All Sunday and Daily Masses are now being live streamed on our Facebook page
Stay Healthy & Get Your FREE** Flu Shot!
Help keep our St. Alphonsus Community Safe and Healthy
CVS-sponsored Flu Clinic hosted by St. Alphonsus
Saturday, October 3rd
10am – 3pm
Location: St. Alphonsus Gym
- Vaccinating ages 3 and older (legal guardian must accompany minor)
- Offering the same vaccine available at your doctor’s office:
- Quadrivalent (protects against 4 strains of the flu)
- High Dose (age 65 and older)
- Pneumonia vaccination will also be available for patients with asthma, diabetes, or over age of 65 who has not yet started the series
- No appointment needed but sign-up is highly preferred to limit wait times and aid in social distancing (Link to sign-up below)
- ** Copays covered 100% by participating insurance plans (Aetna, IBC, Cigna, United Healthcare, Medicare B, Medicare Advantage, Keystone First, Federal Employees Program, Medco Express Scripts, and more…)
- IMPORTANT: Please bring BOTH your medical and prescription insurance cards to the event
- All vaccines administered by CVS licensed pharmacists
- Help keep yourself, your family, and your community healthy! Remember,
- Seasonal flu typically runs from October through May and will be cocirculating with the coronavirus
- Infected people shed the virus BEFORE showing any symptoms
- It takes 2 weeks after receiving the flu shot to build your immunity
- Demand for the vaccine will be much higher this fall causing restrictions on availability in doctors’ offices and longer wait times in pharmacies
To sign up for appointments, complete necessary documents, and receive email reminders about the vaccine clinic go to: https://www.cvs.com/vaccine/intake/clinic/vaccine-select?clinicID=E31FAB23B6655E333295AE5576A09EEC
For any questions for the pharmacy team, contact CVS Pharmacy in Dresher at (215) 628-2712.
Motivational Monday – Special Summer Edition
Join us each Monday as we discover meaningful ways we can be inspired by Sunday’s Gospel and enrich our faith at home! Each week you will find activity-based prayers that lead us to further reflection, organized by ages Pre-K-grade 4, grade 5-8, high school, and parents.
Tuesday Movie Recommendations 6-2-2020
Family movies that you can view on your streaming devices.
AFF Wednesday 9-30-2020
Suggestions from websites like FORMED, Word on Fire, and Dynamic Catholic to help your faith grow.
Thursday’s Music 4-23-2020
Thursday night candlelight reflection by Deacon JT.
This weekend is Mission Co-Op Weekend
A representative from the DeLaSalle Christain Brothers will be speaking after all Masses.
Each of us are all called by our Baptism to be Missionary. The Brothers of the Christain Schools also know the DeLaSalle Christain Brothers who bring the Good News of Jesus through quality Catholic education to every corner of the world. Sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies, The Societies support these Churches until they are self-sufficient. Please pray for the work of The Christain Brothers and your generosity is greatly appreciated.
2021 Mass Book
The 2021 Mass Book will open Monday, September 14th. Masses may be requested by calling the Parish Office during regular business hours. At this time, it is not possible to accept in-person requests, as all office business is being handled by phone due to the pandemic. Given the increased number of requests for Announced Masses, we ask that you please limit the number of requested Masses to five. Unannounced Masses are also available and have no limit. These Masses are sent to The Pontifical Mission Societies, who send the intention to a missionary priest who then offers the Mass for your intentions.
Parish Office Hours
The Parish Office will be opened Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. Please call ahead before arriving at the office so that we may have any paperwork, Mass cards, or other information available for you upon your arrival. As all business will be drop off and pick up only.
Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary
August 6-14, 2020
Archbishop Nelson J. Perez invites the clergy and faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to join in a novena in preparation for the Solemnity of the Assumption on August 15. The special intention of this novena is for an end to the coronavirus pandemic. The novena is posted to the Arise website: archphila.org/arise
May 22, 2020
All Parishes Invited to Virtually Participate in the Annual Ringing of the Liberty Bell on Saturday, July 4th at 2:00 p.m.
On Saturday, July 4th, Independence National Historical Park (INHP) will host the annual symbolic ringing of the Liberty Bell virtually. Beginning at 2:00 p.m., the time designated by the 1963 Joint Resolution 25 of U.S. Congress, several descendants of the signers of the Declaration of Independence will tap the Bell 13 times.
Descendants include William Douglas Banks II, Joseph Edward Aubrey Banks, and Zechariah Williams – three children of the Rev. W. Douglas Banks who is the 5th generation grandson of Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
INHP Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod will host at the ceremony, which was initiated by the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of Revolution. Society President Ben Ramsay Wolf, Sr. will officiate in this brief, safe-distance commemoration.
The program will be live-streamed globally, with simultaneous bell-ringing participation by United States naval ships around the world as well as churches, historic buildings, and institutions across the country who have bells to toll.
All parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are encourage to participate in the ceremony by tolling church bells 13 times at precisely 2:00 p.m.
Additionally, faithful throughout the five-county Archdiocese are invited to participate by ringing their own bell, or tapping a glass, a pot, or a pan at home – as the Bell is a symbol of religious freedom as evidence by the quote from the Bible inscribed on the Bell, “Proclaim Liberty Throughout the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.”
Please consider sharing this material broadly in your parish community in the manner that you deem most appropriate. Thank you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Msgr. Daniel J. Sullivan
Vicar for Clergy
May 6, 2020
This week we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to honor and thank all of our teachers throughout the nation for the vital role they play in the lives of our children and families. Here at Saint Alphonsus, this is an important time for us as a community, because we are especially blessed by the incredible dedication of our OLM teachers and our PREP catechists. I ask you to join me in offering a prayer of thanksgiving for all they do and for the many sacrifices they make to form our children, especially in our Catholic faith. Thank you, teachers and catechists! May you always know how much you are appreciated and loved for all you do.
This year, though, is a unique Teacher Appreciation Week due to the pandemic. Teachers have responded in extraordinary ways and with great creativity to help our children continue to learn and maintain some sense of normalcy and community. But the pandemic has also brought to the fore a new group of people that have to be celebrated this week, and that is our parents. In the midst of the many challenges and uncertainties they face, and while doing their own work from home and adjusting to the many pressures of this moment, they too have become teachers. With all the responsibilities of day, they are working with our teachers and catechists to ensure their children continue to learn. I am especially conscious of our PREP parents, who in addition to regular school work, are tasked with helping our PREP students to continue their religious education. Thank you, parents, for you all you are doing and for your patience as we work this extraordinary time.
As we pray daily for an end to this pandemic and for all those on the front lines fighting for us, let us not forget to pray for our teachers, catechists and parents. They are very much a part of this battle as they help our children to study, pray and, equally important, to play and to simply be kids. Know we stand with you and support you, and may God bless you in every way!
Stay safe and healthy, and let us pray for one another, as we say together, Saint Alphonsus, pray for us!
Sincerely in Christ,
May 2, 2020
Today we were to celebrate First Holy Communion for our parish children. Since we cannot gather for this celebration, let us pray in a special way today for our First Communion Class. May Jesus bless them and grant them soon the grace of receiving him in the Holy Eucharist!
April 29, 2020
For centuries, the Church has honored Mary during the month of May. As we celebrate and enjoy the arrival of new life in nature around us, we are reminded that through Mary our heavenly Father has given us new life in his Son, Jesus Christ. This spring, I think we are all especially attuned to the preciousness and fragility of life, and our need to care for this gift both bodily and spiritually. In honoring Mary, we celebrate God’s gift of our own creation and redemption and we renew our love for our Mother Mary, who was entrusted to us by Jesus himself on the Cross.
So that we may embrace this opportunity to grow in our devotion to Mary and to deepen our awareness for the gift of earthly and heavenly life given to us by our Father, may I suggest the following ways we can celebrate the month of May:
- Join Archbishop José Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB),and Catholics throughout the United States to pray together in renewing our consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday, May 1st. This consecration will be livestreamed on Facebook at 3:00 pm EST. You may go to our Facebook page for the link to this service, or directly to the USCCB Facebook page. The worship aid can be found in both English and Spanish at www.usccb.org/consecration.
- Pray the rosary daily as a family or individually, especially as we ask the intercession of the Blessed Mother for an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pope Francis has written a Letter to all the faithful encouraging us to pray the rosary, and he has written two new prayers which he asks to be recited at the conclusion of the rosary. This is a wonderful way for us to pray together with the Holy Father and Christians throughout the world for the health and safety of all people. I will post His Holiness’s Letter to our website and social media.
- Though I encourage you to pray the rosary every day, I would like for us to be able to pray together as a parish one day a week, and so I invite you to join me on a Zoom video conference on every Thursday in May at 6:30 pm (May 7, 14, 21 & 28). The Deacons and I will lead the prayer and will invite different parishioners to share in leading the decades of the rosary. You will be able to join by video or just audio, whichever you prefer. If you wish to participate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the link to join me for our May weekly parish rosary.
Let us continue to pray for one another and especially those most affected by this pandemic.
May the Lord keep us safe, increase our trust in his will, and make us ever-more conscious of caring for one another. Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us! Saint Alphonsus, pray for us!
Sincerely in Christ,
April 28, 2020
Catholic Social Services — Urgent Need
As you know, Catholic Social Services has been hit extremely hard by COVID19. Staff and residents have been infected- even some deaths. Supplies are limited, but they continue to serve the underserved as best as possible.
Below are some ideas if anyone wants to help and is in a position to do so.
Catholic Social Services is in desperate need of Uber/Lyft gift cards for essential workers at CSS service sites. Many of these workers rely on public transportation for work. Because Septa is on a limited schedule, and concerns exist regarding risk factors to the riders, the workers must use Lyft/Uber to go to their employment to care for the underserved. Gift cards in denominations of $20, $25, $50 are much appreciated. Please share this with your staff, parents, and broader community. Lyft/Uber Ggift card donations may be sent directly to the site of your choice on the attached document.
Consider brightening the day for the staff at a CSS homeless shelter, family center, home for those who are physically or intellectually challenged by sending a meal via an Uber Eat /GrubHub gift card. See sites attached.
Are you looking for a meaningful project for your families? Please consider assembling “to go” lunch bags for CSS food distribution sites such as St. John Hospice. They are in need of “to-go meal bags” – would normally be a P&J or bologna and cheese sandwich, a granola or nut bar, a fruit cup or applesauce, and a drink. Their need is outstripping supply almost daily. If interested contact Dave Stier email@example.com at St. Johns Hospice to discuss delivery.
Catholic Social Services Housing Programs
1) St John’s Hospice/ Good Shepherd Program
1221 Race Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19107
Attn: Mr. David Stier
– Residence and day services for men experiencing homelessness
2) St. Mary’s Residence
247 South 5th Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19106
Attn: Ms. Kathy Nelson
– Housing for low income older adult women
3) McCauley House
1800 Morris Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19147
Attn: Maria Cedeno
– Housing for medically fragile women experiencing homelessness
4) Mercy Hospice
334 South 13th Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19107
Attn: Ms. Renee Hudson-Small
– Recovery house for women and mothers with children
5) Visitation Homes
2638 Kensington Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa 19125
Attn: Ms. Katherine Baumgardner
– Transitional housing program for families
6) Women of Hope Lombard
1210 Lombard Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19147
Attn: Ms. Roe Chetalo
– Safe Haven for young women experiencing homelessness
7) Women of Hope Vine
251 North Lawrence Street
Philadelphia, Pa 19106
Attn: Ms. Kathryn Girasole
– Residence for women experiencing mental health issues and homelessness
April 24, 2020
To say that this has been an extraordinary time would be an understatement. We have all had to make so many adjustments in how we live, work, study and pray. What has been especially difficult –- I know it has been for me –- is the uncertainty of when we can begin to move towards a sense of normality in our lives. Of course, I am using the word “normal” very loosely here. And yet, from our national, state and local governments to our places of business and education, to our homes and parish, we all are anticipating the months ahead and preparing ourselves in various ways for familiar patterns of living to return.
Here in our parish, one of those patterns is the hopeful return to a normal schedule for our Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) and for Our Lady of Mercy Regional Catholic School. For the coming academic year, 2020-2021, we have especially been looking forward to our new Saint Alphonsus Pre-K 4 program, which we are excited to begin in collaboration with OLM. One essential part of our preparations for our new Pre-K is the hiring of our first teacher, who will be instrumental in founding our program.
I am pleased to share with you that Mrs. Colleen Pohle, a long-time parishioner of Saint Alphonsus Parish and an OLM parent, has been chosen for this vital role. Mrs. Pohle has been teaching since 2003 and has extensive and varied experience in both parochial and public schools. I know that she will bring a wealth of talent, dedication and faith to the classroom as she helps our young children to grow in knowledge and faith. I ask you to join me in welcoming Mrs. Pohle to this position and in praying for her and all our future Pre-K students.
Know as always of my prayers for all of you, as I ask a continued remembrance in yours. Let us entrust each day to God’s mercy and love, and let us keep invoking the intercession of our heavenly patron, Saint Alphonsus!
Sincerely in Christ,
April 2, 2020
Palm Sunday, April 5
I hope this message finds you healthy and peaceful. I know with each new day we continue to learn how serious the challenges are before us. Our celebration of Holy Week, therefore, takes on an even greater meaning, as we reflect on the most important mysteries of our faith – the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. May these days be holy not only because of what God has accomplished through them, but also by how we observe them at home. May our celebrations reflect and deepen our trust in God and renew our hope in Christ’s victory over sin and death.
The following is our online Holy Week schedule for Masses and the Good Friday Service, to be available on our website (www.stalphonsusparish.org) and on Facebook and Twitter:
• Palm Sunday – 11:00 am
• Holy Thursday – 7:00 pm
• Good Friday – 3:00 pm
• Easter Sunday – 11:00 am
While I will be celebrating the Easter Vigil Mass, due to the late hour and our limitations with technology, it is not possible for us to post the video of our Mass in a timely fashion. I would encourage you to participate in the Archbishop’s Easter Vigil Mass to be live streamed at 8:00 pm, April 11th. We will post the link to his Mass on our website and social media.
Given the present restrictions and for the good of all involved, palm will not be distributed on Palm Sunday. It will, however, be held for possible distribution at a later date. I appreciate your understanding.
I read an interesting idea on the internet the other day, however, which I offer as a suggestion for each of us. Since we cannot be together in person to begin Holy Week on Psalm Sunday, each family is encouraged to place any branch with leaves on the front door as a witness to our faith in Jesus and as a sign of our hope.
Know of my constant prayers for you and your families and thank you for your prayers for me. In these days I have experienced so strongly the power of faith and the solidarity that is ours as members of the Body of Christ. There is much light amidst the darkness!
Sincerely in Christ,
March 29 – Message from Msgr. Hennessy
March 28, 2020
I hope you had an opportunity to follow our Holy Father’s moment of prayer and Urbi et Orbi Blessing yesterday. In case you weren’t able to participate, the following is Pope Francis’s text and the video of his prayer and blessing. May we remain united in praying for all the world, that the Lord may deliver us from this moment!
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Monsignor Brian P. Hennessy, Pastor
March 27, 2020
Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez Announces The Launch Of “The Power Of Faith And Hope In A Time Of Uncertainty: A Virtual Lenten Retreat”
The six-day online retreat program is part of the ongoing pastoral and temporal response of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to the COVID-19 pandemic and offers a means for the faithful to prepare spiritually for the approach of Holy Week.
“Our Lenten journey has taken an unexpected turn with the worldwide outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In an effort to impede the spread of the virus and to protect those most vulnerable among us, all of us have changed the way that we live. Life as we understand it has temporarily changed, but this too shall pass. We are people whose hearts are grounded in our faith and in our hope, that is the strength that helps us during this time of uncertainty.
Though we are living out concepts such as isolation, quarantine, and social distancing – as believers and followers of Christ we know we are never truly alone and that He is always by our side. It has been a painful, confusing, trying time for all of us, but in Christ and His triumph over the cross there is hope. Until we can safely be together again physically, we can pray together in spirit.
I am overjoyed to announce a new Lenten initiative, “The Power of Faith and Hope in a Time of Uncertainty: A Virtual Lenten Retreat.” Beginning Monday, March 30th I will share a video each night at 7:00 p.m. via my Facebook page. The series will extend to Palm Sunday and will include dynamic presenters from across our Archdiocese who will bring Catholic Families closer to Christ through scripture, reflection, and prayer. Six of the videos will be in English and American Sign Language and one will be in Spanish.
Please consider participating in this upcoming Lenten Video Retreat. Give this gift of hope to yourself. Christ is hope and through Him we’re a people of hope. I’m praying for you during this time of uncertainty.”
+Nelson J. Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia
March 26, 2020
Faithful From The Archdiocese Of Philadelphia Join Pope Francis’ Live Stream Prayer Service And Receive Extraordinary Urbi Et Orbi Blessing On Friday, March 27
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Pope Francis invites Catholics around the world to participate remotely in a prayer service that will be streamed live from Saint Peters Square to https://www.vaticannews.va/en.html on Friday, March 27th.
Pope Francis will give the extraordinary Urbi et Orbi Blessing with the opportunity for participants to receive a plenary indulgence. The Urbi et Orbi, meaning “to the City and the World,” is a blessing usually delivered by the Holy Father at Christmas and Easter.
Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez encourages faithful throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to join the Holy Father spiritually at 1:00 p.m., and to continue praying for sick, suffering, and their caregivers as well as government and health officials in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 25, 2020
Equal Access to Federal Relief Funds
I am writing with a time-sensitive request for assistance. Under the CARES Act, the United States Senate is currently considering an expansive Federal relief package to assist individuals and institutions in need, including K-12 schools, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Currently there is language in the legislation that allows non-public schools to benefit from the relief package. However, some legislators are seeking to disqualify private schools from eligibility. It’s critical for schools like ours to have equal access to Federal funds so I am asking you to take a moment to contact your United States senators and urge them to make sure private schools remain included in this important legislation.
The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) is providing a simple and efficient way to contact your elected officials online. By clicking the link below you can reach out to their offices and voice your support for Federal relief funding for private schools in less time than it took to read this email.
Please join with me to ensure equal access to Federal relief funds for the benefit of our young people and please consider sharing this request as broadly as possible. Thank you.
Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
March 25, 2020
Do Not Reply to Fraudulent Email Requests
We have been notified of fraudulent claims seeking parishioners’ financial support. I want to confirm that the only valid way to contribute online to Saint Alphonsus Parish is through “Parish Giving” — (the link is also at the top of our parish website). Of course, you may also send any contributions directly to the rectory.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Monsignor Brian P. Hennessy, Pastor
March 24, 2020
Pray the Lord’s Prayer with the Holy Father Tomorrow
Let us join with the Holy Father and all the world in praying the Lord’s Prayer together at 7:00 am EST tomorrow, March 25th, for an end to the coronavirus pandemic and for all those immediately suffering its effects. Let us also join His Holiness for his extraordinary Urbi et Orbi (“To the City and to the World”) Blessing, to be given on Friday, March 27th at 1:00 pm EST.
March 22, 2020
Act of Spiritual Communion
Dear parishioners, though you are not able to receive our Lord Jesus in Holy Communion today, I encourage you to participate in Mass online and to make an act of Spiritual Communion. The following prayer is by our own Saint Alphonsus. May we remain united in prayer for an end to the pandemic and for the health and peace of all! in Christ, Monsignor Hennessy
ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION (St. Alphonsus Ligouri)
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
March 19, 2020
Feast of St. Joseph
On this Feast of Saint Joseph, His Holiness Pope Francis has invited all Catholics throughout the world to join in praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary at 4:00 pm EST. May we heed his call and unite in praying for ourselves, our nation and all the world.
Protect, O Holy Guardian, this our nation.
Enlighten those responsible for the common good, so that they might know — like you do — how to care for those entrusted to their responsibility.
Grant intelligence of knowledge to those seeking adequate means for the health and physical well-being of their brothers and sisters.
Sustain those who are spending themselves for those in need, even at the cost of their own safety: volunteers, nurses, doctors who are on the front lines in curing the sick.
Bless, O St Joseph, the Church: beginning with her ministers, make her the sign and instrument of your light and your goodness.
Accompany, O St Joseph, our families: with your prayerful silence, create harmony between parents and their children, in a special way with the youngest.
Preserve the elderly from loneliness: grant that no one might be left in desperation from abandonment and discouragement.
Comfort those who are the most frail, encourage those who falter, intercede for the poor.
With the Virgin Mother, beg the Lord to liberate the world from every form of pandemic.
March 17, 2020
- Our church will remain open daily for prayer Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday. Interior doors will be left open to limit the need to touch surfaces. I only ask that you respect the need for personal space and distance.
- Though public Mass will not be celebrated, I encourage you to participate in Mass via TV and the internet:
- Saint Alphonsus – on our parish website and Facebook page beginning on Sunday, March 22nd, Sunday Masses will be available for viewing at 10:00 am, and Weekday Masses, Tuesday through Saturday, at 10:00 am.
- Archbishop Pérez’s Sunday Mass at 11:00 am Mass can be viewed on the archdiocesan website and Facebook page.
- EWTN on cable television offers daily and Sunday Masses, as well as other devotions and religious programs.
- Confessions will still be heard Wednesdays from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:30 am to 10:30 am and from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Due to the need to practice reasonable social distancing, I will use the chapel as the confessional, so entrance into the chapel will be only by way of the church in order to ensure privacy.
- Stations of the Cross will be available on our parish website for you to pray at any time. I invite all of us to pray the Stations on Friday evenings at 6:30 pm so that we can united in our prayer even if we are not together in church.
- Though it is not possible to make Communion Calls during this time, in the event of an emergency I am available for the Anointing of the Sick in danger of death. Please call the rectory (215-646-4600) and select the emergency line. Funerals will also be celebrated at this time, with due regard for the limitations of persons able to attend.
- I am also available for any reason if you just need to talk or touch base, by calling the rectory line or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Please continue to visit our parish website and social media for updates. If you would like to receive updates via text or email, you will shortly be able to sign up for these updates on our website. Also, I would ask you to please share this message freely with others on your own social media and by email.
March 14, 2020
March 13, 2020
STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP NELSON J. PÉREZ REGARDING THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Over the last several weeks, the potential spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has dramatically impacted our lives and our communities. As the number of cases grow exponentially each day, government and health officials are diligently working to contain the virus.
During this pandemic, we are reminded that life is truly precious and that we all are one family under God. As Christians, we should respond to this pandemic with great faith and prudence.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have developed guidelines to help slow the spread the coronavirus. We should incorporate their strategies into our daily lives in an effort to protect ourselves as well as others, especially those most vulnerable, including the elderly and individuals with compromised immune systems.
God is always by our side, he never abandons us. I invite you to join me in prayerful solidarity during this uncertain time. I remind you to keep your eyes fixed on the outstretched arms of Christ the crucified and Christ the merciful and to encounter others with charity and understanding.
Let us pray for the sick, suffering, and their caregivers as well as government and health officials. With God’s grace and blessing, we will navigate the difficult waters of this challenge as a united human family, for after all is said and done, we are people of Hope!
+Nelson J. Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia
March 13, 2020
STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP NELSON J. PÉREZ REGARDING THE DEATH OF SWAT CORPORAL JAMES O’CONNOR
I was deeply saddened this morning to learn that SWAT Corporal James O’Connor of the Philadelphia Police Department was shot and killed in the line of duty. In the name of the people of the Archdiocese, I extend my condolences to Corporal O’Connor’s family and friends as they mourn this tragic loss. My heartfelt sympathy also goes out to Commissioner Outlaw and the faithful men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department as they cope with the death of a brother in blue. Each day, the members of our law enforcement community put their lives on the line to protect and serve all of us. We owe them a debt of gratitude.
This moment is one of deep mourning for the entire City of Philadelphia and the broader metropolitan region. I have asked the priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese to join me praying for the soul of Corporal O’Connor, for the consolation and peace of his family, and for all those are suffering as a result of his death. May the Lord pour His mercy upon them and hold them in His loving embrace.
+Nelson J. Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia
March 13, 2020
Dear School and PREP Families and Staff
We are writing to provide an update on our communication you received last evening. COVID-19 is an ever-evolving health and safety concern affecting the entire country. At this time, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools, but we must remain informed, vigilant, and proactive to prevent the spread of illness. In every decision concerning our schools and parish religious education program, our guiding principle is to care for the safety and welfare of our students, their families, our employees, and those who visit our school and parish communities. In order to meet our responsibilities to those entrusted to our care and those who collaborate with us each day to provide the gift of Catholic education, we are announcing that ALL high schools, parish and regional elementary schools, schools of special education, PREP programs, and early learning centers in the five-county Archdiocese will close through Friday, March 27, 2020. The previous decision to suspend all extra-curricular and co-curricular activities including retreats, athletic events both on and off school grounds, field trips, and social events planned by elementary, secondary, and special education schools throughout the entire five-county Archdiocese stands. That suspension of activities will last through Friday, March 27th and be re-evaluated pending future developments. The current pandemic presents a rapidly evolving landscape. We will re-examine this timetable on an ongoing basis.
A Special Task Force has been convened to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on Catholic education and develop our ongoing response. Matters are being evaluated on a daily, if not hourly basis. This decision to adopt this course of action was not made lightly. It came only after careful, thought, planning, consideration, and prayer. We will continue to monitor the CDC recommendations as well as directives from governmental agencies and adjust policies accordingly. Please use the link below for additional information. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
In order to provide for the continued education of students, we are shifting from in-person instruction to Flexible Instruction Days. Teachers will provide ongoing assignments, educational support and availability for student questions and interaction through an online learning management system. Students will be completing learning assignments from home. As you know from yesterday’s communication, we have been preparing for an occurrence of this nature and have been working with administrators and faculty members to assist them in developing flexible instruction plans for use. As those plans are unique to each school, additional information will be forthcoming from local school administration. We will provide ongoing support to each school as they enact flexible instruction.
For our elementary schools working with Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (NDS) to provide meals and snacks to students in need at school, please know that NDS is preparing an emergency feeding plan. If your school is open to receiving and serving meals to students while school is closed, please contact their office for more information at 215-895-3470, option 1. The Community Food Program is also increasing deliveries to food cupboards to help support families during this time. Information about these locations will be posted on their Facebook page and other social media outlets.
This moment of national crisis presents a moment for us, as a community of faith, to come together in prayerful solidarity to support one another and lend assistance to the most vulnerable in our midst while doing our best to maintain our daily routines. We know this is difficult time for our school families.
Please know that we walk with you to help navigate the challenges we face in the days and weeks ahead. We are also sharing information from the CDC on Talking with children about Coronavirus Disease 2019: Messages for parents, school staff, and others working with children. We are sharing with you the text of the prayer written by the Holy Father, Pope Francis to the blessed Mother during COVID-19 pandemic.
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.
Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Our primary goal will remain to provide for the health and safety of all those entrusted to our care. The Office of Catholic Education has set up a dedicated point of contact where parents can share their questions and concerns. Messages may be sent to email@example.com. Be assured of our continued prayers for all those affected by this virus.
Sincerely in Christ,
Sister Maureen L. McDermott, IHM, Ph.D.
Superintendent for Secondary Schools
Andrew McLaughlin, Ed.D.
Superintendent for Elementary Schools
Deputy Secretary for Catechetical Formation
March 12, 2020
In response to the rapidly evolving situation due to the novel coronavirus, I wish to share the following with you:
- Archbishop Pérez has dispensed the faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass. Our Mass schedule will remain unchanged, however, and Confessions and Stations of the Cross will still take place as planned. As it requires the presence of the faithful throughout the day, our Wednesday Adoration will be suspended, though the Church will remain open for prayer and visits to the Blessed Sacrament, as it is every day.
- Governor Wolf has ordered that all schools in Montgomery County be closed for at least two weeks beginning Friday, March 13th. As a result, our Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) and Our Lady of Mercy School will be closed until at least that date, effective immediately.
- All other parish activities are suspended, including CYO, RCIA and our parish small faith groups. If you have questions about any events to be held, then please contact me directly. Otherwise, please inform participants that events are postponed or cancelled.
Naturally, further adjustments to what is listed above may be required in the future as new directives are issued by civic and health authorities, as well as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I will communicate any and all changes to you as they arise. If you have any questions, especially regarding upcoming events, then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during what is an extraordinary time. Let us remain united in prayer for all those affected by the coronavirus and for all who are serving our community in healthcare, public service and research. May the Lord grant us strength, healing and peace.
Sincerely in Christ,
Stay Healthy & Get Your FREE** Flu Shot! Help keep our St. Alphonsus Community Safe and Healthy CVS-sponsored Flu Clinic hosted by St. Alphonsus Saturday, October 3rd 10am – 3pm Location: St. Alphonsus Gym Vaccinating ages 3 and older (legal guardian must accompany minor) Offering the same vaccine available at your doctor’s office: Quadrivalent (protects against 4 strains of the flu) High Dose (age 65 and older) Pneumonia vaccination will also be available for patients… Read more
Parishioner Kyle Retallick will be speaking about a wide variety of saints who helped guide and lead the Catholic Church in its first 500 years of existence on Thursday evening, November 21, from 7:00-8:30 in the Meeting Room. Kyle is greatly inspired by the lives of the saints and hopes you will be, too! Feel free to read the Acts of the Apostles prior to this talk for additional background (just a suggestion). Read more
On Wednesday, November 6th from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. in Church, the St. Alphonsus Children’s Choir will begin rehearsing for the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass. All children in grades 3 and above are invited to join our group. For further information, contact Mary Lou Lewcun at 215 654-0129 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Download a Registration Form. Read more