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https://www.change.org/p/city-of-philadelphia-historical-commission-save-saint-laurentius-church-on-berks-st-in-philadelphia?recruiter=23365045&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-reason_msg&fb_ref=Default

Over 130 years ago, Philadelphians in the Fishtown neighborhood built Saint Laurentius Church with their hands to give their families a place to pray, to grow, to mourn and to celebrate.  Many of these families were new to the United States and came to escape the oppression of new rule in Poland.  Under the roof of this beautiful brownstone church, people shared common woes and joys, new relationships were forged under God and a beautiful community grew from that.

Generations of Fishtowners and newcomers alike have gathered here to worship, to baptize, to confess, take communion, marry and mourn.  What impresses me even more than this magnificent church, is the strong sense of community that this parish fostered.

When you live in a city rich with architectural marvels, it is easy to start to take them for granted.  Designed by the prominent ecclesiastical and theatrical architect, Edwin Forrest Durang, Saint Laurentius inspires awe in those fortunate enough to enter the sanctuary.  With its breathtaking interior covered in priceless art and gilding, impressive carved altar and woodwork, intricate cut and stained glass windows, impressive brownstone facade and copper spires, not to mention the undeniable Polish-American cultural ties, St. Laurentius surely seems to meet the requirements for historical designation on a multifaceted level. The parishioners would like to be given the opportunity to acquire such designation by the City of Philadelphia's Historic Commission in order to cease any plans for this church's destruction. 

Like the generations before them who invested sizable sums to keep this church maintained and to allow for the addition of a rectory, convent, and school, the parishioners once again have come together... this time to save their beloved church.  They have formed an organization to do just this, called "Save St. Laurentius" and they have raised substantial capital funds to do these repairs.  Please do not let this beautiful landmark and her community be smashed to bits and fade from memory.  This parish is fixable.  It can be repaired. 

“Save Saint Laurentius” has been working diligently for the past year to save this parish church.  They hired a Canon lawyer and when it was announced last spring that the parish was to be closed, “Save Saint Laurentius” filed a formal appeal to the Vatican.  According to Canon Law, nothing can be done to destroy or alter this structure until the Vatican has released its formal decision on the appeal and yet, with St. Laurentius' case still under Vatican review, on March 22, 2015 the Archdiocese of Philadelphia made a formal announcement that they are moving forward with the demolition and will be seeking permits. 

This parish, both the Gothic brownstone and the parishioners, deserve better than its unnecessary destruction.  It can be saved, and it should be saved.  The Archidocese should not be allowed to move forward with demolition until the formal reply from the Vatican is received.  Please heed the call for help and allow “Save Saint Laurentius” the opportunity to repair their church so that more generations can come and experience the majesty within these walls.  Please help us stop the wrecking ball from reducing this historic and cultural landmark to dust.
It's a shame. Unfortunately this sort of thing happens all too often. A church is closed due to decreasing membership or serious debt, and then it is bulldozed and the land sold.  No one who could afford the land would want to buy a church building, but the diocese can make a lot of money if they're selling a large, clear piece of land in the middle of an urban area.  These structures are beautiful- even people who aren't religious recognize that churches (especially Catgolic and Anglican ones) are some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Sadly, some seem to care more about money than about preserving what is beautiful, what elevates the soul to contemplate holy things, and what reminds us that the Church didn't begin in the mid-20th century.
Its things like these that make me angry at the NO Church. They want to talk about how we have had wonderful popes and how great things are.

FOLKS OUR CHURCHES ARE BEING TORN DOWN OR SOLD TO MOSLEMS!!


This is a time for rallying, not for celebrating. The liturgy should emphasize our struggle, not our victory. Satan is winning this battle, while we (like the Germans in both world wars) keep singing hymns of victory, completely oblivious to the reality.
What is a bishop supposed to do with these large buildings and the costs of maintaining them? There may have been many hundreds or even thousands of families at these churches in the past, but there just aren't anymore. Besides the collapse of religious practice, we have to be realistic about the demographics of Rust Belt Catholicism. Pennsylvania, Ohio, etc., have seen huge numbers of people move away over the years. It's not just Roman Catholics - Byzantine Catholics have had to sell off churches, too. The people just aren't there anymore. It may be said to see the church where Granddad was baptized and Mom and Dad were married go away, but if only 75 people show up to Sunday Mass in a church built to house many hundreds, how are the bills going to be paid?

The only hope for these buildings is that Catholics return to the Faith and SUPPORT THEIR PARISH. Time and money. Even then, that might not be enough for many given the way the population has moved out of the cities.

As an aside, I find it interesting that in Orthodox canon law, once a building has been consecrated a Church, it must always remain one - it can never revert to a secular purpose. There is no corresponding idea to the Roman deconsecration of a Church. An interesting idea, but I'm curious if that causes financial problems in practice.
(04-20-2015, 11:44 AM)austenbosten Wrote: [ -> ]Its things like these that make me angry at the NO Church. They want to talk about how we have had wonderful popes and how great things are.

FOLKS OUR CHURCHES ARE BEING TORN DOWN OR SOLD TO MOSLEMS!!


This is a time for rallying, not for celebrating. The liturgy should emphasize our struggle, not our victory. Satan is winning this battle, while we (like the Germans in both world wars) keep singing hymns of victory, completely oblivious to the reality.
No matter if the Church is reduced to just one faithful Catholic, Satan has not and can never win. Our Lord Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory over everything, sin death and Satan, once and for all. But we must choose which side we want to be on. Most of the world is choosing the other side right now. So all we can do is continue with the warfare that is this life by prayer, sacrifice, the Sacraments, Catholic action, practicing virtue, etcetera. There is nothing more we can do than work at our sanctification and salvation in fear and trembling. That is all God asks of us all. Also the Liturgy should show forth Christ's eternal victory, because then we will realize what is at stake, namely, our immortal souls, and that we cannot ever waver from Christ for to do so is sin and eternal death.
(04-20-2015, 07:23 PM)GodFirst Wrote: [ -> ]
(04-20-2015, 11:44 AM)austenbosten Wrote: [ -> ]Its things like these that make me angry at the NO Church. They want to talk about how we have had wonderful popes and how great things are.

FOLKS OUR CHURCHES ARE BEING TORN DOWN OR SOLD TO MOSLEMS!!


This is a time for rallying, not for celebrating. The liturgy should emphasize our struggle, not our victory. Satan is winning this battle, while we (like the Germans in both world wars) keep singing hymns of victory, completely oblivious to the reality.
No matter if the Church is reduced to just one faithful Catholic, Satan has not and can never win. Our Lord Jesus Christ has won the ultimate victory over everything, sin death and Satan, once and for all. But we must choose which side we want to be on. Most of the world is choosing the other side right now. So all we can do is continue with the warfare that is this life by prayer, sacrifice, the Sacraments, Catholic action, practicing virtue, etcetera. There is nothing more we can do than work at our sanctification and salvation in fear and trembling. That is all God asks of us all. Also the Liturgy should show forth Christ's eternal victory, because then we will realize what is at stake, namely, our immortal souls, and that we cannot ever waver from Christ for to do so is sin and eternal death.

I said Satan is winning this battle...I never said Satan is winning the war. The war is lost for him.
there is a few recourses, one is to try to get a traditional religious order to take it over and keep it alive, two try to get some rich philanthapsits to help, or try to press the diocese to turn it into something for a ministarial purpose.  we have been somewhat blessed that new religious communities have come to fort wayne and saved, and restored a very old church saint andrews in the traditional franciscan order of friars minor, and in the old rectory some carmelite nuns, many of whom are really young ladies entering and contemplating, its great to see, and they are far from gloomy, they are sturn and humble in prayer, but most of them that have not yet entered the enclosure as well as the brothers will, talk and joke around during recreation time, and are very loving people, especialy Fr David Mary Engo, he is on fire with the spirit when he says mass, but he is such a card when chatting, but really knows how to teach the lesson of the day and give a good homily, they are a bit hybrid though they pray in latin, but the mass is said in english facing the altar, kind of like ewtn, but more latin, oh and both communities are discalised, um you know without shoes, except when needed for hard work, or the snow this is indiana after all,  there is also I belive hermitage they run at the old St Felix Friery in Huntington, the place where Ven Bernard Solanac Casey was at in his latter years, many intersery miraculas things are atributed to him, as well as a man in the true spirit of St Frances, he reached into a beehive while playing a harmonica and pulled out one of the two queens as they were starting to swarm or get angry.

so that is what we have been blessed with, keep pressing those that can give a historical designation, and try to find a religious order to keep and maintain the property most especialy if its in a poor area so they can minister to them.