My New Job
Who has two thumbs and a position working for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia?
Okay, so I don't exactly have my thumbs pointing at myself in this one, but I look pretty awesome with those aviators (which is exactly how I feel on account of the fact that I get to work for the Archdiocese!!!).
GAH!!! THE ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA!!!
I'm so excited! To work in the service of the Archdiocese that opened the gates of the Faith to me... wow. I just can't even express how gratified I am to be given this opportunity. Given the fact that the Archdiocese is hurting right now, I am ESPECIALLY happy to be able to toss my services their way.
I will be taking a significant pay-cut, but the way I look at it, I'm gaining so much in place of it. I'll be working right next to the Basilica, I'd likely be able to stop in during lunch breaks to say "Hi" to Jesus, I'll be working with other Catholics (culture shock!), and I might even get to ride the elevator with Archbishop Chaput. Pardon me while I squeal again in girlish delight...
Wow, though. I almost can't believe how this practically fell in my lap. What a gift!
A friend of mine works for the Archdiocese and let me know a position was available. Within 20 minutes of sending my resume, I had an interview scheduled. The interview, itself, was fun (I'm a nerd that way), and less than a week later I got the offer.
Attempting to convince my atheist husband that taking a pay-cut to go work for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was entertaining, but God was good and removed even that obstacle from my path. John is supportive of this move, I think, because he sees how incredibly exuberant I am. He definitely cringed a bit at first, but after explaining to him what I'd be doing (and seeing how happy just explaining it made me), he agreed it'd be a good move.
So once I made sure all was well with me leaving my current position for the Archdiocesan one, I formally accepted their offer. I begin in September. Deo gratias!
St. Laurence, Upper Darby
I got a mini-tour of St. Laurence in Upper Darby, PA the other day. I wanted to share some of the more exquisite details with you!
I really felt very lucky to have been given the chance to scope out this beautiful house of worship. The wonderful priest who let me in didn't have the key for the nave, so unfortunately I only got to peek through the window. You'd've been in for quite a treat, though, had I been able to snap some photos in there. Even from behind a locked door, that area oozed beauty!
I'm such a nerd for Catholic art and architecture. We have such a rich and colorful history full of beautiful traditions and beliefs. As a friend of mine once said, our churches should reflect those beliefs and traditions... it should reflect the depth and beauty of our history. I think St. Laurence does it quite nicely. Bless them over there! May they continue to thrive!
My Latest Project
Aside from trying to keep up with a bazillion comments, e-mails and threads - click the picture above to find out what I've been so busy working on the last few days!
Those who love incredibly beautiful churches (complete with hand-carved wood-work, ornate marble sculptures and unparalleled stained glass) be warned. You'll need a bib to catch the drool. This is truly a beautiful parish.
Artwork of St. William's
I've always loved the artwork at St. William's. Their altar is among my top five favorites. Their stations are incredible as well! Next time I'm by, I'll snap some photos of their statues. They've got a favorite rendition of Our Lady that I melt over every time I see it!
Oh... and this is only the lower church! Being in Philadelphia, St. William's is one of those churches that boasts TWO floors - an Upper and a Lower church!
From Archbishop Chaput - A Smile
Posted on Philadelphia Archbishop Chaput's Facebook page:
It was announced in Rome this morning that Philadelphia's Msgr. Nelson Perez, Pastor of Saint Agnes Parish in West Chester, has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
As Bishop-elect Perez prepares to begin his episcopal ministry, I offer him heartfelt congratulations and pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen him as a successor of the Apostles. I’m confident that he will be of great service to Bishop William Murphy and all of God’s people in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. They are fortunate to receive such a gift from the Holy Father in the person of Bishop-elect Perez. He has a joyful and down-to-earth personality, an obvious love for the priesthood, and a tireless devotion to his ministry.
Please join me in offering him prayerful best wishes. May God bless you.
I'm so happy I could cry. Msgr. Nelson has to be one of the sweetest, most joyous and genuinely loving people I've ever met. Rockville really is incredibly blessed to have him. Please say a prayer for him in his new role. May Our Lady ever shine her smile down upon him and his people. He's in for a bumpy road given the turmoil our Church is now facing. God certainly knows how to pick His warriors. Bless him!
My beloved Archdiocese of Philadelphia... what happened to you?
Have you really succumbed so gently to the false whispers of satan? Have you become pliant through his fiery caress? Have you become so blinded by the gilded treasures of worldliness, power and carnal gratification that the Beatific Vision is completely obscured from you?
God help us. We are lost if not for Your Grace.
For those of you unaware, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia - my home, my foundation, and my heart - has been reaping the fruits of a decades long abuse cover-up. We most certainly have been in the wrong for the reshuffling of priests, the silence of cardinals / bishops, the treatment of victims, etc. We have turned ourselves away from Truth and found an angry, unsettled and disordered home in the filth of sin.
Oh, what agony now befits us! Due to such negligence and willful perpetration of violence against the innocent among us, we suffer! We suffer as well we should, but dear Lord - Mercy!
We are being stripped of our priests. Sinners though they are, we haven't the vocations to fill the holes they leave behind. Sinners that we, the laity, are - we are left with no one to shepherd us via Sacraments and pastoral care.
Oh Lord, this truly is a punishment we bring upon ourselves! Catholicism in Philadelphia is on the cusp of abolition. For years we've allowed this cancer to metastasize, invading all parts of our clergy and administration. For years we've ignored the wounds of our victims - which, left untreated, became mortal and spread to others. As a result, when the blinds were opened and the public saw these festering, horrifying injuries for what they were, trust was lost, faith wavered, and hope for healing became almost laughable.
The pain to those of us who love this Archdiocese! The pain of feeling her members torn, battered and broken! The pain of helplessness as we could do nothing but watch as priest after beloved priest was targeted and accused, convicted and removed... as we saw our friends and family defect, turning away from the Church and even condemning Her due to the impossibly grotesque offenses of Her representatives! Oh the pain of listening to report after report of the ever-increasing details of the accusations... and seeing the devastating pain of our victims!
This ongoing chastisement is necessary, but dear Lord, again I cry "Mercy!" I understand and trust this unparalleled "cleansing of the Temple" is something we brought about on our own, but please guide us to safer waters!
Ugh. I am so beyond heartbroken by this entire mess, and it seems like a never-ending rabbit hole.
Another one of our priests was removed today. News came out yesterday afternoon that he was being investigated for an improper relationship and possible abuse of minors. This priest was someone who mentored me, my siblings, and many of our friends.
I have no idea if the allegations are true or not, but the fact that Archbishop Chaput reacted swiftly and harshly to his case leads me to believe there is some validity to the claims against him.
My prayers are with him, the possible victims, and the families of those he may have harmed or turned away from the Church. May they all find peace, healing, love and forgiveness.
Le sigh... I truly have such a heavy, heavy heart right now. However, even in this hailstorm of folly, I recognize the mercy we've been given in Chaput.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Archbishop Chaput. No doubt You put him in place to steer this mostly capsized ship to harbor. May You be his strength and wisdom. May You be his beacon. May You be the wind that straightens our mangled sails.
I feel like the crazy lady to your right. I want to scream and yell and stamp my feet in utter frustration. Argh.
The next person who attempts to blame what's going on to schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the abuse scandal might find themselves on the opposite end of the "Charitable Catholic" patience spectrum I've been working so hard at perfecting.
I realize that for most folks the HHS mandate is the big news right now (as well it should be). For those of us in Philadelphia, though, the massive closings / layoffs / restructuring still takes the cake... especially as deadlines are right around the corner and every day brings new preparations for the shuffling of students from one school to the next to "acquaint" them with what is to come.
Anyway, since this is still the topic of conversation for many in the area, I was bombarded with it after Mass. Then when I got home, I saw it rear its ugly head on Facebook, too. I really should've just allowed it to roll on by, but something snapped in me and I went off the deep end.
I am SO tired of folks attempting to blame the closings on abuse litigation. I mean, are you absolutely out of your mind? As someone who has worked within the Catholic school system, as someone who was taught by the Catholic school system, and as someone who still has many, MANY family and friends still within this system's gears, I know the nitty gritty of Philadelphia's Catholic education... and let me tell you something - it ain't pretty.
I remember a few years ago substituting for both third and seventh grade. They were still using the SAME TEXTBOOKS I used when I was a kid. I graduated elementary school in 1997. How shameful is that?
Desks were mostly broken and had more graffiti than I care to admit. Though mostly clean, bathrooms always had at least one broken toilet and several broken stall-doors. Parts of the floor / wall were chipped, and the ceiling? Oh Lord, let's not even get me started on the ceiling. Even the outside of the school was littered with glass, drug paraphernalia, trash and weeds.
And teachers - oh, our Catholic school teachers. First of all, they simply don't get paid enough. They don't. As a result, they come fresh outta college with their fancy degrees with no experience. Once they do a stint of 1-3 years at our schools to gain their experience, they ship themselves off to public schools where they'll find a decent wage. We, again, have to settle for fresh-faced college kinds instead of finding and keeping truly gifted teachers.
Our education suffers, and enrollment slips.
Then you've got the all-around lack-luster faith we present our families. Catholicism in our communities is a dying art. Folks are only Catholic on Sundays... and barely even then. As a result, our enrollment dwindles even further.
Toss in a complete misappropriation of funds, a failure to collect tuition, and an administration that is so scared of expelling problem students because they'd lose "tuition" causes the cycle to swallow itself yet again.
Not a one of these things has to do with abuse allegations. We should've been shuttering half these schools years ago, but our previous Archbishops were simply unwilling to do what would have been a highly unpopular (though painfully necessary) thing. If they'd've closed some of these floundering schools a decade or two ago, it would have stymied this almost unbearable desecration of Catholic education we currently face.
But sure - let's keep on blaming the abuse litigation. Let's keep crying "They're closing our schools so they can pay the victims!" That nonsense only serves to blow smoke in the face of the REAL issues. I sincerely pray that those in charge don't have the same asnine view on this as these folks do. We need good, strong, intelligent people who can sift through the problems so they can find REAL solutions.
Ugh - seriously... I have a headache. This level of stupidity absolutely astounds me.
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