September 28, 2015 |
Delaware moms Nancy Lemus and Luz Moyao drove to the papal Mass in Philadelphia early Saturday, hoping for a blessing with perhaps miraculous effects. Lemus' son Christopher Garcia, 10, has severe cerebral palsy and dystonia, a neurological muscle movement disorder. Moyao's son Angel Zavaleta, 8, has TARP Syndrome, a rare condition that causes several birth defects. Lemus and Moyao sat in the front row of the chapel at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul waiting for Pope Francis, who was to walk past them.
September 28, 2015 |
The 365 voices from parishes in Newark, Elizabeth, and Linden, N.J., were triumphant as they marched across the Ben Franklin Bridge on Saturday, eager to arrive for the papal festivities. "Glory! Glory! Glory!" the group sang, accompanied by guitars and drums, as the crowds parted to let them pass. The 1.8-mile span was like a fall block party - thousands of joggers, in-line skaters, cyclists, dog walkers, and families pushing strollers - and then there were the faithful headed to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia.
September 24, 2015 |
POPE FRANCIS made his first visit to the U.S. yesterday on a gray, blustery day at a military base outside Washington, D.C. - the start of his six-day, three-city tour that will wind up in Philadelphia this weekend. He arrived from Cuba, where he met with Fidel Castro, toured the country and celebrated Mass on Revolution Plaza. Ahead of him are an address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow, a speech to the United Nations in New York on Friday, and being feted by celebrities as well as visiting with immigrants, prisoners and the homeless.
September 23, 2015 |
HE DIDN'T LOOK much like the tough, black-bearded, cigar-chomping revolutionary who stormed out of the Sierra Maestra mountains with a band of guerrillas to wrest Cuba from the grip of the corrupt and ruthless regime of Fulgenio Batista in 1959. But there he was, 89 years old, looking frail, his hair and beard gray, possibly holding on to someone for balance, shaking hands and eye to eye with Pope Francis at Castro's home in Havana. Representatives said the two men had a "relaxed, friendly conversation" about protecting the environment and about world affairs, and exchanged books.
September 4, 2015 |
This story was originally published on July 15, 1991. Little Rocco Palmo leaned from his pew at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul yesterday as newly elevated Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua approached in a long procession of priests. Bevilacqua spotted the beaming 11-year-old, smiled, reached for the boy's hand, and leaned down. "Are you going to be a cardinal someday?" Bevilacqua asked. "Oh, yes," Rocco almost shouted. "Definitely. " Minutes after Bevilacqua passed, Rocco, of South Philadelphia, said "It's better than a million dollars, shaking the hand of a cardinal.
August 28, 2015 |
WHEN STEFAN Johnson was just a kid, he served as an altar boy at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul during a dark period in Philadelphia's history, when murdered cop after murdered cop was laid to rest there between 2007 and 2009. Meanwhile, Stefan's own father, whom he has never met outside of prison walls, was serving a life sentence for abetting in a double murder for hire. A few years later, when Stefan was a college student at Villanova University, he spent many quiet moments alone inside the hallowed walls of the basilica every Sunday night before locking it up. At just 18, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had entrusted Stefan with the security of its mother church - and he never let the church down.
July 2, 2015 |
WHEN ARCHBISHOP Charles Chaput visited the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in January, the commissioner of city prisons, Louis Giorla, jokingly told Chaput that the prison would be more than happy to host Pope Francis during his visit to Philadelphia in September. Yesterday, as Giorla stood outside of Curran-Fromhold's walls in front of a throng of reporters, even he seemed surprised at the punch line to his joke: "It came true!" he said. With the release of the official itinerary for the pope's visit to Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, D.C., yesterday, the public got its first glimpse at what Pope Francis wants to get out of his first visit to the United States of America.
March 25, 2015 |
True commemorations of the Holocaust are, by definition, borderline unbearable: Its atrocities loom larger in history as time goes on. Musically, Leonard Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony achieves much poetic truth, as narrated by Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar. But Stephen Paulus' To Be Certain of the Dawn goes further with greater dramatic specificity, in ways that are simultaneously epic and intimate. It was performed over the weekend by massed choral forces and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia under the sure direction of Jeffrey Brillhart.
December 25, 2014 |
The Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul expects more than 3,000 people for seven Masses this week. That means 3,000 Eucharist hosts, 100 poinsettias, dozens of freshly pressed altar linens, and hundreds of hours of staff and volunteer work. "We started planning last Christmas," said the Rev. Gerald Dennis Gill, the parish rector, who manages daily operations. "This cathedral parish belongs to everybody, and we're invested in preparing it for Christmas. " The cathedral - the largest Catholic church in Pennsylvania - welcomes more people Christmas Eve and Christmas Day than any other holiday on its calendar.
December 2, 2014 |
The keynote guest - the pope himself - has already been announced, as have an official prayer and icon. On Sunday, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput checked off yet another box on the list of preparations for next year's World Meeting of Families: the debut of an official hymn. "Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom," commissioned from liturgical composer Normand Gouin, was sung for the first time Sunday at a Mass that Chaput celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Gouin, now at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., is a former music director at Old St. Joseph's Church in Society Hill.