Catholics in the Philadelphia Archdiocese have questions about the people and places in this community, and fortunately there’s a book that is published annually that answers many of them.

The Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is crammed with facts, and its 2020 edition – still being published annually for the better part of a century – has the answers to important questions and more in its 330 pages.

Are there Catholic schools near that house we might buy? See the Education section, pages 249-280, starting with St. Charles Borromeo Seminary where, you might be surprised to learn, enrollment is growing.

The directory lists every Catholic school, be it university, high school, elementary school, preschool or school of special education in the archdiocese with its location and contact information.

Which of the churches near me has a Sunday evening Mass? Sunday evening Masses, and liturgies at every time and every day, are found in the Parishes section, pages 95-219, listing every Catholic church in the five counties of the archdiocese with Mass times, confession times, the closest school, parish clergy and staff personnel, and more.

I haven’t heard from Father Joe Smith in ages. Where he is now? Check the alphabetic clergy listings, pages 33-92, under “Directory of priests with full faculties in the archdiocese.” “Faculties” has nothing to do with mental acuity. It just means the clergy listed are permitted to celebrate Mass, hear confessions and perform other priestly duties within the archdiocese.

What about Sister Imelda? If she’s still alive, I’d love to get in touch with her. Nuns are not individually listed because their congregations, not the archdiocese, assign them to ministry. But if you know her congregation — be it the Immaculate Heart Sisters, St. Joseph Sisters or any other — there is a section on pages 229-248, Generalates, Provincialates & Convents of Women Religious, where you can check with her order.

Tim thinks he might want to be a priest, but wonders if he’s too old to apply. Who do you talk to if you are considering becoming a priest? If Tim wants to be a priest for the archdiocese, he should call the Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood on page 26. Father Steve DeLacy would love to hear from him. If he wants a Religious Community for Men that would be pages 222-225. Women considering the call to religious life are on pages 229-248.

Jack’s going away to college. It’s a state college, and I wonder if they have Newman Club or campus ministry. Catholic universities and Newman Centers or campus ministries at all secular colleges and universities in the area are on pages 252-256.

Mom’s getting older and can’t be alone anymore. Where’s a list of Catholic nursing homes? Once she’s settled maybe we’ll take a trip to Rome; how do you score a ticket for a papal audience? Senior housing, older adult care services and Catholic nursing homes that Mom might like are on pages 281-289.

And for that papal audience it’s page 29. But popes travel a lot these days. If he’s not going to be available for your visit, settle for a papal blessing, with information on the same page.

Tom is divorced. How does he get an annulment? That process is a lot easier and not as expensive as you might think. See page 22 for the Chancery Office (all archdiocesan offices are on pages 21-32).

Our neighbor is a Chinese Catholic. Is there is a church that I can recommend to her? Your Chinese neighbor might be pleased to see page 130 and Holy Redeemer Chinese Catholic Church at 915 Vine St., Philadelphia. It’s been around since 1941.

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To obtain a copy of the 2020 Philadelphia Catholic Directory, visit this page on CatholicPhilly.com to order securely online, or order by phone by calling 1-800-273-6725.