A Message From The Pastor

A Letter From Father Addisalem Mekonnen

Dear Friends,

As the Pastor of this Church, I welcome you to our website and thank you for viewing it. As you have noticed, we are a vibrant community promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ in North Philadelphia. In the midst of many challenges, we have been a beacon of hope in this community for over 100 years.

I especially invite you and your family to join us for Worship on Sunday Morning. You will be blessed by the Celebration of Catholic Mass, where we encounter Christ in the Eucharist, the Word, Song and Community. All are welcome! Please listen to a portion of the power of God’s Word preached here by listening to…..“The Spoken Word”.

In one of the best known Psalms – Psalm 23, we hear, “my cup overflows”. Those words are very true here at Saint Martin de Porres Catholic Church in the Kingdom of North Philadelphia. Our cup overflows with many blessings from our Awesome God. Join us!


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I was born in Abyssinia which is now called Ethiopia and came to the States with my parents and
siblings at the age of two. I was born into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and it was through the
education I received at St. Francis de Sales in West Philadelphia that I was introduced to
Catholic Faith. In my opinion I would not be a Catholic priest today if the good Lord did not
inspire my parents to send me to a Catholic School and weekly attendance at the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass. I remember experiencing God’s mysterious presence in each Holy Mass but I was
unable to articulate the mystery of my faith. I had a devotion to the Holy Spirit and so I
meditated on the Word of God, speak to Christ as my faithful friend and would attend Holy Mass
I didn’t grasp the mystery of the Holy Eucharist and Confession until later in my journey of
faith. I went to Parkway Gamma public high school and it was then when I stray away from my
faith but it was through intercessions of the Holy Virgin Mary that I received an increase of faith
in ways I never imagine. It only after I made my consecration to Jesus through Mary that my
faith was able to consent with conviction Jesus’ real presence in the Most Holy Eucharist,
Confession ,Magisterium and the our Blessed Mother the living ark of the covenant. The greatest
grace that the Blessed Mother obtain for me was to hear the call to priesthood.

I entered St.Charles Borromeo Seminary in 2007 and was ordained in May 16, 2015. Those eight
years of seminary formation was not long because I knew formation is an on going process that
doesn’t stop until the good Lord call us home in heaven. My first assignment was at Nativity of
our Lord Parish in Warminster Pennsylvania and I loved being there because those four
formative years help me slowly mature in my priestly identity. I served for one year at
St.Anselm in the North East which was also another blessing for me in my faith journey before
finally arriving here at St.Martin de Porres which is now my fourth Church Family.

I believe what help me to experience an ongoing formation through the Holy Spirit and the
Blessed Mother was within the context of the Legion of Mary. I was a member of the Legion of
Mary which is a practical implementation of St Lois de Montfort Spirituality before, during and
after my seminary formation that gave me a sense of how to move forward in ministering to my
Church Families. I am the spiritual director of Philadelphia Senatus which is the governing body
of the Legion of Mary throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.