Name of Church Holy Innocents
Address 425 E. 20th Street, Long Beach, CA 90806
Phone number 562-591-6924
Mass times Sunday, 9 a.m. (traditional Latin Low Mass), 11 a.m. (offered ad orientem, facing East, away from the people, since 2011) and 1 p.m. (Spanish, ad orientem). Weekday Mass, 8 a.m. (on the school playground). Saturday, 8 a.m. The church makes use of altar rails, so Holy Communion can be received kneeling and on the tongue.
Confessions Wednesday and Friday, 7 p.m.
Names of priests Fr. Peter Irving, pastor. Fr. Irving is an orthodox and traditional pastor, and strongly pro-life. He is in his late 60s, and has a history of working in rougher, inner city parishes and reviving them. Years ago, Fr. Irving participated in Operation Rescue, which used civil disobedience to close abortion clinics. He preaches about defending life, and inspires many of his parishioners to take up the pro-life cause. He can still be found praying and counseling women outside the nearby abortion clinic. Listen to him be interviewed on the Terry & Jesse Show: Terry And Jesse Show – September 22, 2017 by friday at 3 (soundcloud.com).
He has been assisted on weekends by a Norbertine priest, and Claretian Fr. Robert Bishop assists with the parish’s Tridentine Mass.
School Yes, a classical, God-centered K-8 education, administered by the traditional Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart whose motherhouse is in Alhambra. Former parishioners at Holy Innocents include Venerable Mother Luisita (1866-1937), who fled anti-Catholic persecution in Mexico and founded the Carmelite community whose sisters today serve at the school. Teachers are both nuns and lay people; the school is located a few blocks from the parish. Watch a video introduction of the school here: Holy Innocents Catholic School – Every Child’s Birthright – YouTube. Visit the website here: Holy Innocents School | K-8 School Serving the Community of Long Beach since 1958 (lbcatholicschool.com).
Fellow parishioners The parish is part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, in a poor neighborhood in the north end of Long Beach. It is predominantly Hispanic, as well as drawing those who desire the traditional liturgy and environment.
Parking The parish has a small parking lot, and there is street parking. On weekends, park a block away at nearby at Stricklin-Snively Mortuary and walk over.
Additional observations Holy Innocents is a historic, mission-style church, founded in 1923. It is very traditional, and small. Former parishioners include one cardinal, William Levada (1936-2019), who attended as a boy. The parish wages spiritual war against local abortion providers, sending sidewalk counselors to pray and encourage women to choose life. In 2020, the ministry reported, 72 babies were saved. Read this Angelus article about the parish’s pro-life efforts: In Long Beach: A parish commitment to defending life | Angelus News. Among the special features a Blessed Álvaro del Portillo altar; del Portillo was successor of Opus Dei founder St. Josemaría Escrivá, del Portillo used the altar to celebrate Mass.