Friday, April 3, 2009

St. Peters Senior Housing at Holy Ghost Church seeks conditional use approval

St. Peters Senior Housing at Holy Ghost Church will seek a conditional use approval at the April 9, 2009, 7 p.m. Planning Commission Meeting to be held at Borough Hall, 140 Chruch Street, Phoenixville.


How can this process proceed if the ownership of the Holy Ghost Church property is deeded to the Saint Nicholas Brotherhood for 99 years which ends approximately in the year 2049?

Clicking on the image below will enlarge the PUBLIC DOCUMENT on the ruling of Judge Edward Griffith of the Court of Common Pleas.

According to the court order, "...the Articles of Incorporation state that the Saint Nicholas Brotherhood of Phoenixville is to have perpetual existence." I am not an attorney or a judge, but the original Saint Nicholas Brotherhood apparently is still in existence, and any surviving member(s) and maybe even their decendants are the ONLY Brotherhood. In my mind, an argument could be made that any attempt to create a new brotherhood would fail in light of the fact that the original Brotherhood is STILL IN EXISTENCE.

Simply put, there cannot be TWO Saint Nicholas Brotherhoods.

So my question remains, how can the Planning Commission or eventually Borough Council hold meetings or hearings, when the property clearly does not belong to Holy Ghost Church or to a potential newly created Saint Nicholas Brotherhood?

The Court Order references Article IV, Holy Ghost Church "...Constitution and By-laws dated March 23, 2003, specifically admits that the real estate is the property of the Saint Nicholas Brotherhood of Phoenixville and that the Church owns no "real estate."

Legally, the parties involved can throw all their money away in pursuit of building on the original Saint Nicholas Brotherhood owned property, but at the end of the day the greater legal issue of Court proven ownership by the true Brotherhood must govern the actions of the Borough of Phoenixville.


Mr. Ellsworth Toohey said...

You are completely right, Karen. Kudos to you for helping.

Karen said...

I wish to acknowledge receipt of perhaps a half-dozen posts on the Holy Ghost Church issue.

However, I am unwilling to publish them due to the fact that some are legal documents, personal depositions, et al, and the contents may be covered by attorney-client confidentiality.

I do appreciate the intentions and effort in sending them to my blog.

Please continue to pray for the Church, the parishioners, and this situation.

Anonymous said...

Karen, we can pray for this congregation/community but how can we assure them that they are being misinformed. HGOC's first request for an injuction was denied by the court on October 31, 2008. Where was this reported? On March 5, 2009 the judge decided against HGOC - dismissing the case brought by HGOC against St. Nicholas. Yet somehow this was spun to mean that since the case was dismissed, the OK was given to proceed as if nothing had happened. Well, the people need to know that indeed something happened. What happened is that St. Nicholas brotherhood generously, agreeably allowed the use of the land by the HGOC and that the church owns no land, so there is no adversarial issue for the courts to decide on. Oh, by the way, that 99 year lease still applies.
So yes pray for these people but those of us who souls are not dependent on this church organization need to be alarmed that the board of HGOC and the developer are trying to use the influence of federal officials to intercede with HUD. Apparently HUD has rules and a part of its organization also checks on titles submitted with the claims made by developers.
If you are a member of this church you can still contact your elected federal officials and tell them openly and without fear of reprisal what you think of these goings on.

Karen said...

" can we assure them that they are being misinformed."

I believe you just did, Anonymous 10:31 p.m.

If parishoners read this blog, and I have public indications that some do, they will read your post.

Please continue to pray.

Anonymous said...

If this is indeed true, Anonymous 10:31 then there can be no sale of the land and no building on the land. The story is over. You can't sell or build on something that is not yours. Where is the deed?
I can spin all I want to, but I can't sell my landlord's property as my own, no matter what I want the buyer to believe, right?

Anonymous said...

I decide I am going to let you stay at my family's beach house and estate in St Kitts for a couple of months because I've believed in you all the years we've known each other. Somewhere along the line you get a new boyfriend who is now running your life. I'm not saying anything or threatening you to vacate the premises or anything like that. Some beachfront property developer comes along and sells your boyfriend on the idea that because I've let you live on my family's Caribbean estate you can now try to use the law to say that there is some kind of dispute going on and that you - at the behest of your new boyfriend and his scheming new developer boyfriend (also a local witch doctor) - can sue me as if you were some squatter I objected to. Well, you're not a squatter, I agreed you can use the place and there's no way your boyfriends developer buddy can say there's some kind of dispute between you and me. You can't use a law designed to for a squatter's rights kind of argument. There's no argument, no controversy, I like you, I never indicated I didn't like you. Furthermore, I've got the deed registered at the island courthouse. And I am not dead, either. I plan on living all the years the creator has alloted me on his green earth. And just because you decided to use my name, I am still the original. Now your boyfriends scheming drinking buddies might try to scare the bejesus out of the family matriarchs - old tetka Olga and her sick sister - but legally, your boyfriend, developer drinking buddy and the group behind him wanting to build a new conference center and resort can't say that they can sell that estate entrusted to my family and which I have allowed you to use.
Now, you can try to use some government agent - hey they all seem to like vacations in the Caribbean Islands, just as local officials like the Jersey Shore. But I and my family can vote and call our elected federal representatives to stop this nonsense on behalf of decent, legitimate families.

Anonymous said...

Dear Many from HG who read this Blog:

Based on the stats, hundreds read this blog every day. This topic is hot.

If you are one of the many members of the church who are scared think about this:

Do you love blessing your Easter baskets on the green grass, under the Dogwoods, on the lovely lawn?

Do you enjoy being able to go to an event and park your care without fear of getting mugged?

Do you appreciate the control the church has over their parking area?

Do you allow your children to go the outside and play without concern of running into the street at the bottom of the church steps?


Anonymous said...

This is an ongoing painful issue in this church. It's not about not welcoming new people, or moving forward to improve the educational/social center/baking facilities or getting exciting new education programs for the young and old alike.... It's about understanding that this church is very different from Diocesan Churches. Understanding the history of this HGOC should be something of value to all the members of this church. They have the ability to BE members of this church because of the sacrifice made by the founding members. Yes,these founding members mortgaged their homes, donated their savings because they were purchasing land to build a church that could not be taken away from them as was the case in Mont Clare. They made a provision to guarantee, at least for the next 99 years, that even the Diocesan leaders could not take away the land. The St Nicholas Brotherhood was to be the protectors of the sacrifices made by these God fearing, hardworking Orthodox Christians.
Entertaining the notion of selling this property seems to be a slap in the face to all that those founders stood for!
When the parish was "educated" on the facts of the sale prior to the vote, they were all told that the lease was BOGUS. How many would change their vote today knowing the truth about the legitimacy of the lease and that the St Nicholas Brotherhood is not some "cult" made up of a few people who just don't want change? Our church is very rich in tradition and history. It should be cherished instead of being seen as something that is stopping a land sale that is lining the pockets of a select few.
I would sign my name, however with Easter approaching, I'd like to be able to receive Communion and celebrate Christ's Resurrection.

Anonymous said...

Didn't mean that new people are not welcome just that it seems only new blood are making the decisions for the most part as most of them do not have a clue as to what a wonderful family parish it had been!

I do not think one successful project has taken place without spending money from the educational bldg since 9/2001!

Anonymous said...


You of all people should be aware, that ANYTHING presented in a Court of LAW, is a PUBLIC DOCUMENT.

Hopefully you will understand, that if you truly believe in open government, you will post public documents to your website.

if not,(which is your right), you are participating in censorship.

Karen said...

Anonymous 12:05 a.m., referencing the documents I acknowledged receiving, I am not a lawyer, I did not attend the court procedings, nor do I have a transcript.

I have no way of acertaining which items ARE public documents, which are internal documents, which were used as exhibits, and/or which are covered by attorney/client confidentiality.

Therein lies the quandry.

Anonymous said...

karen, if you really wanna know what is in the public court file got to the prothonotaries office in west chester. you will be amazed to find out what is in court files, and as such is public record, don't ever get divorced,,because it will all end up in the court files for all to see.