Help Our Capuchin Franciscan Brothers Purchase the St. Joachim Church Building
St. Joachim has a rich legacy and history of service in our community.
As you know, the Capuchin Franciscans of the St. Augustine Province, have bought the former St. Joachim convent to house the Padre Pio Friary.
Father Tom Betz, OFM Cap, Provincial Minister, has made a commitment to staying in Frankford as long as they are able to purchase the Church building. As you know, it currently houses the Padre Pio Prayer Center which is open for worship as well as offering charitable services to those in need in our community. Purchasing it guarantees that the Capuchins have a place of worship for the Postulants and the community as well as solidifying their commitment here in Frankford.
Father Betz is seeking a one-time donation. I know your hearts our big; your bank accounts not so much, but please be as generous as you can. Any monies donated, if the sale of the Church building does not occur, will be returned.
Please mail your check, and do it today. Please don’t put it off. Send your donations to:
Province of St. Augustine
ATT: St. Joachim Fund
220 S. 37th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
Thank you and may God bless you richly for your generosity in Keep(ing) the Faith in Frankford.
O Lord, St. Joachim People Are Grateful and Blessed!
Over the weekend, we learned the process will begin this month to relegate St. Joachim Church and rectory in Frankford to profane use and that will enable it to be put up for sale.
Here we are in July 2020 and if this were a regular year, we would be getting ready for our St. Joachim & St. Ann(e) Annual Feast Day Mass! But we know this is not a regular year!
St. Joachim closed and merged with Holy Innocents in July 2013. We know that Mater Dolorosa closed and merged, too, as did St. Joan of Arc, which has remained as an active Worship Site. Ascension was already a part of Holy Innocents Parish.
My intent is not to bring up the pros and cons of the PPA or to rehash what was an injustice and a wrong for us and for so many of the faithful throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
I want to talk about what was right. St. Joachim is us; we are St. Joachim! We are the Catholic Church of Frankford. We are the Catholic community that stayed together – then and now. Keep the Faith in Frankford led the appeal effort to give us time – to do good in the community, to pray to Our Lady of the Locked Gates and to Padre Pio! Our prayers and so many others were heard.
It is unthinkable that a Church, especially in an urban diocese gets a new lease on life. But, thanks to the Capuchin Franciscans of the St. Augustine Province, we did. In 2016, they bought the former IHM convent for their, yes, Padre Pio Friary and have used the Church as the Padre Pio Prayer Center. What I am thinking is that Padre Pio may want them to annex the Church as well. St. Padre Pio, what do you think?
We are grateful to the Lord for these extra years of being able to celebrate Him within the walls of St. Joachim! He has blessed us, just like Lazarus, bringing us back from shuttered doors.
We’re grateful to former Archbishop Chaput! In the end, the Archbishop has to give the okay for whatever happens in the Archdiocese. Without his approval, the sale of the convent and arrival of the Capuchins would never have been. The Archbishop, too, had a daunting task when he arrived in Philadelphia. Thank you, Archbishop Chaput!
Father Tom (Higgins), Pastor, Holy Innocents Parish, from the beginning, was willing to meet with us and talk with us. We didn’t always get what we wanted but he never totally shut the door to us! Father was honest with us and very much in a very difficult position. I know Father worked very hard trying to find a way to re-open St. Joachim. We have got to balance our budgets; Father has his. As the years have passed, Father Tom has been more of a friend to us rather than as an adversary. We never saw him in that light but I’m sure he must have felt that way. Father was very receptive to new ideas and efforts to honor those buried in our cemetery and those still above. Thank you, Father Tom!
You may wonder why I can say we are grateful and blessed! But it’s because we are! It’s because of what we mean to each other! We have a special bond that nothing on earth can break. That will never change! The news of the possible relegation to profane use and sale hits the heart like a heat-seeking missile. But I also know that it’s not over yet! It will take time!
We had our one miracle; I don’t doubt the possibility of another. Going forward let us be the people of hope, diversity and faith! Whatever God’s plan is for St. Joachim and for us, it will be special! Because you and Frankford are special!
Faith Can Grow Even In A Pandemic
For many of us, this isn’t the first time that our Churches have been closed to us. Many of us remember and will never forget when our Churches closed or merged a few years ago. This time, we are able to see live streamings of Masses and devotions! My sister-in-law wakes up at 5 AM so she can watch a Mass in Ireland! Like before, “Roaming Catholics” resulted; today, we have “Streaming Catholics”!
Yet, that closing also brought us an opportunity to learn how much our faith meant to us and the lengths that we would go to keep it alive! This was a real opportunity for grace and a time to see if our faith could withstand the test of our Church gates being locked and our faith community scattered. For some, it was just too much and the hierarchy could never be forgiven for what seemed like the ultimate betrayal. Some became bitter.
For others, they accepted the change and just moved on and visited other nearby Churches to find one that would be suitable and might feel like buy trenbolone online “home” someday.
Still others believed that we should make a stand, and had to in order to “save” our long and deep St. Joachim history for others who would come after us and for those who had gone before us as they kept the faith alive for us. It seemed impossible yet three years later, the Capuchin Franciscans of the Province of St. Augustine would need a place to move their Friary and to open a Prayer Center for the community of Frankford. St. Joachim Church in Frankford was available and fit the bill for their needs.
Services would begin again (although a Mass is not yet being said for our weekly obligation) and the Friary and Prayer Center, named for St. Padre Pio, to whom we prayed as the Area Parish Pastoral Planning Process was taking place and in the years since, would become an integral part of Frankford.
As hard as it is now, especially with the celebration of Easter, our holiest of holy days, there are silver linings behind every cloud. If you’re really blessed, you get a rainbow.
That rainbow is extended to us to take our faith and what we believe and seriously live it out as witnesses each and every day. We don’t need buildings for that; we are Church! We have each other. And we have a God who is most willing, ready and able to abundantly bless us for all that we do in His name. He loves us, and, while we may not be able to visit Him at His house, we can invite him into each of ours. He can give us the courage to accept the challenges of this coronavirus, to take care of ourselves and our families, and, to be more creative in caring for the needs of others.
We have an opportunity, once again, to see just how much our faith matters in our daily lives and how real God is to us! When Mary Magdalen finds the tomb empty and runs to tell the disciples, let us, too, run to find the Lord! It won’t be hard to find Him! He is in our hearts, the hearts of our family and friends, in our neighbors across the street and across the country. If He is not there, it is because they do not fully know the “Good News”! We are tasked with this mission. That’s a post for another time!
God bless!! Happy Easter! Amen, Alleluia!
Upcoming Presentation at The Historical Society of Frankford
Friends Bring New Life to St. Joachim Cemetery!
A very special day! Keep the Faith in Frankford launched the first project of more to come for The Friends of St. Joachim Cemetery. Joe Taylor co-ordinates this effort and he approaches it like many things he’s done before – with a list of tasks. A holdover from his Navy days perhaps but Joe has been invaluable with his lists of to-do’s and sets of plans for any project we’ve done!
Joe, your skill helped you and the Friends to be so successful today! Well done and we owe you, Maureen Taylor, and all who helped today our thanks!
Joe and Maureen Taylor are the “perfect people” to head this effort. Before the Capuchin Franciscans arrived, Keep the Faith in Frankford had a committee we called, “St. Joachim Sanitation Saints”. We would periodically clean Griscom St. along the rectory and cemetery and Church St. in front of the Church. Before this year’s Annual Feast Day Mass, Bob Smiley and I saw Joe and Maureen at their house and they mentioned being down around Church earlier that day. I asked, “What were you doing there?” and was told, they were cleaning up in preparation for Mass. Good people!
It was a hot Saturday morning in Philly yesterday – a heat alert was in effect by mid-afternoon, yet all who came out in the morning could have stayed home, done other things or nothing at all, but they wanted to help clean up the final resting place for people they might have known or for people that they didn’t know at all. As we continue this effort, we do want you to get to know the stories of the people who are buried here. These are the people who “kept the faith” for us for over 175 years.
Gina Christian, Senior Content Producer and Host of InsideCatholicPhilly.com podcast, came by, today, too! Thank you, Gina, for getting the word out there for us on Catholic Philly! Continued blessings and much success in your efforts!
Many thanks, Fr. Tom Higgins, Pastor, Holy Innocents Parish, for approving this project and for supporting it with your hard work, today, too. Father has always been supportive of our programs to honor those Veterans who are buried in our cemetery. To you, Father, Joe and Maureen Taylor, Brian McCloskey, Tom McAvoy, Julia, Lorenzo and Sal Roldan and Sean Brassil, a hearty and grateful “Thank You” for your efforts. May God continue to bless you for your generosity of time and talent!
To those who were not able to come today, we thank you for your donations of money and wanting to help, and to keep informed, you can find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefriendsofstjoachimcemetery/ and on the web at https://keepthefaithinfrankford.org/the-friends-of-st-joachim-cemetery/
Here’s some of what The Friends of St. Joachim Cemetery were able to accomplish today! See you next time!
Our Annual Feast Day Mass to Honor Sts. Joachim and Ann, July 27, 2019, St. Joachim Church, Frankford
We are so happy that our Annual Feast Day Mass was such a special one! Over 80 people attended our 6th Annual Feast Day Mass on Saturday, July 27, 2019, 4 PM at St. Joachim Church in Frankford. We merged with Holy Innocents Parish on July 1, 2013. Keep the Faith in Frankford was established just for this purpose – to keep the faith in Frankford. Mater Dolorosa, St. Joachim and St. Joan of Arc all merged into Holy Innocents on that day. Earlier, Ascension parishioners had merged as well.
When we filed our appeal, little did we know that 3 1/2 years later, the Capuchin Franciscans would purchase our former Convent for the Padre Pio Friary and then reopen St. Joachim to house the Padre Pio Prayer Center. We started, because of Father Steve, praying to Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, at the end of every Mass during the Area Pastoral Planning Process. Once it was decided we would merge, within a year or two, Keep the Faith in Frankford was opening its weekly meetings with the same prayer! Someone heard our prayer!! 🙂
The Capuchin Franciscans of the St. Augustine Province arrived in July, 2016 and St. Joachim Church continues to serve Frankford and beyond today! God has been very good to us! This is most unusual for one of our Churches to be re-opened. Below is the schedule that was first posted!
Many people are sustanon 350 for sale owed thanks for their contributions and participation in our celebration this past Saturday. Keep the Faith in Frankford organizes, plans, provides the program and refreshment for these yearly Feast Day Masses. We would like to thank Father Thomas Higgins, Pastor, Holy Innocents Parish, for both his help, support and being our yearly celebrant! I just met Brother Alex Hostoffer, who, along with Brother Andrew McCarty, supervises and directs the efforts of the Padre Pio Prayer Center. PPPC is in very good hands. Thank you, both, for all of your help in preparing the Church for this Mass and our refreshments after. Brother Kip Ledger is the Guardian of the Friary and we thank you, Brother Kip and the Postulants for setting up and cleaning up for us. Every year, we are “wowed” with the caliber of the young men who are interested in following the way of St. Francis. There are already powerful women in the Church – we need only look at Sr. Kathleen Anderson, SSJ, Pastoral Minister, HI, Sr. Catherine Glackin, IHM, Pastoral Care, HI, and Sr. Linda Lukiewski, SSJ, for your presence and support! We are indeed very blessed! Please be assured of all of our prayers for each one of you in your ministries.
A Mass doesn’t really happen without the laity in the pews. To all of you who attended and were able to brave the heat, God bless you, we count on you! To our Lectors, Marco Osuna, Helen Greenberg and Maureen Taylor, thank you! To those who brought up our gifts – Jack Pfiel, Sabina Baker-Tegeder, Mary and Preston Moretz, and Joe Taylor, thank you! To our ushers, Bill McGeehan, Sr., Bob Smiley and Joe Taylor, thank you so much! We owe many, many thanks to our superb and St. Joachim favorite Cantor, John McCabe. John selected our beautiful and inspiring music! Well done, John! And to my very good friend, Sr. Rita Keller, IHM,who stepped in to help us as organist when we really needed her, many thanks! Your musical talent is a gift – some of the music Sister hadn’t seen until she arrived from Virginia!!
For those of you unable to attend or to just experience the joy of this day, again, please take a look at the following video! Every one of these faces in this video is special to us! Each of you showed we could really be “One With the Lord”!!! Next year is 2020! 🙂
Will You Be Marching In Tomorrow? Will Your Voice Resound With Other Voices of the Ages?
Tomorrow, Saturday, July 27, 2019, 4 PM, St. Joachim Church, 1527 Church Street, Phila., PA 19124, the St. Joachim community will gather to celebrate our 6th Annual Feast Day Mass. Will you be marching in with the angels and the Saints coming to honor Sts. Joachim and Ann(e), the parents of our beloved Blessed Mother and the grandparents of Our Lord, Jesus Christ?
“All are Welcome in This House!”
“¡Todos son bienvenidos en esta casa!”
Let me share with you a few reasons why I’m more excited about our Feast Day Mass than our first time seeing the Pony Penning and Auction here on Chincoteague Island!!
In 1843, 23 Catholics got together and discussed the need for a Catholic Church in Frankford. Land was bought at Harrison St. and Main St. (Frankford Ave.). Many people felt this location was out in the fields. Bishop Kenrick sent Father Forrestal to Frankford to see if a church was indeed warranted. Our congregation was small but big enough. In 1844, Dr. Lamb donated land at Franklin (Griscom St.) and Pine (Church St.) where St. Joachim’s is now. The parishioners sold the other land for a profit. Moral: Sometimes, we may not make the right choice but eventually, we get it right, with God’s help!
At about the same time, the Philadelphia Nativist Riots, aka the Philadelphia Prayer Riots were taking place. The Irish American immigrants fueled an anti-immigration feeling in the city and many felt they were trying to remove the Bible from public schools. St. Michael’s on 2nd St. and St. Augustine’s in Old City suffered major damage. These rioters were coming to Frankford next for us and the Frankford Arsenal but Mayor McMichael contacted the Commander and a letter was sent to ask for forces from Fort Columbus in New York to protect us. Moral: It is God’s time, not ours that determines what happens.
A church was built by 1856 but we outgrew it and a new cornerstone was laid in 1874 and completed in 1880. Sadly, that Church would burn down in 1978. A new Church, at the cost of almost $2 million would be built and dedicated on December 13, 1981. Moral: Faith can build Churches.
The Area Pastoral Planning Process would determine that as of July 1, 2013, St. Joachim, Mater Dolorosa and St. Joan of Arc would merge with Holy Innocents Parish in Juniata. Ascension Parish had already merger with HI. There would be no Catholic Church in Frankford. Keep the Faith in Frankford filed an appeal and with the support of the St. Joachim community and the Frankford community, we would meet weekly, endeavor to do good works and pray to Padre Pio that our Church would open again. Moral: Fight for what you believe in!
In July of 2016, the Capuchin Franciscans of the St. Augustine Province would be buying and renovating our former Convent to house the Padre Pio Friary. The Brothers would also operate the Padre Pio Prayer Center at St. Joachim Church. Moral: God does answer prayers and miracles can happen!
This is our history that we celebrate, our present time that we celebrate and going forward, a faithful future to doing the will of God in the larger Frankford community!
We need God; We need His Word; We need to be in Communion with Him! Join us tomorrow and let Sts. Joachim and Ann, their example and unconditional love for their families heal us and our families and bring God’s peace into our hearts so that we, too, can share it with others and Keep the Faith in Frankford!
Our Mass is bilingual and here is all the music that you need to know! Please listen and get familiar with it!
Opening Hymm – Ven al Banquete/Come to the Feast – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_6O-RqkMtI&list=RDD_6O-RqkMtI&start_radio=1&fbclid=IwAR2RAjURYyrN618824pKC3l4SsTZH-xfqpbpbTTZ5qCrupCUpKzqHIftW2g
The Gloria – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wl9mHbXhsNA&fbclid=IwAR291Pp_BsONHskXuB5fDEXhQlQcIN7qRSOCJbSDrOy4ILTqn4QoPJI3qmc
Responsorial Psalm – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqvDfXDjP2E&fbclid=IwAR1wmVec1yJ6rAVvMrMrZv5Ee2pNbJHfDXxrWwZBLSg3zLBLuPLV0JFHnck
Alleluia – https://www.ocp.org/en-us/songs/56158/recibieron-el-espiritu-que-los-hace-hijos-adoptivos?fbclid=IwAR2rXJ-HQkj_Hz189OUEVmXCicTCVt-CF9hkCbeXP400Pk29PAEWCVc1A8Y
Presentation of the Gifts – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94I07YCeqBs&fbclid=IwAR1M0kWufh24UATr9XbYwLtUK0v4kxDOSEGNwbfodLfjn2b5ZcMh9yAYV0g
Holy/Santo – Verse 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o71UzuImtsw&fbclid=IwAR22uaT7sQGZ2oSG1zqaexRuZxr5rGLvZZH-wJlgnLRLQKiuT5o3cHaNgnA
Memorial Acclamation –
Amen – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B1M-ogY5Bg&fbclid=IwAR3ZREq0hh0Uf9GygfJVtZH_wZMiFDrggfmwbfJ2u3GnjZxMh3HKyGfBSqA
Lamb of God/Cordero de Dios – https://ocp.org/en-us/songs/77831/cordero-de-dios-lamb-of-god?p=30109616&fbclid=IwAR06U1nAEWGFi62k0n2BXkIxC4DhzBsjiQi8Xwkq6n-stceeXttmpXSC3R0
Communion Hymn – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgebiXpGJnw&list=RDxgebiXpGJnw&start_radio=1&fbclid=IwAR2rNtPUa0uC0bgVJdGmHGsk9nzbVTkGVN2Kc0aeuxOrNbtF7-BgKrhOfJ8
Closing Hymn – “Joyful, Joyful” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObqN9c9Jro0&fbclid=IwAR2nl__-jMfKwLKLPIcC9bjihDoYqlmMPSsxHDJ_c1arHAttMDhmmb3sxUw
We hope to hear your voices tomorrow! God bless you!
Change is A Challenge!
I think this quote is true of all people and that’s why I have been thinking a lot about change. Our lives change daily with the dawn of a new day! Sometimes, we’re not even aware that something has changed until after it’s all done!!
Our spiritual lives greatly changed on July 1, 2013. What have we learned since St. Joachim and Mater Dolorosa, St. Joan of Arc and Ascension were merged into Holy Innocents?
More confirmation that nothing stays the same. God’s love and call is a constant beckoning for us to change, to grow closer to Him, to be more like Him. However you answer that call is between you and God.
Wherever you find yourself as you cope with change, we learned a lot since 2013. We learned that:
- Our Parishes were pretty much “stand alone islands” and that made it more difficult to support and help each other;
- The glory days of the Church in Philadelphia were long gone yet those years are exactly the ones we yearned for;
- Religion can both unite and divide us;
- Being taught that “We are one Body in Christ” doesn’t make it so;
- We had the responsibility and the duty to “Keep the Faith in Frankford” and to preserve it as best we could;
- The faith of the laity suffered but true faith is enduring; we better appreciated the efforts of those who built these parishes and paid for these parishes and we would not let them down;
- Money talks – even in our houses of worship; and
- Still, as we sing a favorite hymn, “All Are Welcome”, are they really?
We are the Church and if we expect the Church to change, we have to change, hard as it is. We have to be vulnerable, to open our hearts and to invite others in. If we look at our Patron’s statue, his hand is out-stretched and he is in motion, stepping out in greeting.
I started thinking about all of this because this year, St. Joachim’s Annual Feast Day Mass will be bi-lingual which it should have been. Even here in Chincoteague, I’ve been told and I sense that some people may not attend because of this. Or they will attend grudgingly but at least they will attend.
Another reality recently shared with me was after last week’s English Mass at St. Joan of Arc, Father Higgins had a meeting with folks to tell them that the attendance at both the English Mass and the Spanish Mass had dropped off. He would allow them time to build up Mass participation until Advent and if not, a real possibility of those Masses being stopped. It wouldn’t be easy, the right things to do never are, but if those folks don’t try to come together, both will lose. Today, we need every prayer we can get!
We’re not going to have a longer Mass because it’s bi-lingual but we are going to have a celebration together to include St. Joachim’s rich diversity. With more time of planning, I could have included even more cultures, our African American, Asian, and other brothers and sisters to truly be a multi-cultural Mass. God-willing, we will have time for that. Keep the Faith in Frankford’s motto is, “We believe our diversity is our community’s greatest strength”. Together, we can build the kingdom of God.
We are trying something new. We are trying to change. We are trying to be the people who have answered God’s call to serve each of His “beloved children of God! We are trying to mean what we say when we sing “All Are Welcome” in this place.
Our 4th Annual Community Spirit Day Honoring Al Stark, Jr.!
Our 4th Annual Community Spirit Day Honoring Al Stark, Jr. will take place Saturday, October 14, 2017 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at St. Mark’s Church Parking Lot, 4442 Frankford Avenue.
Al Stark, Jr., longtime Frankford resident, was devoted to his family and to his Church – St. Joachim. Al believed in asking questions and righting injustices whenever or wherever he saw them. He used his energies for a better Frankford! Al set a high bar with his example. Sadly, he passed away during our efforts to reopen St. Joachim. I hope he is as proud of us as we are of him. In fact, if you look at the header picture on our website, Al is in the yellow shirt.
If you would like to volunteer to help us with this event or to donate needed items, please click this link, Planning Sheets, for an updated list of needs – both people and supplies. Thank you so much and God bless you!