History

From the early 1900s, Italian immigrants in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia traveled to Saint Roch’s Chapel at Amber and Ontario Streets for Mass and spiritual guidance. Since a greater concentration of Italian immigrants resided between Somerset and Ann Street, Mother of Divine Grace Parish was established in 1926. Originally, the church was located in a building that had been used by the Ancient Order of Hibernians at the northwest corner of East Cambria and Thompson Streets.

 Classrooms for the school were located in the two floors above the church.

 When the old church building became too small to accommodate the congregation, a new church was erected on the adjacent property and opened in 1951. Classrooms replaced the space previously used as the church.

 Eventually, the old church/school building was demolished and a new school at 2612 East Monmouth was opened in 1964.

 Mother of Divine Grace Parish is known throughout the area for its Italian-American identity and for its annual Italian Festival.

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