But in 1849 they felt that they were numerous enough to call for the occasional visit of a priest to minister to them in Medford
, so they chose a committee, who waited upon the selectmen of the town, stated their object, and asked that they be allowed the use of the Town Hall
for the celebration of the Mass.
At first some objection was made, but when the selectmen realized how much in earnest the petitioners were, they granted the request, only stipulating that the janitor's services should be paid for. Father Doherty
of North Cambridge then came to Medford
once a month to offer up the Mass in the Town Hall
, first hearing confessions in the old Wade house on High street (where Small
's block now stands), in a room occupied by Mr. Daniel Vaughan
Soon after, in 1852, as children came, the need was felt of a Sunday School to teach the catechism, and an appeal was made to the school board.
The appeal was heard, and the room set aside for tramps in the basement of the High School building was appointed for the purpose.
Here a class was organized by Father Doherty
, the teachers being the men and women of the congregation.
All the territory north of Charlestown
was then without the services of a priest, and on the Sundays between the monthly visits of Father Doherty
the faithful trudged on foot to Charlestown
and back, rather than to be without Mass, in that splendid zeal for the faith which is so admirable.
A conveyance owned by Constable Butler
made the trip on these Sundays between Malden
, but the round fare was forty cents, a prohibitive amount for the greater number of the immigrant settlers, whose pay was small and whose hardships were many.
In one of these journeys they heard that a priest had newly arrived from the English
His name was Rev. John Ryan
, formerly curate of the Catholic parish of Ashton-under-Lyne, near the city of Manchester
He was for the present the guest of Father Hamilton
, pastor of St. Mary's, Charlestown
He had left his English mission