May 6, 2015 |
Great music isn't a stranger to the Church of the Advocate on Diamond Street in the urban frontier of North Philadelphia. Just inside the French Gothic sanctuary, a large greenish angel points its trumpet heavenward. And only a few feet beyond that, on certain nights, stands the Prometheus Chamber Orchestra, in one of its regular season of free concerts - the second season concludes on Saturday - with hardly any budget and, what's more significant, no conductor. "It saves on overhead," says bassist Jerrell Jackson with subtle, smart-aleck irony.
May 5, 2015 |
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia needs more time to consider the fates of five churches in the Lower Northeast, part of a long-term study of how to stabilize and sustain parishes while demographics shift, finances and congregations dwindle, and buildings leak and crumble. In an announcement read Sunday to congregants at Mother of Divine Grace, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Our Lady Help of Christians, Saint Adalbert Parish, and St. George Parish, all largely in or near Port Richmond, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput acknowledged that the "complex and difficult issues . . . will require further study and discussion before any final decisions are made.
April 25, 2015 |
After his first wife, Marie, died in 1992, Henry Saia lived alone for 13 years. Mr. Saia had retired in 1980 as a clothing factory manager in South Jersey and later became financial director for St. Mary Church and its school in Williamstown. "The church gave him a parking spot with his name on it," his son Thomas said, "and one day after Mass, a lady his age was standing there. " She introduced herself, now a widow, as the Elizabeth Schaeffer with whom he had been friends in a grammar school in Cedar Brook.
April 13, 2015 |
A simple suburban church with superb acoustics has become a temple of serious music in South Jersey. At Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington Township, an ambitious concert series continues Sunday with five "chamber music all-stars" performing string quintets by Mozart and Brahms, says Martha Frampton, series founder. The seventh season will conclude May 17 with "Storytelling and Folk Dances," including a Spoken Word cantata and featuring downtown New York musicians Doug Balliett and Brandon Ridenour.
April 8, 2015 |
LOOK, UNLESS something insane happens - like Sam Katz entering the mayor's race by riding a live T-Rex through town while he cheerfully throws Tastykakes to the masses - one of those Democrats you keep hearing about is going to be running this city come January. With the May 19 primary election creeping ever closer, now might be a good time to start giving the candidates a closer look. To that end, scores of people last night filled a cavernous gymnasium inside Bright Hope Baptist Church - the church once led by powerful Democratic U.S. Rep. William H. Gray III - for a forum aimed at offering a glimpse at how each of the Democratic mayoral candidates would improve the city's woeful education system.
April 2, 2015 |
ODELL REED was all about helping people, a passion that went in several directions in her long life. Working through her church, Tindley Temple United Methodist, she fed the homeless for 15 years as head of the soup kitchen. She made sure the needy people who came to the church were taken care of. Every Christmas, some 150 to 175 needy people each got a gift, as well as a hot meal. On Thanksgiving, there was roast turkey with all the trimmings. Throughout the year, the church fed hundreds of homeless and underprivileged people every week.
March 30, 2015 |
It was the eve of Holy Week for the spring-cleaning crew at St. Helena's in Olney, a group of parishioners on a mission to deliver a near-spotless church for the most important week on the Christian calendar. So while the Vietnamese women's group prayed downstairs, a funeral of a onetime Anglo member concluded in the lower church, and the Spanish-language choir prepared for rehearsal, Joseph Mensah stopped polishing the floors long enough to talk about how the church helped him after he emigrated from Ghana.
March 24, 2015 |
JOHN WISNIEWSKI, 60, says he has been with St. Laurentius Church in Fishtown all his life. His parents and grandparents were married there, and he was baptized there. A.J. Thompson, 38, left another church two years ago to join St. Laurentius, a church he found "welcoming," he said. Now, both men are furious with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which announced yesterday that it would proceed to demolish the 133-year-old building at Berks and Memphis streets, the oldest Polish church in the city.
March 24, 2015 |
With its vaulted, sky-blue ceiling, and a towering altar screen lined with gilded angels and saints, the interior of St. Laurentius Roman Catholic Church in Fishtown had a heavenly look. But the cracked and ice-damaged brownstone exterior of Philadelphia's original Polish parish has doomed it. On Sunday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that St. Laurentius, whose Gothic, copper-clad towers have been a landmark in this working-class neighborhood since the turn of the 20th century, would soon be demolished.
March 18, 2015 |
Bertha Jackmon worked for six years to win national recognition for a padlocked Devon church where the plaster is peeling and the walls have yellowed with age. The Mount Zion A.M.E. Church historian scanned documents and squinted at microfilm between working as a project manager and raising teenagers. "Many times I thought, 'Let me just do one more click' " on the computer, said Jackmon, of Paoli. "Then it's five hours later. " Jackmon was fascinated by the story of Mount Zion, a church whose role in the fight against school segregation came 20 years before the landmark 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education . In January, the recognition that Jackmon and her team had long sought was granted when Mount Zion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.