Children will enjoy a fun-filled and entertaining afternoon that showcases the magic of Christmas in a tradition tracing back to Cardinal John O’Hara in the 1950’s.
Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) will host its 66th annual Archbishop’s Benefit for Children (ABC) Christmas Party. A total of 300 children and youth will attend as representatives of thousands of young people across the Greater Philadelphia region who benefit annually from community-based and residential programs offered by CSS. This year’s theme is “Superheroes!”
The ABC Christmas Party will kick off with a live Nativity scene in the parking lot of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center (APC). The scene will feature student performers from Saint Raymond of Peñafort Independence Mission School (Philadelphia) along with live animals.
A choral group from CSS’ Saint John’s Hospice and the Good Shepard Program will sing in the APC lobby. Soloist and CSS employee Kamal Bostic-Smith will also perform from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Monday, December 20, 2021
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Archdiocesan Pastoral Center
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Following the live Nativity scene, the party will continue at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, which is located directly across from the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center. Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez will greet the children as they arrive and join in the festivities. A Hispanic choir will perform in the hotel lobby while children and guests arrive. Reverend Christopher M. Walsh, Pastor of Saint Raymond of Peñafort Parish, will serve as the emcee for the event.
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown
17th Street between Race and Vine Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Children will enjoy an afternoon filled with performances, sing-a-longs, snacks, and more. They will also be treated to a surprise visit from Santa who will distribute gifts to all in attendance. Student volunteers from Archdiocesan and private Catholic High Schools will serve as Santa’s helpers.
The celebration will take place with due respect for and adherence to guidelines set forth by governmental health agencies.
Projected Event Timeline:
12:30 p.m. Students from Saint Raymond of Peñafort Independence Mission School create a live Nativity in the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center parking lot. Children begin to arrive.
1:45 p.m. Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez arrives in the APC lobby.
2:00 p.m. Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez arrives at the Sheraton Hotel and greets children.
2:10 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Musical performances and sing-a-longs take place.
2:35 p.m. Students from Saint Raymond of Peñafort Independence Mission School create a second Nativity scene.
2:50 p.m. Santa arrives to greet the children.
2:55 p.m. Santa’s helpers distribute gifts.
3:00 p.m. Event concludes.
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Editor’s Note: The Archbishop’s Benefit for Children (ABC) is a year-round fundraising effort that provides necessary support to help ensure the vitality of Catholic Social Services youth programs for children and families of all faiths throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. These programs provide help and create hope for thousands of children each year, including children with disabilities, at-risk children, and dependent or court-adjudicated youth. All children in need are served regardless of background and faith. For more information or to make a donation in support of the ABC, please visit https://archbishopsbenefitforchildren.org/.
For more information on Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit https://cssphiladelphia.org/.