Mailbag 29: Church Alley Update

That's right! Time for an update from the Project's favorite place, from an anonymous source "in the know," so to speak.

I recently discovered your site, and I am a huge fan! I'm a parishioner at St. Adalbert. I know you really enjoyed St. Adalbert- did you know St. Adalbert is the patron saint of Poland? I'm not sure if that explains why it's more ornate than some of the other ethnically Polish churches, but it's an interesting fact nonetheless.

More likely they had more money and ambition. But yeah, fun fact.

I also wanted to give you an update on the other parishes on Allegheny Avenue, or "Church Alley" as you called it. Nativity B.V.M. and Our Lady Help of Christians have been twinned, with all the priests living at Nativity's rectory. OLHC is still having Masses, and one of the bishops (I forget which one) recently moved into the OLHC rectory. All three are amazing churches- Port Richmond is lucky to have them!

It's good to hear things are plugging along, administrative changes notwithstanding; I'd hate for anything bad to happen to my favorite seven-block radius.

I know you also visited Mother of Divine Grace. There used to be a beautiful painting behind the altar that was replaced by the crucifix in the 1990s. I know this because my grandparents donated the money to buy the crucifix from Italy. You know there are too many churches in your neighborhood when your grandparents who live in the same neighborhood belong to a completely different parish, but that's Port Richmond for you.

Part of the charm of the place, yes. Something you didn't see very often even back in the day, and something you certainly won't ever see again.

I wonder what happened to said painting--I don't remember seeing it during my *memorable* visit there a few years back. And no, I'm not curious enough to go and find out.

Have you thought about visiting St. George in Port Richmond? I haven't been there since I was a kid so I don't remember too much about what it looks like, but it's definitely unique in that the church is on the 2nd floor and the parish school is below it. I'm not sure there are many other churches like that around here, so it might be worth a visit.

Thoughts, yes. Plans, no. Barring some bizarre set of circumstances, I don't see it happening. Then again, stranger things have happened.