Graduate Annual


St. Casimir’s Parish played a vibrant role in its surrounding community in the 20th century, through both the existence of its church and its adjoining elementary school. In 1993, St. Casimir’s Church celebrated its 100th anniversary with much fanfare. Nineteen years after that celebration, the church building remains, but only as a worship site. In addition, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia closed St. Casimir’s School at the end of the 2005-2006 school year. The school served the South Philadelphia community for 100 years before it closed. The parishioners of St. Casimir’s once were vital participants in the life of South Philadelphia. They owned many local businesses, and actively sought ways to be involved in their local community through the development and expansion of social clubs. However, few traces of the Lithuanian presence in South Philadelphia remain in existence today. Typical societal trends such as the mass move to the suburbs and a shift in the general public towards a more secular society certainly factored into the decline of St. Casimir’s, but they do not tell the whole story. The major cause that eventually led to the closing of the parish and school was the parishioners’ loss of a sense of community through the demise of their social groups and the inability of younger generations to connect with the Lithuanian heritage upon which the parish was founded.