About Holy Innocents
For over 90 years the parish of Holy Innocents has served the people and the neighborhood of Juniata. Monsignor Martin Lynch founded the parish on its December feast day and built the parish one building at a time. For 25 years Mass was celebrated in the “Red Chapel” until out beautiful cross-shaped church was constructed in 1953. The church has 7 entrances, a biblical number representing completeness, or spiritual perfection.
Seven entrances also spell out the word, WELCOME, or in Spanish BIENVENIDOS. For eight decades our five pastors of Irish descent have welcomed people from many countries. Presently Holy Innocents is the home for people from over 20 different countries, taking the words of Jesus to heart, “That all may be one.”
Our IHM sisters have been welcoming and teaching our children since 1929. Thousands of boys and girls have been schooled in the Catholic faith through the selfless efforts of our sisters and our many lay teachers. In the Fall of 2006 we welcomed St. Lucy Day School to become part of the parish family. St. Lucy’s educates children who are visually impaired.
And now the good people of Holy Innocents serve as the parish “doors.” Each one of us is called to “welcome the stranger.” Each one of us is called to “serve the needy.” And may each of us, through God’s grace, always remain open to the Lord’s challenge.
Today, Holy Innocents is a merged Parish, whose Church and School serve Juniata, Frankford, Harrowgate and West Kensington.
In September 2012, Ascension of Our Lord Church and Parish closed, with the properties and a portion of the parishioner base merged into Holy Innocents. Ascension was a territorial parish located at 725 E Westmoreland Street.
In July 2013, the Parishes of St. Joan of Arc, St. Joachim and Mater Dolorosa closed and merged with Holy Innocents Parish. St. Joachim (1527 Church St.) and St. Joan of Arc (2025 E Atlantic St.) were territorial parishes. Mater Dolorosa (1676 Ruan St.) was an Italian national parish. St. Joan of Arc Church and St. Joachim Church serve as worship sites for the parish. Mater Dolorosa Church was closed in 2016.
These mergers are the result of ongoing Archdiocesan restructuring that will ultimately strengthen parish communities throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia positioning them for future growth and sustainability. The intended result will be revitalized parishes, better equipped to meet the spiritual and pastoral needs of future generations.