Like any residents in the Philadelphia area who know of Mother Katharine Drexel, I too made the pilgrimage in the last days of visitations before the closing of the shrine. The grounds of Saint Katharine Drexel will be sold in the near future, and I am told sale is imminent. They are now awaiting approval from the pope. I walked into the shrine from a bitter cold winter day and made my way through the chapel to the downstairs shrine. The first thing I noticed was how much warmer it is in the shrine area. Not sure if it is just because of all the people who have been frequenting the shrine since the announced sale and closing over a year ago. Or maybe it was the feeling of overall spirituality that overcomes you upon arrival.
The people I spoke with seemed upset at the closing, but understood why it has to happen. You see, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament are older and pretty much dying off one by one. The large residence and shrine is 42 acres and costs a lot of money to maintain. The sisters are also selling 2,200 acres in Virginia. Many of the nuns left the Drexel home as of this past May. The ones that remained were part of the day to day operations.
While I’m sad to see the shrine and property go, I wish the sisters a happy retirement.
In May of 1990 while working for the Philadelphia Inquirer, I spent some time with the Sisters of Saint Basil the Great who founded St. Basil Academy in 1931. The sisters also established Manor College in 1947. What I photographed in the times I spent at the school was the sisters at morning prayers and then followed them through their teaching day at St. Basil. I also was able to photograph some of the retired sisters as they worked on the farm, gardened, cleaned furniture and did some crafts.
The sisters were very open about their lives on the campus and pretty much allowed me to make images showing whatever I felt was necessary to tell their story . You see, their numbers had diminished from about 50 strong in the early days to 35 when I visited them.
Come and visit with Santa Claus at this revolutionary photo experience, where we step outside the box of the traditional “sit your children on Santa’s lap” photographic session. Santa will interact with you and your family during a 30 minute appointment. The dates available are November 18 from 10am until 2pm.
Santa Claus can check your children’s Christmas list at his workshop table, check his naughty and nice list, share cookies and milk, read a story, decorate the tree, and if time permits, he will even pose for a traditional portrait session. The goal for you and your family to have an interactive and pleasant experience with the jolliest of all elves. Our goal for us is to provide you with the highest quality of photojournalistic images for you to enjoy for years to come.
This special photo session comes with a print package. You will receive (1) 8×10, (2) 5×7 and (16) wallet sized custom color prints of the same image which your can choose in an online gallery.
We are also offering USB drives of all images made for you to print as many times or sizes as you like for a special early booking price of $250 ($150 reservation and $100 for the USB). On the day of the shoot those USB drives will be available for $200 for a total cost of $350.
Delivery dates for prints and USB drives will be as follows:
Tuesday November 28th 7p-9p (Yardley)
Thursday November 30 12p-2p (Yardley)
Saturday December 1 11a-2p (Yardley)
After the session, all images will be available in print form only as individual prints or packages.
FAIRLESS HILLS, PA – MARCH 15: Tom Holden, of Fairless Hills, Pennylvania marches as St. Patrick during the St. Patrick's Day Parade March 15, 2014 in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)
FAIRLESS HILLS, PA – MARCH 15: Scott McIntosh, of Newtown, Pennsylvania marches during the St. Patrick's Day Parade March 15, 2014 in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)
FAIRLESS HILLS, PA – MARCH 15: Dan Mcauliffe of Langhorne, Pennsylvania wears a green hat and shamrock sunglasses during the St. Patrick's Day Parade March 15, 2014 in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images)