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February 14, 2000


In a letter dated January 19, 2000, sent to Reverend Thomas J. Smith, Regional Vicar for Delaware County, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, accepted the Cluster Pastoral Plan for Cluster 67, and commended the pastors and all who served on the Cluster Pastoral Planning Committee.

The five parishes of Cluster 67 are:

Blessed Katharine Drexel Parish
Our Lady of Charity Parish
Saint John Chrysostom Parish
Nativity B.V.M. Parish
Saint Mary Magdalen Parish

Cluster 67's plan centers on these objectives:

1) Pastoral Services: To continue to provide pastoral services which will satisfy and fulfill the needs of the people in light of the reduction of priests assigned to the Cluster. The number of priests in the Cluster will be reduced by one in 2000. This will be accomplished by not replacing the senior priest at Our Lady of Charity when he retires in June 2000. To compensate for this loss and to continue pastoral services at Crozer Chester Medical Center, the Cluster will seek additional assistance from parishes outside of the Cluster.

2) Evangelization: To proclaim Jesus Christ and His call to discipleship for all people in the Cluster. This will be accomplished by providing Catholic education and spiritual formation for all who want it. It will also be accomplished through Cluster participation in Parish Outreach Programs. The Cluster will build a greater sense of Catholic community by affirming the diversity of its cultures and the unity of its faith. Beginning in the spring of 2000, the Implementation Team will schedule Cluster Masses and socials after Mass at regular intervals.

3) Stewardship Development: To call Catholics to greater discipleship to make better use of their gifts of time, talent and treasure. This will be accomplished by establishing a Cluster Stewardship Subcommittee which will provide periodic informational meetings and workshops beginning in the winter of 2000. In addition, each parish will establish a Stewardship Committee.

4)Youth and Young Adults: To nurture the faith of our youth and young adults to assist them in deepening their commitment to Jesus. This will be accomplished by providing pastoral services necessary to help youth identify with their parish and the larger Church. It will also be accomplished by studying and responding to the spiritual needs of the Catholic students at Widener University and by exploring the possibility of obtaining assistance to establish Newman Chaplaincy at Widener University.


Editor's Note: Media inquiries should be directed to Rev. Thomas J. Smith, Regional Vicar-Delaware County, at 610-543-6759.

Donna Crilley

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