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May 13, 2008



Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, will bless St. John Neumann Place, 2600 Moore Street in South Philadelphia, in a dedication ceremony at the former Saint John Neumann High School.

Monday, May 19, 2008
10 a.m.
St. John Neumann Place
2600 Moore Street (entrance on 27th Street)

St. John Neumann Place is the result of substantial rehabilitation and conversion of the former high school into 75 modern, affordable, independent living apartments for seniors age 62 and older. St. John Neumann Place becomes the newest facility operated by Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which operates outstanding long-term care facilities, assisted living and community-based residences.

This development marks the first time that Catholic Health Care Services has utilized Section 42 tax credits awarded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency for the adaptable reuse of vacant Archdiocesan property. PNC Bank Multifamily Capital and Beneficial Bank are equity partners with the Archdiocese on the project. Additional funding was provided by Catholic Health Care Services, the City of Philadelphia and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. Prudential Savings Bank in South Philadelphia has also agreed to a contribution through the Neighborhood Assistance Program administered through the state's Department of Community and Economic Development.

Reverend Monsignor Joseph A. Tracy, Secretary for Catholic Human Services, will offer acknowledgments and Mr. Joseph Sweeney, Jr., Deputy Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Health Care Services, will present an overview of the project. Suzanne O'Grady Laurito, Project Developer, will welcome guests and speak to the community's role in the development of the housing. City Council President Anna Verna, Mr. Peter Kaplan of PNC Bank Multifamily Capital, and Mr. Gerard Cuddy of Beneficial Bank, also will address those in attendance.

The ceremony will include Cardinal Rigali blessing the Chapel, a resident's apartment, the community room, staff offices and the front entrance to St. John Neumann Place. Cardinal Rigali will affix a crucifix in the entry hall and selected clergy will assist in blessing other floors.

St. John Neumann High School closed in June 2004. Of particular interest during the two-year, $17 million conversion project was the preservation of the history of the former high school.


Construction of the project began in December 2006. The renovations included the demolition of the school gymnasium, auditorium and priory. The remaining classroom area was converted into 75 one-bedroom apartments. Applications for occupancy are now being accepted. Apartments are still available for income-qualifying seniors of all faith traditions. Tours for prospective residents can be arranged by calling Lorraine Yarborough, facility manager, at 215-463-1101 or emailing

St. John Neumann Place will ensure that affordable, quality housing remains part of a larger mixed-housing strategy for many years to come. South Philadelphia residents have been overwhelmingly supportive of the development and have expressed their appreciation for the Church's continued presence in their neighborhood. In a January, 2004 letter to Cardinal Rigali, local Catholic pastors requested that the Archdiocese explore development of the former high school to benefit the community's elderly. The request was consistent with Norm 48 of the Tenth Synod of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which stated: "The Archdiocese, through Catholic Human Services, is to explore the adaptable reuse of vacant Archdiocesan facilities into affordable housing for older adults and persons requiring special assistance to meet daily living needs." The development of St. John Neumann Place was a direct response to those recommendations.

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Kevin Mulligan
Associate Director for Communications

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