June 19, 2015
SO ENDS A week bracketed by strange, conflicting bookends: On one end, the news of a white woman appropriating a black identity. On the other, the news of a white man bent on eliminating black lives in a horrible shooting at a church in Charleston, S.C. And while Rachel Dolezal sparked many conversations, let's call that story what it was : a novelty, an aberration. The other story - the hatred that led to a mass execution of nine black lives who had gathered to study the Bible in an historic black church in Charleston - is, alas, not an aberration.
June 19, 2015
CHURCH IS supposed to be a place of peaceful refuge. Anyone who's been to an AME church knows what warm and welcoming places these sanctuaries are. The times I've been, even if I was there just to report on something, some kind soul always reaches over to share a Bible or songbook. I wasn't in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday night, but I suspect that churchgoers at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church were equally gracious to Dylann Storm Roof, 21, when he walked into their meeting and asked for the pastor.
June 19, 2015 |
SOMETHING beautiful happened last night at Mother Bethel AME Church. In the wake of the massacre that left nine dead Wednesday night at Emanuel AME Church, a sister church in Charleston, S.C., the parishioners were not solemn during a memorial prayer service at Mother Bethel, the original African Methodist Episcopal church. In fact, they cheered together with folks of several faiths as the church choir delivered a rousing rendition of Richard Smallwood's 1996 hymn "Total Praise. " As the choir began to end the song, Mother Bethel's own the Rev. Mark Tyler took to the podium and began to speak.
June 17, 2015 |
Services are to be Saturday, June 20, for Elizabeth Owsley McComas D'Ignazio, 90, of Media, who died Friday, May 29, of Alzheimer's disease at home. Known as "Libby," she was the widow of Silvio "Babe" D'Ignazio, owner of the Towne House in Media, and a well-known philanthropist and colorful Delaware County figure. He died in 2008, also at age 90. "Libby D'Ignazio was a larger-than-life character," her family said in a tribute. "She was the feistiest, most independent kind of person.
June 16, 2015 |
FOR FRAN McFADDEN, a member of the Incarnation of Our Lord parish for 55 years, the news yesterday that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia would shutter the Olney church building was "devastating. " McFadden, 70, graduated from the parish school along with her four siblings and her two daughters, she said. Faith is part of McFadden and so is Incarnation, she said. "It's not easy. You give your life to your faith then your church is gone," said McFadden, who immigrated to the United States from Ireland when she was 7 years old. "There is an opening in my heart.
June 11, 2015 |
Parishioners intent on saving St. Laurentius Roman Catholic Church won a key point Tuesday in their quest for historical designation for the soaring Gothic structure in Fishtown. A committee of the Historical Commission ruled unanimously that the property and building at 1600-10 E. Berks St. be considered for formal historical designation when the full commission meets July 12. That could spare the structure from its planned demolition. But if the designation is won, the cost of restoring the weather-beaten stone exterior could complicate the preservation efforts.
June 7, 2015 |
Faced with declining finances and church attendance, Atlantic City's four Catholic parishes will be merged into one, Camden Bishop Dennis Sullivan announced Friday. The combined parish will be called the Parish of St. Monica as of July 1. Our Lady Star of the Sea and St. Nicholas of Tolentine will serve as the churches of the parish. The churches of St. Monica and St. Michael will be closed as of July 1, a diocesan spokesman said. At a briefing Friday, Sullivan introduced the priests assigned to the merged parish.
June 6, 2015 |
There's a simple reason so many of Philadelphia's great religious buildings have been falling to the wrecking ball: Nobody is left to love them anymore. That's not the case with St. Laurentius Roman Catholic Church in Fishtown, built in 1882 with nickels and dimes collected by the neighborhood's Polish community. When the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced in March that it planned to demolish the brownstone church at Berks and Memphis Streets - presumably to sell off the land for house lots - its partisans rushed to the virtual barricades to hold off the wrecking crew.
June 4, 2015 |
PASTOR JOEY FURJANIC didn't have time to shower the morning we met. He'd only slept a few hours, and even if his phone wasn't constantly buzzing with calls and texts from parishioners and reporters, he still wouldn't have gotten much rest. His mind was racing from the night before. He and his wife Lauren were relaxing in their Port Richmond home on May 12 with a few friends when sometime around 10 p.m. his phone started going off with texts from family and friends asking him about a train crash.
June 2, 2015 |
FOR MOST OF us, having a street named after us would be a pretty big deal. When the 6400 block of Emlen Street, between West Upsal and West Johnson Streets in West Mount Airy was named the "Dr. G. Daniel Jones Way," the honoree's response was, "Oh, how nice. " Dr. Jones, pastor emeritus of Grace Baptist Church of Germantown, wasn't about to do cartwheels because, as he said, he didn't go into the ministry for self-promotion, but to serve God. "I don't see myself as having done that much," he said at the ceremony designating the name change in March 2014, "for I serve for the glory of God, not for self-aggrandizement, prizes or rewards.