FAQ – Preserving St. Patrick Church for the Future

Want to learn more about our fundraising efforts?  Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:


What exactly is wrong with the church building?

Portions of the plaster ceiling and columns are breaking away. It will cost $1.6 million to restore the building, and open the doors to the church once again.  The restoration work will begin once we reach our goal.


Is the Church still open?  Can I still go to mass at St. Patrick’s?

The main church building, due to the restoration process, is closed to the public. However, masses and confessions are held at their usual times in the “lower church,” commonly known as the Church Hall.  Use the entrance on Chestnut Street, which is also wheel-chair accessible.

Please note COVID-19 protocols are in place – Please wear a mask at all times and distance yourself from parishioners not in your immediate group.  Daily mass (8am Tuesday – Friday) and Sunday mass (4pm English  & 6pm Spanish – Saturday) are also live-streamed and recorded to celebrate safely from home.  Click on the links on the right-hand side of our website to connect.


Why does it cost so much?

The work to be done is highly specialized, and only one company in the country is equipped to handle such work. The company is John Tiedemann Inc. —in conjunction with Historic Plaster Conservation Services Limited (HPCS), specializes in the type of work needed at St. Patrick Church. According to the company website, most ceilings in churches (from around the time construction began on St. Patrick’s) are made of wood lath covered in plaster, that over time, deteriorate and ultimately fail due to “simple laws of gravity.”


What is the parish doing to raise the money?

We’ve established a committee to plan fundraising events, apply for grants and seek out charitable giving foundations and to reach out to community businesses, friends and family.


Is the Archdiocese of Philadelphia supporting this effort?

Yes, the Archdiocese is supporting the parish efforts to raise the money needed for the restoration.


Once the money is raised how long will it take for the work to be done and the Church to re-open?

From start to completion of the work, about 6 months.


How can I help?

You may now donate online to the fund to restore the church building. Help to preserve St. Patrick Church for the Future.  All donations welcome, small or large. Click on this link and donate today: ONLINE GIVING

On the electronic form, use the “Memo” line to note “in memory of” a deceased person or “in honor of” a living person.

You may also mail checks to the parish office:

St. Patrick Church
Attention: Church Restoration  Fund   
703 Green St
Norristown, PA  19401

The committee also established various avenues for accepting donations, including online giving, stocks or securities, and accepting RMD from retirement accounts.

For more information on what you can do to help, and to download a printable donation form, read Father Gus’s Fundraising Appeal


I donated money in memory of a loved one. How will that be acknowledged?

Once the work is complete and the church is open and operational, the names of those whose loved ones donated money in their memory will be prominently displayed in the church.


What is the history behind St. Patrick Church?

St. Patrick Church was established out of necessity by Irish immigrants in 1831. By the Civil War the parish  welcomed African-Americans; and as years passed the parish community was home to  immigrants from Poland; Hungary, Italy and Germany. By the 1970s immigrants from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica and El Salvador also called St. Patrick home. St. Patrick Church is considered the forerunner of Holy Saviour, St. Francis, St. Paul, St. Titus and St. Helena in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 


Why is St. Patrick Church so important to the community?

  • St. Patrick Church hosts the second largest Spanish-speaking congregation within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
  • The CCD program has nearly 300 students enrolled.
  • The Parish provides ESL classes, SAT prep classes and RCIA programs.
  • The Parish provides free health screenings for the community.  Including basic medical tests; dental screening; physical and occupational therapy; vision testing to include temporary insurance for free eye exams and prescription glasses; consultation with doctors; free immunizations and a variety of informational services from organizations such as the health promotion council, the Mexican Consulate and an immigration lawyer.
  • The Parish is proud to be a welcoming faith community to immigrants; the marginalized; adults and children with intellectual disabilities and physical challenges.
  • The school building houses the Patrician Society, a nonprofit organization that serves as a food cupboard and service support system in the Norristown community.
  • The Missionaries of Charity, a religious order founded by St. Teresa of Calcutta — known then, at the time of her visit in 1984, as Mother Teresa. The sisters provide shelter, food, support and ministry to those in need in the community.
  • The Parish operates St. Patrick Cemetery and Mausoleum.

From Rev. Gus Puleo:

“We open our doors not just to our parishioners, but to everyone. We’re a beacon of light within the area of Norristown. St. Pat’s is a place where there’s hope, a place where there’s help and a place where there’s a home for all people.”