SAINT MICHAEL PARISH: HISTORY

CELEBRATING 150 YEARS AS A COMMUNITY OF FAITH: 1869 - 2019


 

Saint Michael church TIMELINE

November 19, 1869: Dedication of Church, located at Water Street/Merrimack Street

  • Land purchased from General Eben Sutton for $800

  • Cornerstone laid October 11, 1868

  • Total cost: $10,000

1872: St. Patrick’s built and became missionaries to SMP! (Pastor Fr. James Murphy)

1886: Church was moved to its present location due to water problems. Church was expanded, too. All costs: $11,500!

  • Masses were held at Merrimack Hall (parish hall in Breen’s parking lot) in the meantime.

  • First Masses were held on Christmas Day, 1886.

January 1900: Established as a parish with pastor Fr. James Gilday.

  • Town population - 3,000 with growing Catholic population.

1917 - 1919: All parish land was used to grow potatoes during World War I.

1928: Expansion of church completed by Louis McAloon Sr.

1948: Father Shea bought Merrimack School on Main Street.

  • Saint Michael School opened in September, 1950.

  • School was staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Halifax.

1955: Broke ground for new Saint Michael School (Maple Avenue) and it opened in 1956.

1965: Parish Census: 1,861 families.

November 1998: The New Saint Michael School opened.

October 24, 1999: The New Saint Michael Church was dedicated.

  • Both school and church cost $8,000,000!

  • Town population 27,000 with about half who were Catholic.

June 2019: Parish Census: 5,061 families.