Parish Partnership

Annunciation BVM &

St. Nicholas of Tolentine

Effective June 20, 2016

Parish Planning Initiatives

Pictures from the Installation Mass held at Annunication BVM Church on October 23, 2016

Added, March 9, 2017

The Parish Partnership Planning Committee of both Annunciation B.V.M. and St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parishes have developed a pastoral plan in the hope of identifying opportunities in partnering the parishes while still maintaining independence. The plan enables the parishes to strengthen and build upon the rich and fruitful histories of each parish and provides us meaningful opportunities to present the gospel of Jesus to all the many people of our communities. Our strong traditions and diverse cultures enable us to continue to be welcoming, not only to the new individuals and families in our communities, but also to those who may need an invitation to return home to their parish family. By engaging proven programs and fostering a variety of ministries, we hope to meet the varied needs of all people in our parishes.

 Draft Pastoral Plan of the

Parish Partnership of Annunciation B.V.M. and St. Nicholas of Tolentine, South Philadelphia 2017-2019

Over the next three years, the pastoral staff and parishioners of the Annunciation B.V.M. and Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish Partnership will focus efforts on shared pastoral priorities of evangelization, service to the community, and the faith formation of all members of the parishes. Our partnership priorities and goals will be reviewed periodically and updated as needed.



Goal: We commit ourselves to strive to become better disciples of Christ. As a parish partnership, we will

·         Renew and strengthen the call to discipleship of those already part of our faith communities.

·         Reach out to and reconnect with those Catholics who are now at a distance from the Church.

·         Appeal to those searching for the truth which we profess to be Christ.


Action: Form a parish partnership evangelization team and provide training for members. This team will lead the parishes in ways to increase church attendance, registration, volunteerism, and ministries by 10% in the next three years.

 Service to the community

Goal: As the disciples of Christ, we commit ourselves to serve those in need and to involve more parishioners in social outreach.

As a parish partnership, we will

·         Identify those with hardships.

·         Increase awareness among our parishes of those individuals.

·         Enlist parishioners’ efforts in outreach to them.

 Action: Form a partnership social outreach committee within the next year. As our two parishes share the neighborhood, and thus the population in need, we will coordinate outreach, building upon efforts currently taking place. Outreach priorities include reorganizing the parish food bank at St. Nicholas as a partnership food pantry and increasing outreach to seniors and to the homebound.

 Faith formation of all members of the parishes

 Goal: Recognizing that our lives of discipleship involve continual enhancement of our faith, we commit to ongoing faith formation for all members of our parish communities by

·         Building upon our shared regional school, Saint Anthony of Padua Regional Catholic School, in order to make a quality Catholic education accessible and affordable to all members of our parish communities.

·         Enhancing the joint programs of PREP (Parish Religious Education Program -- for children not enrolled in Catholic school), and RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults).

·         Creating new opportunities for shared adult religious education and spiritual growth.


·         Form a partnership faith formation committee within one year.

·         Establish a position of Director of Religious Education as a member of the partnership pastoral team.

·         Immediately begin offering parent sacramental preparation meetings in Spanish. (Presently they are offered in English only.)

·         Jointly offer continual development for liturgical ministers.

·         Present additional opportunities throughout the liturgical year to deepen the faith of parishioners of both parishes by offering joint missions, novenas, Bible study, access

·         Explore the possibility of a partnership youth ministry program to address the faith formation needs of youth after Confirmation and throughout high school.

 A note from Father Nick:

In order for this plan to be successful, we as disciples of Christ must come forward with our time, talent, and treasure. I invite all parishioners of Annunciation B.V.M. and Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parishes to prayerfully reflect upon this draft partnership pastoral plan and to consider how you can actively participate in and otherwise support our parish partnership. I invite you to give your thoughts and suggestions in writing or by E-mail to me at the Parish Offices within the next week.

Added January 15, 2017

As you know, part of the plans for the future is to have an
Augustinian residence at Annunciation Church to serve
St. Rita’s Shrine, Annunciation Church and St. Nicholas
of Tolentine Church. However, the rectory is in need of
tremendous repair in order for it to be habitable and safe.
The only rooms at this time that are acceptable are the
parish offices and the former pastor’s apartment.
We have received estimates on the costs of making the
rectory livable and safe. These estimates have been more
than anticipated and this does not include the $47,000
already needed for the two boilers.
The Augustinian’s are still planning to move to the
Annunciation rectory, but as you know, these plans have
been delayed for a while because of the extensive work
that needs to be done on the building and the prohibitive
costs. We ask for your patience and understanding as we
search for more affordable options for the renovation of
the rectory. Please keep this project in your prayers.
God bless you,
Fr. Nick
General Information
Information on Parish Mergers

Information on Parish Partnerships

Read and/or print these reports to see how St. Rita of Cascia,     Annunication BVM and St Nicholas of Tolentine Churches are effected by these Initiatives

Update on the Parish Partnership

On June 20, 2016 Annunciation B.V.M. and St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parishes entered into a partnership, by which the pastoral leadership and administration of the parishes were combined, but they otherwise remained separate parishes.    The parishes kept their own finances and each maintained a separate Parish Finance Council.  Rev. Nicholas Martorano, O.S.A. serves as the pastor of these partnered parishes.

The parish partnership is a new model of parish collaboration.  Parish partnerships are intended to strengthen the Catholic presence in the community and to assure parish vitality and sustainability.   

Father Martorano invited parishioners from both parishes to serve on the Partnership Pastoral Planning Committee. The committee members attended two evenings of training in September.  They learned more about the nature of pastoral planning, and the requirements for creating a plan for their partnership.

The Partnership Pastoral Planning Committee is charged to develop a pastoral plan for the partnership for the next 3 to 5 years. This task will take several months.  The committee will submit regular reports concerning the development of the plan to the Archdiocesan Strategic Planning Committee for review and responses.  Evangelization needs to be one of the goals of the Partnership Pastoral Plan. 

Please pray for the members of the Partnership Pastoral Planning Committee as they provide their insights about the needs of their parish and give generously of their time in service to the parish partnership.

POSTED 12/17/2016

Dear Friends, 

I can’t believe that 5 months have passed since the Augustinians have taken the added responsibility for the Annunciation Parish which was merged with St. Rita’s Parish. Thankfully, the partnership transition between St. Nicholas and the new Annunciation Parish has been pleasantly accepted by you, the Parish families. I believe that any anxiety or misgivings from the past are quickly giving way to a new attitude that supports all our sincere efforts to create two independent yet related parishes with a strong future. 

As the Transition Team has been discussing the direction for the near future, I would like to keep you informed on our progress to this time. We, the Parish Partnership Planning Committee of Annunciation and St. Nicholas, hope to develop a plan that will provide new opportunities as a partnership of parishes and still as independent parishes to strengthen and build upon the rich and fruitful histories of each parish providing us meaningful ways to present the Gospel of Jesus to all the many peoples in our communities. Using our strong traditions and diverse cultures, we want to continually strive to be welcoming not only to the new individuals and families in our communities, but also to the past and present members who, for whatever reason, may need a new invitation to come home to their Parish families. Engaging proven programs and fostering a variety of ministries, we want to meet the varied needs of all  the people living  in our parish areas. 

Now, as we continue our planning discussions into 2017, we are anxious to listen to your constructive insights, thoughts, and suggestions; so as partnered parishes, we can continue our responsibility to bring the Gospel message to those ready to listen. Therefore, I invite you to give your thoughts and suggestions in writing or by E-mail to me at the Parish Offices now and throughout the process. 

Again, I want to thank you for your patience, cooperation, encouragement and prayers for a successful future. May God bless you, and may Mary continue to embrace you and our work. 

In Christ,

Fr. Nick