Last Catholic Church In Frankford Rallies To Stay Open

Last Catholic Church In Frankford Rallies To Stay Open

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PHILADELPHIA -

Their rally cry was a plea to Archbishop Charles Chaput.

"Give me your good word! A catholic church in Frankford," shouted dozens of members of St. Joachim Church.

They're hoping Chaput will meet with the congregation and tell them why the catholic church is pulling out of the Frankford community.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese is planning to merge and close 27 churches in Philadelphia and Delaware Counties on June 30th. The archdiocese cites dwindling membership and loss of money as the reason.

"They only have hands out for their money. They've nailed up a dollar on the cross and that's what they're worshiping and that's all they care about," shouted Agnes Visco, a member of St. Joachim Church.

There's 168 years of history at St. Joachim. Programs for the poor in and around Frankford, for example.

Brian Harris was baptized at the church. "It's my roots of my Christian faith where I learned to be Christian and act as a Christian," he explained.

200 devout members of St. Joachim have a strong emotional investment in the church, but that's not all that's strong. Church leaders say event rentals have made them financially stable.

"We have no debt and we contribute to the archdiocese," explained rally organizer and church member Pat Smiley.

Despite this rally, St. Joachim along with two other churches will be folded into Holy Innocents a mile away, unless there's divine intervention.

A spokesman for the Diocese says some masses will still be held at St. Joachim for at least the next year.

He says the head of the rally was given the opportunity to work with the church transition team, and she declined.

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