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.