February 22, 1994 |
Thieves are going to extraordinary lengths to break into city churches - in one case, climbing a six-foot-high fence to steal copper rain spouts; in another, boldly walking into private quarters to take a priest's personal effects. As a result of an alarming string of church burglaries in the past few months, many pastors in South Philadelphia and Center City have moved to install or upgrade security systems in their buildings and on their grounds. And, perhaps equally dismaying to those whose open doors have offered aid and sanctuary, many church officials are becoming more suspicious of strangers.
October 15, 1993 |
The former pastor of a Medford, N.J., Catholic church was charged yesterday with helping a second priest who was facing allegations of molesting four teenage girls flee to his native Philippines. The Rev. Joseph M. LaForge, 56, former pastor at St. Mary of the Lakes Church, wrote a $5,000 check from church accounts to the other priest, the Rev. Florencia P. Tumang, 70, and then had the check stub altered, prosecutors said yesterday. Father LaForge, who was St. Mary's pastor for 10 years and had been a Delran High School principal in the 1970s, now works at a North Carolina church.
October 6, 1993 |
Hanging on the kitchen wall in the rectory of St. Laurence Roman Catholic Church in Upper Darby is this framed bit of philosophy: "Irish Diplomacy: The ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he looks forward to the trip. " The Rev. Francis J. Fitzmaurice, pastor of the church, smiles and says, "It's not that we'd ever want anyone to wind up there, but it's a good idea to keep a sense of humor in my business. " Father "Fitz," as he is affectionately known, isn't sure if his church is the largest in Delaware County, but with its 3,000 registered families and a ministry that includes the patients at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, it would seem that it's in the running.
February 11, 1993 |
A prisoner was mistakenly released from the Burlington County Jail last week after court papers mysteriously disappeared from his file, authorities said. Sometime after 5 p.m. on Friday, inmate Darryl Hunt, 27, was led from his cell and out the prison doors after his girlfriend posted $500 bail. He faced charges that he assaulted two Catholic priests last summer and burglarized five churches, a nursing home, a private school and a social service building. Jail Warden Wayne Muggleworth said yesterday that Hunt was wanted for crimes he allegedly committed in Union and Essex Counties and that he was to be transferred to another prison following proceedings in Burlington County.
February 9, 1992 |
As 10-year-old Kate Loveless battles the brain cancer that has robbed her of her sight, the Warwick Township community has come to her aid. A fund-raising beef and beer held at the township fire hall on Feb. 1 was "a huge success," said Bobbie Loftus, one of the organizers. Loftus said almost $15,000 had been raised to help Kate's family pay for medical expenses not covered by insurance and for a Braille machine. That is twice the amount the community raised last year during a similar fund-raising effort, and it is $5,000 more than the goal.
December 27, 1991 |
Two men tried to rob an East Camden priest Christmas morning but fled empty-handed when the priest slammed the rectory door in their faces. No one was injured. Camden police said yesterday that Father Thaddeus Sapio, 53, was returning to the St. Anthony parish rectory in the 2800 block of River Road about 1:20 a.m. after checking to see that the church was secure. As he walked past a row of bushes, two young men jumped out. One pointed a gun at the priest. They demanded money, but Father Sapio told them he had none, police said.
December 7, 1991 |
There is not a hint of hesitation in Mary Cook's voice when she proclaims: "We have the greatest Catholic church in Philadelphia. " No doubt that will bring some disagreement from other parishes, but it's certainly true that Most Precious Blood at 28th and Diamond streets is one of the most enthusiastic Roman Catholic congregations in the city when it comes to pledging money. As part of the Catholic Life 2000 campaign devised by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua to bring economic and spiritual renewal to the archdiocese, Most Precious Blood was given a goal of $75,000 to be raised by the year 2000.
September 6, 1991 |
A homeless Camden man pleaded guilty yesterday to breaking into the rectory of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and stealing a gold ring and cross from the body of Bishop George H. Guilfoyle as it lay in state on June 13. David Taylor, 25, will be sentenced to a five-year term on Nov. 1 as part of a plea bargain yesterday in Camden County Superior Court, according to Joseph F. Audino, first assistant prosecutor for Camden County....
November 29, 1990 |
A man described as "well-dressed and well-spoken" is being blamed for the theft of the Sunday collections of $2,925 from St. John Chrysostom Roman Catholic Church in Nether Providence, police said. The money was in the rectory, where Msgr. Frederick J. Stevenson, the pastor, and a secretary were preparing the collections for the bank about 11:15 a.m. Monday. Msgr. Stevenson said he and the secretary had left the room for a couple of minutes to handle other duties. "It was a madhouse," he said, with the phone and doorbell ringing constantly.
April 9, 1990 |
Members of the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation spent Palm Sunday at home, at other churches or inside the soot-stained rectory next to the charred shell of the church that had stood on the corner of 12th and Diamond Streets for 105 years. Instead of receiving their palms together on the Sunday before Easter as they have for decades, many parishioners yesterday stared disbelievingly at the remnants of the historic North Philadelphia church, hugging and consoling one another.