From the Project's overflowing mail coffers:
I enjoyed your reviews of a staggering number of churches in the area. I have a couple questions for you, mostly out of curiosity. St. Raymond's in East Mt. airy and Holy Cross, also in Mt. airy aren't included and I wanted to ask why. Ah! Also, no St. Madeleine Sophie in West Mt. airy, either.
I wanted to comment on your review of St. Vincent dePaul in Germantown. I'm guessing you attended a 9AM mass on that Palm Sunday. You commented that the worshippers were all Caucasian. The 11:30 is a diverse group and has a totally different vibe from the 9AM mass. Also of note is that the church is very welcoming to the gay community. Of further interest is the Face to Face program at St. Vincent's which serves hot meals to the community in need every Saturday and Sunday, staffed by church volunteers. The program is twenty years old. It includes a legal center and medical facility as well. I started attending mass at St. Vincent's on Palm Sunday, 2009. I cracked up reading your impressions of the service as I, too, was taken aback.
I attended two events at St. Vincent's many years ago and felt a big hit of passion when I was there.I didn't know what I was feeling, nit was new to me, and scary. As a half Jewish, half Episcopalian 'oreo', I didn't allow myself to feel that feeling until last April, when I gave myself a birthday gift of attending mass. On following Sundays I attended Episcopalian, Quaker, The Shrine Of the Miraculous Medal, and Saturday synagogue services. No chemistry. Not even the unitarian church where I was married and both my children were named, did it for me.I spent all the other weeks at St. V's, even giong on sat. at 5PM when I visited other houses of worship because I felt such a pull. So, last Sunday, I registered at St. V's and may convert. However, I was interested to read that that was like no Catholicism you ever observed. So, I'm nervous. I imagine I will be celebrating the Jewish High Holidays (probably) this fall, but it won't be the same.
I know these points aren't a big deal, yes, I too, am not from Germantown, although for years I did live there. Your website is fascinating, great reading, some laugh- out- louds ( I know that heavy incense at St. Clements!) and I thank you. Thanks for reading my thoughts.
Mt. Airy really suffers from the same strange problem as Chestnut Hill. Awesome old neighborhood with ridiculous architecture, except the churches. Holy Cross makes the cut, but St. Raymond and St. Madeline Sophie do not.
It's kind of easy to forget about St. Vincent de Paul, which we covered early in our tenure and haven't really brought up much since, Church Project Theorems aside. It's easy now to dismiss it, in retrospect, given our prolific experiences with like-minded Fat Girl parishes. But at the time, it blew the Project's mind. And some of what they did still hasn't been equaled in any of our trips. Marching down the street with wooden poles? Yeah.
That said, don't let them scare you off Catholicism, if that's the way you want to go. If you ask me, those kinds of parishes are the most fun, and you're far better off there than at some of the staid, boring ones we've seen. But as always, let the spirit guide you and make the decision that's right for you. The Project wishes you well in your journey.