IN YET another cost-cutting move, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is putting seven senior-living facilities up for sale and seeking an outside operator for nearly a dozen cemeteries, officials announced yesterday.
The changes could affect up to 1,400 residents and more than 2,000 employees in the senior-living facilities, along with 190 employees at 11 cemeteries.
"Our difficult financial situation must be addressed and the actions that we need to take may be painful ones," Archbishop Charles Chaput said in a statement. "I understand this fact fully, but it is of critical importance that we rebuild our financial foundation so that we can continue our collective good works."
Six nursing homes and one assisted-living facility will be put on the market. Three are in Philadelphia (Immaculate Mary Home, St. John Neumann Home, and St. Monica Manor), two in Chester County (Villa St. Martha and St. Martha Manor), one in Delaware County (St. Francis Country House), and one in Montgomery County (St. Mary Manor).
Officials said any sale agreement would allow current nursing-home residents to remain regardless of their payer status.
The Archdiocese will also look for a company to run the cemeteries and two land parcels designated for future use, although the Archdiocese will maintain ownership of the cemeteries. The move will not affect parish cemeteries, which are operated locally.
In both cases, Archdiocese officials said every effort will be made to retain current employees.
The announcement comes as no surprise for the financially strapped Archdiocese. Last month, officials reported a $39.2 million deficit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012.
Officials have already taken several steps to address the deficit, including selling the Archbishop's residence, along with a property in Ventnor, N.J. They also laid off 25 percent of the workforce at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center.