In November 2003, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia opened the Cardinal Bevilacqua Community Center’s doors to serve and engage the community and promote development. The center brought new life into the once abandoned building known as the Starlight Ballroom, and was then repurposed into a haven that symbolizes family, community, hope and love.
With the support of the community and help of donors and organizations, the corner of Kensington and Lehigh Avenues was transformed into a fully modernized structure. For seven years, the center ran under the leadership of Catholic Social Services. The Center saw the community engaged in sports, education classes, after-school programs, art programs, service opportunities, and more.
Stemming from their commitment and hope to have the Center become a more effective and integrated resource for the Kensington community, Catholic Social Services transferred the management of the Center to Visitation BVM Parish in July 2010.
Today, the Community Center at Visitation (CCV) is embarking on an exciting new course with a renewed hope and dream to better the quality of life and to bring brighter possibilities for our neighbors of all faith, race, and gender.
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The Kensington District in Philadelphia, though deemed as one of the poorest Districts in all of Pennsylvania with high crime and drug rates, is also home to a diverse and deeply connected community. Here, you will find culturally rich neighborhoods that have stood the test of time and are still serving and preserving their traditions and practices. With a large population of Hispanics and Vietnamese, we believe that we have great flavors of food! Generations of families still walk and fill the streets with life and our neighbors are always ready to lend a helping hand when needed!
We want you to see Kensington for what it truly is - a community just like any other that needs a little support to overcome its long-time challenges.