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April 4, 2001


Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Saint Francis Homes for Boys/Saint Joseph's House for Boys facility which will care for dependent and neglected boys. The new campus will improve the residential and educational services provided to the young people, ages nine to 18. Reverend Monsignor Timothy C. Senior, Secretary for Catholic Human Services and President of the Board of Saint Francis Homes for Boys/Saint Joseph's House for Boys, will bless the grounds and offer remarks. Mr. Pat Croce, President of the Philadelphia 76ers, will also speak briefly after the groundbreaking. Mr. Croce's father was raised at the former Saint John's Orphan Asylum at 49th Street and Wyalusing Avenue in Philadelphia. Saint John's had a strong connection to Saint Francis Homes for Boys and eventually merged with Saint Francis.

Friday, April 6, 2001
2:00 p.m.
Intersection of Street Road and Bristol Pike
Bensalem, Bucks County

The new construction will consist of five residential cottages each housing ten boys, a school building for 80 students, a gymnasium and an administrative building. Construction costs are estimated at $7.5 million. It is hoped that construction will be completed by fall 2002. The costs will be met through the use of private funds, debt service, and foundation grants. This project will carve out 50 acres on a 200 acre property given to the Archdiocese in the 1940's by the Drexel family. Two group homes currently on the property, small cottages built in the 19th century, will be razed after the new facilities are complete. An Archdiocesan vocational school located on the property will be unaffected by the project. The remaining 100 plus acres are planned for open space.

Saint Joseph's House for Boys was founded by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1888 and occupied several locations until 1929 when it found a more permanent home at 16th Street and Allegheny Avenue in North Philadelphia. This location was closed in the 1970's. At that time, Saint Joseph's House for Boys began operating under the group home system with no central residential location.

In 1998, Saint Francis Homes for Boys and Saint Joseph's House for Boys united under one administration and integrated all programs. Currently, Saint Francis/Saint Joseph's serves 150 boys in 15 group homes and supervised apartment programs. The administration office and school for St. Francis/St. Joseph's, which will be moved to the new site, is presently located on the campus of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament (1663 Bristol Pike, Bensalem, Bucks County).

Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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