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May 17, 1999


In a letter dated April 26,1999, sent to Rev. Msgr. John T. Conway, Regional Vicar for Philadelphia South, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, accepted the Cluster Pastoral Plan for Cluster 24, and commended the pastors and all who served on the Cluster Pastoral Planning Committee.

The nine parishes of Cluster 24 are:

Annunciation B.V.M. Parish
St. Casimir Parish
St. Mary Magdalen De Pazzi Parish
St. Nicholas of Tolentine *
St. Paul Parish
St. Philip Neri Parish
St. Rita of Cascia Parish*
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish
St. Stanislaus Parish

*Staffed by Augustinian Friars

Cluster 24's plan centers on these objectives:

1) To offer the best worship opportunities and spiritual services in light of Archdiocesan projections for four diocesan priests in seven diocesan-staffed parishes. There are currently seven diocesan priests. St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Parish will be consolidated with St. Paul Parish effective July 1, 2000. St. Paul will be the parish and St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi Church will become a worship site. St. Stanislaus Parish will be "twinned" with St. Adalbert Parish in 2002. "Twinning" is defined as one priest serving two parishes, each retaining their parochial and canonical identities. Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish will have one rather than two priests assigned (the timetable is not yet determined). The status of Annunciation B.V.M. Parish, St. Casmir Parish and St. Philip Neri Parish will remain unchanged.

2) To strengthen Catholic elementary schools within the Cluster. St. Paul School will close in June 1999, with arrangements for Catholic education of students made at the parish level (announced January 1999). St. Casimir School will begin a feasibility study with a decision effective in 2000.

3) To encourage and educate laity to assume leadership roles in the parish/cluster. This will be accomplished by establishing workshops to educate parishioners regarding their roles.

4) To foster greater interdependence among parishes. This will be accomplished by the creation of a "wish list" in each parish. The list will be circulated among the Cluster to see where reciprocity is possible. Youth programs will be coordinated and a Cluster calendar will be developed.

5) To develop plans to incorporate the vast diversity and ethnicity in the Cluster and parishes. This will be accomplished by promoting multi-cultural education within the Cluster.
This will also be accomplished by promoting actions such as inviting Cluster members to share ethnic services and traditions.

6) To renew and coordinate youth programs within the Cluster. This will be accomplished by studying the feasibility of hiring a coordinator of Youth Ministry within the Cluster.

7) To reach out to the 25-50 year old Catholic population. This will be accomplished by beginning a Cluster Young Adult Club, celebrating young adult Mass cluster wide, evangelizing through the Home & School Association and by developing welcoming committees.

8) To identify and evangelize the unchurched within our boundaries. This will be accomplished by holding open house and by using media. This will also be accomplished through personal invitations by Cluster volunteers.


Editor's Note: Media inquiries should be directed to Rev. Msgr. John T. Conway at 215-476-7484.

Donna Crilley
Communications Assistant

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