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Phila. Archdiocese Hoping Cemeteries, Nursing Homes Will Help Its Sagging Finances

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(Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, in Philadelphia.  Photo from Archdiocese of Phila.)

(Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, in Philadelphia. Photo from Archdiocese of Phila.)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is taking more steps to remedy its financial straits, putting its six nursing homes up for sale and pursuing management outsourcing for its 11 cemeteries.

In addition to this summer’s disclosure that the archdiocese was staring at more than $39 million in operating deficits, there were ongoing balance sheet issues that run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

So far, the church has sold off real estate, including the archbishop’s residence on City Avenue and shore property in Ventnor, NJ (see related story); auctioned off closed schools and convents (related story); and cut its workforce (related story).

Now, the archdiocese has decided to ready six nursing homes and one assisted living facility for potential sale.

The properties are the Immaculate Mary Home, in Philadelphia; Villa Saint Martha, in Downingtown (Chester County); St. Francis Country House, in Darby (Delaware County); St. John Neumann Home, in Philadelphia; St. Martha Manor, in Downingtown (Chester County); St. Mary Manor, in Lansdale (Montgomery County); and St. Monica Manor, in Philadelphia.

Archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin says a condition of sale would require that new entities maintain Catholic values and that current residents would be unaffected.

“Any resident in a nursing facility would need to stay in place,” Gavin says.  “They would have to be maintained by a buyer, regardless of their payer status.”

The cemeteries would not be sold.  Any potential arrangement would include outsourcing management and a leasing agreement.

The cemeteries are All Souls Cemetery, in Coatesville (Chester County); Calvary Cemetery, in West Conshohocken (Montgomery County); Cathedral and New Cathedral Cemeteries, both in Philadelphia; Holy Cross Cemetery, in Yeadon (Delaware County); Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, in Philadelphia; Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery, in Linwood (Delaware County); Resurrection Cemetery, in Bensalem (Bucks County); St. John Neumann Cemetery, in Chalfont (Bucks County); St. Michael Cemetery, in Chester (Delaware County); and Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, in Springfield (Delaware County).

Additionally, All Saints Cemetery, in Newtown (Bucks County), and Holy Savior Cemetery, in Penn Township (Bucks County), would also be affected.  They are not currently active cemeteries, but sites designated for future use.

Parish cemeteries are not affected, because they are operated at the local level.

Gavin also says every effort will be made to ensure continued employment by affected workers.

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