On Christmas Eve, the Philadelphia Inquirer featured a story about our parish’s fundraising efforts for a new heating system to replace the broken boiler in the church. The article describes some of the activities and groups that have invested their time, talent, and treasure in the campaign to raise the $40,000 needed.
The parish staff and parish council is grateful for all of the donations and work, including those who have helped set up for Mass in the hall before the temporary diesel heaters were up and running, and those who have woken up before dawn to get those machines working so that the church was slightly warmer for the holiday and feast day celebrations of Eucharist.
The story is a great reminder that we are better and stronger together! Christmas blessings! Read the article here.
In a recent article in SPOKE Magazine, the reporter explored how the use of bikes is an essential part of life in our immigrant community. Here is an excerpt from the feature:
Father Hugh Shields leads St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic church at 17th and Morris streets. The church proudly boasts that it serves “the immigrant and the stranger in South Philadelphia” and offers weekly services in Vietnamese, Spanish and Indonesian. The majority of its congregants rely on bicycles to get around.“Our people don’t have cars,” Shields says. “When we have meetings here, it’s not cars parked. It’s bikes chained.”
Shields says his parishioners find that biking is not only cheaper, but also safer. With parking always a challenge in the neighborhood, some worry about having to park far from their front doors. “They’re worried about having problems while walking home,” he says.