last some 20 years many of our former parish
churches and schools were closed, merged, or
consolidated with neighboring parishes. Many
factors were taken into consideration by the
parish and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to
effect the changes. Declining vocations with
the Priests, Brothers, and Sisters, enrollment
in the schools, parish memberships and Sunday
collections all came into the decision process
to restructure parishes all over the Archdiocese
of Philadelphia. Even the high schools have
undergone changes over the years.
of the restructuring are listed below:
Agatha Parish was consolidated with St.
James Parish at 38th and Chestnut
Streets in 1976, and it is now called
St. Agatha-St. James Parish. In subsequent
years, both schools were closed and children
of the parish have the option to attend
classes at either St. Francis de Sales
or St. Ignatius. St. James
School now houses the Archdiocesan
Offices for Catholic Cemeteries.
Raphael Parish, located in the Meadows at
86th and Tinicum Avenue, closed in 1989 and was
incorporated into St. Clement Parish.
The church and rectory were demolished.
Lady of Loreto Parish, located at 62nd and
Grays Avenue, closed in 2000 and incorporated
into St. Barnabas Parish. The church
has been sold and is now Grace Christian
Mary of Czestochowa Parish located at 59th
and Elmwood Ave., also closed in 2000 and
incorporated into St. Barnabas Parish.
St. Mary's now houses the Kern-Crest
Head Start Program.
St. Barnabas Parish Church at 63rd and
Buist Avenue is still in existence, the school
has been renamed, Mary, Mother of
Peace School. The IHM Sisters still teach
students from all the closed schools at this
Clement Parish, located at 71st and
Woodland, closed in 2004 and was incorporated
into Good Shepherd Parish. Good Shepherd
Parish at 67th and Chester Avenues was
renamed Divine Mercy Parish and the
students attend the Mary, Mother of Peace
School. St. Clement Church is
now First Baptist of Paschall.
Irenaeus Parish, 2728 S. 73rd St.,
originally formed in 1966 from territory of
both St. Clement and St. Barnabas
Parishes, was suppressed in 2004 and is
now a worship site for Divine Mercy
the 1990s Transfiguration School
merged with St. Carthage School
with a Principal in each school. The
lower grades (1-4)
attended Transfiguration and the upper
grade students (5-8) attended St.
Carthage. But, in 2000 Transfiguration Parish was closed
and was incorporated into St.
Carthage which was renamed St.
Cyprian Parish. Since the
closing, the convent was demolished and
Transfiguration School has been
sold, renovated and reopened as The
Boys' Latin of Philadelphia Charter
The church and rectory remain idle and
are on the market.
former St. Carthage Convent has
been converted to a day care facility,
especially for after school programs.
2005, Our Lady of Victory Parish at
54th and Vine Streets closed and merged with
Our Lady of the Rosary Parish at
the 63rd and Callowhill Sts. site to form
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish.
The buildings at Our Lady of Victory are
still standing, but are idle.
class reunion of former students of Our
Lady of Victory Parish will be held on
November 28, 2010 at the grand ballroom of
the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel at 17th and
Locust Streets in Philadelphia. For more
(Source: Catholic Standard and Times, May
20, 2010, Page 19).
Francis de Sales Parish at 47th and
Springfield Avenue is still in existence serving
a diverse community with one Vietnamese Mass on
Most Blessed Sacrament Parish was closed
and incorporated with St. Francis de Sales
and the official title of the parish is now
known as St. Francis de Sales of the Most
May 14, 2010, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported
that "Since 2003 The Hardy Williams Academy
Charter School had rented buildings at the
former Most Blessed Sacrament Parish
from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The
charter, which has been paying nearly $500,000
in annual rent, has made some upgrades but is
talking to the archdiocese about buying and
renovating the entire complex with two schools,
an annex, convent, rectory, and church. The
board had not decided how it would finance the
project, which could cost as much as $10
Visitation BVM Parish at B and Lehigh is
still in existence. To accommodate the
changing demographics of the parish, Masses are
offered in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Name Parish in the Fishtown section of
Philly is alive and well. The Dominican Fathers
have been replaced with Diocesan priests. The
school is closed.
Many of our
classmates moved from their original parish and
were living in other parishes upon graduation.
All these parishes are open and doing well: St.
Alice and St Laurence in Upper Darby, St.
Gabriel in Norwood, St. Pius X in Broomall, St.
Anastasia in Newtown Square, Annunciation and
St. Denis in Havertown, St. Matthias in Bala
Cynwyd, St Cyril in East Lansdowne, St.
Philomena in Lansdowne, St. Kevin
in Springfield, and Our Lady of Fatima
classmates came from other parishes in the city
and they, too, are doing well: St. Rose of Lima,
St. Timothy, Holy Innocents, St. Madeline, St.
Hugh, and St. Cecilia in Fox Chase.
If you have
any parish stories that you would like to share
with us, please fell feel to e-mail them to our
information about the parishes was found in the
Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of
Philadelphia, on-line research and a tour of
Southwest Philly by Jim Lynch.
Thomas More High School at 47th
St. and Wyalusing Avenue closed in 1975.
As you all
know, West Catholic Boys and West Catholic
Girls merged in 1989 to form West
Philadelphia Catholic High School at the
45th and Chestnut Streets Campus.
St. James High School in Chester
closed in 1993 and subsequently reopened
as St. James Retirement and
Rehabilitation Center. The
center was closed in 2006.
Bishop Conwell in Levittown and
Bishop Egan in Fairless Hills
merged in 1993 to form Conwell-Egan
Catholic High School at the
Fairless Hills site.
St. John Neumann and
St. Maria Goretti High Schools
in South Philadelphia were
consolidated in the 2004-2005
school year at the Maria
Goretti campus and is now
SS. John Neumann and Maria
Goretti Catholic High School.
Monsignor Bonner Boys
and Archbishop Prendergast Girls
High Schools in Drexel Hill
were restructured in 2006 under one
administration and are now called
Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop
Prendergast High School with a
Bonner Division and a Prendergast Division.
Northeast Catholic High School for Boy which
opened in 1926 and Cardinal Dougherty High
School which opened in 1956 were closed in
June, 2010 due to low enrollment. Both schools
at different times over their distinguished
histories, would boast they were "the largest
Catholic high school in the world"; Northeast @
4,410 students in 1952-53 and Dougherty @ 5,944
High School in Norristown (two separate
schools that merged in 1993) and St. Pius X
founded in 1955 in
Pottstown, will merge in September, 2010 and
relocate to the newly constructed Pope
John Paul II High School in Upper
Providence Township, Montgomery County.
The above information was found in the
Catholic Directory of the Archdiocese of
Philadelphia, The Catholic Standard and
Times and on-line research.