We, the Catholic Community of St. Robert Bellarmine, accept the responsibility as Christians to further Christ’s mission to proclaim the Good News, to live in fellowship with others, and to serve the needs of those around us.
With faith and hope in Jesus Christ, we pledge to renew ourselves and to make a difference in the world.
St. Robert Bellarmine Parish was founded on Friday May 31, 1968. It was formed entirely from St. Joseph Parish, Warrington. The founding pastor, Father Michael Marley, had a fifteen-acre plot of land at Euclid Avenue and Carriage Way, two streets that were not even connected at the time.
The very first Masses as a parish were still held in St. Joseph’s Church, and the first Sunday Masses held outside St. Joseph’s were held in the Barn Cinema Movie complex on Route 611, Doylestown, beginning on July 7, 1968.
Ground breaking ceremonies for the new Church/Hall structure took place on July 27, 1969, and the original structure was dedicated on December 5, 1970. Having outgrown the original structure, the current Church was built under the leadership of Father James Cassidy. It was dedicated on October 31, 1982. The former Church/Hall was converted into a larger hall and four classrooms to be used for the Religious Education classes. In the late 1990’s, our third pastor, Rev. Msgr. Joseph T. Kane was the guiding force behind our $3 million Capital Campaign to create better facilities for our Parish Religious Education Program, the parish school, and various parish organizations. Our Parish Education Center was dedicated on September 11, 1999. In 2015, having further outgrown the facilities and meeting spaces, our fourth pastor, Rev. Msgr. James D. Beisel embarked on another renovation campaign to improve functionality in our facilities by building a larger lobby, complete with additional restroom facilities, for gathering as well as renovating the underused classroom area in the Hall into expanded Parish offices and meeting spaces.
St. Robert’s congregation has grown from slightly more than 300 families to over 2, 300, experiencing an average net increase of 70 families per year. Most of the new families are young with children, and over 50 infant Baptisms take place each year.
Our Parish Religious Education program now has over 500 children, with over 200 children in our consolidated St. Joseph/St. Robert School.
The parish is extensively involved in outreach to the community in a variety of ways, including such examples as providing aid to area families in need financial assistance, supplying meals to St. John’s Hospice, and supporting our sister parish, St. Cyprian in West Philadelphia, by helping to stock their food pantry as well as providing gifts to families at Christmas.
The history of this parish is so much more than just dates and numbers; it is far more than the hundreds of baptisms and funerals, the varied groups and organizations, and the many projects. Rather, the history of this parish is the living faith of its parishioners. It is the thousands of souls who have, as part of their own journey of faith, passed through this campus. It is the collaboration of the faithful who work to “further Christ’s mission to proclaim the Good News, to live in fellowship with others, and to serve the needs of those around us”, indeed, those who work to build up the Kingdom of God here on earth.
As we bring the past fifty years to a close, we give praise and thanks to Almighty God as we celebrate the many accomplishments and good works of the faithful here in Warrington. Remembering for us, though, is more than just nostalgia. Our remembering makes the journey of our forbearers present as their work and dedication, their prayers and sacrifices, are linked to our own. For we proclaim the same Gospel, celebrate the same liturgy, and carry the same fire of Pentecost into the world just as they did-a fire that we all received when we became members of the Body of Christ in Baptism.
The richness of our heritage is found in the people who still gather for Mass each day in our Church, uniting themselves, their families, and all their endeavors to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The grace of hospitality is found in the people who truly seek to belong to our parish community, and it is also found in the parish community that welcomes them. This fire is still being fueled by the generous example of a lived faith at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, where all things are done For the Greater Glory of God!