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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 17., The Roman Catholic Church in Medford. (search)
t his English mission to carry the comforts of religion to the Irish emigrants, thousands of whom had settled in America since the famine. Without delay the leading spirits of that stalwart generation in Medford and Malden met in council and decided to ask the Rt. Rev. Bishop Fitzpatrick to give them Father Ryan. They waited upon Father Hamilton to present their address to the Bishop, which he did, and the request was granted. Father Doherty discontinued his visits to Medford, and in November, 1854, Father Ryan received his appointment to the new parish. It included Malden, Medford, Melrose, South Reading (now Wakefield), Reading, Stoneham and Winchester. The first Mass was said in Greene's Hall, on the corner of Pleasant and Middlesex streets in Malden. It is estimated that more than two hundred Catholics were present on that occasion. Father Ryan called his people together and told them a building was needed at once for a church. It proved to be difficult to buy land. As Ma