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“Into the Wilderness” Vacation Bible School

VBS Flyer without tear offsSt. Mark’s Church, 4442 Frankford Ave., is hosting a Vacation Bible School from Monday, July 13 through Wednesday, July 15, from 10 AM until 1 PM. Sponsored by Keep the Faith in Frankford and the Yardley United Methodist Church Youth Group, we are able to enroll 30 children (4-9 years old) and 6 “counselors” (10 years – 13 years) to help assist in this program.

Our theme is “Into the Wilderness” and the children will learn about God’s covenant with the 12 tribes of Israel! Lunch is included and we will learn Bible stories and have activities that are filled with fun!

You must register for this program. For more information, please call Pat Smiley, 215.520.5616 or email me at

You can download a registration form here. Completed forms may be returned to St. Mark’s Church office or calling Pat Smiley.


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All Are Invited and Welcome

Frankford has a rich history of faith and believers. We are blessed with many denominations whose people are active and live their beliefs. We believe in a spirit of interfaith dialogue which helps to connect us all.

Keep the Faith in Frankford is a group of Catholics whose two churches were closed in June 2013. St. Mark’s Church kindly invited us in and has graciously allowed us to meet there and make plans to try to reopen at least one church. We meet every Wednesday night at 6:30 PM. We realize that we have been given a responsibility to care about our brothers and sisters and are trying to do our best to help make Frankford a better place for all.

We would like your support and help with some of our activities. If you are interested, please join us this coming Wednesday night, April 29, at St. Mark’s at 6:30 PM. More information is shared below.

Parishioners Pilgrimage Small

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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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A Spirited Day

On July 4th, while celebrating the day of our nation’s independence, residents came together for the now annual, Frankford Community Spirit Day Honoring Al Stark, Jr. The event was organized by local non-profit Keep the Faith in Frankford and entertained the masses with fun, games, and remembrance.

Spearheading Keep the Faith in Frankford, organizer Pat Smiley expressed her wish to have a day for families who were not on vacation during the holiday to have fun in their own community. Many families attended including the Hohensteins who have members of the Frankford community for years. Jack Hohenstein, also a member of Keep the Faith in Frankford says the organization’s goals are not limited to the dealings with the church but they also aim to bring the community together. The charity also participates in the NECH Dining with Dignity Program that operates out of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church where Al Stark’s event was held.

20140705_154452Mr. Stark, a father, husband, and devout member of St. Joachim Church  and the Frankford community, passed away recently. During the event, named in honor of him and his family’s contributions, everyone gathered to remember his life and legacy. Pat Smiley spoke heartfelt words and recounted fond memories of Stark as she presented his family with a certificate of appreciation. Though tears were shed, there was clearly a silent consensus amongst the attendees that this was a celebration of his life, more than a mourning of his death.20140705_152025

Along with celebration of the holiday and life of Al Stark, came games and fun. A water balloon tossing tournament was moderated by Joe Hohenstein and brought smiles to everyone’s face. Carnival inspired fun took place in the parking lot and children did not go home empty handed. Gift bags were also given out to all. The event, which proved successful, shall continue with this new tradition for many years to come.

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Building Bridges For Learning!


A Virginia Beach school reaches out to Frankford

Across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel lies Virginia Beach, VA. I have a friend who is a Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and she is a Digital Learning Resource teacher at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School in VA Beach. My friend knows that I will take items people are giving away and find them a good home. One of the fourth grade teachers knew that I had taken materials before and asked me if I would like a classroom set of Reading textbooks as they were updating their books. I said, “Sure”. She decided it would be a good time to clean out her closet as well. Soon, the Assistant Principal learned about this and offered all of the old Reading textbooks, manuals, testing materials and supplementary materials from Kindergarten through Grade 4 – over 400 books. Hmm, what to do? Who would want them?

My husband, Bob, you also know him as the Editor of the Frankford Gazette, told me about Nashid Edwards, the co-founder of Concerned Citizens for a Better Frankford. Nashid and his organization have partnered with Stearne School, to help and support them teaching our neighborhood children. I contacted Nashid to see if he would be interested, he contacted the Principal of Stearne and “Yes” was the answer. These books, posters, big books, flashcards, testing materials, etc., could be used as supplementary materials in school and home.

The next step was figuring out how to bring these materials here. Bob and I would drive our RV down to Virginia Beach, load up the RV and bring them home – to Nashid and Stearne. Little did we know, that St. Gregory staff had heard about our coming for these materials and they decided to “pay it forward” by donating more surplus they no longer needed or used that might help other students. By the time Bob and I arrived in Virginia Beach, I think this picture tell the story. Make sure you look down the hallway on the right. There were even boxes behind those yellow doors.

Size of donation

Bob and I could only bring one-half of all of these materials back in our RV. There were 2 tons by the time these generous souls had gathered and boxed up everything. The joy each felt that these materials would be used and would continue to encourage students’ learning was something to see and something never to forget. We packed up our RV and headed home. (At some point we must return to bring up the rest of the “goodies”.)

When we returned, Nashid and his organization were ready to unload, sort and put everything to good use. But every good story has a “back story”. On the way down to Virginia

(l-r) Nashid Edwards, Richard Cook, Pete Specos and Wayne Sledge

(l-r) Nashid Edwards, Richard Cook, Pete Specos and Wayne Sledge

Beach, Bob slipped and fell on some oil at a gas station and injured his neck damaging some nerves that affect his eating, drinking and speech. As I write this story, he’s in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for diagnosis and treatment. We are confident of a full recovery and are grateful for all the prayers and support of family and friends.

Wayne Sledge, member of the 1st graduating class in 1968

Richard Cook, member of the 1st graduating class in 1968

As Bob didn’t feel well, Pete Specos, was kind enough to drive the RV (I could drive through the Bay Bridge Tunnel but I wasn’t confident of some of our very narrow Frankford streets) down to Stearne to make the final delivery.

When St. Joachim RC Church closed last summer, many of the parishioners stayed together because of our sense of community. We organized and titled a new nonprofit organization, Keep the Faith in Frankford. This was not just about our church but about ourselves and believing that we can mkae a difference right where we are. We believe that and Concerned Citizens for A Better Frankford believe that, too. I titled this story to show that from start to finish, this was an effort and collaboration between organizations and people who did not know each other but who are in the business of building strong minds. This can only happen if we work together for the good of all of our children.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel photo: