Church made memorable news in nation and world
In 2010, pope faced tough challenges inside and outside the church


Cardinal Justin Rigali commemorated the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Neumann with a special Mass at the National Shrine Jan. 5.

Cardinal Rigali asked all Catholics of the Archdiocese to join him in signing the “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,” a national document intending to unite the voices of Catholics with other Christians to give witness to the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage and the rights of conscience and religious liberty. {{more}}

A special Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral Jan. 15 by Cardinal Rigali to pray for the vicitms of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.

More than 90 busloads of people from parishes and schools in the Philadelphia area attended the 37th annual Rally and March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Cardinal Rigali starts a Facebook page.


Priests of the Archdiocese made confessions available in churches from 7 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday of Lent.

Father Martin T. Cioppi, pastor at St. John Bosco Parish in Hatboro, announced that the parish’s school would close at the end of the 2009-2010 school year.

Msgr. Philip C. Ricci, founding pastor of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Parish in North Wales, Montgomery County, was named the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Distinguished Pastor of the Year by the archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education (OCE).

The faithful trekked to Mass amid a blizzard Feb. 11-12.

Nearly 900 adults participated in the Rite of Election to become full members of the Church.


Despite the recession, local Catholic colleges showed enrollment either up slightly or at least steady. As a result, many were in the process of expanding their campuses or had done so recently.

The theme was “Be Reconciled with the Lord,” and the Men’s Spirituality Conference held March 13 drew more than 1,500 Catholic men of all ages to Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia.

In anticipation of the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, the archdiocesan Office for Worship announced regional informational assemblies for the lay faithful.

St. James School in Elkins Park and Holy Martyrs School in Oreland, both in Montgomery County, announced they would close at the end of the school year.

Neumann-Goretti’s boys basketball team edged Chartiers Valley, 65-63, in the Class AAA state championship March 26 at Penn State University’s Bryce Jordan Center. Archbishop Wood’s girls earned the same honor, defeating Indiana Area High School 49-39 a day later.

Our Mother of Sorrows in West Philadelphia completed a 41-0 season after defeating Our Mother of Sorrows from the Diocese of Altoona, 54-35, to win the state boys’ CYO basketball tournament in Harrisburg.


At the three-quarter mark of the archdiocesan capital campaign, Heritage of Faith-Vision of Hope, Catholics across the Archdiocese had contributed $156,396,053.

Retired Bishop Martin N. Lohmuller, 90, celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination as a bishop April 2.

St. Joseph School in Collingdale, Delaware County, and Stella Maris School in South Philadelphia announced they would close at the end of the school year.

On April 26, SS. Simon and Jude School in West Chester hosted a two-part program titled, “A Pro-Active Approach to Growing Concerns of Sexting (texting with sexually explicit content), Texting and Internet Abuse.”


More than 400 priests of the Philadelphia Archdiocese journeyed to Hershey May 10-13 for three days of prayer, reflection and friendship for the first-ever convocation of priests.

Pierluigi Molla, the son of St. Gianna Beretta Molla of Italy, visited the shrine to his mother at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Warminster.

On behalf of the parishes of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Cardinal Justin Rigali presented a check totaling nearly $2 million for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti to Catholic Relief Services.

Archangels’ Academy, an archdiocesan school for special education located at Immaculate Conception Parish School in Levittown, closed at the end of the school term.

Cardinal Rigali ordained six men to the priesthood May 15 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.


$241,205,631 was awarded, collectively, to the young men and women who graduated from the 20 archdiocesan high schools in June.

Northeast Catholic, Cardinal Dougherty, Kennedy-Kenrick and St. Pius X high schools closed their doors for the last time.

Hands Across Lehigh drew nearly 900 students and parishioners to North Philadelphia to take a stand against the violence plaguing city neighborhoods.

The universal Church’s celebration of the Year of the Priest closed June 11.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. John J. McIntyre an auxiliary bishop of the Philadelphia Archdiocese and accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Maginnis.

The Pope appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia Joseph P. McFadden the tenth Bishop of Harrisburg.

The Pope named Msgr. Michael J. Fitzgerald an auxiliary bishop of the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

CS&T photographer Joanna Lightner died June 15.

The first-time Girls of Goretti Vocations Conference hosted 50 girls in fifth through eighth grades at the Malvern Retreat House; 80 sixth, seventh and eighth-grade boys attended the fourth annual Brothers of Borromeo Vocation Congress at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.


The permanent diaconate department of the Philadelphia Archdiocese was incorporated into St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, creating a fourth spanision of the seminary.

Cardinal Rigali appointed Msgr. Paul A. DiGirolamo judicial vicar of the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal.

Cardinal Rigali installed Msgr. Arthur E. Rodgers as rector of the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, and his former assignments as regional vicar of Montgomery County and pastor of St. Matthias Parish in Bala Cynwyd were assumed by Msgr. Michael T. McCulken.

Hundreds of Catholics from across the country attended the National Theology of the Body Congress July 28 to 30 at Blue Bell Country Club.


Father Paul M. Kennedy, pastor of St. Katherine of Siena Parish in the Torresdale section of the city, was installed by Cardinal Justin Rigali as vicar of Philadelphia-North.

Bishops John J. McIntyre and Michael J. Fitzgerald became the 25th and 26th auxiliary bishops of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, respectively, as each was ordained to the episcopacy Aug. 6 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

Cardinal Rigali dedicated the new St. Rocco Mission Center in Avondale, and broke ground for a new church that will serve Spanish-speaking Catholics.


Pope John Paul II High School opened in Royersford, accepting students from the former Kennedy-Kenrick and St. Pius X high schools.

Almost 300 religious men and women in the Archdiocese celebrated milestones of 25, 50 and more years of consecrated life.

Cardinal Rigali celebrated his 25th anniversary as bishop.

The Archdiocese hired John Romeri as its first-ever director of liturgical music.

Long-time CS&T employee Joe Novetsky, 85, who was associated with the Catholic Standard & Times for over six decades, died Sept. 11.


Cardinal Rigali blessed the Cathedral’s recently installed mosaic image of Our Lady of Guadalupe during the annual Hispanic Heritage Mass Oct. 10.

In a pastoral letter issued after his eighth anniversary as Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Rigali outlined a strategic plan to enable the local Church to meet the needs of the 21st century, utilizing as a blueprint his three super priorities for the Archdiocese: celebration of the holy Eucharist, reception of the sacrament of reconciliation and the daily offering of prayers for an increase of priestly vocations.

The Cardinal announced the establishment of St. Rocco Parish in Avondale as a Spanish national parish.


Cardinal Rigali released a new document on the “Norms Regarding Cremation in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

A one-day conference on addictions, sponsored by archdiocesan Catholic Health Care Services, drew 375 participants.

Catholic Life Congress was hosted at Archbishop John Carroll High School with the theme “Sacred Mysteries Ever Ancient – Ever New.”

Cardinal Rigali, at the request of Pope Benedict XVI, asked the priests of the Archdiocese to gather their parishioners a half-hour before the regularly scheduled Saturday vigil Mass Nov. 27, the first weekend of Advent, to pray the rosary on behalf of the unborn.

Mary, Mother of the Redeemer School in North Wales and Ancillae-Assumpta Academy in Wyncote were named 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.

Catholic school students across the Archdiocese collected 75,000 pounds of peanut butter and jelly for distribution at local food cupboards.

Merion Mercy Academy’s volleyball team won its fourth consecutive Class AA state title.


A new BLOCS program, Bright Futures Scholarship Fund, awarded 100 children two-year scholarships to Catholic schools, thanks to a
bequest from the late Robert C. Dunn of Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Bryn Mawr.

Operation Santa Claus kicked off its 43rd year.

St. Joseph’s University introduced the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, in which 14 teaching fellows commit to two years of teaching in Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. During this time they earn a master’s degree in elementary education from St. Joseph’s.

As a result of tithing and an effective stewardship program, approximately 100 of the 250 students at St. Andrew School in Drexel Hill do not pay tuition to attend.

Cardinal Rigali formed the Cardinal’s Cabinet, an advisory group.

West Catholic High School defeated South Fayette High School, 50-14, in the AA state football championship Dec. 18 in Hershey.