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Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 17., The Roman Catholic Church in Medford. (search)
hile the Catholic population of the archdiocese is nearly one million, and of the remainder of the State about five hundred thousand. The awful famine which prevailed in Ireland about 1840 drove many of the inhabitants, with their families, to seek a living across the seas. A goodly number settled in Boston, and a few drifted to Medford in the ship-building industry. These stalwart pioneers had held tenaciously to the faith of their fathers, and had been going to Boston to worship in the Moon street church, to Charlestown, to South Boston, and then to North Cambridge, where the Rev. Manasses Doherty officiated in St. Peter's Church. 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