March 20, 2016 |
Kathleen Fanning grew up going to Ascension of Our Lord parish in Kensington. Dwindling attendance led Ascension to close in 2012, one of several dozen churches in the region to meet that fate. On Saturday, the Mass she attended was packed. Fanning processed into the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul for the 19th annual Cultural Heritage Mass, which, despite parish mergers and overall declining numbers in the Catholic Church locally, showcased the diverse communities in which participation is growing.
December 23, 2015 |
Did a tour bus suddenly let out in front of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul around the same time as its Friday Christmas concert? No, the line stretching down the windswept block was leading to the first joint concert by Tempesta di Mare, Piffaro, and Choral Arts Philadelphia. No doubt their combined mailing lists helped bring together a large crowd for three weekend concerts, plus an ambitious program titled "Advent Vespers, Dresden 1619. " Because Vespers services tend to be assembled rather than composed from whole cloth, much leeway is possible, allowing the three collaborating ensembles to come up with a varied but stylistically coherent cross-section of music heard at that time and place, mainly Heinrich Schutz, Michael Praetorius, and Samuel Scheidt.
December 14, 2015 |
On Sunday, at 10:30 a.m., the Diocese of Camden's Bishop Dennis Sullivan will climb the five front steps of his cathedral and push open its "holy door. " Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton, and the 3,000 other Catholic bishops around the world will do likewise at their own cathedrals throughout the day, symbolically ushering in what Pope Francis has called an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy for the Catholic Church. "It's about healing, about forgiveness," Sullivan said last week.
October 9, 2015 |
The ribbons inscribed with prayer intentions that were tied to the Knotted Grotto outside the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul will have a new use. Sister Mary Scullion, president of Project HOME, announced Wednesday that the fabric strips will be used as insulation for a new Project HOME property at 2415 N. Broad St. that will provide housing for the homeless. A section of wall in which the ribbons will be placed will be made of glass so the prayer intentions are visible.
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.