August 28, 2016
Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church will host a daylong event Sunday, rain or shine, with food provided from 1 to 4 p.m. At noon, Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Philadelphia Archeparchy will be the main celebrant of the Divine Liturgy. A Living Rosary will be prayed at 2:30 p.m. before a jeweled 18th century copy of the Icon of Our Lady of Pochaiv. At 4 p.m., pilgrims will gather at the outdoor chapel for a candlelight procession to the church, and the Blessing of Water for the Jubilee Year of Mercy will take place at the Grotto of the Holy Cross.
August 18, 2016
By Cynthia M. Allen The headlines the morning of July 26 were grim, as they are too often these days. The Rev. Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old Roman Catholic priest, was murdered at the altar while saying Mass in a church in Rouen, France. His assailants, two teenage males armed with knives, reportedly declared their allegiance to the Islamic State before slaughtering him beneath the crucifix. As he lay dying, he is said to have whispered, "Go away, Satan," to the teens, whose actions were motivated by hatred.
June 13, 2016 |
Why would anyone walk hundreds of miles across the north of Spain? Well, since the Middle Ages, millions of people have walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (The Way of St. James), a pilgrimage trail dedicated to the apostle. Pilgrims from all over Europe made the trek to pay homage at the tomb of St. James in the cathedral in Santiago. The traditional route (the French Way) starts in the Pyrenees Mountains and continues for about 500 miles. In modern times, about 200,000 people walk the camino every year, with many different motivations.
May 27, 2016
THE DAUGHTER SAYS she wants to visit in July. "What can I get ready?" I ask. Bail money, she jokes. She's in Bernie's bag and is coming to visit her old Dad, but mainly to be outside the Wells Fargo Center to keep the Democratic National Convention fair, which is like keeping pro wrestling honest. Sanders has promised(?), suggested(?), threatened(?) that the convention will be "messy" if he's shut out. What does that mean? In the committees? On the convention floor? On Broad Street?
November 20, 2015
DO YOU know the first words spoken by Native-Americans to the Pilgrims after they landed at Plymouth Rock? "Welcome Englishmen . . . I'll have a beer. " Or something to that effect, according to an account (see sidebar) of the first visit to the Pilgrims' village by an Algonquin named Samoset. The greeting comes to mind this season because it was those words that eventually led to the first Thanksgiving in America. That's right - though our nation's annual feast is traditionally washed down with wine, it actually began with beer.
November 12, 2015 |
PAPAL PILGRIMS love Wawa sandwiches. About 1.1 million people went through security magnetometers during the two-day celebration. And, oh, by the way, Pope Francis thinks the women in Mayor Nutter's administration rock. These were just some of the takeaways from September's World Meeting of Families celebration, according to Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison and Samantha Phillips, the city's director of emergency management. Gillison and Phillips, in a sit-down with reporters yesterday, detailed what went well and not so well during the global event in Philly: * Unlike a prior July Fourth celebration in the city, cellphones actually worked.
October 2, 2015
I WOULD LIKE to commend the Philadelphia police for their excellent service to all of us during the recent World Meeting of Families and papal-visit weekend. It was so inspiring to witness their goodness and assistance to all attendees (and to me, as a volunteer) during this unique event, and a pleasure to work alongside them. I would like to specifically mention the kind efforts of Officer Stephanie Velazquez during the Festival of Families before Pope Francis' arrival. There were several ticketed attendees, who, because of security restrictions and their later arrival, could not access their seats as the entrance to the seated area was then closed.
September 30, 2015 |
Retired schoolteacher Matt Cinelli came to Philadelphia to experience the joy of the papal visit. He was met, he said, by "the confusion and terror of a police state," one in which edgy National Guard soldiers barked contradictory orders and seemed prepped for confrontation. "The security did not make me feel safe," said Cinelli, 56, who grew up Catholic and lives near Reading. "It made me feel like somebody was going to fight me, that there was a combativeness. " On Monday, hours after Pope Francis left Philadelphia for Rome, people who attended weekend events shared stories of disconcerting encounters with the massive security apparatus erected in advance of the visit.
September 28, 2015 |
A registrar records patients' vital statistics and issues each an ID bracelet with a unique bar code. Nearby, computers display readings from up to 48 heart monitors, alerting nurses if they need to rush to a patient's bedside. Defibrillators, ventilators, and intravenous pumps are on standby. And by Monday, it will all disappear. The $600,000 medical facility, housed in a suite of inflatable tents just off the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, south of Eakins Oval, is one of four high-tech stations that will serve the thousands flocking to see Pope Francis.
September 28, 2015 |
Pilgrims from around the world snatched up souvenirs, embraced friends they first met only days ago, and chatted excitedly about the weekend to come as the international World Meeting of Families Congress ended Friday at the Convention Center. The imminent arrival of Pope Francis was the hot topic, prompting a giddy anticipation that buried any conference fatigue. "I'm looking forward to just being in his presence," said Maricela Artalejo, 49, a social worker from Boise, Idaho. "I see the face of Christ in him. " The pope's visit tops off the World Meeting of Families, an international gathering held every three years by the Roman Catholic Church.