Saint Cyril of Alexandria Church

Saint Cyril Of Alexandria
Roman Catholic Church
153 Penn Boulevard,
East Lansdowne, PA 19050

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A Letter from the President of St Philomena Parish Pastoral Council

Dear Saint Philomena Family,

 Tradition.  It is the events that we celebrate and the way we rejoice in them. It is a word that evokes memories of good times and how we share in them. Our ceremonies and traditions let people know who we are, and what makes us who we are. Our traditions endure through our architecture, music, our religion. They are tied together in our minds like the atoms in a drop of water. Our traditions let the world know that we are Catholics.

  In 1928 an explosion of new housing swelled the rolls of St. Philomena and St. Alice parishes to a point that the churches were over capacity to serve them. On June 13, 1928, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Cardinal Dougherty, announced the foundation of a new parish under the patronage of St. Cyril of Alexandria, and appointed Rev. Edmond I. OíShea the founding pastor. Father O'Shea celebrated mass at Stonehurst Public School and then at The 1500 seat Stonehurst Theater until 1929. St. Cyril's School opened that year, and the auditorium became the mass site. The official groundbreaking for the church was on September 12, 1954, and the Church opened in 1955 for masses.

 For eighty-five years, St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish has served the community centered upon East Lansdowne faithfully through celebrations of birth and baptisms, confirmations and communions, weddings and feast days, and bade farewell to our dearly departed. Now, because of hard economic times, demographics and fewer Catholic children for the school and to carry on the traditions in our neighborhoods, another Parish created in the grand tradition of service to the flock of the Lord has closed. But, I stress that only the Parish has closed; St Cyril's Church and the school remain open.

 St. Cyril's School survived the closures sweeping the Diocese by the extraordinary efforts of dedicated students, staff, alumni, parents and parishioners of the parish, even those who had moved away. We heard the story in 2005 about a young man suffering from cystic fibrosis who wrote a letter to the Make -a-Wish, asking for a donation to save the school. That young man, Tommy Geromichalos, sparked a movement, spearheaded by Jim Gray, an alumnus married to another alumnus his wife Barbara, Connie and Dan Geromichalos and eight other parents formed the "Save our School" committee in 2006. Together with Pastor Edward Kearns, principal Sr. Barbara Montague, and the support of the parish family the campaign to preserve the legacy of Catholic education, the school has remained open. Today, through the efforts of Sr Barbara who still serves as the principal, and Fr. Dominic Tran Minh Duc, the most recent Pastor to serve St Cyril's parish, St. Cyril's School operates as a mission school, overseen by Independence Mission Schools (IMS).  The organization oversees 16 independent private Catholic schools currently operated by individual parishes under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Mission Schools encompass more than 4,100 children from pre-k through eighth grade in underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia. In this new paradigm, the Mission Schools will be under the control and stewardship of a centrally managed organization, which will bring good business skills and practices to each of the schools, as well as financial resources. The school will be independently funded, drawing on the Parish only for faith-based support.

 Last Sunday, Fr. Dominic, Fr. Paul and Fr. James Olson, the president of Bonner and Prendie High School, concelebrated the final mass of St. Cyril's Parish at 10:30. Fr. Dominic, after a heartfelt statement to his congregation, and a very well attended reception afterward, is beginning a new assignment as the Diocesan Vicar for the Vietnamese congregation. Fr. Olson will continue as the president of the high school and will be in residence at St, Philomena.

 On July 1st, Saint Philomena Parish was doubled in size by the addition of St. Cyril's of Alexandria Church in East Lansdowne. Our parish now consists of two churches, one is St. Philomena which is the parish church, and the other is St. Cyril's, which is a worship site. St. Cyril's Church will still have a regularly scheduled mass on Sundays at 8:30 am.  At the discretion of our newly named Pastor, Reverend Paul Castellani, baptisms, weddings and funerals may still be performed at St. Cyril's Church. This is important for many of our family members. St. Philomena will continue to have the Saturday evening mass, and mass at 7:30am, 10am and 12 noon.  Confession will be heard at St Philomena on Mondays 4:30-5pm, Saturday 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. and Evening before Holy Days of Obligation 5:00 - 5:30 p.m.

 Please join us in celebration of the joining of St. Cyril's Church on Sunday July 7th at the 10am mass where the books of St. Cyril's will be presented to the Parish.  There will be a reception following each of the masses at St. Phil's in Marian Hall to greet, meet and welcome our brothers and sisters from St Cyril's. Please help make them feel welcome!

 Be sure to read the parish bulletin for further updates.

 God bless you all,

 Your brother in Christ

 Anthony Harper,

 President of St Philomena Parish Pastoral Council




You can see photos of the day here.

Let us come together as Saint Cyril of Alexandria Parish family to celebrate Father Dominicís four years as our pastor here at Saint Cyril, to thank him for his goodness and for all he has done for all of us and our school, and to wish him well in his new assignment as Coordinator for the Vietnamese Apostolate of Delaware County. Next Sunday, June 30th, Father Dominic will celebrate the 10:30 AM Mass. He will then join us in the Social Hall for a reception where we will have the chance to personally convey our good wishes to him. All are invited to the Mass and to the reception in Social Hall. See you at the 10:30 Mass on June 30th. Thank you.



June 30, 2013

Jesus and the disciples begin the final journey to Jerusalem where Godís plan for salvation will be fulfilled. Their commitment to Godís plan will be tested as Jesus has warned them that He must endure suffering at the hands of His enemies. The journey is an urgent one, even more important than a sonís duty to bury his father.

Judging things in a purely human way, James and John are ready to call down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritan village that rejects Jesus. The response of Jesus todayís words is simply no but thank you anyway. He not only tells them no but also tells them the thought goes against His teachings.

As they continue their journey, Jesus encounters people who say they want to follow Him but who do not seem to be committed enough in their discipleship. This is similar to Elijahís desire to get things in order before He follows Elijah. Elijah tells Elisha that it will not always be convenient to follow Godís plan; to make such a decision will include sacrifice.

For all of us our lives have many journeys to go and most of them need great courage and sacrifices. As myself, I have many journeys to go and make decisions. When we begin our new journey we used to say good-bye but it is not easy to say good-bye. In my life, there were many times I have had to say good-bye. The most difficult one when I had to leave my parents, my brothers and sisters and my homeland behind to escape in June of 1979 by boat as "boat people". My journey is the journey for freedom to worship God. So God had a wonderful plan for me. He brought me to this great nation, especially He gave me a wonderful gift Ė the gift of priesthood.

On June 15, 2009 I said good-bye to people of St. Bernadette Parish and came here to be with you as your 8th Pastor. In the last four years you and I have shared so many things, good times and bad times, our challenges and struggles.

Today I have to say good-bye to you. It is not easy for me at all but I believe that God has plan for all of us. I am so happy and enjoyed so much to be your pastor. All of you, parishioners and children in school, have given me a great opportunity to serve God and you joyfully. This is a wonderful parish community, how lucky you are to be members of Saint Cyril Parish. You have made me a better priest and I donít know how to say thank you enough and grateful for your prayers, support, love and care and many other things.

Now this is the difficult part. I have to say good-bye to all of you. The years ahead should be challenging for you and me, but God will be with us.

Thank you for all you have done for St. Cyril of Alexandria Parish and for me, especially my staff and organizations, Ministers of the Eucharist, Lectors, Music Ministers, Altar Servers, Rosary Group, Altar Angels, Sacristans, Ushers, Pastoral and Finance Councils and school.

May God bless you all, keep the faith and say a little prayer for me.

Your Brother in Christ,

Father Dominic




Weekday masses Monday through Saturday are at 8:00 AM, Tuesday Only at 6:30 AM; Weekend Masses are Saturday Vigil at 5:15 PM, Sunday 7:30 AM, 10:00 AM and 12:00 noon. Confessions are heard on Monday from 4:30 PM Ė 5:00 PM and on Saturday from 4:00 PM Ė 4:45 PM.




While it may seem foolish to some to have the front steps of church replaced now, we will still have a Sunday Mass here and an occasional wedding or funeral. The money being spent on this major project was donated by YOU Ė our very generous parishioners! By the time we had enough money last fall the weather changed and it was too cold to pour cement. Thank you, again, for your generous support of this improvement!




We want to take a moment to thank Bob Burns who has been our Maintenance Engineer for the last 22 years. Bob has done a fantastic job of keeping all the buildings of our campus in great shape and we appreciate all he has done very much. We will especially miss the beautiful Christmas light display he put together every year! Thank you Bob for all you have done! Good luck!



June 2, 2013

Dear Friends in Christ:

Today as we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi we solemnly remember that the Body and Blood of Our Lord and Savior is present at every Mass in the Eucharist.  The presence of Jesus Christ expresses itself fully on the local level in the life of our parish church.  It is in the parish where we are nourished by Godís Word and the Sacraments, and where spiritual fulfillment and pastoral care are found.

In the Fall of 2010, a pastoral letter was issued to parishioners throughout the Archdiocese.  It outlined the necessity of an in-depth examination of all parishes in order to gauge whether they possessed the necessary resources to remain vibrant and sustainable faith communities.  This process, known as Parish Area Pastoral Planning, is designed to be as collaborative and consultative as possible.  Its goal is to provide pastors, after consulting their parish leadership, with the opportunity to dialogue with members of the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee in providing joint recommendations to the Archbishop for growth and sustainability within their respective geographic areas.

During the process additional steps are taken to be as inclusive as possible.  In the majority of cases, the regional bishop and the dean meet with the pastors as well as their pastoral and finance councils to hear their concerns and receive their recommendations.  Additionally, the recommendations of all parish mergers are brought before the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors by the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee for their observations and approval respectively.

While this process is expected to take anywhere from five to eight years to complete in the entire Archdiocese, certain areas, ours among them, required a study at this time.  Due to a number of factors including a shift in Catholic population, a high density of parishes in our small area, as well as declines in Mass attendance, Sacramental activity, the availability of priests to staff parishes, and the condition of facilities, mergers were proposed.  These proposals were shared with pastors and lay leaders from all of our local parishes as well as the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee, the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors.  Recently, the final proposals were accepted by the Archbishop.

As a result our parish will be merging with St. Philomena Parish to form a new parish effective July 1, 2013.  Everyone will attend Mass at the current St. Philomena Church.  For the time being, the St. Cyril of Alexandria Church building will still be maintained as a worship site for weddings, funerals and feast days.  Sunday Mass may also be celebrated at the worship site at the discretion of the pastor of the newly formed parish and his newly formed pastoral council.  Additionally, all of our parish assets, debts, buildings and sacramental records will be transferred to the care of the newly formed parish.  This parish will be named Saint Philomena.  The pastor of the newly formed parish was publically announced with the priest personnel assignments this week.  He will work toward the smoothest possible merger with leaders from the merging parishes.

I know this news may cause sadness and pain.  In the work of building up the Church and maintaining Godís Kingdom on earth we must let go of something so near and dear to each of our hearts.  I pray that you will trust in the Lord as we move forward together.  May He grant us all the grace, strength, and wisdom to complete this process with charity and patience. This experience will be challenging and exciting at the same time.  We are working to preserve a Catholic Church in Philadelphia so that the spiritual and pastoral needs of generations yet unborn will be tended to with the same love and care you have experienced and witnessed.  All of us must be willing to labor together for the Lord to achieve that goal.

Over the coming weeks the pastor of the newly formed parish will consult leaders from all affected parish communities to create new pastoral and finance councils, parish committees and identify the appropriate staffing of all parish ministries.  A transitional team will be assembled made up of lay leaders from each of the merging parishes to assist in moving forward with building a new parish community.  Additional details regarding Parish Area Pastoral Planning in the Archdiocese can be found on the Archdiocesan website.

Currently, many of our neighbors are learning of additional parish mergers in our area.  St. Alice Parish will merge with and keep the name of St. Laurence Parish at that location.  St. Louis Parish will merge and keep the name of Blessed Virgin Mary Parish at that location.

In every death there is a resurrection; with all growth there is pain, but as Catholics we believe we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us.  I pray that our Heavenly Father will fill you with every grace and assist all of us to work toward the strongest possible parish communities.  May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you.

                                                            Sincerely in Christ,

                                                            Rev. Dominic Tran Minh Duc





May our Loving God watch over you and keep alive in your heart all that you have learned this year. Keep your mind on God. Remember to pray often and to celebrate your faith, at home with your family and at Mass with your faith family. Keep your faith in God. Let all the joys of summer remind you of Godís goodness. Never forget that God is always with you, no matter what! May the God of all creation, who comes to us in Jesus, and lives among us in the Holy Spirit, keep you safe, happy, and holy this summer and always. Amen.



Saint Cyril School is in the process of developing a new website for the parents of our school children, and others interested in keeping up with developments in our school.  The link to the new website is


Click here for our School Web Page and information about our Learning Support Program 

Click on the links below for more information

Parish Information:
Parish Bulletin
Special Announcements
Last Week's Bulletin

Parish Staff
Fr. Dominic Tran Minh Duc
Sister Barbara Montague

Parish History
   Rev. Edward T. Kearns
   Rev. Donald J. Farrell
   Rev. Peter D. Burke
   Rev. Dennis Z. Fedak
   Rev. Gerard Burns 

75th Anniversary
   Anniversary Book
   Church Tour
Founders' Day
   Special Postmark 
   Order Cookbook 
   75th Pictures

Parish Profile

School Development
Parish School Page
School Web
Eighth Grade Homework
Alumni Page
   Reunion Page

Religious Education
   Adult Education
        CCD Web Page
   Parish Ministries

   Knights of Columbus
   Carnival 2006
       SOS Carnival
       Carnival 2005
       Carnival 2004

       Carnival 2003

       Carnival 2002
   Home & School
   Parish Council
Council Minutes
   Life Teen

Church Tour

Parish Life
Pictures of the Month
   Pictures in Church
   Cyril's Christmas

Read Guestbook

Walk of Memories
   Pictures of Walk
   Brick Order Form

Catholic Links

Click here to read the guestbook

 Proceed Prosper & Prevail

wpe1.jpg (8841 bytes) Take a virtual tour of our Church


Fr. Dominic Tran Minh Duc
Click here to read the biography of our pastor.

Fr. James P. Olson

Sr. Barbara Montague, I.H.M.,
School Principal 

Parish Business Manager

Director of Religious Education

Mrs. Mary Lou Love,
Parish Administrative Assistant

(610) 623-5160
Fax (610) 622-2479

(610) 623-1113
Fax (610) 623-2427

Religious Education
(610) 259-2949

(610) 622-2560




Weekday masses Monday through Saturday are at 8:00 AM, Tuesday Only at 6:30 AM; Weekend Masses are Saturday Vigil at 5:15 PM, Sunday 7:30 AM, 10:00 AM and 12:00 noon. Confessions are heard on Monday from 4:30 PM Ė 5:00 PM and on Saturday from 4:00 PM Ė 4:45 PM.



See the Parish Bulletin for more Parish Information




BLOCS is thrilled to announce that the state has passed a new tax credit program called the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC).

This great resource will assist Philadelphia's children living within the boundaries of one of the bottom 15% of low-achieving school districts. Pennsylvania's OSTC program will distribute $50 million dollars in tax credits to businesses willing to make a donation to BLOCS to fund scholarships for families seeking a high quality Catholic school education.

For highlights of the OSTC Program click here

For complete information on the OSTC program click here.





New this year! Full-day 4 year old Pre-K! Registration will be held in the school office from 9:00 AM Ė 11:00 AM and from 1:00 PM Ė 2:30 PM. Please call the school office at 610-623-1113 to make an appointment. The following are required for registration:

Birth Certificate must be presented (child must be 4 for Pre-K by September 1, 2012, 5 for Kindergarten by September 1, 2012 and 6 for First Grade by September 1, 2012.

Baptismal Certificate (if not baptized at St. Cyril).

Report card and all test results.

Complete Official Record of Immunization must be presented.

Registration Fee (non-refundable) of $100 per child.All required information must be taken care of before the registration is valid.



You can now make comments and post photos on the facebook page set up for alumni and friends.  This should better enable alumni and friends to get in touch, maybe set up reunions or whatever else.
It should be easy to use.

Here is the link to the page:  St Cyril School East Lansdowne Alumni & Friends   





 The Development Committee now has a facebook page.  Click on the "like" button at the top of the facebook page and you will get notices when there are new posts.


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