Bookmark and Share

June 7, 2004


During the weekend of June 5-6, 2004 the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will conduct a survey of South Philadelphia residents regarding the potential reuse of the Saint John Neumann High School site for housing for older adults. The survey is being distributed primarily through canvassing of all households within a target area surrounding the Saint John Neumann High School site, bounded by Tasker Street to the north, Snyder Avenue to the south, 25th Street to the east and 30th Street to the west. The survey is also being distributed through Masses at Catholic parishes in the area.

Saint John Neumann High School, currently located at 26th and Moore Streets, will consolidate with Saint Maria Goretti High School following the 2003-2004 academic year in order to form a single, new school, named Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti Catholic High School. This consolidation, unanimously recommended by a Strategic Planning Team and Ad Hoc Committee, will ensure that a quality, Catholic education remains a viable presence in South Philadelphia. The consolidated school will be located at the current site of Saint Maria Goretti High School. Summer activities traditionally held at the Saint John Neumann High School site will continue through summer 2004, and students will continue to use the athletic facilities through the 2004-2005 academic year. The potential reuse of the Saint John Neumann High School site for housing for older adults would seek to maintain its athletic fields for use by students of the consolidated school.

A decree of the "Tenth Synod of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia"calls for the archdiocese to explore the conversion of archdiocesan facilities into affordable housing for older adults and for persons requiring special assistance to meet daily living needs. This exploration is consistent with the hopes of the Archdiocese and many area residents that an Archdiocesan presence be maintained at the Saint John Neumann High School site. (The Synod was an assembly of selected priests, religious and lay people who met during the Fall of 2002 to examine the many components and missions of the local Catholic Church and offer recommendations to the Archbishop.)

Housing for older adults would include supportive independent living and/or assisted living for persons aged 62 years and older. (This would not include a nursing facility, given the current moratorium imposed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on licensing of additional nursing facility beds.) Any development of this type would necessarily include funding from government and other sources, and be available to the general public. No other long-term reuse of this site will be pursued while it is being considered for housing for older adults.

Following completion of the community survey process and all pertinent studies, the Secretary for Catholic Human Services will offer a recommendation regarding reuse of the site to the Archdiocesan Office of the Vicar for Administration. Ultimately, the Archbishop must approve of any recommendation regarding future use of the Saint John Neumann High School site.


Catherine L. Rossi
Director of Communications

Back to Top