VENTNOR - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to sell the $6.3 million beachfront villa where priests have vacationed for decades, church officials confirmed today.
Built during the 1920s, Villa St. Joseph-by-the-Sea sits on the Boardwalk at Princeton Avenue in Ventnor. The church has not yet selected a realtor and beyond that, archdiocese representatives could not provide further details this afternoon.
The three-story structure was deeded to the archdiocese in 1978, records show.
Although churches provide permanent homes for retired priests, it is rare for them to run vacation homes, according to land records and interviews with officials from other archdioceses and dioceses in New Jersey.
Those representatives cited examples of retreats, which are meant for working clergy to recharge and spend most of their time there in prayer and other spiritual pursuits and are often share a location with churches, chapels, convents or rectories.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia released a statement last Friday detailing many measures being undertaken to make up a $17 million budget deficit. The statement did not mention selling the villa in Ventnor, but spokesman Kenneth Gavin confirmed the property will go up for sale soon.