April 14, 2014 |
In the months before his death, the Rev. James A. Benson kept working on exhibits for his museum in Lawnside. "He was sick in the hospital, cutting things out of the newspaper and using the nurses' tape," Benson's widow, Ellen, recalls. "He was always asking, 'What's going on at the museum?' " A retired Lawnside postmaster, she's grateful that her husband - who was 81 when he died of leukemia Dec. 8 - doesn't have to hear the answer to his frequent question. The Benson History Museum he founded, owned, and operated (at no charge to visitors)
March 26, 2014
To the casual observer, it might look like just another sightseeing group taking selfies in Rome. But this entourage includes Gov. Corbett, Mayor Nutter, and Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput. The delegation will have an audience Wednesday with Pope Francis to see if he will attend the September 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, which his predecessor, Benedict XVI, announced and was expected to attend. This eighth meeting will be very important for Pennsylvania, even if the pope decides he won't be able to participate.
March 14, 2013 |
VATICAN CITY - In choosing a name no other pope had ever taken, Pope Francis could be heralding a time of change for the Catholic Church. The name recalls two of the church's most famous saints. One is Francis of Assisi, the man from the Umbrian hill town who renounced a wealthy, dissolute lifestyle to found the Franciscan order of friars in 1209, embracing a life of poverty and simplicity and going out in the countryside to preach a message of joy and peace. The other is Francis Xavier, a 16th-century globe-trotting Spaniard who became one of Christianity's greatest missionaries and was a founding figure of the Jesuit order, of which the new pope is a member.
December 4, 2012 |
As construction was winding down at the new Blessed Teresa of Calcutta Church building in Limerick, Jack Schmidt sneaked in to get a glimpse of his past. The retired Peco worker had grown up in West Kensington as a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, which closed in 2006 and which was demolished last year. But inside Blessed Teresa was a 37-foot-high reminder of the years Schmidt, 71, served as an altar boy, attended Boy Scout meetings, and went to school in the Philadelphia parish.
June 25, 2012 |
The last decade has been a season of agony for the Catholic Church in the United States, a pilgrimage through purgatory made all the more painful by being self-inflicted. Thousands of children have accused Catholic priests, seminarians, nuns, and brothers of molesting them. Victims have told stories of suffering intensified by official church neglect. The church has paid out billions of dollars in settlements. Most controversial of all, Catholic bishops have been accused of trying to hush it all up, shuffling offenders from one unsuspecting parish to another.
June 19, 2012 |
The Rev. Jean Mather, 65, rector of Christ Church and St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Germantown, died Wednesday, June 13, of heart failure while attending a vestry meeting in the parish house. Dr. Mather had been rector since 1999 and also served on the board of Episcopal Community Services in Philadelphia. "Mother Jean, as she preferred to be called, was a great comfort to all she visited," said vestry member Muriel Rains. "Mother encouraged feeding the hungry, reaching out to the community, and caring for one another.
April 15, 2011 |
Robert F. McGovern, 78, of Narberth, a professor emeritus at the University of the Arts whose wood carvings and sculptures adorn numerous churches, died of complications from leukemia, Wednesday, April 13, at Lankenau Hospital. In 2003, Villanova University featured a 50-year retrospective show of Mr. McGovern's paintings, prints, wood carvings, and sculptures. Inquirer art critic Victoria Donohoe wrote that the exhibit "offers a formidable presentation of work by a confident and mature artist who aims to show traditional religious subjects in a way that has meaning for today.
July 18, 2010 |
John H. Ahtes III, 48, of Wallingford, a history and theology professor and archaeological detective, died at home Sunday, July 11, of a heart attack. His family had a history of heart disease. Since 2002, Mr. Ahtes had taught at Immaculata University. For the last year he also had taught church history at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood. Before joining Immaculata, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania and La Salle and Drexel Universities. "John's classes were always full, and his world religion class was one of the most popular courses at Immaculata," said William E. Watson, chair of the history department and a longtime friend.
September 30, 2007 |
Young Catholics from throughout the region gathered yesterday afternoon to mark the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, enjoying games, food and music. The festival was held on the grounds of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, where 3,000 to 4,000 people attended a Mass celebrated on the front lawn by Cardinal Justin Rigali and retired Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. The aim of the event was to get youths to recognize the history and tradition of the church, said the Rev. Joseph McLoone, 44, pastor at St. Katharine Drexel in Chester and the festival's coordinator.
May 23, 2007 |
The names are brief, containing an ocean: John. Toby. They belonged to James Willard. Ben. Coffey. Bety (Girle). Cuggo. Cate. Bosso. Fillis. Cate (Girle). Jack. They belonged to Tobias Leech. Jacob. Elizabeth. The list continues. Henry. Mary. William. John. Jemineha. Slaves all, and all owned in the 18th century by the wealthy and influential founding families of Trinity Church Oxford, a 300-year-old Episcopal parish at what is now Oxford and Longshore Avenues in the Northeast.