at 801-03 East Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia, 19134 United States
The MOTHER OF MERCY HOUSE mission is to enhance the presence of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia specifically in the Kensington and Allegheny neighborhood.
MOTHER OF MERCY HOUSE The MOTHER OF MERCY HOUSE is rooted in and inspired by four “Pillars.” PILLAR ONE: Archbishop Chaput’s challenge to see the Church in new ways. In his talk to the priests at Hershey in May, 2012, the Archbishop addressed the need to respond more creatively to the present reality of the Archdiocese. The Archbishop stated the priests and the People of God need to discover new ways of being church, a church less tethered to huge buildings or institutions. He suggested the possibility of “storefront churches”, that is, being present in neighborhoods as church in a simpler but still profound way. During his remarks the Archbishop specifically mentioned Ascension parish which had only recently been suppressed, requesting that any priest who may be interested in developing a new presence of the Church in the former Ascension parish should alert him to that interest. Both Fathers Devlin and Murphy immediately responded both verbally and in written form, communicating their interest to the Archbishop. Since that time, and upon further investigation of the pastoral reality and overwhelming need in that neighborhood, the desire to create a new presence and ministry of the Archdiocese there has grown and deepened for Fathers Devlin and Murphy. PILLAR TWO: Pope Francis’ call to be a “poor Church for the poor.” Pope Francis is constantly calling on all Catholics—ordained and lay alike—to live the gospel more radically and authentically. He challenges us to “go to the frontiers,” to reach out to the poor and marginalized, to go out of our comfort zones. He even encourages us not to be afraid to make mistakes in the process of going out and renewing the Church with the message and witness of the Gospel. The words of the Holy Father speak deeply to Fathers Devlin and Murphy confirming their own discernment of God’s call. Both Fathers Devlin and Murphy have actively sought spiritual direction and engaged the 19th Annotation of St. Ignatius. Their discernment is beautifully named by Pope Francis in these words: Since this Exhortation is addressed to members of the Catholic Church, I want to say, with regret, that the worst discrimination which the poor suffer is a lack of spiritual care. The great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we must not fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his word, the celebration of the sacraments and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith. Our preferential option for the poor must mainly translate into a privileged and preferential religious care. (Evangelii Gaudium, #200) PILLAR THREE: Creating new structures for the 21st century Church. With the necessary closings of parishes in certain areas of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, there is a need to discover new ways for the church to maintain its presence in the affected areas, especially since many of these areas are populated by the poor, immigrants and the most vulnerable members of society. Creating an additional presence of the Church in the Ascension neighborhood would enable the provision of ministry to a densely populated, needy area. This ministry would enhance the good work being done by Holy Innocence parish. What is more, both Fathers Devlin and Murphy believe such a new model of being Church could be replicated in other impoverished areas of the Archdiocese. PILLAR FOUR: A personal call to go to the “furthest boundaries.” In the preface of the book, The Church of Mercy: A Vision for the Church, Giuliano Vigini sums ups the theology of Pope Francis this way: “According to Pope Francis’s theology, full time Christians don’t sit down to admire their faith in the reflection of a mirror, nor talk about it over dinner, but they come out of themselves, embrace their cross with courage and walk the streets to share with everybody the joy of the Gospel. Pope Francis never gets tired of telling everyone that evangelizing is conversion, going out, and walking. The first to be summoned are the priests, “anointed to anoint,” whose duties are to welcome and to serve. They are asked not to be afraid to go to the furthest boundaries and outskirts of human existence to meet the poor, the marginalized, and the least. Those who are materially, spiritually, and humanly poor are not the focus of special attention because they are an economic, social or pastoral problem, but because the loving God, poor among the poor, reserved for them a privileged place in Christ’s life and ministry.“ (emphasis added) page xii These words confirm what Frs. Devlin and Fr. Murphy have felt for some time: a call to work among the poor and marginalized outside the typical parish structure. They likewise feel a call to live simply, as diocesan priests, in some type of community, rooted in prayer with the Eucharist at the center, with outreach to the surrounding neighborhood. Moreover, they feel compelled to heed the call for the New Evangelization. Their vision is to form more intentional communities with disciples who have deliberately and consciously decided to accept Christ’s invitation to follow him. LOCATION: The former “McGhee’s Taproom at Allegheny and “G” Street This accessible location will be rehabilitated to meet the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of neighbors in this community. The people who presently serve the K&A area agree this particular location is in need of greater attention. Sister Mary Scullion from Project HOME points out, for example, “that K&A is one of the poorest neighborhoods in any major US city.” This poverty includes the spiritual poverty mentioned above by Pope Francis. Those ministering there all commented that many Catholics, especially among the immigrant community, are turning to other Christian Churches which are more obviously present in that neighborhood. The MOTHER OF MERCY HOUSE would be a concrete Catholic presence in one of the neediest areas of the Archdiocese. MINISTRIES: Addressing the spiritual, emotional, physical needs of the community. SPIRITUAL: Because there is no Church building there and because the sense of isolation is great, this affords the opportunity to build small, personal communities block by block. This would be done by conducting prayer services, Scripture sharing, and even Mass in the homes. These home visits would also foster catechetical and leadership formation. Additionally, the House can be open for prayer, Mass, scripture sharing, Eucharistic Adoration and other opportunities for spiritual nourishment and Christian community building. The hope is that the House could also provide for a “San Egidio type experience” whereby not only members of the neighborhood but also those from other areas who feel drawn towards serving in the inner city could join together in the work of the Gospel. CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY: Addressing Kensington’s other needs. Discussions with the Sisters of Saint Joseph at The SSJ Welcome Center, and Sister Linda Lukiewski, SSJ from St. Joan of Arc, Father Tom Higgins of Holy Innocents parish, and Sister Mary Scullion, RSM, all made clear the depths of the needs in K & A. The following needs were repeatedly mentioned: • Outreach to the Addicted, providing space and support for the journey to recovery by hosting AA and NA Meetings. • Outreach to the homeless, prostitutes and other desperately poor people. • Ministry to the immigrant. • Providing food, meals, clothing and resources to aid the poor. • Facilitating access to other resources like ESL. FUNDING: We are aware of the need to seek funding for this ministry. It has been repeatedly recommended that we establish a non profit “501(c)(3).” We’ve learned that this is a standard requirement before asking people to donate to a cause. With the Archbishop’s approval we would be able to move ahead with this recommendation. SUMMARY In his remarks to the US Franciscan Provincials, on April 8, 2014, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga in St. Petersburg, Florida, stated: Pope Francis is seeking to build a ‘new way of being church’. . . Francis ‘feels called to construct’ a church that is, among other things; *At the service of this world by being faithful to Christ and his Gospel *Free from all mundane spirituality *Free from the risk of being concerned about itself, of becoming middle-class, of closing in on self, of being a clerical church. *Able to offer itself as an open space in which all of us can meet and recognize each other because there is space for dialogue, diversity, and welcome in it. The vision laid out in this proposal would make visible to the people of K & A a “new way of being Church”: one less dependent on large buildings and the usual parish structure - one, instead, made up of small, active, communities of intentional disciples.
761 FB users likes Mother Of Mercy House, set it to 10 position in Likes Rating for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in Church/religious organization category
There is our place on the left, picture taken 1979 from the old Bulletin. Anyone remember this event? It has "protest" written under picture.
Congrats to Best of Philly Doctor McNesby!! He is a great friend to MoMH along with his wife Anne. We are so fortunate he will share his gifts with us in the near future.
Happy Mother's Day from Mother of Mercy House.
Beginning our Month Of the Rosary, visiting our first home and praying together.
Fr Murphy and Sister Ann visit the homeless living at Lehigh and Emerald. They distributed some of the blessing bags prepared by ABVM parish, West Grove. The looks of surprise and delight on the faces of the homeless were precious! They kept saying to us, "Thank you! God bless you."
Father Devlin received a Friends of Ryan award at his alma mater yesterday. Thank you Archbishop Ryan High School and Alumni for the gifts Father received at Ryan that led him to Mother of Mercy House.
We are moving ahead with our evangelization plans and our efforts to bring the Church to the people! Meet Lily Gonzalez, a Kensington resident and faithful, energetic member of our Mother of Mercy House community. She is leading our Rosary In The Homes for May. Every night, beginning Saturday May 7, we will be gathering in a different neighborhood home to pray the rosary, meditate on the life of Christ, and celebrate the Good News of God's merciful love! We will close on Tuesday, May 31 with a Home Mass. "Sharing the mercy of God with all." Lily González está coordinando nuestros esfuerzos para celebrar el mes de mayo rezando el rosario en las casas de nuestro vecindario. Empezamos sábado, el 7 de mayo, reuniendo en una casa distinta cada noche para rezar el rosario, meditar sobre la vida de Jesucristo y celebrar la Buena Nueva del amor misericordioso de nuestro Dios! Terminaremos con una misa de clausura martes, el 31 de mayo. "Compartiendo la misericordia de adiós con todos."
Thanks to the generous contributions of so many, we were able to distribute food for 40 families today: 67 adults, 11 seniors, 39 children. And we'll be able to help 40 more families tomorrow! "When I was hungry you gave me to eat."
Thanks ABVM, West Grove!
Thanks to all the good people of ABVM for preparing so many backpacks for the homeless--filled with food, socks, towels and toiletries! How nice of you to share in our mission of "sharing the mercy of God will all."
Breaking news: Note the time change
In response to our friends who would like to assist us, but due to time or geographic constraints, we have added gift cards to our Wish List. Motherofmercyhouse.org
Join us tomorrow!
Please visit our website for our latest wish list and ENJOY this BEAUTIFUL Day!! http://motherofmercyhouse.org/wish-list/
Last Friday: a Reporter came to visit us, we opened our Food Pantry for distribution, and 30 people celebrated Mass with us- all in one day! Please follow the link to see the new items added to our wish list! http://motherofmercyhouse.org/wish-list/
Celebrating a Home Mass in our neighborhood.
I have groceries. Can I drop off today?
12 "likes" away from 700! What better picture to SHARE with your friends to increase the word of our ministry!
Today we provided food for 45 families, almost 200 people; and our cupboards were dwindling down again. Right before Mass, Tom Moran and his AOH division showed up with a truckload of food. The Gospel reading today was Jesus and the loaves and fish. God truly does provide. What a great day at Mother of Mercy House. In response to our friends who cannot drop donations off because of time or geographic convenience: we GRATEFULLY accept gift cards to ShopRite, Wegmans, Target, and Walmart. Every single dollar is needed and appreciated.
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A beautiful night with Circulo de Oración! 15 people came out to praise God and to pray for all of Kensington.
Thanks so much for the help with food! Still accepting donations. Also for our wish list: If anyone has a laptop computer, it would be most helpful for storing our distribution data. Thanks!
The cupboards are bare! Today was a great day for food distribution: we helped 65 families, over 200 people! But now our cupboards are bare! And we have food distribution again tomorrow. Any pasta, sauce, cold cereal, peanut butter and jelly, tuna, chef boyardee, snacks, fruit cup, soups would be helpful! Can be dropped off 3pm-5pm Or tomorrow morning. Thank you!
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