August 3, 2014
WORSHIP SITE IN WEST PHILADELPHIA
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church will no longer serve as a worship site of Saint
Cyprian Parish and close as a Roman Catholic Church
In January 2013, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish merged with Saint Cyprian Parish, both located in West Philadelphia's Haddington-Carroll Park neighborhood, as part of the Parish Area Pastoral Planning Initiative that has been ongoing in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Both parishes merged at the location and retained the name of Saint Cyprian Parish.
At that time, the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church building became a worship site of the newly formed Saint Cyprian Parish and was available for the occasional celebration of Mass as well as funerals, weddings and baptisms as is customary whenever possible in the case of a parish merger.
Additional information regarding that merger can be found at the following link: http://archphila.org/press%20releases/pr002099.php.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. relegated the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church building to profane but not sordid use effective August 1, 2014. This formal, canonical designation means that the church will no longer serve as a worship site of Saint Cyprian parish and close as a Roman Catholic church.
This information was shared with Saint Cyprian parishioners prior to the August 1st effective date of the relegation. A copy of the official canonical decree regarding this matter can be found at http://archphila.org/conversion/canonical/LadyBlSacRelegation.pdf.
Further Information Regarding Today's Announcement
The formal request to close the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament worship site originated from Saint Cyprian Parish's pastor together with his parish pastoral and finance councils. This request was then reviewed by the Archdiocesan Council of Priests and presented to Archbishop Chaput, who, after a careful review of all supporting factors, made the final decision.
Those factors included, but were not limited to, lack of parish funding to maintain the church building, ongoing maintenance costs and the deteriorated condition of the building. Saint Cyprian Parish spent approximately $35,000 over the past year on upkeep of the Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament worship site and those costs were projected to rise prohibitively over the course of time. Such continued expenditures would have forced staffing cuts at Saint Cyprian Parish and jeopardized the stability of vital ministerial programs such as outreach to the poor.
Future Use of the Former Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church Building
When Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and Saint Cyprian Parishes merged, all real estate holdings, assets and debts of the former Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish were transferred to the newly formed Saint Cyprian Parish. These transfers are part of standard procedure in the case of all parish mergers.
As such, the former Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament church building is the property of Saint Cyprian Parish. The future disposition of this building will be determined by the pastor of Saint Cyprian Parish in consultation with his parish pastoral and finance councils in a manner consistent with providing for continued parish viability and sustainability.
Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications