This afternoon, Saturday, April 5th, we held the first organizing meeting of Philly Catholics! Those who attended shared their faith and their deep belief in being called to authentic witness in the city for our Archdiocese.
As we met and shared introductions and why we were here, it became clear that while we mourned the loss of our Church, God had a much bigger plan for us. We believe that we are standing up not only for ourselves but even more importantly for those who can’t stand for themsevles. We have many elderly parishioners whose only outing might have been to weekly Mass. Now, because of distance or an inability to travel, they cannot go to Mass. We have many parishioners who simply don’t go to Mass anymore because of the pain of losing “family”. We have people who come to us looking for a Church and sadly, we tell them it was closed.
We believe that it is not only our right but our responsibility to work to reverse the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative because the process was flawed and lacked true, total involvement of the laity. To this day, no one will meet with us to hear our story of a flawed and unfair process. Not even to just listen!
While we miss our Church, it is not about the building. It is not about being unwilling to move on! It is about standing our ground to say that these are our parishes and our Churches and we should have a say in the matter! It is feeling and knowing that our ancestors struggled to build, pay for and maintain these Churches and we want to honor that legacy of faith! Not to mention the wonderful religious sisters and priests who never thought of themselves as they worked reflecting the love of God to each parishioner!
To those who believe that recent decisions of Archbishop Chaput and the hierarchy do not reflect an openness and involvement of the Philadelphia laity to reach mutually agreed upon resolutions to our problems, we say, “Be strong, do not fear. Here is your God, He comes with vindication; With divine recompense He comes to save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall see and the ears of the deaf be opened.” (Isaiah 35:5) Join us to bring that day ever closer!
Our next meeting is Saturday, May 3rd, 2 PM at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 4442 Frankford Avenue, 19124. See you there and bring a friend! All are most welcome!