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[p. 4] make fitting preparations for the occasion. There were paper flowers on the altar, which several of the women had made for the day's ceremony. Evergreen and spruce trees, which the young men had cut down and drawn from the hill rising just above the church, reached from the floor to the ceiling and were banked on either side of, and behind, the altar. Father Ryan, having just returned from Reading, where he had celebrated Mass, found the faithful of Medford and Malden awaiting him. We may well imagine the joy of those loyal hearts when their first pastor, on that Christmas morning, offered the Holy Sacrifice for the first time, in their first church, for the consolation and the spiritual uplift of the small struggling community.

This was the earliest formal beginning of an organized Catholic society effected in this part of Middlesex County. This same structure is still in use, being a part of the large Church of the Immaculate Conception (then called St. Mary's) which you see today, standing as it does, together with the rectory, on the land provided by those first pioneers.

On April 20, 1877, that part of the town of Medford in which this edifice is located was annexed to the town of Maiden by an act of the State Legislature.

In 1873, March 3d, it was voted in town meeting in Medford that ‘the sum of $600.00 be appropriated for the Clock on the Catholic Church in Salem street, said clock to become the property of the Town, and the Society to keep the same in proper order and insured for the benefit of the Town.’

In 1863 Father Ryan died, borne down by the weight of his toil and labor. He was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Scully, who had been an army chaplain, and while in the South with the Massachusetts soldiers was captured and confined in Libby Prison. This broke down his health, as it did that of so many others, causing him to resign from the army when he was freed. He was assigned to Medford and Malden, where he remained until 1867, then going to Cambridgeport.

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