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December 25th (search for this): chapter 1
, 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 tho
ich 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 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.
ame site as the present rectory) for the priests' house. But unfortunately his health was delicate, and in 1886 he was called to his reward, most deeply lamented. A year or so before he died, as his health began to fail most seriously, Archbishop Williams sent an assistant priest to aid him. This priest was the Rev. William H. O'Connell, who had just completed his theological course and had been ordained in Rome. Many of us can recall the presence of Father O'Connell at that time and mustor of the American College of Propaganda in Rome, of which he is an alumnus. While there he was appointed Bishop of Portland, Maine, from which place he was sent on a papal mission to Japan. After his return he was appointed coadjutor to Archbishop Williams of Boston, and at his death succeeded him in the Archbishopric. This office he still holds, with the unique distinction of having been recently raised to the Cardinalate, the first Cardinal ever appointed for New England. His Eminence ded
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 and Cambr
elf to the Medford congregation, and deep was the sorrow that was felt when he bade them good-bye. There was not a dry eye in the church, strong men as well as the women weeping with regret. Father Donnelly succeeded well in his ministrations; his gentle and kindly ways were appreciated by all with whom he came in contact. He bought the residence of Mr. John Ayres (standing on the same site as the present rectory) for the priests' house. But unfortunately his health was delicate, and in 1886 he was called to his reward, most deeply lamented. A year or so before he died, as his health began to fail most seriously, Archbishop Williams sent an assistant priest to aid him. This priest was the Rev. William H. O'Connell, who had just completed his theological course and had been ordained in Rome. Many of us can recall the presence of Father O'Connell at that time and must have followed his very remarkable career. He remained but a few months in Medford after Father Donnelly's dea
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 and Cambridge 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 of Malden made the trip on these Sundays between Malden and Charlestown, 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 mission. 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
tings were held, and it was decided either to construct or to buy a church building. Finally, on March 24, 1876, the Trinitarian Congregational Church on High street passed into their hands. It received the name of St. Joseph, and since that time the Medford Catholics have had their own place of worship, although in the dividing up of the town a good number of the inhabitants are still included in the parish of old St. Mary's. Father Gleeson ministered to the wants of both parishes until 1883, when Medford became a separate parish, with its own pastor. The Rev. Richard Donnelly was sent as the first rector. Father Gleeson had greatly endeared himself to the Medford congregation, and deep was the sorrow that was felt when he bade them good-bye. There was not a dry eye in the church, strong men as well as the women weeping with regret. Father Donnelly succeeded well in his ministrations; his gentle and kindly ways were appreciated by all with whom he came in contact. He bough
Catholics (search for this): chapter 1
ncluded 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 last June, and he spoke from the altar most feelingly of his admiration for the saintly character of Father Donnelly, of the privilege it had been to be associated with him, and also most appreciatingly of the kindness he had received from both Catholics and Protestants during the short term of his ministry in Medford. Father Donnelly was succeeded by the Rev. Michael Gilligan, who labored most earnestly among us for fourteen years. The old church on High street had become inadequate to the
November, 1854 AD (search for this): chapter 1
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
John Ryan (search for this): chapter 1
ard that a priest had newly arrived from the English mission. His name was Rev. John Ryan, formerly curate of the Catholic parish of Ashton-under-Lyne, near the cityt 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, w. Father Doherty discontinued his visits to Medford, and in November, 1854, Father Ryan received his appointment to the new parish. It included Malden, Medford, Metimated 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 aor 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 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 t
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