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September 23, 2004


Home Celebrates 150th Anniversary and Completes Multi-Million Dollar Renovation Project

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will preside at a Blessing and Re-Dedication for Saint Vincent's Home in the Tacony section of Philadelphia. Saint Vincent's Home, a program of Catholic Social Services, is marking 150 years of caring for the most vulnerable children and just recently completed a $3 million capital renovation project to the two residential buildings and the office building.

Saint Vincent's was founded in 1855 as Saint Vincent's Orphan Asylum by the five German parishes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Saint Vincent's has sheltered and cared for Civil War orphans, orphans of German and Irish immigrants, World War I and II orphans and Cuban refugees and today cares for children of every race and religion referred through the Philadelphia Department of Human Services.

The Blessing and Re-Dedication will take place on the grounds of St. Vincent's and will be attended by approximately 200 people. Mr. Joseph Lavoritano, Administrator of Saint Vincent's, will offer remarks and Reverend Joseph A. Tracy, Secretary for Catholic Human Services, will offer acknowledgments.

During the ceremony, Cardinal Rigali will bless the various campus buildings.

Monday, September 27, 2004
12:00 p.m. Blessing Ceremony
Saint Vincent's Home ~ Tacony
7201 Milnor Street

Saint Vincent's has always adapted to the changing needs of children in Philadelphia and since 1855 has cared for more than 10,000 children. Today Saint Vincent's provides:

-Emergency Shelter for 48 abandoned, abused and neglected children/early teens (the shelter focuses on keeping siblings together and admits children 24/7)
-maternity/mother/baby residential program: services and shelter for 24 adolescent mothers and infants
-day care at a reasonable rate for up to 60 children from the local Northeast Philadelphia community
-family preservation and reunification program

Renovation Project
Saint Vincent's Home began a Capital Campaign in September 2001 and met its $3 million goal through a combination of Catholic Social Services and St. Vincent's Home - Tacony funds; public funding including the Federal Home Loan Bank and the PA Housing Finance Agency; private foundations including the Connelly Foundation, the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust and many individual donors. The renovations improved virtually every aspect of the main building with an emphasis on safety and services to the children. In fact, St. Vincent's, the architect and the contractor sought input on the project from the children in residence and included several of their suggestions in the renovation plans.

Editor's Note: Crews are permittedto photograph children who attend the Blessing

Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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