HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHURCH HISTORY
1960 - Present
March 16, 1960, Bishop George L. Leech announced the formation
of a new parish named Holy Name of Jesus. The parish was
officially established several days later with Reverend George
W. Rost as pastor. Father Rost had been Vice-Chancellor of the
Diocese and Secretary to Bishop Leech. The parish property
consisted of about 13 acres of land in Lower Paxton Township,
off Route 22 East, and the parish began with approximately 1300
souls. Most of the new parishioners had been members of St.
Margaret Mary although about 100 souls were drawn from St. Joan
of Arc parish in Hershey.
Father Rost resided at St. Margaret Mary until a private
residence on South Arlene Street was purchased to serve as his
rectory and office. All of Holy Name of Jesus’ baptisms,
weddings, funerals and school activities were held at St.
Margaret Mary. Father Francis A. Kirchner, who was the pastor at
St. Margaret Mary, was a great priest and a great human being
and played an import role in getting the new parish underway.
Beginning on March
27, 1960, Father Rost said two Sunday Masses at the Paxtonia
Elementary School on old Jonestown Road. On November 20, 1960,
groundbreaking was held for a school, church and convent and the
dedication and opening occurred on October 4, 1961. Around this
time we were blessed to have the Sisters of St. Joseph of
Chestnut Hill assume the teaching of our school children and to
this day that order has furnished us with many wonderful
In May of 1968, Father Rost was named pastor of a larger and
more established parish in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. As pastor of
Holy Name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit sent us Father Daniel Joseph
Mahoney from St. Joan of Arc in Hershey. Father Mahoney wanted a
rectory on our church property so in 1971 John (Jake) Wilson and
Sons built the present rectory. School enrollment began to
increase and Father Mahoney initiated plans for a new school.
Eight years later, under Bishop Joseph Daley, permission was
granted to build a new education building and gymnasium at Holy
Name. The education building was completed in 1981 and the large
gym complex in 1982. John Wilson and Sons were also the general
contractors for the education building and gym.
Over the years, Holy Name had many spiritual and social groups
that proved to be a blessing for the families in our parish and
for the people in our community. Our parish was blessed to have
had Father Mahoney with us for thirty-four years.
In 2002, God blessed our parish again when he sent Msgr. Robert
E. Lawrence to be the new Shepherd at Holy Name of Jesus Parish.
Msgr. Lawrence had been pastor of St. Theresa of Jesus Church in
New Cumberland, PA for five and a half years and previously
Secretary for Education in the Diocese of Harrisburg. It was
with great sorrow that we bid farewell to Msgr. Lawrence in
In late 2010, Bishop Joseph P. McFadden appointed Very Rev.
Edward J. Quinlan as Administrator to Holy Name of Jesus,
previously the pastor of St. Matthew Church in Dauphin, PA for
eleven years. Also the current Secretary for Education in the
Diocese of Harrisburg, Rev. Quinlan envisions Catholic education
as a lifelong process that seeks to fulfill the human and
spiritual potential of all people, calling them to discover,
accept, proclaim, and live the Gospel message, while growing in
the gift of faith.