been removed from ministry. The Rev. Steven Harris, most recently the pastor of St. Bridget Church in East Falls, has been put on administrative leave by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. "The archdiocese was made aware of possible concerns regarding his suitability for ministry at this time," said an announcement shared at St. Bridget's weekend Masses and posted on the parish's Facebook page.
November 24, 2015 |
Sister Marie Angela Natoli, 87, former general superior of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, died Friday, Nov. 13, of cardiac arrest at Camilla Hall Nursing Home in Immaculata. Sister Marie Angela was born in Reading, the daughter of Thomas J. and Mariana Stella Natoli. She attended school there before earning a bachelor's degree in history and English from what was then Immaculata College. She earned a master's degree in religious studies from Villanova University in 1973.
November 14, 2015 |
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia edged closer to breaking even financially in its core operations in the year ended June 30, officials said Thursday. The Archdiocesan Office for Financial Services, which administers insurance, pensions, and other functions for parishes and church-related entities, reported a loss of $700,000 in its latest fiscal year, down from a $2.3 million loss the year before. Both figures exclude certain items that do not reflect recurring day-to-day operations.
October 20, 2015 |
A MANAYUNK CHURCH building will cease operating as a worship site effective Nov. 1, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced yesterday. St. Mary of the Assumption Church, on Conarroe Street near Silverwood, merged in 2012 with St. John the Baptist Parish, a handful of blocks away at Rector and Cresson streets. Repairs that could total as much as $1.4 million are looming for the aging 120-year-old St. John the Baptist building, Archbishop Charles Chaput said, in a decree dated Sept.
October 13, 2015 |
St. Joseph the Worker Church in Fallsington, Bucks County, will close permanently on Nov. 1, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday. St. Joseph the Worker parish merged with St. Frances Cabrini parish in Fairless Hills in July 2014. St. Frances became the primary parish, while St. Joseph remained a worship site for the occasional celebration of Mass as well as funerals and weddings. Now the church will close for good, due to high costs for necessary repairs and underutilization.
October 12, 2015 |
Pennsylvania's public schools aren't the only ones feeling the squeeze from the state budget impasse. The state's private schools are missing nearly $30 million in state funding for textbooks and other school supplies, and in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the loss is taxing students and teachers. Students are going without textbooks, workbooks, lab supplies, and other basics, the archdiocese said in a letter to parents, urging them to write to Gov. Wolf. About 200 Catholic schools in the Philadelphia region, including about 150 in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, are waiting to receive $8.8 million in state funding when the budget passes.