The Last Day of Winter


We are approaching the one year anniversary of the last (but not final) mass at St. Laurentius. Today, on the last day of winter, we ask you to share our message of hope.

Please show your support by leaving a flower on the steps of St. Laurentius Church.

And to our friends around the world who don’t live close enough to leave a flower, you can participate by sharing our photo, or sharing a photo of any flower with ‪#‎HopeForStLaurentius‬

Thank you all for your support over the past year. Please continue to keep St. Laurentius in your prayers!


Father Francis Gwiazda Memorial Mass

Thursday, March 12, 2015 – 7 P.M.
St. Adalbert Church, Thompson Street and Allegheny Avenue in Philadelphia, PA.

On March 2, 2015, Fr. Francis Gwiazda, “Father Frank,” the long time pastor of St. Laurentius Church in the Fishtown section of Phladelphia passed away. Fr. Gwiazda, ordained in 1969, was respected for his service to the Catholic Church. He was known as a proud priest, great speaker, and a person who loved to sing and promote his Polish heritage. Fr. Frank served as Pastor of St. Laurentius Church, the oldest Polish Church in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, PA, for 27 years until he retired.

Fr. Gwiazda also served as Assistant Pastor at St. Hedwig Church in Chester, PA, St. Laurentius Church, St. John Cantius Church and St. Adalbert Church in Philadelphia, prior to being named pastor of St. Laurentius Church. Members of the Polish American Congress, Polish American Heritage Associations, and Polonia, extend condolences to Fr. Gwiazda’s family.

Everyone is invited to attend the Memorial Mass for Fr. Francis Gwiazda

This information provided by the:
Polish American Cultural Center Museum, 308 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Obituary from Philadelphia Daily News

Here is where the Archdiocese put the items it illegally confiscated from St. Laurentius

The Archdiocese told NBC 10 that each item removed from St. Laurentius would be “catalogued and stored in a warehouse”.  And once again, they are not giving the full truth.  Mr. Edmund Rafferty, an employee (administrator) from The Archdiocese of Philadelphia oversaw Riley and Sons Moving company’s work.  He seemed rather amiable; was simply doing his job.  Mr. Edmund Rafferty is the coordinator of The Ecclesiastical Exchange.  This exchange sells former sacred items from Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Ecclesiastical Exchange

The Archdiocese Continues to Violate Canon Law by Confiscating more sacred objects from St. Laurentius

The Archdiocese defiantly continues to carry on their plan to strip St. Laurentius of its sacred objects.  Many of these sacred objects are not material “things” – they have been donated by lifetime parishoners, sometimes in memory of a  loved one who passed away.  The archdiocese continues to disrepect parishoners by blatantly hauling items out of the church in broad daylight.  

The Archdiocese violates canon law by removing sacred items from St. Laurentius

We have followed church law and procedure by filing an appeal to Pope Francis and the Vatican. The Archdiocese and the Archbishop continues to mock Pope Francis by removing relics and sacred Items. Why was this unnecessary action done this week? Why was thus expense incurred in clear violation of canon law? Who is paying for this? Please ask the Archdiocese why they have zero respect for Pope Francis and for the tens of thousands of souls who have called St Laurentius home for 130 years.

Members of our committee spoke to NBC 10’s George Spencer last night. Here is the segment from Monday’s 11:00 news.

Formal Recourse

On Friday, October 17, 2014 the formal Recourse in favor of restoring Saint Laurentius Church in Fishtown, Philadelphia, was sent to the Vatican and Pope Francis.  Extensive research and careful notes were submitted regarding the condition of the church, the possibility of repair, the support of the church, the sanctity of this Saint Laurentius Church and the goodness of all Catholics in our area.  Throughout this process and in the formal submission, we kept the safety of all people in mind.

The appeal has been sent.  Now, the process must be followed;  the decision is in the hands of Pope Francis and the Vatican leaders.  This might take three months.

May we keep the strength of Saint Laurentius / Saint Lawrence, a martyr burned on a gridiron for his faith, in our hearts.  And, regardless of the decision, may we find peace in knowing we followed due diligence and the search for truth in a deliberate way.

Just the Facts

Fact: The Save the Saint Laurentius Church Committee has reached out to the Pastor by phone, by visit and by email more than 5 times since August. He will meet with individual parishioners but he will not meet with our group.

Fact: Our donations and pledges to donate have reached $475,000.

Fact: The St Laurentius convent sold through a local real estate agent through an open and public process. The parish netted more than $350,000.

(opinion and fact: $475,000 + a conservative $350,000 = $825,000. Even if some families or businesses cannot complete their entire pledge, that sure seems to be close to the total amount of money needed to repair St Laurentius Church)

Fact: The Archdiocesan leaders noted that those proceeds can be used to pay back the parish debt incurred by both St. Laurentius and by Holy Name or it could be used to demolish St Laurentius church. This was several months ago. We were not physically at the meeting. This sentiment was shared through the previous pastor in several meetings.

Fact: The Canon Law process states that nothing should be done right now to St. Laurentius Church. It seems that there have been objects taken from the church including an organ.

(opinion: if we are not successful, if the church needs to be sadly torn down, then we hope that the sacred objects would to to St Laurentius parishioners or to Holy name parish or to St Laurentius School. We do not want the demolition company to be able to sell them to the highest bidder. The thing is, we just aren’t there yet. No means no. Everything should remain as is.)

Fact: There are many ways to support St. Laurentius Church. One very real way is to continue to support Holy Name parish.

Fact: We have only shared the truth.
The truth might not be easy but that does not make it a tabloid rumor or a lie.

Fact: Holy Name of Jesus has a Parish Council of 8 good people and the pastor. There is NO finance council. The previous pastor used both.
Note: There are 9 fallible humans (as we are all fallible humans capable of making a mistake) making a very big decision)

Our pastor and our parish council might not be making decisions we like but they have good hearts. Stay focused and hopeful. Let’s pray and hope they God, or Rome, will soften those hearts. In the meantime, we promise to continue to never post a lie.