Photo features

St. Kateri Tekakwitha celebration at St. Katharine Drexel Shrine

On Sunday, Oct. 21, Catholics in the Philadelphia region celebrated St. Kateri Tekakwitha's canonization at the shrine of St. Katharine Drexel in Bensalem. The celebration included Native American drumming and round dancing, a procession with a statue of St. Kateri, a traditional Blessing of the Four Directions performed by local Native Americans and a 3 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Thomas Betz, O.F.M. Cap.

October is Respect Life Month

During October the Catholic Church throughout the United States observes Respect Life Month. This annual tradition is now in its forty-first year. On October 7, Respect Life Sunday, our nation's Catholics were called to renew their personal commitment to defend all human life, especially the most vulnerable members of the human family. We demonstrate this commitment in a variety of ways—by participating in prayer services and educational conferences, engaging in public witness and advocacy, and helping to offer church and community services to those in need. Archbishop Charles Chaput celebrated mass for our archdiocese at the Cathedral. The theme of this year's Respect Life Program is one often expressed by Pope Benedict XVI: "Faith opens our eyes to human life in all its grandeur and beauty." (Photos by Sarah Webb)

St. Katharine Drexel Regional School student body visit shrine of their namesake

Students and teachers of the new St. Katharine Drexel Regional School in Holland shared a special day at the resting place of the school’s namesake, the St. Katharine Drexel Shrine in Bensalem, where Bishop Michael Fitzgerald celebrated mass and the students prayed before the saint’s tomb at the Motherhouse of the Blessed Sacrament Sisters Sept. 26. The school was formed by combining the student bodies of the former St. Bede the Venerable School in Holland and Assumption B.V.M. Schools in Feasterville, both in Bucks County.

Religious jubilarians celebrate thousands of years of service

A Mass to honor hundreds of religious men and women in the Archdiocese celebrating their silver, golden, or diamond jubilees this year was held Sept. 9 at the Cathedral. The combined jubilarians have given tens of thousands years of service to the religious life. Archbishop Charles Chaput was joined by a dozen priests from across the Archdiocese, including Norbertine Abbot Richard Antonucci of Daylesford Abbey, in celebrating their years of service. (Photos by D'Mont Reese)

Celebration and planning for black catholics

Black Catholics gathered for an implementation meeting Sept. 15 at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Philadelphia following the 11th National Black Catholic Congress. Bill Bradley, director of the archdiocesan Office for Black Catholics, led the meeting in which Archbishop Charles Chaput attended to answer questions and address concerns. On Sept.16 Archbishop Chaput celebrated Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas Church for the 10th anniversary of the parish group Concerned Black Catholics (CBC). (Photos by Sarah Webb)

Bonner/Prendie High School welcomes its education heroes

Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast High School welcomed Gov. Tom Corbett, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput and Edward Hanway of Faith in the Future Foundation to thank those who played a critical part in helping to keep the school and others in the Archdiocese open. (Photos by Sarah Webb)

School year begins with visits from special guests

Student from Archbishop Ryan School for the Deaf and St Lucy School for Children with Visual Impairments were greeted on their first day of the 2013-2014 school year by Jacqueline Coccia, Superintendent of Elementary Schools, and H. Edward Hanway, Chairman of the Faith in the Future Foundation . Archbishop Charles Chaput visited Mater Dei Catholic School for a prayer service and blessing of the school. The school is made up of students from Saint Rose of LimaSchoolin North Wales, St Stanislaus School in Lansdale, and part of Saint Maria Goretti in Hatfield. H. Edward Hanway, Chairman of the Faith in the Future Foundation, Dr. Carol Cary, Superintendent of Secondary Schools, and Mayor Michael Nutter visited Little Flower High School on Sept. 11 in celebration of education month.

First week of school for students

Students at St Lucy Day School and Archbishop Ryan School for the Deaf were welcomed on their first day by Sr. Margaret Fleming IHM, principal, along with Jacqueline Coccia, Superintendent of Elementary Schools, and H. Edward Hanway, Chairman of the Faith in the Future Foundation . Archbishop Charles Chaput led a prayer service for students, faculty and parents then blessed the new Mater Dei Catholic School in Lansdale for their first day. Mater Dei Catholic School is one of the new regional schools of the archdiocese. It is formed from the mergers of Saint Rose of LimaSchoolin North Wales, St Stanislaus School in Lansdale, and part of Saint Maria Goretti in Hatfield.

Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Cardinal Adam Maida, retired archbishop of Detroit, celebrated Mass Aug. 26 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown. Bishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki traveled from Poland to concelebrate the Mass and give his homily, in which he welcomed pilgrims from the United States, Canada and Poland. Polish Catholics honor their beloved portrait of Madonna and Child (which can be seen above the altar at the shrine) on Aug. 26, the day St. Ladislaus reserved for it. The dark pigment on Our Lady's face and hands is the reason the portrait is referred to as the "Black Madonna." The color came primarily from age and the need to keep it hidden for long periods of time in dark places lit only by candles, the smoke from which tinted the painting. Many miracles are attributed to Our Lady of Czestochowa including cures archived by the Pauline Fathers at Jasna Gora. Papal recognition was given to the image by Pope Clement XI in 1717. (Photo by Sarah Webb)

St Charles Seminary Opens Academic Year with Mass of the Holy Spirit

On Monday, August 27, Archbishop Charles Chaput celebrated Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. Traditionally, new and returning seminarians mark the beginning of the academic year with a blessing from the Archbishop. New faculty and staff members signed the Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity. They include Bishop Timothy Senior as Rector, Sister Gilmary Kay as Administrative Assistant to the Rector, and Father Paul O'Donnell as Director of Spiritual Formation.