Keeping It Real – Is St. Joachim a Worship Site…Or not?

Do you believe that St. Joachim RC Church should be used more often, providing pastoral care now lacking? As Advent draws to a close, I wanted you to know our efforts to have St. Joachim truly be a “Worship Site” as the Archdiocese itself defines one. We have written to Father Higgins (cc’ing Archbishop Chaput) several times during the year requesting services at St. Joachim other than our funerals and weddings. You can read our latest letter for yourself here – Letter to Father Higgins Nov 17 2014. In this letter, we asked for:

  • A weekly Advent Mass or allow us to conduct a weekly Prayer Service inside the Church (after your approval of the Prayer Service);
  • A special Feast Day Mass on Monday, Dec. 8, as our beloved Blessed Mother’s parents were Sts. Joachim and Ann; and
  • A Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day

We also said that We, the laity, are willing to provide what spiritual care we can for the parish, why not let us use the Worship Site to do that?” We can do a prayer service or a blessing of the Advent Wreath by the rights given to us with our Baptism.

For the first time in over 50 years, our Church made me feel like a “guilty Catholic” on Thanksgiving Day. Bob and I went to Mass at Holy Innocents, where we are registered. It was a beautiful Mass. It was trilingual, there before us, the Spanish choir, the Vietnamese choir, the English choir and three priests and a deacon on the altar. I felt guilty because I could get to Holy Innocents but what about my brothers and sisters in Frankford who cannot? I also thought, as beautiful as that Mass was, did we need three priests and a deacon on the altar. Could not one of them be spared to say a Mass for the parishioners of the two churches that were closed in Frankford?

Here is what the official church document says regarding “Regulations for the Use of a Worship Site Within A Parish Other Than the Parish Church”. I found this on the Archdiocese’s website. There are “just causes” for establishing a worship site and two of them are particulary relevant to us here in Frankford:

  • to allow greater accessibility of the faithful to liturgical services; and
  • to reduce the inconvenience of the faithful traveling a great distance for worship;

These are indeed reasons we should be using St. Joachim Church more often for worship. These regulations go on to further state that:

  “4. One Mass is permitted to be celebrated on Sundays in a worship site within the parish in addition to those celebrated in the parish church. For pastoral reasons, and when sufficient priests are available, Mass may also be permitted in such a worship site on a holy day of obligation and/or on a weekday. There are 3 priests at Holy Innocents.

   6.  For pastoral reasons, devotional services (such as ceremonies associated with a patronal feast, a public novena, stations of the cross, etc.) also be permitted in a worship site within the parish other than the parish church.”  Here, again, “pastoral” care justifies the use of St. Joachim more often.

Father Higgins, Pastor of Holy Innocents, responded that “..the services … requested for St. Joachim’s for December, we already celebrate at Holy Innocents. We are not able to provide these services at any of our Worship Sites, except our weekly Spanish Mass at St. Joan of Arc”. Well, according to the Holy Innocents Parish bulletin dated 11/16/2014, there was a Novena to Our Mother of Divine Providence ending Nov. 16 at their weekly Mass. There was a bilingual Thanksgiving service at St. Joan of Arc on November 25, 2014 according to the 11/23/2014 parish bulletin.

Father Higgins also stated “Just for the record, Pat, I as dean, did not recommend that St. Joachim and Mater Dolorosa be closed…I proposed to keep St. Joachim open…” In all sincerity, did you go to the mat for what you believed, Father? I’m sure you can understand that we don’t think it’s so easy for you to just “wash your hands” of this decision. Sadly, too many don’t find it worth fighting for they believe or what they think is right.

You can read Father Higgins email response to our letter here – “Response to your letter”. Archbishop Chaput has not answered us as of the writing of this blog post.

 

 

 

Are You “A Prophet”?

Father Judge High School has been a prominent fixture in Northeast Philadelphia since 1954. My husband, Bob, attended Father Judge as well. It’s interesting to note that Father Judge’s boundaries were broadened in 1957 to help reach their enrollment of 3500 students and that’s how Bob attended Father Judge while both his older and younger brother went to North! He’s always been the man in the middle!!

Not so much is commonly known about Father Judge. But he believed in the power of the laity and that we are the ones to “Do Good! Be Good! Be a Power for Good!”. The Church needs to focus on the laity as the center of a circle, if you will, with the clergy being the outer part of the circle. A circle symbolizes unity, cohesiveness, respect. Father Judge saw the great potential when the laity were viewed as real partners with the clergy in carrying out the missionary spirit of the Church.

John the Baptist preachingEarlier this month, Pope Francis raised the question of why so many people are leaving the faith. Read about it in this article, “Pope Francis and the Catholic Crisis”. In this article, you’ll find links back to a meditation from Pope Francis during Advent last year, explaining that by the power of Baptism, we are called to be prophets. That’s right, you and me and everyone else who is baptized. Pope Francis’ meditation from Dec. 16, 2013 – “The Eye That Is Opened”.

Pope Francis concluded his homily recommending “a prayer over the course of these days, as we prepare for the celebration of the Lord’s birth”. He prayed to the Lord that prophets not be lacking among his people: “All of us who are baptized are prophets. Lord, may we not forget your promise; may we never grow weary of going forward; may we never close ourselves in through a legality that closes doors. Lord, free your people from the spirit of clericalism and come to their aid through your spirit of prophecy”.

So, as we reflect on these final days of Advent, what can you and I do to more fully develop our powers of prophecy and to do and be the good in our world so desperately in need of our gifts and talents? How does this influence the work we do to reopen St. Joachim? How do we be a “Power for Good” as the Catholic presence in Frankford?

 

 

A Holiday Party Can Be So Much More…

Picture this – almost 20 children under 3 years old, 25+children from 4-17 years of age and their parents, grandparents and guardians coming together to celebrate what we all feel at this time of year – we believe! We may believe different things but we’re all the same in wanting the best for our children.

Keep the Faith in Frankford sponsored the “Ho Ho Ho Holiday Party” held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Friday night, December 12. Knowing we would not be able to accommodate everyone this holiday season, we decided to invite the mothers from Overington House, those we meet in ministry with the Dining with Dignity program and some of the congregation of St. Mark’s. We expected 45 children ranging in age from 3 months through 17 years old. Parents and grandparents were also invited.

Totally through donations, we were able to provide twin set sheets for the mothers of Overington House, a toy that each child could choose, and a board game for the other families. Most likely, if you’re viewing this video, you are directly responsible for the smiles that you see because of your donations – whether toys or money. Your generosity was awesome!! May you be rewarded for it!  (Any child invited but who was unable to attend will receive their toy.)

Part of our mission statement says, “we believe that the greater diversity of people within a community strengthens that community”. We focused on Hanukkah, which begins 12/16, Christmas on 12/25, Kwanzaa which begins on 12/26, and The Three Kings on 1/6/15. We learned from one of our Muslim mothers about Ramadan which begins Thursday, June 18 and lasts until July 15, 2015. We stamped with Hanukkah symbols, made a Nativity door hanger or story wheel and played Kwanzaa bingo.

We shared our individual beliefs, cultures, customs and traditions. We celebrated them, honored them and reminded ourselves we have much more in common and that unites us. We are not so different after all. That’s a good thing any time of the year!

Enjoy the show! For more information about Keep the Faith in Frankford please visit us online here or on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter at @fkdfaithful

 

World Meeting of Families New Hymn Unveiled!

Francis comingCheck out the debut of the World Meeting of Families hymn.

Visit the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s World Meeting of Families website here:

http://www.worldmeeting2015.org/about-the-event/hymn/

World Meeting of Families Hymn: Sound the Bell of Holy Freedom

Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all nations of the earth.
Sons and daughters of one Father, sent to spread God’s saving Word.
Come, and gather, as one fam’ly at the table of the Lord.

David branch from root of Jesse, Mary that vine’s flow’ring rose.
She brought forth for us the Savior as the angel did propose;
Overshadowed by the Spirit, by her “yes” new life arose.

Blessed Joseph, spouse of Mary, teacher of your God and Lord,
You did shelter and provide for wondrous child by kings adored.
Open to God’s Word in dreaming saved your child from Herod’s sword.

Jesus, youth in low’ly Naz’reth, faithful son, and loving child,
Guest and host at Cana’s wedding, finest wine you did provide.
You, our rock and you our shelter, keep us ever by your side.

At the cross a grieving mother, on the cross, her only son,
With all mothers and their children, Blessed Mary, you are one.
In our joys, and in our sorrows may we do as you have done.

Sound the bell of holy freedom; call all fam’lies of the world
To be fed by love incarnate; to proclaim God’s holy Word;
Through the love of Christ our brother, in the Spirit make us one.

Text: Andrew D. Ciferni, O., Praem, b. 1942
Tune: PHILADELPHIA, 8 7 8 7 8 7:Normand Gouin, b. 1970

“Here I Am, Lord! Is It I, Lord?” That You Want at the Basilica on Sunday, Nov. 30., at 5:00 PM?

7 Reasons for Nov 30Hello, please take a moment and read this blog post on our sister website, Philly-Catholics.com. We’ll be looking for you on Nov. 30th!

 

A Tale of Two Shepherds

Archbishop and MeWell, Archbishop Chaput, at a lecture he was giving in Manhattan (imagine how many people like us were there) “blasts Vatican debate on family, says ‘confusion is of the devil””. Now when you read this article, I started to wonder if Archbishop Chaput really wants Pope Francis to come here. I have personally heard him speak about how “concerned” and worried Catholics are because of Pope Francis – his words and his actions. He most definitely seems to be speaking for himself. Yet this article should not be a surprise to us as there can be not debate, no discussion with the Archbishop about anything. Does he think his style and words are drawing people back to the church? Is he even helping to keep people in the church? I get concerned about people who always think they’re right. I’m concerned about our local Shepherd telling us “the decision has been made and we are not considering any changes”. Are you as concerned as I? You decide after reading – “Archbishop Chaput blasts Vatican debate on family, says ‘confusion is of the devil'” Thanks to Greg Minetola for sharing this article.
Pope Francis

Thank God for Pope Francis. A light and a beacon that tells us it’s alright to have these discussions. He’s another opener of doors like Pope St. John XXIII. Let’s talk about it – let’s see how we can heal those whose lives have already been broken by society, by the loss of a love intended to be forever through divorce and anyone who feels a distance from Jesus’ love. Pope Francis is not about “winning” or dictating. He’s about making visible the kingdom of heaven on earth. How different than what we’re used to. Pope Francis, himself, is an expression of unity and of bringing all of us together. Here’s a summary of the Synod from the National Catholic Reporter. “Synod a win for Franics and openness”.

I’m glad ours is a church of diversity and expression of that. But we mustn’t let fear or judgement be our guide. We must have the courage of the Holy Spirit! It confirms what we believe. It is even more imperative and necessary that each and every Catholic add their voice to these discussions. Are you willing? Can you believe?

Pope Francis photo credit: KOREA.NET – Official page of the Republic of Korea via photopin cc

You Don’t Want to Miss This Event!

What’s the hottest ticket in town? No, it’s not along the Avenue of the Arts! It’s the ticket for tonight’s presentation at the Historical Society of Frankford, 1507 Orthodox St. See you there! The most fun for $5 you can have anywhere!!!!

HSF September 2014 program half page

Extras! Extras! You Want to Be in a Movie? Now’s Your Chance!

casting callDid you know that a film is being made right here in Frankford and Kensington? Did you know the name is of the film is Voiceless? It is a pro-life movie and the producers and casting director as asking if you just might be the right person to be an extra in this movie. Before you decide, there are some things you need to know. There are no speaking parts available. There will be a meal and snacks provided. You will not be paid as an extra – just a chance to make a good movie and maybe even save some lives. Please read everything through carefully and if you’re interested, please email or call. Be sure to have the information ready, the extra casting director needs – Name/Age/Phone/Photo/Available Dates. The most people will be needed September 10th and 11th!

Good luck! Tell them Keep the Faith in Frankford sent you! Remember, if you’re chosen, I’ll be expecting free tickets!!!!


 

PRELIMINARY DETAILS/GUIDELINES FOR BACKGROUND ACTING IN ‘VOICELESS’

All background roles are non-speaking. Some roles are ‘featured extra roles’, which means you are seen more front and center in the scene.

Shoot days are very long and can range any where from 5-12 hours depending on the scenes being shot. We ask that background talent please bring something to do in the down time. Although they are long days, they are fun!

Official call times for each day are not decided until the night before each shoot date. Sometimes call time can be as early as 5am, but rarely is so. Sometimes call time can be late afternoon between 12pm-4pm. Timing is always determined by the previous day, the time we have each location, among many other factors.

Once I get a confirmation that an individual can join us for a day of shooting, I take their name and number and put them on a list to receive the official details via phone call the night before that date. The official details include call time, location to report to, wardrobe specifications, and any/all details they will need to know for the day. Locations will always be in Philadelphia, and mostly around the Frankford/Kensington area.

This is a volunteer gig. Snacks and drinks are provided on set, and a meal is served for cast, crew, and background talent after eight hours of work.

We will ask that background talent provide their own wardrobe, and we will provide wardrobe guidelines to follow the night before the shoot. This film is modern day and takes place in North Philly, therefore wardrobe will be easy to manage and not over the top.

We will ask that upon arrival background talent fill out a release form and have their photograph taken with that form. The form simply states that the individual has given us consent to use their image in the film.

When background talent arrives on set, they will ask for Julianna, the Associate Producer and Extras Casting Coordinator. She is assisted by three interns, Dennis, Tessa, and Teyquil, who will help background also with anything they might need.

Below are the following shoot dates that we are need of background talent, and specifically what types of people we are seeking for each day:

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 10 – CHURCH SCENE – KENSINGTON (Cumberland St.)
– Seeking upwards of 75 people – diverse group of ages and nationalities
– Families are welcome with young children, teenagers, adults, and elders

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 11 – CHURCH SCENE – KENSINGTON (Cumberland St.)
WE WOULD LIKE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO CAME FOR SEP. 1O TO COME FOR THIS SHOOT TO MAINTAIN CONTINUITY AND THE FEEL OF A COMMUNITY CHURCH

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 12 – OUTREACH CENTER/STREET SCENE – FRANKFORD
– Seeking 4 people to place ‘Locals’ and 6 people to play ‘Street People’
– Ages 18 and older, all nationalities
– The 4 pedestrians we would like to come back for another day of shooting on Sep. 16

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 13 – CITY HALL/COURTROOM SCENE – CENTER CITY (PENDING)
– Seeking people to play ‘City Hall People’ (Pedestrians, Business Men/Women), ‘Petty Criminals Waiting in the Courtroom’ (Traffic Violators, etc.), ‘Detectives’, ‘City Employees’, ‘Courtroom Workers’
– Ages 18 and up, all nationalities
– If a specific role appeals, please specify

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 15 – CLINIC SCENE – FRANKFORD
– Seeking 10 extras, 3 of them women who are either inside the clinic or outside of it – ages 18 and up, diverse nationalities – the other 7 can be male or female, any age, any nationality

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 17 – OUTREACH CENTER/BOXING GYM – FRANKFORD
– Seeking teenage boys and girls as well as young boys and girls – ages 3-21, all nationalities

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 18 – PROTEST SCENE – FRANKFORD
-Seeking 30 PEOPLE FROM THE CHURCH SCENES ON SEP. 10 AND 11 to represent a pro-life group, and 30 people to represent pro-choice protestors
– Ages 18 and up, all nationalities
– In addition seeking 4 women waiting inside or nearby the clinic

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 19 – CLINIC SCENE – FRANKFORD
– Seeking 6 ‘Waiting Clinic Women’
– Ages 16-30 – all nationalities

Voiceless Flyer

Feeding the Frankford Hungry…and Ourselves!

As You DoWe participate in the Dining with Dignity Program hosted by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Check out this article which explains how this program started many years ago. The program has changed over the years and many groups take turns preparing and serving food to those in our area who are in need every week. Keep the Faith in Frankford participates at least every other month. Yesterday, we arrived at 10 AM to prepare 250 bag lunches. In the summertime, there is no cooked lunch so each diner receives two bag lunches. We fed 100 local residents yesterday with enough to give extras to those who asked for them. If you would like to help us in this effort, donations are gladly accepted on our website or contributions can be sent to Keep the Faith in Frankford, 4829 Penn St., Phila., PA 19124. (Our 501(c)(3) tax exemption application is under review with the IRS and we should have our tax exemption by the end of August. That status becomes retroactive to when we applied – would you believe November, 2013?)

Members of St. Joachim Parish and their family and friends are very generous with their time and effort in this worthy cause. It is awe-inspiring to see the goodness in our people who are willing to do so much for others – and you know “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We are also very humbled by those who come every Saturday to participate in this program who struggle with the current economy and the challenges they are given but still believe in the Lord’s many blessings.

While Pope Francis has helped us to see our faith in a new way, he reminds us in “The Joy of the Gospel”, §187, that the “old question always returns: “How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods, and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” (1 Jn 3:17)

Special thanks to: Pete S., Joe and Maureen T, Al and Mary McK, Jack H., Sabina B-T, Kelly K. and Brian S., Nona B., Barbara J., Florence S., Bill, Marge and Morgan McG., Greg M., Maryanne S., Kate M., Mary C., Elaine and Natalie M., Tina D., Mary M. and Deacon Phil for his “guiding wisdom” and Me.

(Please click a photo and then you can scroll through the gallery to see these “beautiful people”!) God bless!

 

 

photo credit: Art4TheGlryOfGod via photopin cc

Keep the Faith in Frankford Hosts Saint Joachim Get Together and Free Pasta Dinner

This Sunday, May 18th, at 2 PM and 4 PM, Keep the Faith in Frankford is hosting all interested Saint Joachim parishioners for a Get Together and Free Pasta Dinner. Below are the details! Hope to see you there!

SJ Spaghetti DinnerYearly Reflections 2