Local News

Archbishop Chaput announces his final decisions for four Parish Planning Areas

Archbishop Charles Chaput, having been advised by the Strategic Planning Committee, and reviewing all proposals, has announced his final decisions for the first four Pastoral Planning Areas (PPAs) in the Archdiocese that were examined for possible parish mergers and closures. Pastors of involved parishes received phone calls on Tuesday, April 10, informing them of the […]

Philadelphia firefighters laid to rest

Philadelphians were saddened by the deaths of two firefighters in a blaze that consumed a vacant Kensington factory in the early hours of April 9, Easter Monday. Lt. Robert Neary, and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney were both members of Ladder 10 Company, Platoon C, and both were products of Catholic schools. Neary, who died at the […]

Parish fundraisers yielding positive results

Capital campaigns are never easy, and it is remarkable that the Heritage of Faith — Vision of Hope archdiocesan campaign that ended in early 2011 surpassed its stated goal of $200 million in pledges. It took a lot of grassroots effort in the parishes, and probably more so in the 18 parishes where planned parish […]

Charities Appeal tops $5 million mark

Maybe it’s because the theme “Because I am Catholic” touches hearts. Maybe it’s because of the improved economy. Maybe it’s because of an earlier starting date. Maybe it’s because of more imaginative marketing, including social media. Maybe it’s the explanatory video. The reason doesn’t really matter: What counts is that Philadelphia’s annual Catholic Charities Appeal […]

A proper burial — 180 years in the making

They emigrated to the United States in the early summer of 1832 from Donegal, Tyrone and Derry Counties in Ireland. Hired off the docks in Philadelphia to work on a stretch of tracks on the Pennsylvania & Columbia Railroad (which later became the Reading and Columbia Railroad) between Philadelphia and Lancaster County, 57 Irish immigrants […]

Conference focuses on ‘Humanae Vitae’

Coincidental and timely is the way Dr. Lester Ruppersberger described the conference he led recently that focused on natural family planning. “Humanae Vitae as Seen through the Lens of Theology of the Body” focused on the method of natural birth control that adheres to Catholic teaching but, in the long run, is spiritually and physically […]

Accepting disability with faith in God

Hereditary Spastic Paraparesis (HSP) is classified as a rare disease with only a handful of people per 100,000 contracting it. That’s not much comfort to Helen Kienlem, because the first word is operative — it runs in families. The seventh of the eight children of Joan and John Kienlem, she is one of six in […]

Recourse for merged or closed parishes

Most dioceses and archdioceses in the United States have had to face the reality of changing demographics and the declining number of active priests available to serve the people. This has led to the unfortunate need to close and merge parishes, so to best utilize available resources and personnel. In the Philadelphia Archdiocese the process […]

Religion teachers reflect on vocation to hand on the faith to children

Catechists and Parish Religious Education Program (P.R.E.P.) teachers from across the Archdiocese came together on March 10 at Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor for the 23rd annual Catechist Convocation. The yearly faith formation event was cosponsored by the Office for Catechetical Formation and the Archdiocesan Association of Parish Directors, Coordinators and Administrators of […]

Priests trial continues, marked by tension, tears

A young man took the stand this week for two days and repeated numerous times that he had been allegedly abused by Father James J. Brennan, one of two priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on trial in the landmark case. At turns both emotional in his testimony on April 4 and combative with Father […]