My Dear Parishioners,
I am very happy to announce that the St. Joseph/St. Robert search committee has found a principal for St. Joseph/St. Robert School. We hired Mr. Vincent D’Andrea. He has been a Vice Principal at Villa Joseph Marie High School and at School Lane Charter School. He has experience teaching on the high school and grade school levels. He was very involved at Villa Joseph Marie with their sports and after school programs. We welcome Mr. D’Andrea to the SJR family.
This week we celebrate our Independence as a nation. It is a good time to thank God for the freedoms and blessings we enjoy as citizens of this great country. Happy Fourth of July! As human beings blessed by God with free will we are to respond to His great love by loving Him and others. It is truly an honor and a privilege that God wants us to freely choose Him. Of course the fact that we are free does not guarantee that we will make the right choice, only that we can choose. As we celebrate all the wonderful freedoms that this country affords us, we recognize that our greatest freedom and most important one is to choose for God.
Archbishop Chaput has asked that the following letter be published this weekend in advance of the Campaign for Human Development.
May God Bless you,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I enthusiastically welcome your support of our annual archdiocesan collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which will soon commemorate 50 years of concretely demonstrating the Church’s solidarity with disadvantaged members of our communities.
In Philadelphia and other urban areas in our region, there is a growing gap between those who are financially secure and those who are not, including middle class families as well as the poor. U.S. Census data in 2018 show that Philadelphia’s poverty rate has remained at 26% since 2013, while the national average is half that, ranking Philadelphia as the poorest of the country’s 10 major cities. The median income in our four suburban counties is double that of families in Philadelphia, where many households have incomes below $18,450 for a family of three, and nearly all of those households include children, the frail elderly, and the disabled. Nearly one in four Philadelphia residents suffers from food insecurity. These brothers and sisters of ours are victims of what some have called “an unnatural disaster” that is both preventable and able to be rectified by the collective efforts of those who care to make a difference.
Across our country today, more than 46 million people are living in poverty, and one third of that number are children. Their challenges stem from a cycle of systemic poverty that often prevents them from realizing their God-given promise and vocation in life. While some people’s situations may have resulted from their own poor decisions, the majority have simply not had the opportunities or the blessings of support and good example to achieve economic security or household stability. Keep in mind that vast majority of the poor want a better future for themselves, and most especially for their children. As Catholics we are called to stand with them and be their advocates as they strive to achieve living conditions worthy of their God-given human dignity. That is why your support of CCHD is so vital, providing funding for local community organizations that work with those living on the margins to facilitate their own efforts to overcome the causes of their poverty.
Pope Francis called our attention to the struggles of the poor in his message for the second World Day of the Poor: “God’s salvation is a hand held out to the poor, a hand that welcomes, protects and enables them to experience the friendship they need. Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully part of society. This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops holds an annual CCHD collection to give us a way to be a hand of friendship held out to the poor. In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the CCHD collection will occur at Masses on the weekend of July 6-7. Your contribution can help your neighbors to finally break free of poverty and achieve a better future for themselves and their families. May God bless you for your generous response to this year’s CCHD appeal.
Gratefully and with best wishes in Jesus Christ,
+Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia