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Time To Buy Your Tickets!

Ten days and counting down to what will be a fun-filled, music packed, foot stomping and energetic afternoon at The Philadelphia Ballroom! Keep the Faith in Frankford is holding their annual fundraiser to support our efforts to reopen St. Joachim Church in Frankford (there is no Catholic Church in Frankford after St. Joachim and Mater Dolorosa were closed). Our Church is rooted in the teachings of Jesus with a strong emphasis on social justice. We still meet weekly (after 20 months)  to provide programs and

Yardley United Methodist Church Youth Group helps us the Dining with Dignity program feed the hungry in Frankford.

Yardley United Methodist Church Youth Group helps us the Dining with Dignity program feed the hungry in Frankford.

activities for our community in Frankford. All are welcome at our meetings. We honor all religions that honor and respect each and every person. Some of our community events include – we participate in the Dining with Dignity program and serve 80-120 community residents with a hot meal and a bagged 26 Picturedinner. We do this every 6-8 weeks. We also do community events like a holiday party for single mothers in a local transitional home. I was so surprised thinking the kids would be older – they were infants up to 3 years old. Some of you even donated toys. We also did a community fair for local residents. We brought textbooks and materials from St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in Virginia Beach, VA to the Stearne School here in our community. We are the Catholic presence in Frankford, which we will continue whether our church reopens, or not.  We want to be able to expand our programming this year, too!

But it takes your generous support. We are very pleased to be able to have The Heartbeats band as our “star attraction”. Won’t you be a “star”, too, and support our worthy cause. See you on Sunday, March 22.


Microsoft Word - Dance Party Flyer.docx

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Be a Deus Ex Machina

Peter J. Dawson

In  Shakespearean  times,    an  employee  of  the  company  putting  on  the  plays,  working  in  the  catwalks  above  the  stage,  would  sometimes  trip  and  fall  20  feet  or  so  —  plop !  —  smack into  the  middle  of  the  play  being  watched  by  the  audience.  If  no  bones  were  broken,  he  would  stand  up  and  quickly   pretend  to  be  an  angel  or  a  god  from  above,  delivering  a message  or  rendering  unexpected  aid.

This  practice  mutated  into  a  figure  of  speech  —   a  “deus  ex  machina,”  or  “the  god  from  the  machinery”  —  referring  to  the  person  who  inserts  himself  unexpectedly  into  the  time  of troubles  of  another  person  and  renders  aid.

Look  for  the  opportunity  to  be  a  “deus  ex  machina”  in  your  life.   I’ve  known  a  few.    I  had  a  friend  in  high  school  named  John  Lazauskas.   His  father  was  an  ordinary  guy  —  a little man  who  raised  his  little  family  in  a  little  row  home  in  the  Frankford  section  of  Philadelphia.

We  all  went  down  to  the  Frankford and Pratt  bus  terminal   on  workday  mornings  to  catch  a  bus  or  trolley  or  the  Frankford  elevated  train  to  school  or  our  job.   Every  day, thousands of  people  saw   the  homeless  Smelly  Bag  Lady  crawling  around  between  nooks,  looking  for  opportunities  to  beg,  pee  or  sleep.

One  day,  as  hundreds  of  people  were  looking  on,  John  Lazauskas’  father  astonished  the  universe,  the  angels  and  the  demons  by  bringing  the  homeless  Smelly  Bag  Lady  a  wonderful  breakfast  on  a  tray,  while  the  rest  of  us  stood  puzzled,  and  numbed  by  the  programming  of  our  age  and  by  our  own  internal  laziness,  fear  and  inertia  into  watching  one  of  God’s precious  children  suffer  horribly.

Mr.  Lazauskas  did  this  day  after  day,  until  the  homeless  Smelly  Bag  Lady  made  headlines  by  being  hit  and  crushed  by  a  bus.

When  Mr.  Lazauskas  did  what  he  did,  nonetheless,  he  permitted  the  invincible  love  and  power  of  the  almighty  creator  and  destroyer  God  of  the  Universe   to  enter  and  suffuse  his flesh  and  mind,   so  that  he  became  God’s  most  powerful  tool  on  Earth  at  that   place  and  time,   to  the  astonishment  and  applause  and  cheering  of  the  angels,   and  the  astonishment and  anger  of  the  demons.

Be  one  of  the  good  guys.   Astonish  the  universe.    Be  a  deus  ex  machina.

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St. Joachim – In the Shadows No More

WMF icon What follows is a letter written by a member of St. Joachim Parish, who is himself also a grandfather like St. Joachim, explaining his thoughts following the unveiling of the World Meeting of        Families’ Holy Family Iconic Painting. Jack was also inspired to write a hiaku about this matter:

Holy Family Icon

“Where is Grandfather?”

“He’s hidden in the shadows.”

Humility rocks!

As a grandfather, it was good to see St. Joachim included in the portrait of the Holy Family by Neilson Carlin. Unfortunately, he seemed to be standing in the shade. In the Inquirer photo of the painting (September 8, 2014), he disappeared completely. Perhaps the artist could touch up his image a bit and bring him out of the shadows.

As a member of St. Joachim’s Parish, I am more concerned to bring his namesake church out of the shadows where it was consigned by Archbishop Charles Chaput in May of 2013. Since then, despite being designated a “Worship Site” of Holy Innocents Parish, only two feast day Masses and a few funerals and weddings have been celebrated at St. Joachim’s. The statue of Mary in her father’s courtyard stands solemnly behing the chained and padlocked gates.

By his decree, Archbishop Chaput and his Pastoral Commission did not meet their responsibility for the spiritual welfare of St. Joachim’s people and effectively closed what had been a vibrant (and financially stable) Catholic community.

St. Joachim’s neighbor, Mater Dolorosa parish has been closed as well, leaving the historic neighborhood of Frankford without a Catholic presence for the first time since 1845. Many other parishes have also been closed or merged. Some of these actions may have been justified, but the process by which the Commission and the Archbishop reached their conclusions was flawed and both secretive and capricious.

Our group, Keep the Faith in Frankford, has appealed the decree, first to the Archbishop, then to the Vatican Supreme Court where the merits of our case will be examined for the first time.

It would not be good for Pope Francis to find an Archdiocese that is abandoning its poorest neighborhoods. Families, neighborhoods, our nation and our world would benefit from a truly, holy, compassionate Catholic Church. Let’s start by getting St. Joachim out of the shadows.

Jack Hohenstein, September 10, 2014


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An Event You Don’t Want to Miss!

What’s the hottest ticket in town? No, it’s not along the Avenue of the Arts! It’s the ticket for tonight’s presentation at the Historical Society of Frankford, 1507 Orthodox St. See you there! The most fun for $5 you can have anywhere!!!!

HSF September 2014 program half page