Philadelphia Archdiocese aims to ease deficit by selling properties
Published: August 15, 2012
PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia Aug. 13 announced the planned sale of select real estate holdings, on a case-by-case basis, to address its operating deficit in the current fiscal year. A deficit of at least $6 million is expected even before any extraordinary costs may be incurred. Properties included are the previously announced sale of the archbishop's residence in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, and Villa St. Joseph by the Sea in Ventnor, N.J. Added to the list are Holy Family Center and a large portion of the adjacent Archdiocesan Pastoral Center parking lot in Philadelphia and the Mary Immaculate Retreat Center in Northampton, Pa. "To address the cash flow challenges caused by the deficits, the church is faced with hard decisions," Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said in a news release. "It's similar to what families have to do when their expenses are greater than their income. We just can't afford to maintain and hold assets like Villa St. Joseph by the Sea and my residence. Holding on to these properties at this time would be inconsistent with the mission of our church." Villa St. Joseph by the Sea, a 9,800-square-foot residence that has 11 bedrooms with baths, occupies a half-acre beachfront property. It has served primarily as a summer vacation home for retired priests since 1963. It is scheduled to be sold at auction Sept. 15 by Max Spann Real Estate and Auction Co. The archbishop's residence, a 16-room mansion, was purchased by Cardinal Dennis Dougherty in 1935 and has been the home of Philadelphia's archbishops ever since. It is expected to be sold in a private sale in the near future.
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