Bookmark and Share

September 16, 2013


46 parishes in Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties
Will begin Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today the continuation of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative among 46 parishes in Philadelphia, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. This process is designed to allow groups of parishes known as Pastoral Planning Areas (PPAs) within the same geographic area to undertake a program of self-study. It is led by the pastors in conjunction with parish leadership, parishioners, and the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee.

The need for this process was outlined in a pastoral letter from the Fall of 2010 which called on all parishes in the Archdiocese to determine if they possess the resources necessary to accomplish their roles in the mission of Christ while remaining sustainable and vibrant faith communities. It is hoped that the end result will be the strongest possible parishes that are poised for stability, growth, and service to God's people now and far into the future throughout the Archdiocese.

The work of Parish Area Pastoral Planning is conducted in multiple stages. It involves a review of information related to demographic, financial and spiritual activity followed by consultation with parish leadership, parishioners and the Archdiocese. Finally, recommendations are made for the future. There are three possible outcomes from the work: parish mergers, no change in structure with a plan for future sustainability, or a recommendation for future study.

Every outcome is based on a combination of factors, including, but not limited to, demographic shifts in Catholic populations, concentrated density of parishes in a limited geographic area, history of declining Mass attendance and sacramental activity, increasing economic challenges that threaten sustainability, a decrease in the availability of clergy to staff parishes and a review of facilities.

The Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, made up of lay persons, priests and Archdiocesan personnel, is examining all parishes within the Archdiocese to gauge their viability and assess whether they possess the resources to accomplish their role in the mission of the Church while remaining sustainable and vibrant faith communities.

Parish Area Pastoral Planning is designed to be as collaborative and consultative as possible. Its goal is to provide pastors, after consulting their parish leadership, with the opportunity to dialogue with members of the Strategic Planning Committee in providing joint recommendations to the Archbishop for growth and sustainability within their respective geographic areas. Additionally, in the majority of cases, the regional bishop and the dean meet with the pastors as well as their pastoral and finance councils to hear their concerns and receive their recommendations.

The Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee shares all final proposals with the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors for their review before final approval by the Archbishop.

Parishes Undergoing Study

Delaware County


Holy Spirit, Sharon Hill
Sacred Heart, Clifton Heights
Saint Eugene, Primos
Saint Joseph, Collingdale

Our Lady of Fatima, Secane
Our Lady of Peace, Milmont Park
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Morton
Saint Gabriel, Norwood
Saint George, Glenolden
Saint Madeline, Ridley Park
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Tinicum
Saint Rose of Lima, Eddystone
Notre Dame de Lourdes, Swarthmore

Montgomery County

PPA 460

Mother of Divine Providence, King of Prussia
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Bridgeport
Sacred Heart, Swedesburg
Saints Cosmas and Damian, Conshohocken
Saint Augustine, Bridgeport
Saint Gertrude, West Conshohocken
Saint Mary, Conshohocken
Saint Matthew, Conshohocken

PPA 480
Queen of Peace, Ardsley
Saint David, Willow Grove
Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn
Saint Luke the Evangelist, Glenside


PPA 630
Holy Spirit, South Philadelphia
Saint Charles Borromeo, South Philadelphia
Saint Edmond, South Philadelphia
Saint Gabriel, South Philadelphia
Saint Monica, South Philadelphia
Saint Richard, South Philadelphia
Saint Rita of Cascia, South Philadelphia
Saint Thomas Aquinas, South Philadelphia

Lower Bucks County

PPA 100

Our Lady of Fatima, Bensalem
Saint Ann, Bristol
Saint Charles Borromeo, Bensalem
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bensalem
Saint Ephrem, Bensalem
Saint Mark, Bristol
Saint Thomas Aquinas, Croydon

PPA 110
Immaculate Conception BVM, Levittown
Our Lady of Grace, Penndel
Queen of the Universe, Levittown
Saint Frances Cabrini, Fairless Hills
Saint Joseph the Worker, Fallsington
Saint Michael the Archangel, Levittown

# # #

Editor's Note: There are currently 235 parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. When the Pastoral Planning Initiative began there were 266 parishes.

Kenneth Gavin
Director of Communications

Back to Top