Fall College Tour for High School Students

Join Second Antioch Baptist Church on their Annual College Tour.

A few seats are still open for this year’s tour

Tour visits historically Black colleges on the East Coast

Get a jump on the college enrollment season by attending the Tours

Call 215-387-6774 for more details

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Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary Announces 2017 Season with New Haunted Attraction Blood Yard

  • Experience a massive haunted house inside the cellblocks of a real abandoned prison! Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is NOW OPEN! https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/

 

  • Consistently ranked among the top haunted attractions in the nation, Philadelphia’s Terror Behind the Walls is now open. Experience their newest attraction for 2017, Blood Yard! https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/

 

  • Named “One of America’s Scariest Halloween Attractions” by the Travel Channel, Terror Behind the Walls at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia is a haunted house in a real abandoned prison! Get your tickets today. https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/

 

  • It’s hunt or be hunted in Terror Behind the Walls’ newest attraction, Blood Yard! Experience this massive haunted house inside a real abandoned Philadelphia prison. Get your tickets today! https://www.easternstate.org/halloween/

Spotlight On Local Author With Parkside Roots

by Juanita Alexander

Saundra Terrell

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Saundra Terrell, an engaging and delightful author who grew up and was nurtured in our very own Parkside community. I was spellbound as I listened to her discuss her childhood experiences and her latest book, WATER THICKER THAN BLOOD.

She explained that the underlying ‘theme’ of the book is that “you can have people come into your life in a meaningful way and that they can have more impact on your life and often be more supportive than your blood relatives”. Ms. Terrell’s book is a work of fiction but she feels it is filled with characters that everyday people can relate to based on their own life experiences. Characters like Johnny Mae who suffers from unrequited love and Pearl who must deal with feelings of inadequacy because she feels she is too dark and too fat compared to her prettier’ sister, are people most of us can empathize with.

Saundra Terrell moved with her family to Parkside (near 42nd and Viola Sts.) when she was about six

years old during the 1950’s. She attended Leidy Elementary School (the ‘original’ Leidy before the larger school was built). She remembers a beautiful neighborhood with grocery stores, pharmacies, and produce shops lining Parkside Ave. and nearby streets. During the 1950’s, the neighborhood was predominantly Jewish and Leidy was racially mixed. She believes that Parkside began to experience a decline when people moved into the community who were not homeowners and who did not have a vested interest in maintaining their properties. It is her belief that the decline of the neighborhood accelerated when a nearby restaurant was converted to a bar, leading to fights and other undesirable activities.

Despite the challenges facing Parkside today, Ms. Terrell remains deeply connected with her childhood community. Her sister still lives on Viola Street, right next to the original family home that her son is renovating. In addition, members of her late husband’s family still live on Viola Street.

Although her first book, NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MY OWN, was published fairly recently in 2009, Ms. Terrell’s interest in books and writing dates back to her childhood years. In the fourth grade, the teacher would allow her to put on plays after the recess break. All of her classmates eagerly looked forward to her plays and wanted to be characters in her ‘productions’. When other children were outside playing, she stayed indoors and read Nancy Drew romance novels. She especially related to the character of Allison in the sensational 1950’s best seller Peyton Place because Allison wanted to go to New York and become a writer. Ironically, despite her obvious talent, she had low self-esteem as a child because she was a poor speller. However, she compensated for her difficulties with spelling by using words she found in books she read. Later on, in life, she found that other people identified with her early feelings of inadequacy.

Ms. Terrell’s creativity is not limited to writing. From the age of six she enjoyed just taking needle and thread and creating. After her husband’s death in 1999, she opened a business on City Line Avenue in the former Iroquois. There she sold crafts, jewelry, and dolls representing African-American family figures. In the near future, she intends to resume creating crafts, especially dolls and pictures made from cloth materials. All of her creations (crafts, books,etc.) are marketed under her business name, SAUNDRA TERRELL ORIGINALS.

As we concluded the interview, Ms. Terrell expressed her passion for books and writing by stating, “It’s almost like the books write themselves and the characters and stories just come to me. I cannot imagine a world without books. I hope people get the same feeling when they read my books”. After talking with her I was so moved that I went to my local Barnes and Noble store and ordered a copy of WATER THICKER THAN BLOOD. I am encouraging all of our Journal readers to do the same.

Ms. Terrell has scheduled two upcoming book signings (September 23rd at the African-American History Museum and November 6th at Thomas Jefferson Hospital). Please try to attend these events and be sure to go to her website http://www.saundraterrell.com/ to learn more about this multi-talented lady who makes Parkside proud!!

 

Latest Happenings from The Centennial Parkside CDC

Letitia House is the new home of Centennial Parkside CDC,. For
more information go to http://centennialparkside.org/

by Chris Sphar

This summer has been a busy one for the Centennial Parkside CDC. We have officially opened our office at the Letitia House at 3479 West Girard Avenue and are actively working with residents to plan how we will use the acre of outdoor community space surrounding the office building. Quentin Drew, Tracy Reed, and Johnnie McFadden, our Clean and Green Team, have been hard at work cleaning the streets and vacant lots of East Parkside in an effort to improve the quality of life of local residents.

In addition our summer programming, the Parkside Fresh Food Fest, has proven to be a great success. Close to 20 East Parkside residents have subscribed to receive a bag of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy products from the Reading Terminal Market on six occasions over the summer.

In addition to receiving these healthy food shares at an affordable rate, visitors to the Parkside Fresh Food Fest experienced a cooking demonstration from a great local chef, Tess Connors.

Parkside Fresh Food Fest attendees could also access resources on Indego BikeShare, local recycling campaigns, and home health services while children read books donated by the Philadelphia Free Library. If that wasn’t enough, the Parkside Fresh Food Fest had a rocking performance by local musicians, CityLove on August 10 and anticipate a repeat performance at our closing on September 21.

This has been a great summer for the Centennial Parkside CDC and it is only a preview of what is to come as we grow to be an important resource in the East Parkside Community.

 

A College Sendoff, Symbol Of A Mother’s Love

By Jim Brown

Email: jbrownthefansview@netzero.com

The photo above shows McKenzi Custus, surrounded by family and
friends at her sendoff to college party!

“Empowering young people is one of the greatest  assets a parent, family or a community can do to have a positive return on life’s investment as they grow.” – Jim Brown, 8/28/17

As you know September is the month when many kids and young people look forward to starting their next school year whether it’s kindergarten, middle school, high school or college. Some area students start this adventure with not much more fan fare than getting new school supplies. Others however, will have the full support of their parents.

Recently (8/12/17), I covered and attended a college sendoff of a young lady from West Philadelphia named McKenzi Custus who was accepted to Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, a hundred and fifty-three miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mckenzi’s mother, Crystal Custus, demonstrated her love and support for her daughter with a special sendoff that had the theme: The World is Yours.

Watching a tireless mother be inspired by her daughter’s accomplishments, created moments that would give any first year college student the motivation to do well. Crystal and her friends transformed a former art studio in Germantown into an elegant and classy venue where they created an event to remember for her daughter, family, and friends. Over 65 people were in attendance at this dinner celebration.

“I wanted to give her a day full of love,” explains Crystal Custus. “I wanted her to feel that foundation that one last day that we’d come together in honor of her before she left to go Susquehanna University this fall.”

“One of the key things to carry her through school, is knowing that she has people that she can count on,” adds Custus. “People who recognize her achievements and accomplishments and congratulate her past triumphs is extremely important for her future success.”

As a biology major heading into her freshman year of college, McKenzi Custus felt the air of confidence that many of our kids need to feel from not only her mother but the incredible support system of family and friends that were in attendance to cheer her on that day.

“Kenzi” as mom passionately calls her mentioned that her daughter said to her early this summer, “mom, this is the best summer I’ve ever had. I’ve gotten to spend so much time with my family and friends and it meant the world to me.”

As McKenzi was celebrated, each person attending had great words of encouragement, while some reminisced about their days of college with great optimism for McKenzi. Her great-grandmother held back tears to talk about her great-granddaughter.

“Grand mom loves her very much and I’m gonna miss her,” says Marian Custus, great grandmother and the matriarch of the Custus family. “She’s special to me because she used to live with me and it makes me cry. Congratulations in everything she does, I wish her the best and I’m gonna miss her.”

McKenzi Custus will be attending a university that will allow her to travel abroad during her four years. She will see the world and yes, the world will be yours McKenzi and to all of the young people in West Philadelphia, shoot for the stars because the world awaits your contributions.

PEC’s Third Eat Dessert First Event

People’s Emergency Center Marks 45th Year

Where:  Thursday, September 14, 2017 6:00pm-8:00pm

WHERE:   Suzanne Roberts Theatre 480 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

WHAT:       Fundraising celebration in support of People’s Emergency Center’s (PEC)’s mission to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and drive change in West Philadelphia.  PEC was founded in 1972 by the late US Representative Robert Edgar and Dr. Jim R. Hallam to inspire students of Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania to serve people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.  Today, PEC offers people experiencing homelessness and poverty affordable housing, job training, parenting and early childhood education, financial education and planning, life skills and technology coursework.  PEC collaborations include the Family Service Provider Network, Building Early Links for Learning, Second Fridays on Lancaster Avenue, the Neighborhood Time Exchange, and Lancaster Avenue Jazz and Arts Festival.  PEC is part of: KEYSPOTS, West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning, LoLa38, the Philadelphia Promise Zone, Children’s Work Group, and Housing Alliance PA Provider Network.

VISUALS:   Diverse group of supporters sampling desserts from local bakers and restaurants, mingling, cutting a large anniversary cake, taking keepsake photos with sweet props, participating in raffles and a drawing for an Apple TV, and playing wine bottle ring toss.

WHO:       Sponsors: Comcast, Eisner Amper, Trizen, Wells Fargo, LISC, PFM Group Brinker Capital, and more.

Bakers:  Demestria Baking Company, Sweets An Treats 4 U, Sweet Cravings by Diana, Quotable Kitchen, Oteri’s Italian Bakery, Varallo Brothers Bakery, Chef Mama Joy and more!

ABOUT:     People’s Emergency Center’s (PEC) mission is to nurture families, strengthen neighborhoods and drive change in West Philadelphia. PEC offers affordable housing, job training, parenting and early childhood education, financial education and planning, life skills and technology coursework. PEC’s community development programs respond to community needs and build on neighborhood assets to help bridge the digital divide, expand mixed-income housing opportunities, stimulate economic growth, create wealth, and improve the quality of life for all West Philadelphia residents. More information at pec-cares.org and lancasteravephilly.com.

Breaking: Permanent Closure of 48th and Lancaster Church announced

Our Mother of Sorrows Church at 48th and Lancaster Ave will no longer serve as a worship site of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish and will close as a Roman Catholic Church announced the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Monday.  Over the past year, there was minimal attendance at the once-monthly mass, and no weddings or funerals were held. Future plans for the large site are still to be determined. The full press release announcing the closure is below.

Contextual Background

In January 2013, Our Mother of Sorrows Parish merged with Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish, both located in West Philadelphia, as part of the Parish Areas Pastoral Planning Initiative that has been ongoing in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

At that time, the Our Mother of Sorrows Church building became a worship site of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish and was available for the occasional celebration of Mass, funerals and weddings as is customary whenever possible in the case of a parish merger.

Additional information regarding the merger can be found at the following link http://archphila.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/2013.html.

Today’s Announcement

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced today that Archbishop

Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has approved the relegation of the Our Mother of Sorrows Church building to profane but not sordid use effective October 9, 2017.  This formal, canonical designation means that the church will no longer serve as a worship site and will close as a Roman Catholic Church.

This information was shared with Saint Ignatius of Loyola parishioners at all Masses during the weekend of September 2-3.  A copy of the official canonical decree regarding this matter can be found at http://archphila.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Signed-Decree-of-Relegation-Signed-by-CJC-and-SPB.pdf.

The formal request to close this worship site originated from the parochial administrator of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish together with his parish pastoral and finance councils.  The request was then reviewed by the Archdiocesan Council of Priests and presented to Archbishop Chaput, who, after a careful review of all supporting factors, made the final decision.

Our Mother Of Sorrows Church – 48th and Lancaster – source: Google

Additional Background

During the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish incurred expenses exceeding $100,000 associated with care for the properties associated with the former Our Mother of Sorrows Parish.  Furthermore, at the conclusion of the 2015-2016 fiscal year, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish experienced a deficit of approximately $230,000 while having an approximate savings of $17,000.  During the same fiscal year, Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish maintained an approximate debt of $80,000.

Since May 2016, one Mass per month was celebrated at Our Mother of Sorrows Church. That monthly Mass was discontinued in February 2017 due to minimal attendance.  No funerals or weddings have been celebrated.

When Our Mother of Sorrows and Saint Ignatius of Loyola merged, all real estate holdings, assets and debts of the former Our Mother of Sorrows Parish were transferred to the newly formed Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish.  These transfers are standard procedure in the case of all parish mergers.

As such, the former Our Mother of Sorrows church building, along with the former school building and former convent is the property of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish.  The future disposition of these buildings will be determined by the parochial administrator of Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish in consultation with his parish pastoral and finance councils in a manner consistent with providing for parish viability and sustainability.

News that is from, about, and benefits our Parkside Community in West Philadelphia.