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October 10, 2006

Cardinal Rigali to Bless Family's Home

Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will bless the home of Antonio Moreno, Sr. and family, located at 3459 North Howard Street in the St. Hugh Neighborhood of Philadelphia (Fairhill). The house is the first completed by the Archdiocesan Office for Community Development in its initiative to rehabilitate seventeen formerly vacant, blighted houses in the area for low to moderate-income homeownership. A contribution from Beneficial Savings Bank through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's Neighborhood Assistance Program, along with subsidies from the City of Philadelphia's Homeownership Rehabilitation Program Funding provided support for the initiative. The Archdiocese started rehabbing the property in November 2005 and Mr. Moreno purchased the house in July 2006. The home had been seized in a drug raid prior to the Archdiocese taking possession of it.

During the blessing, Reverend Monsignor Joseph A. Tracy, Secretary for Catholic Human Services, will offer acknowledgements and Reverend Scott D. Brockson, Pastor of St. Hugh of Cluny Parish, will welcome those gathered. Sister Margaret Taylor, assistant director of the Archdiocesan Office for Community Development, will provide a history of the initiative and introduce the Moreno family.

The ceremony and rite of blessing will begin in the St. Hugh of Cluny School Hall and conclude at the Moreno home, located within walking distance of the parish. During the service, Cardinal Rigali will bless the home with holy water and present a crucifix to the Moreno family.

Thursday, October 12, 2006 ? 1:00 p.m.*
St. Hugh of Cluny School Hall
Tioga and Mascher Streets (145 West Tioga Street)
St. Hugh Neighborhood (Fairhill), Philadelphia

* 1:30 p.m. (approximately) procession from school hall to Moreno home

The Archdiocesan Office for Community Development launched the housing initiative at the request of neighborhood residents who expressed both concern about vacant, blighted houses and a need for more affordable homeownership opportunities. The Office for Community Development is rehabilitating the houses and preparing prospective homebuyers in partnership with the Hispanic Association of Contractors and Enterprises (HACE).

The Archdiocesan Office for Community Development was established during 2001 to serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods. Its present focus is on the Kensington section of Philadelphia and vicinity. The office is also assisting in the development of St. John Neumann Place senior housing at the site of the former St. John Neumann High School in South Philadelphia.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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