Northeast Times

St. Joachim to reopen for special Mass

Rev. Tom Hig­gins, pas­tor at Holy In­no­cents Par­ish, will cel­eb­rate a Mass on Sat­urday in hon­or of the feast of St. Joachim.

One fi­nal good­bye: St. Joachim, at 1527 Church St., was foun­ded in 1845. It was the old­est Ro­man Cath­ol­ic par­ish in the North­east.

The former St. Joachim Cath­ol­ic church in Frank­ford will re­open this week­end for a spe­cial Mass.

The Rev. Tom Hig­gins, pas­tor at Holy In­no­cents Par­ish, will cel­eb­rate a Mass on Sat­urday at 4:30 p.m. in hon­or of the feast of St. Joachim.

St. Joachim was the hus­band of St. Anne and the fath­er of Mary, moth­er of Je­sus. He is the pat­ron of fath­ers, grand­fath­ers, grand­par­ents, mar­ried couples, cab­in­et­makers and lin­en traders. His feast day is Fri­day.

The Arch­diocese of Phil­adelphia closed St. Joachim and 14 oth­er par­ishes on Ju­ly 1, cit­ing drops in week­end Mass at­tend­ance, mar­riages and bap­tisms.

Arch­bish­op Charles J. Chaput did not con­sider any ap­peals, but a group of former St. Joachim pa­rish­ion­ers is ap­peal­ing to the Vat­ic­an’s Con­greg­a­tion for the Clergy.

The St. Joachim faith­ful ar­gue that their former par­ish was fin­an­cially solvent and brought in rent­al in­come from the former con­vent and school build­ings.

In ad­di­tion, the Ob­lates of St. Fran­cis de Sales staffed the par­ish for 35 years, mean­ing the arch­diocese did not have to sup­ply a priest.

The Rev. Steve Wet­zel, the last pas­tor at St. Joachim, was sched­uled to be a chap­lain for Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge 5 and be in res­id­ence at St. Domin­ic Par­ish in Holmes­burg.

However, the Ob­lates as­signed him to a Vir­gin­ia par­ish to fill in for an ail­ing pas­tor. He will re­turn to the Phil­adelphia area at some point.

St. Joachim, loc­ated at 1527 Church St., was foun­ded in 1845. It was the old­est Ro­man Cath­ol­ic par­ish in the North­east.

The Arch­diocese also closed Frank­ford’s Ma­ter Dol­orosa and Har­rowg­ate’s St. Joan of Arc, dir­ect­ing mem­bers of all three closed par­ishes to at­tend Mass at Holy In­no­cents, in Ju­ni­ata Park.

Also plan­ning an ap­peal are former pa­rish­ion­ers of St. Leo the Great, loc­ated in Ta­cony. St. Leo was merged in­to its neigh­bor­ing par­ish, Our Lady of Con­sol­a­tion.

The folks at St. Leo are writ­ing let­ters of ap­peal to Pope Fran­cis.  ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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