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April 17, 2006


In order to provide more effectively for the pastoral, cultural and religious education needs of the Korean Catholics of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Holy Angels Parish in Philadelphia (7000 Old York Road) will become a personal parish for the Korean Catholic community effective immediately. The Archdiocese of Seoul in Korea provides a Korean priest to care for the Korean Catholics at Holy Angels Parish. Reverend Paul Sung-Kook Lee is presently the Parochial Administrator at Holy Angels Parish. There are currently 1,976 registered parishioners at Holy Angels Parish, the majority of which are Korean Catholics.

The canonical change in the status of Holy Angels Parish also allows the Archdiocese to address the spiritual needs of the present members of the parish who are not Korean. The territorial boundaries of Saint Athanasius Parish (Limekiln Pike and Walnut Lane), Saint Benedict Parish (Chelten Avenue and Garnet Street) and Saint Helena Parish (Fifth Street and Godfrey Avenue) will be altered to include sections of the former territorial boundaries of Holy Angels Parish.

Upon approving the request to change the status of Holy Angels Parish, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, said, "I recognize that this is a unique pastoral situation and I am pleased that the Korean Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has found a spiritual home at Holy Angels Parish. For more than a century, Holy Angels Parish has provided Catholics in this area with a beautiful place to worship God and deepen their relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Particularly as we approach the Easter season, a time of new beginnings, I ask our Savior to bless and protect this newly designated personal parish and all those who worship at Holy Angels. I am confident that the former parishioners of Holy Angels will be welcomed warmly at the other parishes in the area and assure them of my blessing and prayers as well."

Holy Angels Parish was founded in 1900 as a territorial parish that was defined by its geographic boundaries. During the past twenty-five years, English speaking parishioners gradually moved out of the parish and Korean Catholics joined the parish. Holy Angels Parish has thus been a "de facto" Korean Catholic parish, ministering especially to Korean Catholics in Philadelphia-North, Montgomery County and Bucks County Vicariates.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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