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[p. 3] 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 Malden was more thickly settled than Medford, it was decided to find a site in or near Malden, and at last the lot in Medford near the Malden line, where the Malden convent now stands, was purchased. At about the same time the zealous Catholics of Medford bought a lot in the heart of that town, but it was found that the united strength of both towns was needed, and so that land was sold. An old building stood on the lot finally bought, and it was determined to fit it up as a place of worship, but the alterations were hardly begun when the owner of the land opposite decided to sell, and the parcel was bought where the Church of the Immaculate Conception now stands. The expense of this was great, but greater still was the problem of how and where to get the money to build a church. Yet out of their scanty means and poverty they found a way. A small brick edifice was soon constructed, the parishioners being the builders, and here, on Christmas morning, 1855, the faithful were assembled for the first Mass in the basement chapel of the unfinished church. Their devotion inspired them to

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