Catholic Social Services to Host 68th Annual Archbishop’s Benefit for Children Christmas Party for Nearly 500 Children and Youth

Attendees represent thousands of young people across the Greater Philadelphia Area who benefit annually from community-based and residential programs offered by
Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CSS) will host its 68th annual Archbishop’s Benefit for Children (ABC) Christmas Party. This year’s theme is “The Archbishop’s Christmas Sneaker Ball.”

The ABC Christmas Party will kick off with a live Nativity scene on the front steps of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center featuring student performers from Saint Cecilia School, located in Philadelphia’s Fox Chase section, along with live animals.

The Good Shepherd Singers, a choral group composed of current and former clients of Saint John’s Hospice, will perform a musical prelude in the APC lobby.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Musical Prelude with the Good Shepherd Singers)
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 the street from the APC.

Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez will greet the children as they arrive and join in the festivities. Reverend Christopher M. Walsh, Pastor of Saint Cecilia Parish, will serve as the emcee for the event. Mr. John Useller will serve as the DJ.

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 throughout the five-county region will serve as Santa’s helpers.

Projected Event Timeline:

12:30 p.m. Students from Saint Cecilia School create a live Nativity on the front steps of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center parking lot. Children begin to arrive.

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Good Shepherd Singers perform a musical prelude in the APC lobby.

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.

2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Live musical performances take place.

2:45 p.m.  Santa arrives to greet the children.

2:50 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

For more information on Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit

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Katie Rogers
Media and Events Specialist
215-587-3747 (office)