Skip to main content

Year of Encounter


Our Lady of Hope/ Olney

  • Create a Pastoral Formation Hub for Social Change, with focus on Immigration.
  • Integration of diverse communities within the parish around “both feet” of love in action
  • Training in English & Spanish to facilitate deeper “encounter.”
    Information & advocacy regarding legal and other needs of immigrant families, Networking with organizations with needed expertise including New Sanctuary, HIAS & POWER. Roots in this parish: This action strengthens the parish plan to deepen spiritual and social integration of diverse parish community (Filipino, Latino, African- American).

Parish contact: Sr Gertrude Borres, R.A. (

Our Mother of Good Hope & St Thomas of Villanova/ Bryn Mawr & Villanova

Dual-Parish commitment to educate, advocate and provide direct service to alleviate poverty, particularly food insecurity:                          

  • Advocate through Bread for the World letter-writing,  Catholics Confront Global Poverty website, and speakers.
  • Explore direct service options through CCHD-funded programs.                     Strengthen relationship with sister parish (St Cyprian) through encounter & collaboration. Roots in this parish:  Builds on strong history of food-related outreach.

Parish contacts:  Anne Murphy/St TV (, Sr Anne Woodeschick/OMGC (  

St Helena’s/ Logan

  • Desire to launch Information & Support for immigrants in the parish.
  • Listening for immigrants’ needs through Vietnamese & Latino lay leaders
  • Research on possible collaboration with organizations and persons with    immigration expertise (e.g Archdiocese of Philadelphia, law offices)
  • This project-idea emerges from the changing demographic of St Helena’s, which now includes many Vietnamese, Latino and African immigrants.

Parish contact:  Michael Campbell   (

St Patrick’s/ Norristown

  • Desire to form an Immigration Detention Center Visiting Ministry, especially for those who are isolated and/or alone. Initial project-exploration underway, through consultation w/ PA Immigration Resource Center.
  • Will require coordination with government and private organizations; transportation assistance;  volunteers;  training/ spiritual formation (inspired by St Paul and others who have suffered from detention/ imprisonment).
  • This project-vision emerges from the direct experience of many parishioners’ families.   Other Yr of Encounter parishes may be asked to help.

Parish contact (Spanish only):    Martha Quintero   (

St Rose of Lima/ North Wales

St. Rose Homeless and Hungry Project

  • The parish is building on its current poverty-related charitable outreach (including with the food cupboard at sister-parish St Helena’s) by introducing several new elements inspired by the “Year of Encounter”:   1- A focus on the needs of “excluded” people in their own region/ Montgomery County; 2- an emphasis on direct encounter and relationship-building with those who are suffering; and  3- a desire to link the “two feet of love in action” (charity and systemic change)  through advocacy and action to change structures that cause suffering, including through the work of the interfaith POWER Metro coalition of congregations.

Parish contact:  Jane Selner (

St Vincent de Paul/ Germantown

  • Renewed parish commitment to do Racial Healing together as a merged family of parishes of African-American and white Catholics in Germantown.
  • The catalyst for this was the “Yr of Encounter” program—particularly the Lenten “listening session on race & racism”—and a transformative parish retreat.
  • Next- steps are intentionally open-ended for now, to make time for listening.
  • But two trends are promising:  1-  Planning “unifying” events like occasional “one Mass” times, sacred pew conversations to break open God’s Word, and social events to encourage friendships.  2- Participating in POWER campaigns, where parishioners work together with other faith communities to change systems that unfairly hurt families of color.

Parish contacts:  Sharon Browning (, Chris Bolden- Newsome (, Mary Laver (