Moving to Philadelphia - looking for Good Catholic Church


#1

Hi everybody,

My wife and I are moving to the Philadelphia area in June and are looking for a good Catholic community. We are moving for a job (I’m a lawyer - or will be if/when I pass the bar in July), and I will be working at the Cira Centre. My wife is an aspiring singer (both opera and musical theater), and we are really excited about our move. We will be living in Bryn Mawr, near Villanova University. We are a youngish couple (25 and 24) with no kids (yet). We’re looking for an active Catholic parish, with a fair amount of young couples and young families. We definitely are looking for an orthodox parish, involved in pro-life activities and other social justice activities. We’d love to find a parish to get invovled in find out how we can use our talents to serve God’s people.

Any advice on good parishes from people who live (or have lived) in the Philadelphia area would be appreciated. Thanks for all of the help.

Mark


#2

I used to live near there.. I want to move back! I miss it a lot-
You have to attend St. Mark's Armenian Catholic Church at least once. It's an Eastern Catholic Church, it's great-

armenianeparchy.org/stmarks/


#3

Awesome! Thanks for the tip, HyeDetroit. We will definitely check it out. What did you like about living in that area?

Anyone else with catholic churches that they would recommend in that area?


#4

There are so many reasons why I liked living there-

The public transportation is really good. If you plan on working in the city of Philadelphia, you can take the regional rail into the heart of the city, they have buses, subways, taxis, trains… It’s just easier for people to get around. You don’t have to drive everywhere.

The city is jam packed full of history (I love American history). You can visit the old capital of the united states, ben franklins house, art museums, science museums, mutter museum.

There is a great art and music scene. There are many great schools in the area, nationally ranked colleges & graduate schools. Great restaurants, bars, and entertainment.

When I lived there it was safe and the area is beautiful (lot’s of tree’s, rivers, parks, etc.)


#5

There is a wonderful Augustinian community right at Villanova University. The church itself is St. Thomas, I think...

God Bless you!
Kelly


#6

When we lived in PA I preferred St Colman’s on Lancaster Ave in Ardmore even though my parish was “supposed” to be Our Lady of Good Counsel in Rosemont. ( I found mass a bit liberal and that was many years ago.) The school on the other hand was one of the best Catholic schools my children attended. (And we have been through 4…) I agree that mass at Villanova is good too!

Don’t forget to check masstimes .org to see a complete list of churches and times and what else they have to offer (novenas, Rosary etc) as well as links to church websites! :thumbsup:


#7

Its a little bit outside of Philadelphia, but its still in the archdiocese and it is DEFINITELY worth it.. St. Andrew's in Newtown, PA


#8

This has more to do with finding a church when you travel but it wouldn't hurt to check it out!

MassTimes


#9

[quote="votelife, post:1, topic:194119"]
Hi everybody,

My wife and I are moving to the Philadelphia area in June and are looking for a good Catholic community. We are moving for a job (I'm a lawyer - or will be if/when I pass the bar in July), and I will be working at the Cira Centre. My wife is an aspiring singer (both opera and musical theater), and we are really excited about our move. We will be living in Bryn Mawr, near Villanova University. We are a youngish couple (25 and 24) with no kids (yet). We're looking for an active Catholic parish, with a fair amount of young couples and young families. We definitely are looking for an orthodox parish, involved in pro-life activities and other social justice activities. We'd love to find a parish to get invovled in find out how we can use our talents to serve God's people.

Any advice on good parishes from people who live (or have lived) in the Philadelphia area would be appreciated. Thanks for all of the help.

Mark

[/quote]

Congratulations on having a job in practice! It's a tough year for new grads. Are you joining Dechert?

.


#10

[quote="votelife, post:1, topic:194119"]
Hi everybody,

My wife and I are moving to the Philadelphia area in June and are looking for a good Catholic community. We are moving for a job (I'm a lawyer - or will be if/when I pass the bar in July), and I will be working at the Cira Centre. My wife is an aspiring singer (both opera and musical theater), and we are really excited about our move. We will be living in Bryn Mawr, near Villanova University. We are a youngish couple (25 and 24) with no kids (yet). We're looking for an active Catholic parish, with a fair amount of young couples and young families. We definitely are looking for an orthodox parish, involved in pro-life activities and other social justice activities. We'd love to find a parish to get invovled in find out how we can use our talents to serve God's people.

Any advice on good parishes from people who live (or have lived) in the Philadelphia area would be appreciated. Thanks for all of the help.

Mark

[/quote]

Not familiar with the parish life in the Bryn Mawr area, but the Cathedral in Philadelphia has reverent masses and better liturgical music than most parishes. Since your wife is a classical singer, I think she would like the 11:00 masses there. It's a volunteer choir.

The music scene in Philadelphia is decent, but Manhatten will be great for your wife for the singing and it's not far. I'm up there very often.

P.S. Congratulations on the job and good luck with the bar.


#11

I know this isn’t close to you, but it’s definitely worth a visit:

carmelitenunsstjoseph.org/Phil.htm

This is the Carmelite monastery at 66th and Old York Road. It is a beautiful monastery, and also has some amazing music. (I am in the choir there :wink: ) Dr. Lucy Carroll, who writes for the Adoremus Bulletin, is the choir director. Now, I get the impression that you want to join an actual parish, so this would probably be more of a place to visit from time to time, but it’s definitely worth the drive for that.

St. Colman’s is certainly a beautiful church. I work near there, so I have gone to daily Mass there but not Sunday Mass. The daily Mass is good, and I like the priest. I do hear that it is a good parish. But there are several other good churches in the area as well.

That is the one thing I like about Philadelphia – lots and lots of churches, good ones. Otherwise I don’t care for the city at all (sorry) which is one of the reasons we’re moving away soon. However, I must say Bryn Mawr is a very nice area; I wouldn’t mind living there. Center City, though, is awful – don’t stay there at night!


#12

[quote="sheilathebard, post:11, topic:194119"]
.
That is the one thing I like about Philadelphia -- lots and lots of churches, good ones.

[/quote]

So true. It's a huge Catholic area. Another one I'll recommend is St. Paul's in South Philadelphia. It offers the EF mass there and the pastor is great there.

[quote="sheilathebard, post:11, topic:194119"]
.Otherwise I don't care for the city at all (sorry) which is one of the reasons we're moving away soon. However, I must say Bryn Mawr is a very nice area; I wouldn't mind living there. Center City, though, is awful -- don't stay there at night!

[/quote]

LOL!!! My husband feels the same way about Philadelphia - well almost all cities. (He doesn't like Philly, but he can't stand Manhatten, whereas I really like it.) We attended college there and we both lived in the city after college - although I lived there longer than he did. He couldn't wait to move out - had his car broken into a few times and his apartment almost broken into. I guess I might have felt the same way if that happened to me. I loved living in the city, but when we married, I had to say goodbye to city living. I still miss it, but I like where I live now as well, since I grew up in the country and still enjoy living in the suburbs/country.

And you're right - Bryn Mawr is a wonderful area.


#13

The Archdiocdese of Philadelphia is broken into 5 counties and many “clusters” of parishes. When I first moved here, I didn’t realize that it was not “kosher” (so to speak) to parish-shop. Catholics are expected to attend and support their local parish–there are specific “boundary lines.” You can check them out on the Archdiocese’s website. (archphila.org)

That said, if you’ve yet to find a house/apt. and want to select one based on the parish, great!

St. Colman’s in Ardmore is a wonderful parish.

St. Katharine of Siena in Wayne (a bit further west on rt 30/mainline) is vibrant and flourishing.

Our Lady of Lourdes in Overbrook is amazing, as well. Great blend of big families, college students. Right down the block from the International Institute for Culture and the National Catholic Bioethics Center.

Being an attorney (or almost!) you would probably do well to contact the St.Thomas More Society, no? I believe there’s a Philly chapter.

Congrats & happy moving!


#14

My understanding was that you're supposed to register at the parish in which you live, but you can attend any parish you like...not sure what that means in terms of tithing, though.

I've had great experiences in the Catholic churches in all neighborhoods I've lived in (Center City, West, Northwest, and now Northeast Phila); well, great experiences in all areas except one--as long as you're not single and over 30, you shouldn't have too many problems finding a good church in this area.

Also, since you're working at the Cira Centre, St. John the Evangelist in Center City is a great place to visit--several daily masses, confession several days a week. I used to go occasionally when I worked in University City. Nice to have that available (I miss it!), plus easier to make mass on holy days.


#15

[quote="StephanieC, post:13, topic:194119"]

Being an attorney (or almost!) you would probably do well to contact the St.Thomas More Society, no? I believe there's a Philly chapter.

[/quote]

I believe you are right that there is a Philly chapter. When I lived in Center City, I used to pass a building called the Thomas More Center (I think that was what it was called). They were law offices. Not sure if that is where the actual society were located or if it is affiliated with the society, but I always thought it seemed coincidental before I realized that there was a Thomas Moore Society. I also remember the Cathedral Basilica holding the society's red masses there.

Edit... found a website for the chapter:
saintthomasmoresociety.blogspot.com/2009/06/saint-thomas-more-award.html


#16

in City Center for a couple of months. I absolutely loved going to Mass at the Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul. The commute to downtown is well worth it.


#17

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