From Fr. Matt regarding the Coronavirus

Dear Parishioners,

Coronavirus has revealed, once again, how fragile life is.

In light of this pandemic I am providing these updates on parish life here at Saint Francis de Sales.

Archbishop Perez has dispensed all Catholics from the obligation to attend Mass this weekend. Mass will still be offered by Monsignor, Fr. Ben and myself at the scheduled times. If you choose to worship with us we ask that you leave an appropriate amount of space between yourself and others.

If you choose to stay home I ask you to keep the Sabbath and make it holy by praising God in a suitable room. There are Masses on television and live-streamed online. In your prayer, please ask God to have mercy on us and on the whole world.

I, along with others, will be cleaning the church with bleach water and have removed water from the holy water fonts. There will be no outward gesture of the sign of peace (let your peace for one another show with your smile). There will not be a sharing of the chalice during Mass, and our parish bulletin can be found online.

I ask that those of you who are sick to please stay home until you feel better.

As anxiety levels increase spiritual support becomes vital. If you would like for us to pray for you please let us know in the comments section below.

Through the intercession of Saint Francis de Sales, may Almighty God protect us from danger, calm our fears and heal the sick!

Father Matt Guckin

LENT 2020

We return once more to the season of Lent; as we journey toward the promise of the Resurrection, let us empty our hands of the things that are not love, and reach to the One Who made us.


Every Friday in Lent at 7 pm, come walk the ancient meditation on the Passion of our Lord, and to adore Him in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Books provided.


The Sacrament of Penance is available every Saturday at 4:15 pm or by appointment. Please note that confessions have now returned to the “box” at the back of the upper church, and are no longer at the altar rail.


Tuesday of Holy Week, join us for our annual choral meditations in the shadows of the Cross, as we reflect on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, pause in the silence, and feel the darkness of Good Friday approach. Parishioners describe this service as one of the year’s most dramatic–and moving–opportunities to experience the Passion.


Wednesday of Holy Week, Fr. Matt will hold a penance service at 7 pm; this will be the last available opportunity for confession before the Triduum begins. More information to follow.

Sad News

Our beloved pastor, Rev. Msgr. Joseph J. Anderlonis, passed away on Friday morning after a brief illness. He was surrounded by friends and family. The news comes as a shock to everyone, and we join with his family, many friends, and the parish of St. George in Port Richmond (where he was pastor for thirty years) in mourning his loss to our lives. He will be sorely missed.

(UPDATED*) Funeral Masses for the repose of his soul are to be held:

  • Thursday, December 12*: at St. George’s Church in Port Richmond. Viewing & visitation in the church hall 5-7 pm; Mass at 7 pm.
  • Saturday, December 14: at St. Francis de Sales Church in West Philadelphia. Viewing from 9-11 am; Mass at 11 am, with a reception to follow in the parish hall. Interment is private.
  • In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. George Independent School or to St. Francis de Sales Parish.

The PREP Nativity pageant scheduled for the evening of December 14 is postponed.


This year, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception falls on Monday, December 9, and is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation this year. The weekend follows the usual schedule.

Masses for the Solemn Feast and Season of Christmas are as follows:

The Solemn Feast of the Nativity (Christmas)

  • Tuesday, Dec. 24:
    • 5 pm Vigil “Family” Mass;
    • 12 am “Shepherds’ Mass” at Midnight (Carols and organ begin at 11:15 pm).
  • Wednesday, Dec. 25
    • No 7 am Mass 
    • 10:15 am Mass of Christmas Morning
    • 12 pm Spanish Mass

Masses in the Octave of Christmas

  • No Mass Dec. 26; church offices closed.
  • Dec. 27-31: Masses of the Day are offered at 9 am. The rectory is closed for the duration of the Octave of Christmas.
  • January 1 (The Feast of Mary, the Mother of God) is a Holy Day of Obligation this year.

Rejoice! The Lord is near!