Saint Mary's WOW! Great News out of Conshohocken!
Saint Mary’s WOW! Great News out of Conshohocken!
by Brian Coll
We heard the whispers that there would be news coming soon in regards to Saint Mary’s church here in Conshohocken. Of course we hoped for the best news, but honestly, with the way things have went in Conshohocken over the years with our churches and schools we were prepared for the worst. As you may know, I attended Archbishop Kennedy and the school was closed and the Archdiocese sold the building and grounds in the early 90’s. Then the Archdiocese merged all of the local grade schools in Conshohocken at the old saint Matthews grade school calling it Conshy Catholic. Then in 2012, we lost that school. Very soon after that we lost 3 out of 4 churches in another round of the Archdiocese closings. We witnessed Saint Cosmas and Damian sold, we witnessed Saint Gertrudes in West Conshohocken sold (the borough of West Conshohocken bought it from the last we heard) and now we were going to find out the fate of Saint Mary’s. If you have watched the development of the borough over the past 30 years you would notice that the property of Saint Mary’s is in a very desirable location near the bridge and in the office building district if you will. So, you will understand why we were prepared for the worst. If we had to guess the property at Saint Mary’s would have brought in the most of any of the churches and would have most likely been knocked down if sold to the highest bidder.
Before we share the official press release from the Archdiocese, I have to point out a few people. David Swedkowski, Dorothy Swedkowski, Jay Kunaszuk, Sandy and Lu. I know there were more people working on saving Saint Mary’s than the few people I just mentioned, but I had multiple conversations over the past few years with these people, and I know they were very dedicated and I know a few people didn’t get to see this happen, but are smiling down from heaven including Felicia Resnick and I am sorry if I misspelled anyones name. I am so happy not only for this group of people and everyone that called Saint Mary’s home for years, but I am happy for the people and borough of Conshohocken.
Here is the official press release with all of the details:
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Announces the Establishment of a Quasi-Parish in Montgomery County to be Staffed by Clergy from the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter
The establishment of a quasi-parish in Conshohocken will serve those wishing to participate in Divine Worship in the Extraordinary Form.
In July 2014, Saint Mary Parish merged with Saint Matthew Parish, both located in Conshohocken (Montgomery County), as part of the Parish Areas Pastoral Planning Initiative taking part throughout the five-county Archdiocese.
At that time, the Saint Mary Church building became a worship site of Saint Matthew Parish and was made available for occasional liturgical use as is customary whenever possible in the case of a parish merger.
Additional information regarding the merger can be found at the following link:
Today, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Archbishop Chaput has approved the establishment of a quasi-parish at the location of the former Saint Mary Parish in Conshohocken effective August 1, 2018. This announcement comes in response to an interest for additional pastoral care for those wishing to participate in Divine Worship in the Extraordinary Form.
Prior to making his decision, the Archbishop obtained appropriate consultation from pastors of surrounding parishes, local priests who currently celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form, and the Council of Priests.
The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter will provide clergy to serve this new community. A pastor will be appointed prior to the effective date of the quasi-parish’s establishment.
This information was shared with Saint Matthew parishioners at all Masses during the weekend of April 7-8. A copy of the official canonical decree regarding this matter can be found at http://archphila.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/StMaryQParish.pdf.
Editor’s Note: The Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is a phrase used in Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, to describe the liturgy of the 1962 Roman Missal, which is celebrated in Latin.
For additional information on the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, please visit https://www.fssp.org/en/index.htm.
The above Editor’s note, is not our note, that is included in the press release.
What does all of this mean? For one, it means the building itself isn’t going anywhere and in my opinion that is good news. I know the St. Mary Polish American Society is thrilled with this announcement. They have worked hard raising funds and awareness to keep up with the building. The group worked their butts off, they hosted multiple events over the past few years and I hope that tradition continues. I always enjoyed my time at the events, in the church and in recent years at the TK Club.
One day soon we hope to be able to go to church there once again. Thank you.