Philadelphia, Archdiocese of
PHILADELPHIA, ARCHDIOCESE OF
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Philadelphiensis ) comprises the city and county of Philadelphia, and the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery, an area of 2,182 square miles in the southeastern part of pennsylvania. In 2001, there were 1,430,161 Catholics, 39 percent of the general population of 3,707,238
Early History. William penn's colony, founded in 1682, as a "holy experiment" by which "all persons living in this Province shall in no way be molested or prejudiced in their religious persuasion or practice or in matter of faith or worship," became a refuge for persecuted Catholics.
First Catholics. There were Catholics in the Philadelphia area from the beginning of its colonization. In 1681 the first governor of what is now Pennsylvania, Anthony Brockholes, was a Catholic. Pehaps the first Catholic resident of "Penn's Province" was a servant of Daniel Pastorius, the founder of Germantown. One of the richest men of the time was J. Gray (alias John Tatham), a Catholic from London who had extensive holdings in New Jersey and in Bucks County. His residences were stopping places, where the Jesuits traveling between Maryland and New York celebrated Mass. The Jesuits visited the home also of the wealthy Frenchman Daniel Debuc (d. 1693). There is record of Mass being celebrated publicly in Philadelphia in 1707. Repeated complaints were made to London about this "Popish Mass," but Penn's "Great Law" protected the religious freedom of the Catholics.
In 1720 Joseph Greaton, SJ (d. 1753), was given charge of the Catholics in Pennsylvania. He made his headquarters in Maryland but regularly traveled from Bohemia Manor to Concord, Chester County, Conewago, Lancaster, Philadelphia, and back. Greaton decided to reside permanently in Philadelphia, and in 1733 he purchased land and built the first Catholic church in
Philadelphia, St. Joseph's, which had about 40 parishoners. A year later the governor questioned the right of Catholics to have this public chapel, but he was overruled by the city council. In March 1741 Greaton received an assistant, Henry Neale, SJ (d. May 5, 1748), and the services of two priests from Germany to take care of the German Catholics in Pennsylvania. Father William Wappeler resided at Conewago; Father Theodore Schneider at Goshenhoppen (the present parish of Bally, near Reading). Both also ministered to the Germans in Philadelphia. Financial support for the Church in Pennsylvania was given by Sir John James of London, who set up a fund of £4,000, called the Sir John James Fund.
When Greaton retired to Bohemia Manor in 1749, English-born Robert Harding, SJ (1701–72), succeeded him. Eight years later Harding reported that in Pennsylvania there were 1,365 Catholics (from 12 years of age) who received the Sacraments; 378 of them were living in Philadelphia.
During the French and Indian War the loyalty of the Catholics was questioned and there was a move to keep all papists out of the Philadelphia militia, but without success. Harding purchased ground for another church and cemetery, and St. Mary's was opened in 1763, becoming the parish church of Philadelphia with Harding as pastor; St. Joseph's remained a chapel. The German Jesuit known in the colony as Father Ferdinand farmer (d.1786), came from Lancaster to assist Harding in Philadelphia, but he also continued ministering to the German Catholics in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. In 1772 Robert molyneux, SJ, succeeded Harding as pastor.
Revolutionary Era. During the Revolution, many of St. Mary's parishioners were leaders of the colonial forces. One exception occurred when General Howe withdrew from Philadelphia in the summer of 1778, taking with him a "Roman Catholic Battalion" of about 180 men with Col. Alfred Clifton of St. Mary's parish in charge. In general, however, the Catholics of Philadelphia fought bravely for the Revolution. After the French entered the war, St. Mary's Church became the outstanding Catholic church of the colonies. On Sept. 7, 1777, members of the Continental Congress were present there for the Requiem Mass of General du Coudray. They were present again on July 4, 1779, for the first public religious commemoration of the Declaration of Independence. On Nov. 4, 1781, the Congress met with General Washington at a Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for victory over the
British. On Feb. 22, 1800, the Congress met there for a memorial service for President Washington.
After the war, Molyneux built the first parish school in Philadelphia at St. Mary's in May 1782. The practice of pew rent was introduced to offset some of the cost. In October 1785 John carroll, then prefect apostolic, administered the Sacrament of Confirmation for the first time in Philadelphia. A year later when Farmer died, his funeral was attended by the members of the American Philosophical Society, the professors and trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, and a large number of non-Catholics. Molyneux retired and was succeeded by the Reverend Francis Beeston, SJ, who built the rectory for St. Joseph's. By 1790 there were reputed to be 2,000 Catholics in Philadelphia. Five years later Holy Trinity Church for German Catholics was completed, and Father John Heilbron was assigned as pastor. Carroll had reluctantly consented to the erection of this national parish, warning the parishioners against a feeling of separatism and denying them the right to name their own pastors. Meanwhile, a large number of destitute persons from the West Indies arrived in Philadelphia during the spring and summer of 1793, bringing the yellow fever mosquito with them. An epidemic ensued, causing about one-half of the inhabitants to flee Philadelphia, which became practically a quarantined city. All the priests of St. Mary's died from the fever, among them Father Lorenz Grässel, who had been chosen as coadjutor to Bishop Carroll, with residence in Philadelphia.
Early Trusteeism. In December 1793 the Reverend Leonard neale was appointed pastor of St. Mary's and coadjutor to Carroll. Because of trouble in Europe, the bulls did not arrive until 1800. The appointment in 1796 of Father John Goetz as Heilbron's assistant marked the beginning of trusteeism at Holy Trinity. Heilbron was forced to retire to St. Joseph's, where he conducted services for the loyal Germans. Although Goetz was suspended, he persisted in his opposition and was joined by Father William Elling, who came to Holy Trinity from Reading to teach in the school that the trustees were forming. At length, Carroll, in February 1797, was constrained to publicly excommunicate both Goetz and Elling. There was a falling out among the schismatics. Four months later, Goetz was forced to resign, and the trustees made Elling pastor. When the trustees tried to make common cause with another group of German schismatics in Baltimore, Carroll came to Philadelphia in 1798. A court case ensued during which the trustees argued that Carroll
was bishop of other nationalities, but not of the Germans. The case reached Rome and the Holy See backed Carroll against the trustees. But it was not until 1802 that Elling, the trustees, and the parishioners of Holy Trinity, which had been put under interdict, publicly recanted. Their abjuration was taken by Thomas Matthew Carr, OSA, the vicar-general.
Under Carr, the Irish Augustinians began another parish in 1796. But it was not until 1801 that St. Augustine's, "the largest church in Philadelphia," was dedicated. President Washington, Commodore John Barry, and Stephen Girard were among the largest contributors. When the trustees of St. Mary's petitioned Carroll to send them a pastor capable of preserving the dignity of "the leading church in the United States," he appointed Michael egan, OSF (d. 1814), who had been stationed at Lancaster, and gave him Father John Rossiter as assistant.
Diocese. On April 8, 1808, Egan was appointed bishop of the new Diocese of Philadelphia, which included the entire states of Pennsylvania and Delaware, and the western and southern part of the state of New Jersey, up to a line running west to east and slightly south of Barnegat Bay. St. Mary's was selected as the cathedral. Napoleonic difficulties in Europe prevented the bulls from arriving until 1810, so during the interval Egan remained at St. Mary's as Carroll's vicar-general.
Egan. At its beginning the Diocese of Philadelphia had 16 churches attended by 11 priests, who ministered to 30,000 Catholics. Unfortunately, the trustee problem at St. Mary's marred the new bishop's administration from the first. In 1808 Egan accepted William harold, an Irish Dominican, as a priest of the diocese and in 1810 made him his vicar-general. The next year Father James Harold, an uncle of William Harold, was accepted into the diocese. Trouble, instigated by the Harolds, then developed between the bishop and the trustees of St.
Mary's. Although the Harolds returned to Ireland and a schism was averted, the trustees of St. Mary's had acquired such ill fame that it was five years before a successor was named after Egan's death on July 22, 1814. John David, later Bishop of Bardstown, Ky.; Ambrose Maréchal, future Archbishop of Baltimore; and Louis De Barth, pastor of Conewago, all refused the Diocese of Philadelphia. During the interval De Barth was the administrator of the diocese. Finally Henry conwell (1748–1842), vicar-general of Armagh, Ireland, was nominated. Having been consecrated in London by Bishop Poynter on Sept. 24, 1820, he arrived in Philadelphia on November 25.
Conwell. The most urgent problem awaiting him was the case of William hogan, a priest from Albany, N.Y., whom the administrator had admitted into the diocese without proper credentials, and who preached a sermon against Conwell in the bishop's presence within a week after he took possession of the see. At length a schism began that is known as Hoganism. At Conwell's invitation, William Harold returned to Philadelphia in November 1821 and allied himself with Father Ryan (former rector of the College of Corpo Santo in Lisbon, Portugal) in defense of Conwell against Hogan and his followers. Defeated and disgraced, Hogan left Philadelphia in August 1824, but the trustees of St. Mary's continued to fight against their bishop. Finally, on Oct. 9, 1826, Conwell signed the notorious pact with the trustees giving them the right to veto his appointment of their pastors. This pact was rejected by the Congregation of the Propaganda and the rejection was approved by Pope Leo XII on May 6, 1827. Further trouble ensued when Harold, who had been appointed pastor of St. Mary's and vicar-general, was suspended by Conwell on April 3, 1827. There were appeals to Rome and to the U.S. government. Finally, the aged Conwell was summoned to Rome; Harold and Ryan were transferred from the diocese, and the Holy See named Francis Patrick kenrick (1796–1863) coadjutor with right of succession. Conwell returned unexpectedly to the U.S. and gave many anxious moments to Kenrick and to the Holy See until his death in 1842 at the age of 94.
Kenrick. On June 6, 1830, Kenrick was consecrated in the Cathedral of St. Joseph at Bardstown, Ky. He arrived in Philadelphia that July 7, but it was not until August of 1831 that Pope Gregory XVI approved the brief that entrusted all ecclesiastical jurisdiction to Kenrick alone. The trustee problem at St. Mary's continued until Kenrick closed the church and the cemetery on April 16, 1831. The greatest problem confronting him was the lack of priests, so in June 1832 he opened the diocesan seminary of St. Charles Borromeo, which obtained a state charter six years later. During the first three years of his administration, he doubled the number of the churches. St. John the Evangelist, built by Father (later Bishop) John Hughes before he was transferred to New York (1838), was dedicated April 8, 1832 (it became the cathedral in 1838). Next, St. John the Baptist, Manayunk, was dedicated with Father Thomas Gegan as first pastor; and on April 8, 1833, the cornerstone of St. Michael's in Kensington was laid, with Father Terence J. Donoghue as founding pastor. By 1832 the diocese numbered 100,000 Catholics, 38 priests, and 50 churches.
When the cholera epidemic devastated Philadelphia in 1832, the Sisters of Charity at St. Joseph's and St. John's Orphan Asylums gave heroic nursing service to the victims. Michael hurley, OSA (d. 1837), pastor of St. Augustine's, turned his school and convent into a hospital where 367 patients were treated. In the following year the city council passed a formal resolution of gratitude and gave a purse to the Sisters of Charity. Parochial expansion characterized these years; St. Francis Xavier parish was founded for the Fairmount district and St. Patrick's for the Schuylkill suburb (1839). The following year St. Philip Neri's parish was established in the South-wark district, with Father John P. Dunn as pastor. In 1842 the Redemptorist Fathers were given the new parish of St. Peter's which was built for the Germans in Kensington. In 1843 St. Paul's was founded in the Moyamensing section and St. Stephen's parish in Nicetown near a spot where the early missionaries had celebrated the first Masses in Philadelphia.
When the western portion of Pennsylvania became the Diocese of Pittsburgh (1843), Philadelphia was left with 58 churches, seven missions, 43 priests, and a Catholic population of 100,000. Despite the bitter nativism of these years, which erupted in the 1844 riots in Philadelphia and the burning of two churches, Kenrick continued to direct the steady progress of his diocese. On Nov. 16, 1848, St. Anne's, founded in Port Richmond, was dedicated by Father Francis X. Gartland, later Bishop of Savannah, Ga. On Sept. 28, 1845, Bishop de la Hailandière of Vincennes, Ind., laid the cornerstone for St. Joachim's church in the Frankford district. On June 29, 1846, Bishop Kenrick issued a pastoral letter announcing his determination to build a cathedral. It was to be modeled after San Carlo al Corso in Rome with Napoleon Lebrun as its architect. Other foundations included the Church of the Assumption (1848) with Charles I. H. Carter, a convert and later vicar-general of the diocese, as pastor; St. Dominic's (1849) in the far north suburb of Holmesburg; the parish of St. James (1850) in West Philadelphia; and St. Malachy's church, the cornerstone of which was blessed on May 25, 1850. Before its completion Kenrick transferred to the Metropolitan See of Baltimore. The suburb of Germantown received its parish when St. Vincent de Paul's was founded on July 13, 1851, and placed under the care of the Vincentian Fathers, who conducted the seminary. The first pastor was Father Michael Domenec, later Bishop of Pittsburgh.
Kenrick also opened the first Catholic hospital in Philadelphia, St. Joseph's, staffed by the Sisters of St. Joseph, in June 1849. Educational facilities were expanded with the arrival in March 1846 of the Sacred Heart nuns to conduct a private school for girls, and of the Sisters of St. Joseph, who came the following year. In 1850 the Christian Brothers arrived to teach the boys in the Assumption parochial school. Two colleges for men were established also: Villanova (Augustinians) in 1842 and St. Joseph's (Jesuits) in 1851. When Kenrick left in 1851 to assume his new duties as archbishop of Baltimore, Philadelphia had 92 churches, eight chapels, 101 priests, 43 seminarians, two colleges, six academies for girls, seven charitable institutions, and 170,000 Catholics.
Neumann. John Nepomucene neumann, the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, was consecrated on March 28, 1852. He had immigrated to the U.S. from Bohemia in 1836, was ordained for the Diocese of New York, June 25, 1836, and was the first Redemptorist to be professed in America (1842). During his episcopate, Neumann constantly pressed for parochial schools. He was unsuccessful in his relations with the trustees of Holy Trinity, but he undermined their influence when he established the parish of St. Alphonsus (1852) for German-speaking Catholics. In the same year he established St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church, the first parish for Italian-speaking Catholics. He also introduced the forty hours devotion in the diocese at St. Philip Neri's Church.
In 1853 the New Jersey section of the diocese was taken to form part of the Diocese of Newark, leaving Philadelphia with 121 churches, 32 missions, 119 priests, and 175,000 Catholics. On April 26, 1857, Neumann received as coadjutor with right of succession, James Frederick Wood, to whom was committed the work of completing the cathedral. He succeeded to the see upon Neumann's death on Jan. 5, 1860. The latter's cause was introduced in Rome in 1897 and on Oct. 13, 1963, Pope Paul VI beatified him. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI on June 19, 1977; his feast day is January 5.
Wood. The fifth bishop had been baptized a Unitarian but was received into the Catholic Church in 1838 and the next year was sent to Rome to study at the Propaganda College. He was ordained in Rome on March 25, 1844, and returned to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he served as curate at the cathedral and pastor of St. Patrick's Church until his consecration on April 26, 1857. His thorough knowledge of the financial world was one of the reasons for his appointment to Philadelphia. In the first year of his administration, Wood established the parishes of the Annunciation in South Philadelphia and All Saints, Bridesburg. His cathedral was nearing completion, but because of the Civil War, he did not have the happiness of singing the first Mass there until Nov. 20, 1864. On Dec. 8, 1865, he announced the purchase of 100 acres at Overbrook (called by some, "Wood's Folly") as the site for a seminary. By 1871 this seminary had 128 students.
During a visit to Rome in 1867, he petitioned the erection of two dioceses. On March 3, 1868, the new Dioceses of Harrisburg, Scranton, and Wilmington were founded, leaving Philadelphia with 93 churches; 67 missions; 157 priests; 42 parochial schools; 491 sisters; and a Catholic population of 200,000. Wood was prominent at the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore and attended also Vatican Council I (1869–70), but ill health forced an early return from Rome. He was unanimously appointed treasurer of the episcopal board of the new North American College in Rome. On Oct. 15, 1873, he solemnly consecrated the diocese to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Archdiocese. In 1875 Philadelphia became the metropolitan see for the state of Pennsylvania with Wood as archbishop. Although in poor health, he went to Rome in 1877 for the golden jubilee of Pius IX's episcopate. On May 23, 1880, he presided over the first provincial council of Philadelphia. When he died, he left 127 churches, 53 chapels, and 58 parochial schools.
Ryan. The see was vacant for one year until Rome appointed St. Louis's coadjutor, Bp. Patrick J. ryan, second Archbishop of Philadelphia. Ryan, often referred to as the "Bossuet of the American Church" and perhaps the outstanding pulpit orator of his day, took formal possession of Philadelphia on Aug. 20, 1884. Under his care the archdiocese was provided with such charitable institutions as St. Joseph's Protectory for Girls, Norristown; St. Vincent's Home and Hospital, Philadelphia; St. Francis Vocational School, Eddington; and the Philadelphia Protectory for Boys, near Phoenixville. In 1890 Cahill High School for Boys (later called Roman Catholic High School), Philadelphia, was opened as the first free central Catholic high school in the U.S. In 1908 Ryan announced that a free central high school for girls (later called the John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School) was opened, but he died before its completion in September 1912. A leading figure in the development of Philadelphia's Catholic school system was the diocesan superintendent of schools, Philip McDevitt, later Bishop of Harrisburg.
Ryan took paternal interest in the founding of the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, whose foundress, Mother Katherine drexel, dedicated her life and her fortune to the salvation of African Americans and Native Americans. At his death on Feb. 11, 1911, he was suceeded by Edmond Francis prendergast who had been consecrated auxiliary bishop to Ryan on Feb. 24, 1897.
Prendergast. The third archbishop directed the building of many new institutions: Misericordia Hospital, the Chapel of Divine Love, the Archbishop Ryan Memorial Institute for the Deaf, St. Edmond's Home for Crippled Children, the West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys, and the Archbishop Ryan Memorial Library at the seminary. He also renovated the cathedral. He died in Philadelphia on Feb. 26, 1918, and was succeeded by Bp. Dennis dougherty of Buffalo, N.Y., the first native son to be appointed the archbishop of Philadelphia.
Dougherty. The new archbishop was enthroned by Cardinal James Gibbons on July 10, 1918. During his 33-year administration 112 parishes, 145 parochial schools, 53 Catholic high schools, four Catholic colleges, 12 hospitals, and 11 homes for the aged were established. He consecrated 15 bishops and ordained over 2,000 priests. On March 7, 1921, Pope Benedict XV made him a cardinal priest. He died at his residence on the 61st anniversary of his ordination and was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul. At that time the archdiocese had 1,896 priests (1,224 diocesan), 401 parishes, nine chapels, 62 missions, 6,825 sisters, seven colleges, 35 parochial and diocesan high schools, 21 private high schools, 330 parochial elementary schools, 20 private elementary schools, and 1,114,122 Catholics.
O'Hara. On Nov. 28, 1951, John F. o'hara, former Bishop of Buffalo, was appointed the ninth ordinary of Philadelphia and was solemnly installed on Jan. 9, 1952. Although he was never in good health, O'Hara's episcopate in Philadelphia was most active and vigorous. Embarking on a bold and imaginative program to expand education facilities, he created 30 parishes, opened 55 new parish schools, and improved about 300 others. Fourteen new high schools were built, including Cardinal Dougherty High School with a capacity of 6,000 students. He was actively interested also in the education of the mentally retarded. He continued the unique system of financing Catholic education in the archdiocese, under which the pastors of the students, not the students, are responsible for their tuition. On Nov. 16, 1958, he was named cardinal priest by Pope John XXIII. Two years later on August 28, he died in his see city; his remains were interred in Sacred Heart Church at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Ind. After his death the archdiocese was further divided when the Diocese of Allentown was established Jan. 28, 1961, with Joseph McShea, former auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia and administrator of the archdiocese, as first bishop. The counties of Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery were left to Philadelphia.
Krol. On Feb. 11, 1961, John Joseph krol (b. Oct. 26, 1910), former auxiliary bishop of Cleveland, was nominated archbishop of Philadelphia and installed on March 22. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Krol was ordained on Feb. 20, 1937, and served as chancellor of the Cleveland diocese. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Cleveland and vicar-general on July 11, 1953, and consecrated September 2.
In the wake of Vatican II, Philadelphia itself was caught up in the dramatic changes in church life, as well as the societal changes of America itself. If the city escaped some of the unrest which sprung from the Civil Rights Movement, it was in no small measure attributable to the success the newly created Archbishop's Commission on Human Relations, which helped bring the different factions together.
A first English-language Mass was celebrated Nov. 29, 1964; new rituals, increased roles for the laity and the reinstitution of the permanent diaconate came in time fashion, however introduction of Saturday evening Mass was delayed until 1983, when it was mandated for the entire American Church. Krol had opposed the change, but on some other issues he was quite open; for example, the Philadelphia archbishop was vocal in his support of disarmament and opposition to nuclear weapons. On June 26, 1967 he was created cardinal, along with another Philadelphian, Francis Brennan, dean of the Holy Roman Rota.
In 1976, the Bicentennial Year, Philadelphia hosted the 41st International Eucharistic Congress. Among the dignitaries who attended the Congress were mother teresa of Calcutta, Dorothy day, Archbishop Fulton J. sheen, Cesar chavez, Dom Heldar camara and President of the United States Gerald Ford. Absent for reasons of health was Pope Paul VI, but almost unnoticed among the host of prelates attending was the future Pope john paul ii, Poland's Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who had received his red hat with Krol and who had become a fast friend.
In 1977 Philadelphians traveled to Rome for the canonization of their fourth bishop, John Neumann, as America's first male saint. The cause had begun under Cardinal Dougherty, then languished until it was given new life by Krol, with beatification in 1963. Under his administration too, the cause for Mother Katharine Drexel was also begun and seen through the critical early stages.
After the death of Paul VI and the brief pontificate of John Paul I, Krol was able to participate in the 1978 election of Cardinal Wojtyła as John Paul II. The new pope visited Philadelphia as part of an American tour the following October, and his Mass on Logan Square facing the cathedral attracted more than a million people of all faiths. On Dec. 8, 1987, Cardinal Krol, then 77 and in poor health, announced his retirement.
Bevilacqua. On Feb. 11, 1988, Anthony J. Bevilacqua (born June 17, 1923), was installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Ordained a priest for the Brooklyn Diocese June 11, 1949 and possessing degrees in both canon and civil law, he was ordained as an auxiliary bishop for Brooklyn on July 24, 1980 and was named 10th Bishop of Pittsburgh on Oct. 7, 1983, before his appointment to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
As Archbishop of Philadelphia one of his first priorities was a reorganization of the archdiocesan administration to a system of regional vicariates overseeing the parishes and secretariats to administer the diocesan offices. This established a chain of command which freed the archbishop from much of the administrative detail, affording more time for pastoral care. An early pleasant duty for Bevilacqua was that of leading a pilgrimage to Rome for the Nov. 20, 1988 beatification of Mother Katharine Drexel (1858-1955), the Philadelphia born heiress who had renounced her wealth to found the Sisters of the blessed sacrament, a congregation devoted to the envangelization and care of Native Americans and African-Americans.
A major challenge in Philadelphia—as elsewhere—were problems associated with shifts in Catholic population from the core city to the suburbs, and skyrocketing costs which were driving students away from the archdiocese's vaunted parochial school system. During Bevilacqua's administration, after exhaustive study some under-utilized churches would close or be twinned with another parish, as would schools. In certain cases the closed parishes were replaced by evangelization centers which would be charged with reintroducing the Church to the affected region. The archdiocesan high schools were a special problem; and in 1992 consultants recommended drastic reduction in the number of schools. Through aggressive fund-raising and elimination of restrictive territorial admission policies, most of the schools were saved; tuition increases were reduced to affordable levels and enrollment stabilized. Parishes also underwent self-studies, and were formed into clusters which enabled group cooperation and joint programs.
Bevilacqua, who was elevated to the College of Cardinals on June 28, 1991, fostered the spirituality of his archdiocese through a nine-year renewal leading up to the Jubilee Year 2000. As part of the renewal, a "Bless Me" hotline was inaugurated in 1997 on telephone and Internet, resulting in thousands of inquiries from people who wished to be reconciled with the Church or counseling by a priest. Ecumenism and interfaith relations were also encouraged during the Bevilacqua years with special out-reach to Philadelphia's Jewish community. Seminary formation was also enhanced in 1991 through the addition of a separate "Spirituality Year" away from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pa., which was acquired from the Vincentians for this purpose. A shortage of Spanish-speaking clergy was partly addressed in 1999 through the adoption of a parish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico where Philadelphia priests and seminarians could become accustomed to the special needs of Hispanic Catholics, and in that same year a Spanish-language radio program was launched by the archdiocese. With the Oct. 1, 2000 canonization of Mother Katharine Drexel, Philadelphia had the unusual distinction, at least at the time, of being the only diocese in the United States with two canonized saints. Her Feast day is March 3.
Bibliography: d. mahoney, Historical Sketches of the Catholic Churches and Institutions of Philadelphia (Philadelphia 1895). j. l. j. kirlin, Catholicity in Philadelphia (Philadelphia 1909). h. j. nolan, The Most Reverend Francis Patrick Kenrick (CUA Studies of American Church History 37; Washington 1948). g. e. o'donnell, Saint Charles Seminary, Overbrook, 2 v. (Philadelphia 1943–53). American Catholic Historical Researches (Overbrook, Pa. 1885–). Archives, Archdiocese of Philadelphia. t. j. donaghy, Philadelphia's Finest: A History of Education in the Catholic Archdiocese, 1692–1970 (Philadelphia 1972). j.f. connelly, The History of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Philadelphia 1976).
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