|Philadelphia Archdiocese aims to sell properties|
Catholic News ServiceThe Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to sell real estate holdings to address its operating deficit in the current fiscal year. A deficit of at least $6 million is expected even before any extraordinary costs may be incurred.
Properties included are the previously announced sale of the archbishop’s residence in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, and Villa St. Joseph by the Sea in Ventnor, N.J.
Added to the list are Holy Family Center and a large portion of the adjacent Archdiocesan Pastoral Center parking lot in Philadelphia and the Mary Immaculate Retreat Center in Northampton, Pa.
Villa St. Joseph by the Sea, a 9,800-square-foot residence that has 11 bedrooms with baths, occupies a half-acre beachfront property. It has served primarily as a summer vacation home for retired priests since 1963. It is scheduled to be sold at auction.
The archbishop’s residence, a 16-room mansion, was purchased in 1935 and has been the home of Philadelphia’s archbishops ever since. It is expected to be sold in a private sale in the near future.
The archbishop will reside at nearby St. Charles Borromeo Seminary after the sale takes place.
The Holy Family Center, which houses most of the offices of Catholic Social Services, has approximately 20,000 square feet and occupies what was originally the convent of the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity, the congregation that formerly administered many of the social programs of the archdiocese.
The Catholic Social Services staff, which has not been reduced, will be absorbed at other facilities.
The Mary Immaculate Retreat Center, located on 452 acres, was originally built in 1939 as a seminary for the Vincentians at a time when Northampton County was part of the Philadelphia Archdiocese; now it is part of the Allentown Diocese.
It was acquired by the archdiocese and operated for a spirituality year for St. Charles Borromeo seminarians from 1991 to 05. Afterward, it served as a retreat center but was underutilized.