Mega-Mergers Do Not Make Us Mighty!

merger aheadIt began, for us, in 2012. Ascension of Our Lord Church in Kensington would close in October 2012. You can read more about the parish here. Parishioners had a choice of going to Holy Innocents Church or Visitation Church. How much choice the parishioners really had in this decision, they would have to tell you.

St. Joachim, Mater Dolorosa and St. Joan of Arc were part of the Area Parish Pastoral Planning Process taking place in our Deanery (560) during 2012 and culminating with “recommendations” and “decisions” in mid-2013. If you have been following our story, you know that the parishioners of St. Joachim were not involved in this “process” which we maintain is severely flawed for many reasons. Here’s a brief synopsis of our cause. Much has transpired in the more than two years of our Vatican appeal (it’s still active and we are waiting for a hearing before the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican Supreme Court).

We were warmly invited by Dean Jon Clodfelter to work out of St. Mark’s Church. St. Marks, an Episcopal Church, has a history of working with St. Joachim parishioners before when outbreaks of diseases greatly affected the various waves of immigrants coming to Frankford looking for a better life for themselves and their families. Keep the Faith in Frankford participates in the Dining with Dignity program and does other community events, for free, as well as our public efforts to bring attention to all the churches that have been closed/merged.

Most, if not all, of the people we meet have had contact with Frankford at one time or another. When we tell them we no longer have a Catholic Church in Frankford, they are dumb-founded, as we still are as well. We have not yet had any significant interaction with Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, other than for him to tell us that he would no longer answer our letters. We write anyway. Father Thomas Higgins, Pastor, Holy Innocents Parish, has told us many times in one way or another, that “As long as I am the pastor of the parish, nothing is going to change”.

Yet, we continue to work to re-open St. Joachim. (We began wanting a Catholic Church in Frankford but only the parishioners of St. Joachim filed a Vatican Appeal.) While St. Joachim is a Worship Site, in effect, it’s closed unless there’s a request for a funeral or a wedding. We have an annual Feast Day Mass in July and we are hoping for a Mass in honor of our dedication of the new Church, December 13, 1981. This second Mass resulted from a Decree this past January that a Worship Site should have at least two Masses. This decree also suggested that weekly Masses do not always have to be at the main Church.

The laity know that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has bigger problems than just closing/merging Churches. They are losing souls because the pastoral care we are receiving is not about God’s saving love, mercy and compassion but the need to fill the Church coffers – it’s always more, more, more. This week’s Bulletin from Holy Innocents shows an $11 decline from last year. $11, I know, not bad, but when you figure that before the mergers, Holy Innocents had less than 2100 families and after the mergers almost 2900 families, there’s a much deeper problem. Also, Pope Francis was just here in Philadelphia and you know, the hierarchy was hoping for a resurgence in faith based on his visit. I think we were just sad when he left.

Both Archbishop Chaput and Monsignor Daniel J. Kutys, Moderator of the Curia, tell us that “The parish of Holy Innocents is under Father Higgins’ leadership so it is up to him to decide what worship sites will or will not be used based on his experience of the needs of the parish at large”. Every liturgical season for two years, we have asked Father Higgins for services at St. Joachim. We have asked for a Mass, for an opportunity for us to hold a Prayer Service (we’re hearing about mission and lay leadership) and to use our Church for private worship. All for naught. After our Feast Day Mass this past July, Father Higgins wanted to have a “conversation” after Mass. We believed he was looking for real solutions to real problems he has. But here again, nothing.

We made and sent a proposal to Father Higgins. You can see our proposal below.

SJ Proposal Possible Meeting Sept 2015

Here is Father Higgins’ response.

Higgins Re St Joachim Proposal

Now, think about it. Father Higgins was interviewed and told Joyce Evans, Fox 29 News, that 4 of his 5 Masses aren’t full and could use “hundreds of more people”. (See this interview and our response here online.) Say a Mass in Frankford, you would get our collection! Father Higgins wants to tell you, those who are already attending Mass, the need for giving more during the Masses on November 14th and 15th. This doesn’t make sense. Well, we have another idea for you, Father Higgins. Come and use St. Joachim as the main worship site. Our church is newer, smaller, easier to maintain and upkeep and we have a parking lot. Think this is a crazy idea? It’s no crazier than closing two churches in Frankford.

We Have One Fundraiser a Year! This is It! You Will Make It a Success!

MM Memo to Family and Friends

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

 

 

 

Put Your Faith Into Action! Support St. Joachim’s Beef ‘n Beer & Our Vatican Appeal!

The Congregation of the Clergy has written us to inform us that they have asked Archbishop Chaput, to “obtain an elucidation of the matter and will communicate with (us) when his response has been studied”. Hopeful words to us! But we must continue our efforts.

We have raised over $7500 of our expected $12,ooo cost of this appeal. We need your help and support to raise the rest of the money!

We are friends; we are family! This holiday season let us join together to celebrate our faith and each other! Please join us! You can use your PayPal account/credit card to purchase tickets on our site. I donated $30.00 to purchase a ticket and all the information I needed came to via email. This works!!!!!

We hope to see you on Friday, December 13th! We can’t do this without you!

Beef n Beer flyer Menu

 

St. Joachim Frames of Faith Fundraiser

IMG_2650Cherish the memories you have of St. Joachim and at the same time be part of the reason St. Joachim reopens so that you will make new memories, too!

Framed and unframed pictures of the beautiful church, statues and grounds are now available! All funds raised will go toward the appeal fund to reopen our church and have a Catholic presence in Frankford once again! Our appeal is being currently reviewed! Your prayers and monetary support matter greatly!

Sizes & donations are as follows:

#1. Any unframed 4×6 or 5×7 prints available for a $3 donation

#2. Any framed 4×6 or 5×7 prints available for a $10 donation

#3  Two picture collage frame with 4×6 pictures for a $20 donation

#4. Three picture collage frame with 4×6 pictures for a $30 donation

#5. Four picture collage frame with 4×6 pictures for a $35 donation

We have included samples of the collage frames created. Any picture can be ordered for any frame! Create your own personalized photo treasury! Great for gifts!

To order:

Take note of the numbers of the pictures you would like. Framed or unframed?

Choose your size of frame or collage frame and take note of the numbers of the pictures you would like.

Please call Pat Smiley at 215.537.0659 or email patsmiley1@gmail.com to place your order. Please allow 2 to 4 weeks for delivery of order. Your donation will be collected at time of delivery. We accept cash or checks. Please make checks payable to Pat Smiley. Visit one of our weekly meetings at St. Mark’s Church, 4442 Frankford Avenue, Wednesdays at 6:30 PM, to place your order directly.

Thank you for your support to Keep the Faith in Frankford! Please note that we support and want one Catholic Church in Frankford. St. Joachim has filed an official appeal that is funded totally by your contributions. God bless you!

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