1605 -1976: From Toleration to Cooperation, St. Mary's Parish Community, Foxboro, Massachusetts
|St. Mary's Church, Foxboro|
But what did it all really mean to me? What was the historical story to be a Catholic? How did this Catholic faith come to be here in America; to Foxboro? Who were the people who worshiped before me? Who were the men and women who built this church we worship in? So many questions and so few answers. So much energy, love and devotion to something I hardly understood. It was a love that stretched as far as an ocean shoreline. But at the same time it was a love short on depth. .
So I share with you my journey to discover the historical story of this one small church situated in a New England village. In many ways it is a historical story of being Catholic in New England through the experience of one local Catholic community; and it is also a story written in the midst of the many Protestant and non-denominational churches that were creating their history at the same time as well. I do not pretend to be a scholar, nor a theologian. I am simple pilgrim on a life-long faith journey attempting to answer my questions about a faith that I still struggle with today.
1605 Explorations of the whole New England coast being made under the auspices of the French government, with Champlain and De Monts as their agents. While making a map of Cape Cod they landed at what is now Stage Head, in the town of Chatham. Immediately they set up a cross and took possession of the land...For some unknown reason the Indians, who at first were friendly attacked the party of explorers, killing some and wounding others. At the foot of the cross so recently erected, the survivors buried their dead. As the French expeditions were always accompanied by a Catholic priest, it is assumed that Cape Cod at that date had its first glimpse of the burial rites of the Roman Catholic Church.
1629 Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter. Guarantees liberty of conscience and worship for all Protestants, but banned Catholic ceremonies. Puritans wanted to work within the Anglican Church to 'purify' what they perceived to be 'Papist' practices and rituals.
1619 – LUTHERAN. A Lutheran Christmas service was held at Hudson’s Bay.
1623 – LUTHERAN. First European Lutherans to remain permanently in this country arrived at Manhattan Island from Holland.
1629 Massachusetts Bay Colony Charter. Guarantees liberty of conscience and worship for all Protestants, but banned Catholic ceremonies.
1631 - BAPTIST Roger Williams comes to Boston. Not a Baptist but a 'separatist' preaching "new and dangerous opinions against the authority of magistrates." 1639 (circa) organizes Baptist Church in Providence, RI.
1641 BAPTIST. First General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination organized in the United States of America of the Foreign Missions - first real denominational consciousness.
1647 May 26, 1647. An Act passed by the General Court of Massachusetts prohibiting Jesuits, who were the only priests in North America at the time, from coming into the domain of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, "solicitations of those of ye Jesuit call order, men brought up & devoted to ye religion and court of Rome...ordained by ye authority of ye pope or sea of Rome..." If a Jesuit banished, should return, "upon lawfull tryall & conviction, be put to death."
1648 – CONGREGATIONAL. The Synod at Cambridge. The Covenant, which m
1649 - LUTHERAN. Dutch Lutherans organized in New Amsterdam (NY)
1650 December. Fr. Gabriel Druillettes, S.J., visit Boston and Plymouth, sent by the Governor of Canada to negotiate for a trade agreement and alliance against the Iroquois. Though unsuccessful in his mission...was allowed a room in Major General Gibbon's house in Boston in which he could "say his prayers and perform the exercises of his religion in all liberty." It is generally believed that he was the first who offered the sacrifice of the Mass upon the soil of this Commonwealth.
1652 - QUAKER - founded as Society in England.
1656 - QUAKER - Ann Austin and Mary Fisher arrive in Boston from Barbados - accused of being witches and deported. Two days later eight more Quakers arrive in Boston - laws passed - whippings
1659 - QUAKER William Robinson & Marmaduke Stephenson hanged on Boston Common - Mary Dyer reprieved & banished
1660 - QUAKER Mary Dyer returns and is hanged on Boston Common
1688 With the accession of William and Mary to the throne, England and France became involved in a series of four great European wars that lasted until 1763. The French in America now took on an additional role as a dangerous colonial rival.
1689 - CATHOLIC. Quote. Governor Winthrop wrote in his history, "There was not a single Papist in the whole territory."
1689 – ACT OF TOLERATION. Church and the commonwealth were this theocracy’s two instruments. It was stern – and at times an intolerant – regime. Suffrage had been limited to church members; Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams were banished; Baptists were hauled into court; and four Quakers were hanged on Boston Common. It was a dark but comparatively short period, ending with the Act of Toleration.
1689 – EPISCOPAL. King’s Chapel, the first Episcopal church in New England, established in Boston.
1692 - THE PROVINCE CHARTER, enacted under William and Mary, guaranteed liberty of conscience and worship for all Protestants, "There shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the Worship of God to all Christians except papists."
1693 – EPISCOPAL. William and Mary College established and the Church of England became the predominant church in the South.
1700 - JUNE 17, 1700. CHAPTER ONE. AN ACT AGAINST JESUITS AND POPISH PRIESTS passed in Massachusetts, "All and every Jesuit, Seminary priest, Missionary, or other Ecclesiastical Person Made or Ordained by any Authority, Power or Jurisdiction derived, challenged, or pretended from the Pope or the See of Rome should leave the Province by September tenth. Anyone found after this date that shall profess himself, or otherwise appear to be such by practicing and teaching of others to say any Popish prayers, by celebrating Masses, granting of Absolution, or using any other of the Romish Ceremonies and Rites of Worship...shall be deemed and accounted an Incendiary, and disturber of the Public Peace and Safety, and an Enemy to the true Christian Religion, and shall be adjudged to suffer perpetual Imprisonment."
1734 – THE GREAT AWAKENING. A time of Protestant religious revival. Itinerant preachers of various denominations swept across religious America winning Christian converts and planting hundreds of new churches.
1748 – LUTHERAN. Henry Melchoir Muhlenberg organized pastors in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland into what became to be called the Ministerium of Pennsylvania. It was the first of many Lutheran synods in America.
1755 A broadside proclamation by Governor William Shirley regarding recruitment for the French and Indian War conflict. Article three, 'You are to enlist no Roman Catholick' (sic).
1756 The Acadian Expulsion. During the French and Indian War fifteen thousand Acadians were forced to abandoned their lands and homes in Nova Scotia. They were distributed from Maine to Georgia. Many Acadians were settled throughout the towns of Massachusetts.
In one particular incident, a party of ninety Catholic exiles seeking the first opportunity of returning to their beloved homes landed from seven two-masted ships at Manomet on July 20, 1756. While an investigation was pending the ninety exiles were distributed among the different towns and finally by order of the court their vessels were sold.
A Protestant writer at that time wrote, "Strangers, ignorant of the language spoken here, Catholics of an ancient church, without a priest, and doomed to live and die amongst men of an alien religion, who neither understood nor loved their faith; homesick for their native land beyond the bay, which they would never see, and I can hardly imagine a fate more full of tears. God give them rest."
1763 – CONGREGATIONAL. The first church or apology for one, is supposed to have been erected at this time. Approximate date of early attempts to have the town incorporated. Nehemiah Carpenter and Jeremy Hartshorn gave the land for a Common, on which to build the church and also a burying ground.
1765 There were two stage coaches a week which would pass through Foxboro making the trip from Boston to Providence in ten hours.
1775 John Adams quoted as saying that Catholics were as rare in his home town of Braintree as a comet or earthquake.
1770 - UNIVERSALIST. Englishman John Murray (1741-1815), sometimes considered the father of American Universalism, preaches first sermon in America
1773 METHODIST - first official conference held in Philadelphia
1775 POPE’S DAY: November 5. The American Revolution and the French Alliance...The annual event was a local substitute for the English celebration of Guy Fawkes Day. The highlight of the celebration was a parade. An effigy of the Pope, usually juxtaposed to one of the devil, was placed on a platform and carried through the streets by the crowd, to the accompaniment of fire-crackers and other noise-making devices. On one occasion the figures were so contrived and manipulated that the devil stood close behind the Pope, seemingly paying compliments to him, but at regular intervals striking His Holiness in the back with a three-pronged fork. The climax of the parade was a bonfire in which the effigies were burned.
In deference to his American Catholic patriots and the aid received from both the Catholic countries of France and Spain, General Washington issued an order on November 5, 1775, forbidding his soldiers "....the observance of the ridiculous and childish custom of burning the effigy of the Pope."
1778 JUNE 10. FOXBORO INCORPORATED AS A TOWN.
1779 – UNIVERSALIST. The Independent Christian Church of Gloucester, Massachusetts, became the first organized Universalist church in America.
1779 ORTHODOX CONGREGATIONAL SOCIETY established in Foxboro. Until 1833 all taxpayers in the Commonwealth were compelled by law to support public worship of this denomination.
1780 MASSACHUSETTS STATE CONSTITUTION. The constitution guaranteed freedom of religion but required an oath of allegiance to hold a governmental position. The oath required that they were not subject to the jurisdiction or authority of any "foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate," It was so framed that no Catholic could conscientiously take it. Repealed in 1821.
1782 – ADVENTIST February 15 William Miller birth, Pittsfield, Massachusetts
1783 – EPISCOPAL. A conference of Episcopal churches met in Annapolis, Maryland, and formally adopted the name Protestant Episcopal Church – Protestant, to distinguish it from the Roman Catholic Church; Episcopal, to distinguish it from the Presbyterian and the Congregational.
1783 – SWEDENBORGIAN. The New Church as an organization started in London in 1783 when Robert Hindmarsh, a printer, gathered a few friends to discuss the writings of Swedenborg; they formed a general conference of their societies in 1815.
1784 - METHODIST- Methodist Episcopal Church organized in Baltimore.
1785 - UNITARIAN. Episcopal King's Chapel, Boston - James Freeman appointed pastor having Unitarian theology - removes references of trinity from the Anglican Prayer Book. Episcopal churches refused to recognize King Chapel as Episcopalian. First organized church to Unitarianism as a body. Freeman becomes first ordained Unitarian minister in America 1787.
1788 UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION ratified guaranteeing freedom of religion. As a result of this fact on November 2, 1788, the first public worship of a Catholic celebration of Mass took place in Boston. The celebrant was a French priest, Reverend Abbe Claud de la Poterie. Fr. Poterie is regarded by historians as the first resident priest in Boston.
1789 – EPISCOPAL. The constitution was adopted in Philadelphia, the Book of Common Prayer was revised for American use, and the Protestant Episcopal Church became an independent, self-governing body.
1789 Reverend John Carroll is named as the first bishop of American Catholic church. The Diocese of Baltimore is erected and Boston is considered as a mission of this diocese. This Boston mission comprised all of New England.
1790 The Catholic statistics of Boston in this year is recorded at one hundred Catholics, no church and one priest. Rev. John Thayer sent to take charge of the Catholic flock. Former Congregationalist minister, first notable covert to Catholicism.
1791. Bishop John Carroll, of Baltimore visits Boston. Governor John Hancock attends a mass as a courtesy. Carroll writes, "It is wonderful to tell what great civilities have been done to me in this town, where a few years ago a 'Popish' priest was thought to be the greatest monster in creation."
1792 – SWEDENBORGIAN. First Swedenborgian Society in America organized in Baltimore.
1792 Reverend Dr. Francis Anthony Matignon, who had fled the revolutionary government in France, is appointed as priest to the Boston area.
1792 – SWEDENBORGIAN. First Swedenborgian Society in America organized in Baltimore.
1792 – ADVENTIST – Birth of Joseph Bates, Fairhaven, Massachusetts
1796 October 3. Reverend John Lefebvre de Cheverus, a native of Mayenne, France, came to Boston as a missionary to assist Fr. Matignon.
1795 APRIL 15 - QUAKERS / SOCIETY OF FRIENDS - FOXBORO. Earliest recorded meeting of Quakers in Foxboro, at the home of Job Sherman in South Foxboro. Several years later a meeting house was built in the Taunton North Parish (Mansfield).
1797 It is recorded that early in 1797 Fr. Matignon left Fr. Cheverus at Boston, and travelled to the town of Wrentham, thus inaugurating pastoral work south of the city of Boston. Writing to friends in 1798, in Maine, Fr. Cheverus reminded them against attending 'the public worship of any Society separated from her'. Instead he advised them to be 'well prepared fro confession and communion against the next time you will have a priest with you.'
1801 The judges of the State Supreme Court declared, "Papists are only tolerated, and as long as their ministers behave well, we shall not disturb them; but let them expect no more than this."
1803 – UNIVERSALIST. The Winchester Profession humanized Jesus and thus directly opposed Trinitarianism and reemphasized salvation for the whole family of humankind
1803 September 29th. The first Catholic church in Boston dedicated. Located on Franklin Street, built in brick in dignified Ionic style according to plans gratuitously furnished by Charles Bulfinch, the Church of the Holy Cross. Church was soon raised to the rank of Cathedral.
1804 – BAPTIST. Caleb Atherton and his wife, members of the Taunton Baptist Church were the only members of this church in town (Foxboro).
1806 The Norfolk-Bristol Turnpike opened for traffic. Eighteen stagecoaches each way daily.
By the year 1810 it was possible to travel from Boston to Providence in less than five hours by stagecoach and was said, "If anyone wants to go faster, he may send to Kentucky and charter a streak of lightning!'
1808 On April 8, 1808, Pope Pius VII, elevated Baltimore to an Archdiocese and established Boston as one of four suffragan dioceses in the United States. The diocese included all of New England. The pastoral statistics at this time were four priests, two churches and a Catholic population of one thousand. Fr. John Cheverus was consecrated as Bishop.
1809 – QUAKERS; SOCIETY OF FRIENDS. April 24, 1809 records document a lot conveyed by Abraham Crowley, “in consideration of the love and good will I have for the Society of Christian People known by the names of Friends or Quakers”, to Nathan and Stephen Aldrich of Smithfield, R.I,, as agents for the Society. The lot is located just over the South Foxboro-West Mansfield line. A structure was soon built thereafter to be known as “The People’s Church” sometimes known as the Morton Church
1810 – CONGREGATIONAL. The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions organized.
1812 General Shepherd Leach purchases Foxboro's iron manufacturer which had been established by Uriah Atherton approximately eighty years previous. Leach also owned furnaces in Easton, Walpole and Chelmsford. These sites would become principal places of employment for Catholics by 1830.
1814 – BAPTIST. A Baptist church organized in Sharon.
1814 - BAPTIST. The Baptists organized their own separate General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America for Foreign Missions. This convention, representing a national Baptist fellowship, marked the first real denominational consciousness.
1815 – A general religious revival throughout the entire area documented.
1815 – SWEDENBORGIAN. In 1815 young Thomas Worcester, a student at Harvard, heard from his older brother that a set of Swedenborg’s Arcana Celestia had been given to the Library at Harvard College. Eventually after some difficulty, he found them in a little-used room; and with a small group of fellow students he began the study of these volumes, which were in the original Latin. Their study group eventually became the nucleus of the New Church Societies in Boston and in the neighboring towns.
1815 - ADVENTIST. William Miller (Millerites) becomes Baptist
1816 - SWEDENBORGIAN. Rev. William Hill preached the New Church doctrines in the Episcopal churches in and around Boston. One Sunday he exchanged pulpits with the Congregational minister in Foxboro. He lived for a short time in Wrentham also, and by 1816 he had aroused enough interest in his neighborhood to cause a number of men from Foxboro, West Mansfield, and Attleboro to go into Boston to attend meetings…
1816 - BAPTIST FOXBORO March14. Baptist Society organized in Foxboro.
1817 - BAPTIST FOXBORO February 16. A movement started by 33 members North Attleboro and 4 members from Sharon requested permission to organize a Baptist Church in Foxboro. Services held in the town meeting house. April 16, 1817 at the house of Elias Nason, were constituted and recognized as a visible church of Jesus Christ.
1817 - BAPTIST. April 16. A Baptist society was organized in Foxboro with 37 members. Services held in the town meeting house.
1817 – SWEDENBORGIAN. The General Convention of the New Jerusalem in the United States.
1817 February 7. Bishop Cheverus reports, "The number of those who receive Holy Communion is more than four hundred in the city of Boston and; in the surrounding towns and countryside about 100.
1818 – METHODIST. Walpole and Foxborough Methodist Society. Methodism introduced into South Walpole.
1819 – UNITARIAN. The Liberal Christian churches become known as Unitarian.
1820 – MORMON. Joseph Smith received his first vision outside Palmyra, New York.
1818 November 18. First Catholic burying ground in Boston. Bishop Cheverus consecrates the holy ground of St. Augustines cemetery in South Boston.. Prior to this Catholics were buried in local Boston cemeteries such as Granary Burial Ground, Copp's Hill, ect.
1820 First church south of Boston constructed in New Bedford by Fr. Philip Lariscy. Dedicated by Bishop Cheverus in 1821 and described in his diary as, "The pitiful little building".
1820 – MORMON. Joseph Smith received his first vision outside Palmyra, New York.
1821 – CONGREGATIONAL. Clearly the town thought it owned the meetinghouse and perhaps, legally, it did, as well as the land under it. But the town had not originally built the building (1763), as it was erected before the town was incorporated. Rev. Thomas Williams, being about to leave the (Congregational) society offer it $500 if it would erect a new meetinghouse. The work of tearing down the old building commenced the next day (December 22).
1822 - CONGREGATIONAL. The first church building was erected.
1822 - BAPTIST. A meeting house is built on Elm Street at the cost of $1200. Warren Bird “to supply the pulpit…”
1822 – METHODIST. Walpole and Foxborough Methodist Society. A church was organized with board of officers.
1823 - CONGREGATIONAL FOXBORO January. The second Congregational church - the brick church - commenced building in 1822. Located on the common across from the present Rockhill Street, the church was dedicated in January 1823.
1823 September. Bishop John Cheverus leaves for France. Pastoral statistics of the Diocese of Boston included contains four thousand and five hundred Catholics, three Churches, and five priests. These faithful included 750 Maine Indians.
1824 - BAPTIST: Foxboro 1824 August – 1831 June Not one person baptized…perhaps this state of affairs was due to a change in belief of the Pastor, Warren Bird, who accepted a belief in Universal Restoration. He was suspended in 1825 but restored in 1826. He resigned in 1828 and joined the Swedenborgs. The Baptist church was closed most of the time from 1828-1831.
1825 – UNITARIAN. The American Unitarian Association established.
1825 November 1. Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J., appointed Bishop of diocese of Boston.
1826 – LUTHERAN. The Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is established. Oldest operating ELCA seminary.
1828 – SWEDENBORGIAN. In 1828 the Baptist minister in Foxboro, the Rev. Warren Bird, resigned his pastorate and joined the New Boston Church. He became the leader of the Foxboro-Mansfield group who were studying the doctrines, and who usually met at his home.
1828-1831 - Reverend Robert D. Wooley is remembered as the first priest of the Boston diocese sent to the mission area of Rhode Island and Connecticut; and and parts of southeastern Massachusetts which included Foxboro. He was also pastor at this time of Providence, Pawtucket, and Taunton. It is recalled that he travelled over this large area, "pursuing every group of Catholics brought to his attention, gathering new congregations and saying he first Mass in many places."
1829 September 5. First Catholic newspaper, 'The Jesuit' is established. Presently known today as "The Pilot."
1829 It is recorded that the Pawtucket and Providence area was prostrate with a business crash. It is mentioned that, "The Catholic population simply melted away...Many Catholics lost their jobs." Especially those who earlier had responded to the 'lure of the loom'.
1830 – EPISCOPAL. The Episcopal Church had 12 Bishops, 20 dioceses, 600 clergymen, and 30,000 communicants.
1830 – MORMON. Movement is organized by Joseph Smith at Fayette, New York.
1830 – METHODIST. Walpole and Foxborough Methodist Society. The first church was erected under the pastoral charge of Rev. Francis Dane. Dane lived on Spring Street in Foxvale next to the Mansfield town line. The church drew attendants from not only North Foxborough but from Foxboro Center.
1830 -1844 During this era Catholics increased in number from 15,000 to 73,800. They were for the most part untrained for most of the available occupations and were destitute of schooling. Many sought work as laborers on the railroad lines being constructed. The Boston to Providence railroad line was constructed during this era, being completed in 1835.
According to a Foxboro historian, John Hodges, as construction passed through the East Foxboro area the granite used along the railroad bed came from a quarry from located behind the old district schoolhouse. Each line under construction brought in a host of Irish Catholic immigrants, often in localities where Catholics hitherto been little known. Invariably hard on the heels of these railroad gangs came missionary priests. Once the "job" was completed, it was not uncommon for the laborers to settle in the towns or villages through which the work progressed. The average work day for a railroad laborer consisted of fifteen hours of toil in return for a wage of often no more than fifty or sixty cents a day.
1830-1835 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. During this era there occurred the Protestant Revivalist Movement known as "The Second Great Awakening". Within the ranks of the Congregational churches in New England there occurred an historical schism. The church that had dominated the religious life of New England for two centuries. The split through which the liberal minority, representing the political, social, and intellectual elite of Boston and vicinity, separated from the "Orthodox" majority to form the new Unitarian church. Revivalism was the mainspring of the whole movement.
This remarkable revival of protestant zeal and activity could scarcely fail to produce a new attack upon Catholicism. In striving to vindicate and reassert the theology of the Reformation, the evangelists quite naturally felt it a duty to launch out against the opposing systems - against Unitarians on the one side and Romanists on the other.
Catholic historians have named this the first 'nativist' movement. It was an effort of the older stock to protect American institutions and ideals against incoming elements which they regarded as inevitably alien and hostile to their way of life. The mainspring of nativism was always religious prejudice.
1831 FOXBORO: CATHOLIC. Reverend Peter Connolly conducted a roving apostolate which carried him all over Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts. He served the small churches at Sandwich and New Bedford, including the mission of Wareham, and as far as Easton, Foxboro, and Walpole. He mentioned that the Catholics were chiefly unmarried workingmen who were "here today and gone tomorrow." Fr. Connelly was an Ulsterman, who had studied in Ireland. In a letter to the 'Jesuit' newspaper, which is the predecessor newspaper to Boston's Archdiocesan Catholic newspaper, 'The Pilot,' he recounts visits to Easton, Foxboro, & Walpole during the height of the noted "Second Great Awakening".
In the July, 1831, issue of the "Jesuit" his letter to the editor was published. Fr. Connolly wrote,
"My official duties called me to Easton, where a few Catholics are employed by General Shepard Leach. I asked permission of the then-superintendent, under whose charge they were to speak to them for a short time, when I immediately saw myself surrounded by the most ignorant and bigoted crew, with a few exceptions I ever beheld. I must confess that although they made use of the most insulting language, aided and assisted as they were by their overseers and clerk they extorted only pity from me. I listened to their vile epithets; I reasoned with them and answered their hackneyed objections which had evidently fallen from the lips of some orthodox spouting 'saint'. In a short time I was glad to find that some of the party became so disgusted with the conduct of their comrades, that they manfuly came forward, as honest and liberal Americans always will do, and defend me form further outrage.
After a visit to this place, which lasted nearly an hour, I proceed to Foxborough to see a few Catholics in the employ of General Leach, and here I met with still worse treatment from individuals of the same cast as the former. In the absence of an agent, who, I subsequently understood, felt indignant at their proceedings, they, in imitation of the 'Indian war-hoop,' sounded a horn to collect a larger group, to prevent me from imparting religious instruction to the Catholics, and one exclaimed in his holy wrath that 'He was sorry he had not a load gun by him!'
Fr. Connolly had surmised that these actions were the result of "...prayer meetings held twice or thrice a week in different villages, where they have an opportunity of keeping up the excitement, which consists calumnies against the Catholic church, her priests, and her tenets."
1831 – MORMON. Mormons leave New York for Ohio.
1831 – ADVENTIST. William Miller begins preaching the immanent return of Christ in about “1843”
1831 BAPTIST - FOXBORO. Baptist revival recorded in the towns of North Attleboro, Sheldonville, Sharon, Canton, Stoughton, West Dedham (Westwood), Framingham, Medfield and Newton. Foxboro Baptist church recorded 74 people baptized. Early church building located on Elm Street, main road to Mansfield.
1832 – CONGREGATIONAL. From the accessions to the church in 1831, it is probable
that there was something of a revival of religion…
1833 – CONGREGATIONAL- "No Church Supported By Taxation" law passed by the Massachusetts Legislature. Until this date, all taxpayers were compelled by law to support the public worship in the towns where they resided.
1833 - UNIVERSALIST. General Convention of Universalists takes formal shape
1834 August 11. Ursuline Convent Burning in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
1834 Beginning of Otis Cary's iron foundry on Mill Street in Foxboro. Would become a major employer of Catholic foundry men and laborers. Steam railroad was put through East Foxboro.
1836-49 Coal Mines in operation in South Foxboro.
1837 - UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY formed in Foxboro
1837 – BAPTIST FOXBORO. 34 members from Mansfield requested to withdraw to build a church in that town…site of meeting house had been chosen partly with reference to the southeast portions of the congregation. After this loss, it was deemed best to seek a more central location.
1838 – MORMON. Brigham Young and his brother Joseph baptized 17 people in Boston as they preached the gospel.
1838 May – BAPTIST. A vote of the remaining faithful to move the structure to the center of town (present town hall location) on land donated by Nehemiah Carpenter. (1850 sold to Virgil Pond, box factory on Gilmore Street).
The meeting house was sawed in two, put it on wheels and move it up town, which caused someone not friendly to the Baptist cause to remark, "Now they've got the Baptist meeting house on wheels, they better keep it on wheels and run it out of town."
1838 – UNIVERSALIST. The first meeting of the Universalist Society in Foxboro were held as early as 1838 in Sumner’s Hall (Old Union Block).
1838 – 1839 MORMON. Mormons expelled from Missouri and settle in Nauvoo, Illinois.
1838 In the Boston diocese there were 26 priests and 31 churches.
1839 – MORMON. The Eastern States Mission was created under John P. Greene. Boston visited by Joseph Smith in December on route to Washington, D.C. seeking redresses for the injustices in Missouri.
1840s - FOXBORO: CENTRAL VILLAGE. The pre-1850 published vital record book for the town of Foxboro refers to a Central Village. Central Village was the name given to that area of town that presently comprises the town center and its contingent neighborhoods. During this era East Foxboro was considered to be an important part of town due to the railroad station located there. Prior to this era settlements grew up around the water privileges and mills sites. With the invention of steam power it became possible to develop areas of Foxboro where rivers were none existent.
1842 May 30. Death of Mary Lyons. Buried St. Augustine's cemetery, South Boston.
1843 October 8 - UNIVERSALIST. The new church was dedicated and the first settled minister was installed, Rev. Charles W. Mellen.
1844 – MORMON. Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, his brother, are murdered by a mob at Carthage. With Smiths death the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was accepted as the presidency of the church, and Brigham Young as president of the Quorum.
1844 Hartford erected as a diocese. It included all of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
1844 - ADVENTIST October 22. William Miller's associate, Joshua Himes, determines October 22, 1844 as the great antitypical Day of Atonement.
1844 FOXBORO CATHOLIC: Masses being celebrated at Rafferty home on Granite Street. On November 30, 1844, Michael Rafferty married Mary Lyons. Mary was the daughter of James and Mary Lyons. It is recorded that James Lyons was of one of the first two Catholic families who bought land and settled in Foxboro. James, who died on February 14, 1846, is buried along side his wife in St. Augustines Cemetery in South Boston. This cemetery was the first "consecrated ground" in Boston, establish in 1818. After 1848 Foxboro Catholics were buried in consecrated ground in Canton.
FIRST MASS CELEBRATIONS. The Rafferty homestead was located off Granite Street near the intersection of Union Street. Michael was an iron and brass moulder, and both he and his wife were born in Ireland. It is asserted that the first Catholic services held in town were conducted in their house. The usual procedure, when the priest came, would be first a good hot supper, and a smoke; then the rooms would be cleared for confessions, and the parlor prepared for the Mass on the following morning. The altar would be arranged with great care, and decked with their finest linens and laces brought from Ireland in the big chest, in which receptacle they would be carefully folded and replaced after the service, for the next occasion. There would be time allowed time for religious instruction, marriage preparation, and any other matter that may require the attention of the priest. Also the rules of fasting, nothing to eat or drink were in effect after midnight. Not a morsel of food nor taste of water before the reception of the Eucharist the next morning.
1844 The first straw hat factory, the Great Bonnet shop was established on Wall Street by Oliver, Erastus and Warren Carpenter.
1845 CONGREGATIONAL New church erected.
|New Congregational Church erected|
1846 February 14. Death of James Lyons. Buried in St. Augustines Cemetery, South Boston.
1846 August 16. Fr. John Bernard Fitzpatrick, coadjutor since 1844, elevated to Bishop. Pastoral statistics of the Boston diocese were comprised of thirty-nine priests, forty eight churches, and fifty-five thousand Catholics.
1847-1853 Foxboro. During this period only a few households headed by Irish-born laborers, with few owning real estate. In addition to the previously mentioned straw hat works and the foundry, some of the other industries which probably employed Irish Catholic laborers included the Foxboro Steam Mill Company on Gilmore Street, a dye house on Cocasset Street, a tin and sheet iron works in the basement of Friendship block on the corner of Granite and Main Streets, a paste board factory on Baker Street and the Foxboro Jewelry Company.
Throughout the eastern United States parochial schools and Irish wakes were among a hosts of strange customs that offended Puritan sensibilities. But the belief in a papal plot to subvert Protestantism and democracy provided the greatest focus to increasing nativist sentiments.
The Catholic Church became essentially an Irish immigrant institution during this era providing for the newcomers welfare, identity, and support in a strange new world.
Anti-Immigration developed slowly from 1847 to 1853. It took sometime for the general population to become aware of the significance of the immigration movement. There existed a deep seated and traditional antipathy between the Irish and the natives who were of British stock. Also the increasing expenditures for the relief of the distressed increased yearly.
1848 Catholic cemetery established in Canton. Many Foxboro Catholics buried here until the establishment of a local Catholic cemetery 1874.
1848 - ADVENTIST November 18. Ellen Harmon White, residing in Dorchester, Massachusetts, was shown in vision that her husband, James, should start a little paper. Like "streams of light," it would eventually go "clear round the world. In July 1849, the first issue of “The Present Truth” is published.
1849 – LUTHERAN. First Lutheran Church founded in Albany, New York (ELCA oldest congregation).
1850 – BAPTIST August 15. New Baptist church erected on the site of present Bay Bank on School Street. The old meeting house is sold to Virgil Pond who removes it to his box factory on Gilmore Street. Structure burned in fire on January 27, 1876.
1850 – LUTHERAN. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod is organized.
1850 The 1850 Federal Census was the first census which identified the birthplaces of residents. With little more than one tenth of the total population in the country, the six New England States had one fifth of the Irish-born population.
1851 The 'Ratable Poll' published in the 1851 Foxboro Town Report identifies resident immigrants as "foreigners".
1850s During the 1850s in New England in general and Foxboro in particular witnessed a transformation of the labor work force, as immigrant workers came to replace the native born in virtually every production task.
In Foxboro during this decade a number of improvements occurred in Central Village that solidified the importance of Central Village as center of industry and commerce. These improvements included:
- the building of the Cocasset House,
- the American Building,
- establishment of the Foxboro Savings Bank (in the American Building),
- the Union Building,
- Rockhill Cemetery,
- the beatification of the Common,
- the building of a new Town hall,
- the establishment of the Foxboro and English Classical School,
- the establishment of a private, voluntary, subscription fire department.
1851 FOXBORO CATHOLIC. A parish is created in Canton under the care of Reverend Michael O'Laughlin. Fr. O'Laughlin entered the diocese in September in 1851. His addition to the inadequate number of priests made it possible to send him to Canton, and thus establish a parish. He was instructed to care also for Easton, Stoughton, and Foxboro.
1852-53 School Committee report. "Abolish our schools and how long would our free institutions endure? What barrier would stem the tide of ignorance and dam up the waters of crime daily flooding our shores from Europe? How can we better teach ignorant foreigners truly to enjoy that liberty for which they seek our shores, than through the influence of our schools"
1853 The establishment in Massachusetts of Know-Nothing party, sometimes referred to as the American Party.
1853 The local school committee was made up of Jedson Carpenter, Jim Everett and David Hersey.
1853 Establishment in Foxboro of Union Straw Works.
1853 The New England states of Maine and New Hampshire become a single diocese with Portland, Maine, as the See. On May 31, 1855, Rev. David W. Bacon become Bishop. Vermont is also separated from the Boston Diocese with Burlington as the See. On November 6, 1853, Rev. Louis de Goesbriand become bishop.
1853 FOXBORO CATHOLIC . In January 1853 the Easton mission was separated from Canton and Fr. Aaron Roche was placed in charge. He was to have supervision of the mission stations that were held in Bridgewater, Foxboro, Mansfield, North Wrentham and Wrentham. Fr. Roache celebrated Mass in home of Richard Gorman (116 Central Street) until growing numbers required the Catholics to find a larger meeting room. The Odd Fellows Lodge room a common gathering place for Mass at this time. (** see 1858 note **)
1854 The Orthodox Congregationalist society, which had previously met in the old brick meeting house built in 1822, erected their present edifice, the Bethany Church.
1854 FOXBORO: AMERICAN PARTY / KNOW NOTHINGS: Massachusetts State Election. The American Party (Know Nothings) was victorious at all levels of government. They were particularly concerned by the steadily growing number of immigrants in the Commonwealth. Their party platform wanted exclude anyone not native born from holding federal, state, or municipal offices, and they urged the repeal of the naturalization laws.
The order was secret and the members were so-called "Know Nothings" because they would reply "I don't know" to all questions asked of them. In the 1854 election the American party won the governor's office, all state constitutional offices, all 40 state senate seats, and all but three of the 379 state representative seats in the legislature.
This 'Know Nothing' legislature included two residents of Foxboro, namely Senator Jedson E. Carpenter and Representative John Littlefield.
Senator Jedson E. Carpenter was a solid member of the American Party. It was Senator Carpenter who built the American Hall Building located on South Street. The building still stands and is located across the street from the Roberts Funeral Home. A contemporary advertisement listed Senator Carpenter as an Insurance agent with his office located in the American Hall building.
A contemporary advertisement listed John Littlefield as a Surgeon Dentist whose office was also located in the American Hall Building.
Jedson Carpenter's obituary published in the February 6, 1880 edition of the Mansfield News, stated that he, "was remembered in early life a Whig and remained true to this political party until the organization of the Native American Party' and that, 'he introduced this party into the town and was one of the most earnest in procuring for it numerical strength and party power.
1854 KNOW NOTHING OATH The September 4, 2000 Boston Globe headline read “Papers Confirm Anti-Catholicism in Boston’ Past. The article reported on the recent acquisition at the Boston College Burns Library of a Know Nothing era document which contained the oath taken by Boston members of the secretive political party. The article reprinted a few of the lines from the oath, “To defend our Republican Institutions against the encroachments of the Church of Rome…and its ignorant and deluded followers….we are associated on a secret Military Order…. Raise your right hand up before the floating flag of your country [and] place your right foot on the emblem of the Church of Rome.” The document is dated October 13, 1854.
1855 Chancery is established as an office in the Diocese of Boston. The establishment of the chancery appeared to be an attempt to administratively reorganize the diocese.
1855 FOXBORO PETITION: On January 22, 1855 the recently elected Representative John Littlefield and Senator J.E. Carpenter presented to the General Court Assembled a petition signed by all three selectmen, prominent townsman Erastus P. Carpenter and 225 other residents of Foxboro. The petition stated, "The Undersigned Petitioners believing that no person should be deprived of Liberty with out due process of law and believing also that in certain institutions with in this state, known as convents, nunneries or by whatever name they may be designated, persons who once enter them and take upon themselves certain vows are forever debarred from leaving them however much they may desire to do so, and believing that acts of villainy, injustice, and wrong are perpetrated within the walls of said institutions with impunity as a result of their immunity from public inspections. Therefore your petitioners earnestly and respectfully pray your honorable bodies, to enact such a law as will bring all such institutions under the inspection of the Civil Authorities of the state."
On a motion of Mr. Littlefield the petition was referred to a joint special committee. The committee was named the Special Committee on the Inspection of Nunneries and Convents with John Littlefield as the chairman. The committee, which included a number of guests of which Senator Carpenter was one, made visits to the Academy of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Roxbury, Holy Cross College, and a Catholic school in Lowell. The conduct and actions of some of the members came under question and the committee quickly lost its credibility.
1854-1855 - Jedson E. Carpenter, John Littlefield and Julius Carroll are listed as the members of the School Committee.
1855 August 24. Abraham Lincoln quoted as saying, "As a nation we began by declaring that all men are created equal. We now practically read it: All men are created equal except Negroes. When the Know Nothings obtain control it will read: All men are created equal except Negroes, foreigners, and Catholics."
1855 FOXBORO KNOW-NOTHING. October 27. Dedham Transcript newspaper article - Foxboro'. - In this town, the headquarters of the Nunnery Committee, the Republicans are up and doing. Hon. John C. Park will speak in Cocasset Hall on Monday evening, October 21st."
1855 - UNIVERSALIST. The Union Social Circle was formed by the men and women of the church who “were desirous of enjoying Christian Fellowship of cultivating a social spirit and promoting the interests of a liberal faith in their midst.” The Society gathered at the Central Street
home of William Young.
1856 FOXBORO: AMERICAN PARTY. During the presidential campaign of 1856, the American Party in Foxboro supported the candidacy of Millard Fillmore. A number of rallies were held in Foxboro. The preamble to the constitution of the Foxboro Fillmore Club, organized in September, 1856, stated, "We hold that these preferences should be sustained by the members of the American Party throughout the Union, on the ground that the evils which caused the formation of the party are still among us. A corrupt 'foreign influence' still sways its scepter over the sanctity of our ballot box. The same designs to pervert our government by a foreign priesthood, and the predominance in civil power of an Ecclesiastical Hierarchy..." President of the club was John Littlefield and Vice President was Jedson E. Carpenter.
1856 In his annual report to the bishop, Fr. Roche reported that he visited North and South Bridgewater twice a month. Foxboro and Mansfield are visited once each month. North Wrentham and Wrentham Center twice a year.
1856-57 School Committee made up of Jedson Carpenter, John Littlefield, and Julius Carroll. The 'Bible' headed the list of textbooks recommended by this committee.
1857 – MORMON. All missionaries called to Utah during the so-called “Utah War.” Until 1893, most of New England, including Massachusetts, saw little progress in the development of the church.
1858 In the Boston diocese there were eighty churches and sixty-nine priests.
1858 FOXBORO CATHOLIC. Masses celebrated in Odd Fellows Hall, which was located in the Friendship Block. The Friendship block was located at the corner of Granite and Main Streets. It was built by the Excelsior Lodge, I.O.O.F.
1859 The spiritual and secular life of Catholics centered about the "Mother Churches" which were erected throughout the diocese. This era witnessed the erection of primitive churches established in advantageous parts of the diocese , especially in areas that satisfied the three criteria to become a parish. The criteria included the availability of a priest, the geographical situation, the number of souls or the ability to support a priest and church; and in some situation situations, a fourth criteria; the ethnic composition of the people.
1859 April 4. A number of Catholics residing on a dirt road south of the center of town petitioned the Board of selectmen to accept the road, which the selectmen did. According to the Foxboro Road Book #1; page 17, on April 4th the selectmen accepted, "a road laid out from Central Street to a point near John Bannon's dwelling house - known as Church Street."
1859 FOXBORO CATHOLIC: Monday, May 2, 1859 Bishop John Fitzpatrick set off a new district under the spiritual care of Reverend Michael X. Carroll. Fr. Carroll had previously been assigned as assistant at St. Patrick's in Lowell and when first assigned to Foxboro he briefly resided with Reverend McNulty at Bridgewater. The new Foxboro parish, under Fr. Carroll, was to attend to missions stations at North Wrentham, now known as Norfolk; Wrentham Center; Mansfield; South Walpole; Franklin; and Furnace, which is a part of Easton.
1859 July 19. Within a few weeks, on July 19, James D. McAvoy conveyed to Fr. Carroll the property on which the first church would be built. The site is the present location of the Knights of Columbus Building at the corner of Carpenter and Church. At this time Carpenter Street was known existent.
During the construction of the new church building the Catholics held services in the Town Hall and also the Cocasset House, which was situated at the present site of the Benjamin Franklin Bank.
1859 At Wrentham, Fr. Carroll bought a lot on which a small building on Taunton Street, formerly used as a boot and shoe factory. With the permission of Bishop John Fitzpatrick it was remodeled into a chapel. This chapel serve the faithful for 68 years.
1860 The 1860 Federal Census, which would have been recorded during the construction phase reveals a few interesting facts about Fr. Carroll. He was a young man, twenty-nine years of age. He resided in town with a twenty-three year old male servant named William Quinn and a twenty-five year old domestic servant named Margaret Doherty. The census schedule records that his person worth in real estate in town was valued at $1,700, and that he had personal property in the amount of $2,400.
1860 Foxboro Town Report. Cash received of Catholics for use of the Hall - $39.00 Expense of Highways - "From Central Street to a stone bounds beyond John Bannons.
1860 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST. Name Seventh-day Adventists officially adopted.
1861 - ADVENTIST. Establishment of Advent Christian Church
1861 FOXBORO CATHOLIC: CHURCH COMPLETED. In the month of January, 1861, at a cost of $7,200, the first Catholic church in Foxboro was completed. According to Fr. Carroll $1,400.00 had been raised from the people. Fr. Aaron Roache, the former pastor when Foxboro was a mission of Easton donated $485.00 From a collection taken up in churches in Malden and Woburn $198.00 had been raised. There was a debt of $5,117.00 on the new church. Of this debt, $2,200 was mortgaged from a George S. Slaw of Chelsea and of the remaining $2,917.00 Fr. Carroll paid from his own savings.
In a letter dated January 8, 1861, Fr. Carroll informed Bishop John Fitzpatrick, "The task, my Lord, which you sent me to do is now accomplished. I have built a church in Foxboro where they needed one badly. The beauty of it is that its present debt is but a trifle when compared to the building itself" Carroll mentions that he had an oil painting of the Crucifixion as an acceptable substitute for a crucifix. In the same letter Fr. Carroll told the Bishop that his health was failing fast. He suffered from chronic inflammation of the stomach caused by, "too long riding and fasting on Sunday". He inquired of the bishop to be transferred, "...and if it is granted I will never demand a single mill of what is owing to me on the church - I feel that the poor people are few and poor indeed in the true sense of the word and such; since it is my first church I would forgive it to them from the bottom of my heart" He mentioned that he thought Foxboro could be attended to as a mission station from Dedham, Attleborough or Canton, "any man that is a man at all, who is tough and healthy can get along fine here...As for the children scattered as they are I have now prepared them for their first communion, but I consider the weather too cold to bring them from the distances as I wish them all to make their first communion in the Church." He mentioned the forming of an Altar Society and a Scapula Society ,"which is half organized as they are in every section of this mission." Fr. Carroll's reveal a sense of disappointment in his concluding remark, "You will hardly believe me my Lord, when I tell you that I had but two baptisms since October 8th last."
1861 March 17, 1861. FOXBORO CATHOLIC: ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION. A broadside preserved at the Archdiocese of Boston Archives. ST. PATRICK'S DAY IN FOXBORO. The Irish Catholics of Foxboro, Mansfield, Wrentham, Franklin and Walpole will celebrate the Anniversary of St. Patrick's Day, On Sunday, March 17, 1861. The procession will be formed at the Pastor's residence at TEN o'clock, A.M., and will march, two deep, to their beautiful new Church, to witness the first communion of their children. We understand that several distinguished artists will be present.
Professor M.J. Mooney's celebrated Choir will preside as usual, but on this great occasion, will be accompanied by MISS JOSEPHINE O'DONNELL, OF ROXBURY. As it will be Miss O'Donnell's first appearance on the stage, we wish he every success.
The Mass, which will be one of Mozart's, will be sung by the Pastor, who will preach the children, on the subject matter of the Holy Eucharist. There will be a Grand Concert given at 6 o'clock in the Evening, all the proceeds of which will be taken up to defray a part of the Church debt. The Rev. M. Carroll will deliver the Panagerie of Ireland's Sainted Person.
TICKETS OF ADMISSION WILL BE 50 CENTS. Can be procured at the church, from the Rev. Pastor, from 8 to 10 o'clock, in the forenoon, and from 4 till 6 o'clock, in the afternoon.
P.S. The Morning Ticket will answer for the entire day. At the conclusion, there will be Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
1862 February 23, 1862. FOXBORO CATHOLIC CHURCH DESTROYED BY FIRE. Thirteen months after the completion of the church building it is destroy in a fire of suspicious origin. In the March 8th, edition of the Boston Pilot newspaper following the fire there was a published the following letter. The author of the letter was not named. "Mr. Editor - It is my painful duty to send to you this sad announcement. The new and neat Catholic Church, recently built by Fr. Carroll, in Foxboro; was totally destroyed by fire on Saturday night, February 23rd. The fire broke out between 12 and 1 A.M., and in less than three hours the building lay in a heap of ruins. But, Mr. Editor, the scene, though mournful, was truly painful when Fr. Carroll arrived. The grief depicted in his care-troubled countenance can be better conceived than described. As there are no fire engines in the village of Foxboro, there he stood among the multitude, only to gaze with sorrow on that which he could not save. The origin of the fire is unknown. The building was a frame with brick foundation and was partially insured."
The above letter was not totally accurate for at the time of the Catholic church fire, Foxboro did have a private fire department and it was "subscription only'. In other words if you didn't subscribe to the department the members could take a vote whether to fight the fire or not. The Foxboro fire department, though located only a few blocks away did not report to assist with the fire. It can only be presumed that if a vote was taken to report to the fire at the Catholic church it decided in the negative. After all, the article reported that the church burned for three hours and the fire station was less than five hundred yards away!
1862 March 7. FOXBORO. But there must have been quite some talk and emotions after this event for exactly two weeks after the fire, on March 7th, 1862, the Town voted to organize a fire department. Ownership of the engine house, engine, hose reels, and hoses was conveyed to the town and an fire engine company was formed. This engine company would report all fires, not just those voted on by subscribers.
1862 March 17. Norfolk Superior Court. John Garside VS Michael X. Carroll. John Garside, owned a tin and sheet iron works shop. It was located in the basement of Friendship Hall. He came from Walpole originally. He filed a suit in court. "By virtue here of I this day attach all the real estate lying in Foxboro belonging to Michael X. Carroll. Also two furnaces, a lot of old iron and a lot of brick lying among the ruin of the Catholic Church, and afterwards I left a summons at his last and usual place of abode for his appearance at court."
1862 After the fire Fr. Carroll did not remain long in town. On September 3rd, 1862, he deeded the property and ruins to Bishop John B. Fitzpatrick.
1863 In January, 1863, an attempt was made to revive the parish and Fr. Thomas Scully was made pastor. Fr. Scully had served as a chaplain to the 9th Regiment during the Civil War and was captured by the Confederates. He was released after contracting a serious fever, and was discharged for disability on October 31, 1862. From Foxboro Fr. Scully was to serve the mission stations at Walpole, Wrentham, and Franklin. The work became too arduous for Fr. Scully for only after one month Fr. Scully left and the parish passed to the care of North Attleboro.
1863 The following joke was published in a local newspaper at this time, "An Irish girl, at play on Sunday, was accosted by the priest, 'Good morning daughter of the devil'. She meekly replied, 'Good morning, Father'."
1863 – LUTHERAN. The Civil War brought the first serious break in the Lutheran ranks with the organization of the United Synod of the South.
1863 May 21 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST. The Seventh-day Adventists officially organized [when the movement included some 125 churches and 3,500 members].
1861-1865 Civil War. The Town Foxboro furnished 276 soldiers during the Rebellion, of which 21 died in battle. A large number of Foxboro's quota were men recruited from outside the town, many of whom were Catholics. Men whose last names were the likes of Flannigan, McCarthy, McDonald, McDoner, McNamara, McGinley, McAlliston, McGinnis and so forth. These recruits were paid a bounty to fight for Foxboro. Some, like James Donahue who was killed at Fredicksburg, do not have their names etched in Foxboro's Civil War Memorial Tablet.
1863 - 1872 FOXBORO CATHOLICS become mission of North Attleboro. On June 19, 1859 Fr. Philip Gillick resigned from his parish in Greenville, Rhode Island and became pastor of the new St. Mary's Church in North Attleboro that had been built under his care. North Attleboro had formerly been a mission station of Greenville. Until 1872 North Attleboro would be within the diocese of Boston.
From his parish in North Attleboro Fr. Gillick was assigned the mission stations of Foxboro, Wrentham, Walpole, and Franklin. An interesting note is that in each of these towns the parish church would be named in honor of the Blessed Mother, St. Mary.
Each year Fr. Gillick filed annual reports with the bishop concerning the missions under his care. It is apparent that of all his stations Foxboro was by far the poorest. The Catholics did not have a church to worship in. Mass was celebrated in various private homes and also occasionally the Cocasset House.
Fr. Gillick attempted to provide regular catechism classes for the children but soon abandoned the effort for two reasons. The children numbered about thirty and classes were held in private homes. Fr. Gillick wrote in his report of 1867, "the owners of which got annoyed by some of the children and would hold them no longer so they were discontinued."
The traveling priest would visit the Catholics of Foxboro about once every two months. Annual pew rents averaged fifty-five dollars a year. Fr. Gillick cared for the mission station at Foxboro until North Attleboro was transferred to the newly created Diocese of Providence in 1872.
1863-65 The "public" high school established in Foxboro. The school committee in its annual report of 1863-64 expressed their disappointment with the town for, "totally disregarding the Massachusetts law requiring all towns, having five hundred families, to maintain a public high school."
It is probable that the town was taking its time setting up a public high school for there were in town two private schools for those families that could afford the tuition, namely The English and Classical school for boys, and the Union school for girls.
The children of the less fortunate were left without an adequate means for secondary education. The school committee wrote in its report that, "It is often said that the wealthy can take care of their own; that may be true, but the wealthy can not afford to neglect the education of the poor."
The following year the school committee reported that in district number one, 'The foreign element is quite large but by no means troublesome. Our adopted citizens possess an ernest desire for a good well disciplined school.'
Finally, in April 1865 the town voted to establish a public high school, which commenced with the Summer term of that year.
1866 The diocese of Boston was comprised of 200,000 Catholics, 109 churches and 119 priests.
1866 February 13. Bishop John Fitzpatrick dies and Fr. John J. Williams, who had been his Vicar General, becomes his successor.
1868 According to Harrington's History. Construction on an edifice in Foxboro was begun by Rev. Gillick
1869 December. First Vatican Council. Proclaimed the doctrine of papal infallibility.
1870 Town accepts Bassett Street. The Catholic families tended to congregate. On March 7, 1870 Bassett Street is accepted by the town. It is mentioned in the description that Bassett Street commences at Central Street and terminates at the terminus of Church Street, a corner of Catholic Church lot. This description means that Bassett Street actually was L-shaped. It began at Central Street and continued on what is presently a part of Carpenter Street to the Catholic Church lot, for no structure was there after the fire.
1870 Railroad line built through center of Foxboro.
1870 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST. May 1, 1870, the first Seventh-day Adventist baptism was performed by M. E. Cornell in Dorchester Bay. The four men and seven women immersed in the cool salty waves afterward joined with six other church members to sign the first "Covenant of the Church." We hereby associate ourselves together as a church, taking the name Seventh-day Adventists and holding meetings in South Boston, convenanting to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus
1871 Diocese of Springfield separated from the diocese of Boston. This area included the separation of the counties of Berkshire, Worcester, Hampshire, Hampden and Franklin.
1871 20 January. Selectmen's Report. Confirms no structure on the "so called lot (sic)"...which terminates at a corner of the Catholic Church so called lot near John Bannons.
1871 FOXBORO CATHOLIC: The construction of a new church commences. Reported in the August 26, 1871 issue of the Dedham Transcript entitled, "What We Saw in Foxboro...The Catholics too are in the process of re-erecting their building, which was destroyed some years since, and I saw enough to convince me that in Foxboro, as everywhere else, their church will be handsome and well attended."
A few months later on dated October 21 it is reported, "The Catholic Church is so far completed that services have been held in it."
1871 – CONGREGATIONAL. The first General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches called at Oberlin, Ohio.
1871 – UNION EVANGELICAL MISSION. The chapel in East Foxboro is established and occupied by the Union Evangelical Mission organized on January 26, 1872.
1871-72 School Committee Report. The 'District' system was abolished and the entire management of the schools given over into the charge of one general committee.
1872 The Diocese of Providence created including the whole state of Rhode Island and the Massachusetts' counties of Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket and Plymouth.
1872 Catholics purchase land for cemetery on Mechanic Street. The Catholics of Foxboro had no consecrated ground in which to bury their dead. In fact most Catholics of this era were interned in the Catholic cemetery in Canton. On July 12, 1872 Abraham H. Drake deeded four acres of land to the "Catholic Burial Association" of Foxboro in consideration of four hundred dollars.
This association was a group of Catholic men whose names appear on the deed. The names included; Patrick O'Brien, Charles Rafferty, Thomas Tiernay, John Welch, Ned O'Neil, Patrick White, Charles Fay, William Clark, and Thomas Carpenter. The property apparently was purchased with money by subscriptions.
A short time later the September 21st issue of the Dedham Transcript reported that "Surveyors have been at work this week at the southerly corner of Mechanic and Chestnut Streets generally known as 'the four corners'. Surveyors have bee at work this week and the plot has been staked off in suitable lots and paths. It is probable that there will be but a short time elapse before the work is completed."
This piece of property was remembered in an article in the Foxboro Reporter dated April 10, 1926. Describing the land which is now the cemetery, "A century ago Foxboro's young men were more inclined to military pomp and splendor than they are today. The Old Foxboro Militia Company muster days were great occasions. The town rang with martial music and the young men marched and drilled in their gay uniforms of gray coats, white pants and high bell-crowned glazed caps with tall black feathers."
1872 October 7. The Catholic Association deeded the cemetery, to Bishop John J. Williams in consideration of ten dollars. The transfer was witnessed by a different group of men from the association including; William Igoe, Daniel Welsh, Dennis McCarthy, Thomas White, Timothy McCarthy, John Scully, William Curtin, David Kersey, Patrick Proctor, Thomas Rafferty, and William Regan.
1872 October 25. Franklin Register. "...The emigrants who are coming to this country from France are said to be generally in a destitute condition...let us help them, even if they become a somewhat heavy burden upon us. It will not be the first time that foreign paupers have come to our shores; but we would like to see a different breed from those who have so long usurped our poorhouses and filled our jails. If we must have beggars lets try this new class, who perhaps will manifest a little modesty, and not try to 'run our political machine' before they have shaken off the rags and wretchedness of their former condition.
1872 On November 11, the mission stations of Franklin, Wrentham, Foxboro, and Walpole were assigned to Fr. Francis Gouesse who took up residence in Walpole.
According to Harrington's History, "This excellent priest, born in France in 1817, had already spent half a life time in strenuous labors in the American Southwest and West before coming to the Archdiocese of Boston in 1869.
1873 - FOXBORO CATHOLIC. In a letter dated February 25, 1873, to Bishop John J. Williams, little more than three months into his new assignment, Fr. Gouesse reveals the conditions of the faith at this time. Writing from Foxboro, while boarding at the Cocasset Hall Hotel, Fr. Gouesse writes, “My Lord, Saturday last I tried hard to reach Franklin, and when three miles of that place I was obliged to turn back. Sunday morning, tried again and this time worse than before. We could not travel but three and half miles. Felt bad, very bad, having not as yet disappointed any one of any people...
As to Foxboro, cannot say much about it. They have a church that is no church. You would hardly believe is to be possible to say Mass in such a place, during such a Winter. And still, we had it regularly every other Sunday. On that church $950 dollars debt. Nothing for the Divine Service. About 55 families and 12 Turn Coats. The burning of their church and the loss of the insurance money is as fresh in their minds, after 11 years, as if it happened yesterday. They are a demoralized people. No account about anything was ever given them. Even about their present church, they do not know anything. Money was collected for it, and was never heard of it.
There must have been some terrible times over here. They make me feel bad, very bad, but they do not take me by surprise, knowing for a long time too how things go in too many places. Will try hard to do what I can for them, you may rely on it. For the present, everything looks gloomy, very gloomy indeed, and every where too."
I will try to do something out here, in my opinion they deserve it."
1873 Foxboro times article entitled "Growth of Religious Denominations". Regarding the Catholic Church, 'Immigration has contributed largely to the growth of the Catholic Church, the membership of which is three-fold as great as it was in 1850, while its property has increased six-fold.
1873 August 8. THE EAST FOXBORO CHAPEL. Dedication services of the Evangelican Union Mission Chapel.
1873 August 8th edition of the Mansfield News, reporting on the summer plans of resident ministers in town reported, "Reverend Father Gouesse, of the Catholic church, does not appear to be blessed with such a revivifer as a vacation - he is the Pastor over four different churches and holds services in Foxboro upon alternate Sundays."
1873 October 17th, Foxboro Times, the Sacrament of First Communion was administered to the students of the Sunday School. As a sign appreciation, one of the students, Master Willie Heath, presented Fr. Gouesse with a double German students lamp and ink stand. In return Fr. Gouesse commended Mrs. Mary Kirwin and Mrs. Mary Ann Heath for their work with the children.
1873 October 3rd issue the 'Foxboro Journal' reported that many Protestants who never before entered a Catholic church were present or spectators to the administration of the Sacrament of Confirmation to a number of adults and youths.
1873 Apparently completes the structure started by Gillick. A "very small and almost small barn-like chapel."
1873 Annual Report to Bishop regarding Foxboro, Franklin, Wrentham and Walpole. "Catechism in Foxboro, Franklin, and Walpole. Average attendance about 50-70. Two Altar Societies in Franklin and Foxboro. Churches everywhere, Walpole and Wrentham excepted. The whole of the above my doing.
There are no mortgages on any of the buildings and there is no parochial house anywhere. One cemetery in Franklin.
No other real estate belonging to the Church, save in Foxboro, a piece of land for a cemetery, unencumbered, but of no profit. The Foxboro Church is insured for $3,000. There are no pew rents. Therefore I make my living well by hard working the midst of very good people. *an attached correspondence reveals that Fr. Gouesse was still living at the Cocasset House in Foxboro at the time.
1874 Foxboro population 3,057 with 566 dwelling houses. Straw hat industry employed 1,650.
1874 - BAPTIST FOXBORO. Foxboro Reporter (April 23, 1898). The 81st Anniversary of the Baptist Church; "During the winter of 1974 what is known to this day as "the Revival of Mr. Spencer's time," began, and the fruits of its power are still with us. A memorial of the extension of the work is the chapel at East Foxboro, and the chapel in South Foxboro, due in their inception to the zeal of Mr. Spencer building on the foundations of the faithful workers whose names are unknown to the present writer…" (Rev. William H. Spencer)
1874 - FOXBOR0 CATHOLIC. October 30. Foxboro Times. Reported, "Yesterday will be remembered long by the Catholics as the day when, by notion of their Church, their new cemetery became holy ground." Before Canton had been the burial place of most Catholics who died in this area. The article mentioned that the plot was improved on "as time and means would allow." The improvements included a substantial fence and a large and well-built receiving tomb, along with walks and avenues being prepared. A large wooden cross was raised in the center.
The consecration services principally took place at the foot of the cross, and were conducted by Rt. Reverend Bishop Williams assisted by Reverend Father Sheridan of Taunton, and Fr. Francis Gouesse.
The ritualistic services were entirely in Latin. The Bishop wore the baretta and stole, commencing with the Litany of Saints, the assistants making the responses. The article continued, "...At the close of this part of the ceremonies the Bishop, with assistants, preambulated the grounds, sprinkling them with holy water and upon his return the exercise closed with prayers.
During the Bishop's address he gave the parishioners, "credit for their successful efforts procuring a place for their dead. Their bodies would lay until Christ should come with his cross borne before him, calling the quick and dead to judgement, and they should so live as to meet those friends in the Father's kingdom."
The Bishop reminded them of the intents and purposes of the place. It was holy ground, God's acre. He mentioned that they came to pray for themselves and for the souls of their friends there buried. The ground was in their charge to watch over and protect. It was for the burial of those who died in the faith and none others. They should in no way desecrate it themselves or allow it to be desecrated by others.
1874 Christmas. An editorial in the December 18, 1874 issue of the Foxboro Journal revealed the Yankee bias to the celebration of Christmas. The column reported, "The teachers and pupils of the public schools will not have Christmas week for play. A vacation now would be a great loss to the children who are just getting under way. Having two weeks between the terms at Thanksgiving, we think it far better than so many holidays." The Foxboro Times listed the Catholic Services at the church on Christmas morning commencing at 5AM.
1874 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST John Nevins Andrews, the first foreign missionary, is sent to Switzerland from Lancaster.
1875 On February 12, 1875 Boston was raised to an archdiocese, and Bishop John J. Williams was elevated to an Archbishop. In a region where scarcely thirty years before there had been but 68,000 Catholics, one bishop, and a score of priests and churches, there were now an archbishop, five suffragan bishops, over four hundred priests and churches, and about 863,000 Catholics.
1875 February 12 issue of the Foxboro Journal reports "Petitions to the General Court are being circulated in the U.S.W. (United Straw Works), to abolish the ten hour law for women. We understand that they are not being generally signed.... We believe that a ten hour law, or better still, an eight hour law, is good as applied to children, but we believe women are not children, and that they should be allowed to make their own contracts in the same manner as men."
1875 June 6. First Mass celebrated in the State Prison. Prior only Protestant services allowed.
1876 - SOUTH FOXBORO UNION CHURCH November 17. Dedication services for the Union Chapel in South Foxboro, “by the aid of willing hands and hearts, has been completed within less than two months from the commencement of the work. William Carpenter, chairman of the building committee launched by $260 donation from Albert Carpenter, grandson of Margaret Daniels Carpenter. The land was a gift of the Sherman family. Earlier gathering in local homes and Quaker Hill School.
1876 FOXBORO CHURCHES. Lane's History of Foxboro lists the active denominations in town; Methodist in the Samaritan Building, Baptists, Universalists, Roman Catholics, Congregationalists in their various churches and as a community in the chapels in East and South Foxboro.
1876 Norfolk County Manual list the Foxboro Catholic Church. "St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. Organized in 1872 - Pastor, Rev. Francis Gouesse, settled November 17, 1872. Number of members, 250. Superintendent of Sunday School , Mary Kirwin; two teachers, twenty-five students. Also pastor at St. Patricks in Franklin, organized 1872. Settled November 17, 1872; 500 members.
Roman Catholic Society in Foxboro listed a building worth $2,500 and land valued at $400. St. Patricks in Franklin, $11,000 and St. Francis in Walpole $5,800. In Wrentham $00.
1877 The Mansfield News reported a lecture by Rev. Mr. Eastwood, a former pastor preached at the Universalist Church, entitled, "Religion in Rome; its present aspects." The lecture mentioned that the mass of people were born in the Catholic Church. They have neither withdrawn or been excommunicated, still they do not hesitate to deny its doctrines openly. They have neither reverence or affection for the Pope...In discarding Catholicism however they tend not towards Protestantism but rather to skepticism."
1877 A few years earlier in 1873 the Catholic community had begun constructing a new church building. Due to finances the construction had been proceeding very slowly and was still unfinished. According to the July 13th issue of the Mansfield Times, on July 7, 1877, a meeting of the members of the Catholic church was held for the purpose of forming an organization which was intended to, "more thoroughly unite the people as to the best manner of conducting their financial affairs."
William Falvey was elected chairman and Thomas Tierney, secretary. Elected as permanent officers were William Clarke, John Barret, and James Brennan.
1877 September 17. Two months later a meeting of the Catholics of Foxboro was held on Saturday, September 15, in the vestry of the church. Whatever decisions were made were inconsequential because two days later the church was struck by lightning.
The Mansfield News reported on the conflagration. "During the shower which occurred on Monday last, the Catholic Church in Foxboro was struck by lightning and, owing in part to its unfinished state, it being built of wood and unplastered, was within the space of half an hour entirely consumed. Our Catholic friends seem to be particularly unfortunate with reference to their church matters. In 1862 their church building was destroyed under circumstances which caused many to think the fire of incendiary origin. This time, however, there is no question as to the cause of the conflagration, as the bolt was seen to strike the building by several persons.... The house and boot shop of Mr. Falvey were in the immediate proximity to the church."
The article inferred that the were some doubts to the status of the insurance policy, but it was determined that the Fr. Gouesse had in fact taken out a policy to the amount of $3,000.
1878 26 April. Mansfield News. Early in the Spring of 1878 the Foxboro Catholics began the rebuilding of their church on the original location. It was to be rather smaller than were either of the two previous ones, as it was to be 32 feet wide, 53 feet long, having a capacity to seat 300 worshippers. The cost, without furniture was estimated at $2,000.
1878 10 May. Mansfield News. The frame of the Catholic Church is rapidly progressing towards completion.
1878 June 1878. From the Foxboro Centennial Record. A description of the Catholic church, "the third church which this denomination has built on the same site...has been built but a few months." Honorable E. P. Carpenter's Historical Oration when describing the settlement of churches in town stated, "The first intruding denomination was the Baptist, next the Universalist and lastly the Catholic".
1878 The building (Catholic Church) was completed that summer and was described as "A frame structure, erected after the general style of small country churches, its interior was neatly finished."
1878 9 August. The Mansfield News reported in August, the "Catholic Church is completed and looks neat and substantial. The society has shown an abundance of perseverance in erecting a third edifice and we hope they may be permitted to enjoy the privileges offered in the present structure many years."
The article mentioned that the church, "will not be formally dedicated at present, if at all, although Mass will be celebrated there for the first time next Sunday forenoon at 8 o'clock prompt. Rev. Fr. Griffin of Franklin, who has been assigned to this place temporarily, will be celebrant. As of this time Foxboro was a mission of Franklin."
1878 27 September. Foxboro Times. St. Francis Assilyum Roman Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Griffin pastor. Services alternate Sundays forenoons. Sabbath School, P.H. Sutton, Supt. each Sunday forenoon.
1878 According to a church directory listing in the September 27th issue of the Mansfield News the church in Foxboro is listed as, "St. Francis Assilyum Roman Catholic Church. Rev. Fr. Griffin, pastor. Services alternate Sunday forenoons. Sabbath School, P.H. Sutton, superintendent each Sunday forenoon."
The article mentioned "It is rumored that the St. Francis Assilyum R.C. Church will be dedicated or consecrated October 4, that being the anniversary of the Saint in whose honor the church is named."
1879 Throughout that summer, Fr. Gouesse implored upon Archbishop John J. Williams to give the mission of Foxboro to another priest. In February 1879 the Catholics of Foxboro became a mission station of the church in Franklin under the care of the Rev. James Griffin.
1879 September 5th. Mansfield News. "Any women who pays tax on real estate or personal property is entitled to vote, and need only see that her name is put on the voting list. One not a taxpayer, if 21 years of age, and having lived in the state one year, and in the town six months, will be entitled to vote by paying to the town assessor a poll tax $1.67.
1879 Advertisement in an October 17th issue of the Mansfield News, "WANTED...A good Irish girl for general housework, Must be a good washer and ironer. To such a steady place and $2 per week will be guaranteed."
1879 25 November. The Catholic community, even though present for over three decades and surviving many struggles, still were considered suspect by a few members in the town. As recorded by historian Robert Carpenter on the 25th of November, Rev. Marshall B. Angier of the Congregationalist church delivered the historical address at the Centennial celebration of the church. In the course of his remarks he said, "If our institutions are ever undermined by Romanism, by Communism, or by any other disorganization, it will be as a consequence of neglect of worship on the Sabbath."
1880 February 27. Mansfield News. Property tax makes women eligible to vote in local school committee elections, provided they register.
1880 November 5. Poverty Hollow was an area of Foxboro were a number of poor Irish families lived. Apparently it was the area lying between Chestnut Street and the Neponset Reservoir. They were well know amongst the townspeople. In fact once when a reporter from the Mansfield News spied Michael Ryan, Tim Maguire, and Elbridge Devine walking through town, they were reported as "a delegation of rough humanity from the outlying country."
1880 October 15. Foxboro Times. According to an article in the Foxboro Times in October, Charles Ryan, an eight year old, son of Daniel Ryan, was arrested for breaking and entering the shop of Mrs. Mary A. Carpenter.The crime was the intent to commit larceny in the stealing of a certain silver coin. The trial was held in Samaritan Hall, in the presence of quiet a large audience of townspeople. Consul for both the prosecution and defense was Robert W. Carpenter. The defendant was proven guilty, but due to the tender age, Charles was place on probation. The judge, Justice Samuel Warner, Esquire, took the occasion to speak a word of caution to the young witnesses present on the consequences of wrong doing, and reminding them that the receiving of stolen property is as guilty as the thief itself.
1880-90 By observing local and national holidays the Catholics had an opportunity to participate in celebrations that enabled them to exhibit the fact they were Americans and not aliens. In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving earnestly, the Foxboro Times recorded over a number of years the "Catholic Society's Annual Fourth of July Picnic."
The picnic was held each year in William T. Cook's grove. The grove was located off of Warren Street. The annual event was described as "one of the accompaniments of the Nation's holiday in Foxboro." The celebration offered amusements like swinging and target shooting. It included the games of "Guesscake" and "name-the-weight". Dancing was to live music, under the trees and stars, illuminated by Chinese lanterns, until 10:30 PM.
1880 The early years of the 1880's were years marked by joy and frustration. The joy was a result of after having been a mission station for the past eighteen years, the Foxboro church was once again made an independent parish. The frustration was a result of a lack of healthy, enthusiastic priests to take on the assignment of a poor parish on the fringe of the archdiocese. The fact of life for a priest during the 19th Century was that he was dependent upon the parish community for financial support.
1880 February 23. Foxboro Times. Fr. John P. Brennan was assigned to the church in Foxboro as pastor. Fr. Brennan actually was an ailing priest recuperating in Medfield. He had resigned from the pastorate of St. Marys in Dedham in 1877 as a result of failing health. Fr. Brennan had resided in Medfield for these three intervening years. When he came to Foxboro, Medfield became a mission of Foxboro.Fr. Brennan's early pastorate was marked with suffering from attacks of inflammatory rheumatism. As a result various priests were called upon to assist at the parish. Rev. Maurice Fitzgerald was sent as a temporary pastor from the Cathedral between 1882-1883. Reverends Edward Monghan from North Attleboro and Fr. Gouesse from Walpole assisted when possible.
1881 June 3. Mansfield News. Mr. John Falvey, (Church Street) a member of the Irish Land League, which is a political movement to try and change the land tenancy laws and ownership laws prevalent in Ireland, gave a talk at the Catholic Cemetery, on Decoration Day. At the close of his talk the four graves in the burial ground were decorated with the usual ceremonies.
1881 - THE CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE - originated under leadership of Albert Benjamin Simpson, a Presbyterian minister in NY. Leaves church to carry on independent evangelistic work among the unchurched.
1882 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST Atlantic Union College had its beginnings as South Lancaster Academy, a secondary school begun in 1882.
1882 March 3. Fr. Maurice S. Fitzgerald temporarily assigned to Foxboro as pastor, until Fr. Brennan recovers.
1882 May 20. The Foxboro Courier. Directory listed Rev. Maurice S. Fitzgerald as pastor. His residence is listed as Pleasant Street.
1882. July 1. A report in the Foxboro Courier mentioned in July 1882 that Fr. Brennan was resting in Richmond Springs, New York and that, "It is hoped that the virtues of the water and the accompanying medical treatment will remove the rheumatic troubles from which he has so long suffered."
1882 September 15. Foxboro Times. Reported the Pinafore or "Tam O' Shanter" hats are becoming the fashion for all the young misses...It may soon become the "proper cap" for all ages to wear. A month later the newspaper reported that "The present craze in Foxboro among the young folks is over the 'Tam O' Shanter' or red top-knots cap...What we object to is the indiscriminate rushing after a thing simply because fashion so dictates!"
1883 October 12. Foxboro Times. "A papal ambassador is now on his way from Rome to Montreal, Quebec, to inquire into the rapid spread of Freemasonry among adherents of the Catholic faith.
1883 November. Fr. Brennan returns to the parish.
1884 January 11. Foxboro Times. Fr. Brennan attempted a spiritual rejuvenation for the parish by inviting the Redemptionists Fathers from Boston to preach a retreat for the parish community. The January 25th edition of the Foxboro Times, "The work done by Reverend Fathers Oates and Walsh during their sojourn here is manifesting itself in many ways. The Catholic people now seem heartily united, harmony, and good feelings prevailing and much interest is felt in their regular meetings. The attendance is large, in marked contrast with what it has been during the past year. All unite in giving credit to Reverends Walsh and Oates!"
1884 May 2, 1884 a sign was hanging on Irving Carpenter's Corner, Wanted, about 40 0f the laziest men in town to loaf on this corner.
1884 June 6. Foxboro Times. Though the spiritual growth of the parish was evident it is documented that Fr. Brennan's health was failing at a quickened pace.
Throughout the Spring Fr. Brennan needed to call upon various priests to serve the parish. The expense was so costly to the pastor that a benefit "Sacred Concert" was held during the Summer in the Town Hall for Fr. Brennan. The professional talent from North Attleboro, consisted of 17 artists composed of solos, duets, quartets, and a first class, eight-piece orchestra volunteered their services to give an entertainment. According to the June 6th edition of the Foxboro Times, "On account of sickness, a number of clergymen had to be engaged during the Spring, involving a personal expenditure of several hundred dollars, and therefore Fr. Brennan accepts the complimentary benefit which is thus given him by way of reimbursement, at the same time thanking the several artists and an appreciative public."
1884 October 17. John Hearn. Foxboro Times. "There were thirty-eight carriages in the funeral procession. Fr. Brennan was unable to officiate at the services which were to take place at the church, and the people after waiting an hour, perhaps, at the church, in the meantime telephoning for a priest at Walpole and finding he was absent from home, proceeded to the cemetery."
1884 November 9. Opening of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore. Attended by 14 archbishops and 57 bishops. The principal impetus for a council stemmed from Roman insistence on improved church administration. Local bishops became supreme in all local church affairs. Characterized by diocesan chanceries and courts and a quota of 'irremovable' rectors were prescribed for each diocese.
1885 February 13. Foxboro Times. Finally after being confined to his room at the Cocasset House and later on Granite Street for a period of six months, as a result of his rheumatic disease, Fr. Brennan submitted his resignation to the Archbishop to take effect on February 22, 1885.
1885 February 21. Foxboro Times. Article stated that "Fr. Callanan will also hold services at Medfield at 8:30 A.M.and at foxboro at 11 A.M. At these services collections will be taken up to meet the Floating debt of the parish. Rev. J.P. Brennan expects ample means at this farewell service, previous to resigning the administration of his parish."
1885 March 1st. Baptismal Register. Callanan writes, "I took charge of Foxboro and Medfield on March 1st, 1885.
1885 In a March 7. Foxboro Reporter. "Rev. Patrick H. Callanan of Boston has been permanently appointed pastor at Foxboro and Medfield. He has been seven years as a student with the Jesuit Fathers at Boston College. He has taken out his degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, making the greatest record of any student who has ever passed through this college. By special favor and confidence of the Archbishop of Boston, he takes his place here though ordained a priest only five years since.
He has secured a residence on Central Street (recently occupied by Mr. C.H. Briggs) where he will permanently reside." The Foxboro Times mentioned that the building was being thoroughly repaired. Foxboro Reporter; May 15, 1886 mentions the house as belonging to the heirs of Linus Carpenter
1885 April 3. Foxboro Times. Article states, "There are unmistakable signs of a new and lively interest in all things regarding their church. The attendance has 'taxed the seating capacity of their little church."
1885 An archdiocesan history records, "Fr. Callanan found nothing but a weather-beaten church, no house, and almost no Congregation, as the faithful where inclined to go to other places...The parish was in very unfavorable condition. The parishioners were at odds, the parish was heavily involved in debt, having lost two churches by fire, and the society was discontented and discouraged."
In Foxboro he found the streets about his church in a deplorable condition. He induced the town to widen the street on which his church stood, and concrete the sidewalks...influential in calling a special town meeting for the purpose of opening and grading new streets."
1885 March 20. Foxboro Times. At the annual town meeting the voters of Foxboro voted 136 to 124 regarding the question "shall licenses be granted for the sale of intoxicating liquors in their town?"
1885 April 3. Foxboro Times. Soon after the liquor license vote a letter to the editor, signed "Sharon Advocate" inferred that the passage of the liquor article was due to the Catholic voters. The writer stated, "We suspect one reason for Foxboro's Vote for rum this year, was the sickness of Fr. Brennan...it is a fact that in this vicinity the Catholic priests are doing more for temperance than any other clergymen." Apparently Foxboro's vote for license was the only favorable vote in Norfolk County.
1885 April 3. Foxboro Times. Medfield Activities. The article mentioned that he was organizing his people in Medfield. "A permanent place of worship has been secured, where worship will be held for the first time on Easter Sunday. The people of Medfield are helping their new pastor with a right good will. All should admire the zeal and Christian courage of a minister who cheerfully drove twenty miles in the storm and snow of last Sunday to give them service...Foxboro and Medfield-one people in spiritual interests."
1885 April 3. Foxboro Times. For the first time Foxboro Catholics were to experience the joy of Holy Week liturgies. The Church was simply decorated with candles, flowers and evergreens. Good Friday witnessed the Veneration of the Cross. Holy Saturday the Catholics enjoyed a service "never carried out in Foxboro before." The liturgy included the blessing of fire and the lighting of the Paschal. The water for Baptisms was blessed, and some of which was distributed to the people.
1885 April 10. Foxboro Times. A week later a response to this letter was penned by a writer who signed off as "from a Catholic." The writer stated, "People would be under the impression that Foxboro, the old banner town in the cause of temperance, had taken a backward step through the vote of the Catholics at the last town meeting.We know that out of a vote of 136. less than 20 voted for rum; although they are sometimes seen on our streets, under the influence of liquor. Who supplies them? It is not Catholics, for no Catholic has sold a drop of liquor in this town fro the last twenty years, and we wish it to be understood that it was not owing to Fr. Brennan's sickness, that Foxboro voted for rum; it was because the town officers failed to do their duty."
1885 April 11. Foxboro Reporter. On Easter morning a High Mass was celebrated for the first time in Foxboro. The article mentioned that Fr. Callanan possessed a good voice for singing and intoning which made the service of great interest to both parish and visitor.
1885 May 16. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Callanan brought both excitement and confidence to his ministry. Foxboro was to experience Catholic ceremonies never before seen in the church or the town. The first May procession occurred in early May. The crowning and dedication of the new statue of the Blessed Virgin was recorded by the Foxboro Reporter. The article mentioned, "At the Catholic Church a peculiar but very interesting service was held...the crowning included a procession, hymns, children dressed in white garments, and the crowning of the statue by a child." A brief discourse by Fr. Callanan was also recorded in the same article. Fr. Callanan mentioned as a reason for the many ceremonies of the church, "that the heart is aided in its reception and appreciation of spiritual truths by the eye as well as by the ear."
1885 May 22. Foxboro Times. The May party was held in the Town Hall Ballroom in aid of St. Mary's Church. From period on the Church is mentioned as St. Mary's. Apparently the May party was a success. Five hundred and twenty dollars was raised. The parishioners and friends enjoyed coffee, ice cream, and dancing to music provided by the Baker Brother's Orchestra. There were over fifty couples in the Grand March. Miss Kitty Walsh of Walpole was voted May Queen, with runner-ups Misses Ellie Kerwin, Nellie Igoe, and Alice Kerwin.
1885 May 9. Foxboro Reporter. The local newspaper was impressed with the enthusiasm for it wrote that "...under the active administration of Fr. Callanan a new impetus has been given to the Catholic interests in town in which we trust will result in enlisting good work and regular church attendance by all members of the parish.
1885 May 23. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Callanan's health apparently was affected by the stress for there were no services that weekend due to Fr. Callanan being confined to bed by nervous prostration.
1885 June 13. Foxboro Reporter. The object of this feast day was to give opportunity to the faithful to show their faith and veneration for the Blessed Sacrament. For the Feast of Corpus Christi an elaborate altar was set up on the rectory's grounds. It included flowers, candles, incense, and a procession from the church by Fr. Callanan, accompanied by altar boys. Hymns were sung and white garments worn. Benediction followed on the grounds. The Foxboro Reporter reported, "The fundamental principle of the Catholic faith was belief that "Christ is truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament."
1885 June 20. Foxboro Reporter. Later that same month an appreciation party was held on the rectory grounds to "show thanks to all those who gave their special service to the church." The organ had been removed from the church and carried to the rectory lawn so both vocal and instrumental entertainment were provided. The lawn was decorated with Chinese lanterns, lawn settees, and tables with flowers.
Church fairs and concerts were frequently held throughout this era to raise money for large local projects. They offered music and entertainment, often a supper, and there would be tables with raffles, handiwork, candies,ice cream, and other refreshments on which people would spend their money. One evening being devoted to dancing.
1885 June 27. Foxboro Reporter. Article mentioned that "a town meeting would probably be soon held upon the petition of some of our people. The Catholics, led by their priest, are active in pushing for the building of the street, which was laid out some years ago from Church Street to South Street."
1885 September 4. Foxboro Times. It reported that on Wednesday was a day of rare interest to the Catholic Church of this place. After careful preparation about 75 children form Foxboro and Medfield received the Sacrament of Confirmation by Archbishop J.J. Williams.
1885 November 14. Foxboro Reporter. Reported, "Fr. Callanan is tireless in his labors for the interests of the church...he is busy arranging for an evening of entertainment to be given in the upper Town Hall. the evening will feature promenade concert and dancing which will follow the vocal exercises."
For the occasion Fr. Callanan purchased a "beautiful upright piano." The "Grand Entertainment" took place in late November. Though there was unpleasant weather, "a very fair house" enjoyed an evening of songs, duets, trios, quartets, choruses, and instrumental pieces. Locals involved were Misses Annie M. Johnson, Maggie Clark and Alice Devine. The fair raised a sum of $4,500, "A sum sufficient enough to encourage him to continue his work" (Sullivan's History).
1885 December 26. Foxboro Reporter. In Medfield on Christmas morning in the Chenery Hall the first solemn high mass ever was celebrated in that town. The Foxboro choir and altar boys went to medfield by the 7AM train and returned on the 9AM train. In Foxboro the Solemn Christmas service was a new mass, Warner's mass in C, sung by Fr. Callanan and Miss Annie M. Johnson.
1885 MISSIONARY ALLIANCE - The Christian Alliance was formed by Albert Benjamin Simpson at the Old Orchard Convention in Maine. It was at that time that Simpson also conceived of an Evangelical Missionary Alliance.
1886 MISSIONARY ALLIANCE - Evangelical Missionary Alliance formed by Albert Benjamin Simpson.
1886 April 15. Sullivan's history. Ground was broken for improvements to the church on April 15. By early May Fr. Callanan mentioned that he would soon be speaking of the new improvements to the church. He said that he would consider "the former rugged condition of the grounds about this church, and its somewhat commonplace character of the church edifice itself, the labors which we might say have caused the wilderness to blossom as the rose."
1886 May 8. Foxboro Reporter. Reports that Fr. Callanan will speak of improvements to the church. "The former rugged condition of the grounds about this church and its somewhat commonplace character of the church edifice itself, the labors which we might say have caused 'the wilderness to blossom as the rose.'"
1886 May 15 Foxboro Reporter. Reported on the improvements. The article began by mentioning that the "expenses incurred are being freely met by the people of the parish." The grounds around the church were improved by "...the labor of sixty or more men and thirty teams, given for two weeks, who removed the boulders and roots which cumbered the surface. The area was then covered with 200 loads of gravel and fifty or more loads of loam. The altar was painted and the ceilings and walls 'kalsomized'. The church thoroughly painted inside and out. The importation of the statues of the Blessed Virgin and of St. Joseph form Munich and are called the finest in the diocese."
Sixteen memorial windows of stained glass were presented by parishioners. They included William Igoe, Patrick Foley, John and Thomas Tierney, Richard Fitzpatrick, Kate Conway, Finley Babcock, Jeremiah Kirby, Daniel Devine, Bartholomew Brennan, John Hearn, William Clark, Kate Bannon, Mary Guiney and Ellen Bagg. New vestment cases and wardrobes for both vestries were presented by Michael McNamara. Two seven branch candlesticks were donated by Peter Clark and Richard Gorman. The above mentioned work, including the labor given, the donations and furnishings of the parochial residence represented an outlay of over $5,000. In closing the article stated that the extensive improvements and enlargements to the church will within a year double its present seating capacity.
1886 May 22. Foxboro Reporter. The annual May Devotion formed on the rectory grounds. "Little girls, young ladies, little boys, and young men formed a procession at the rectory. All the young ladies carried bouquets and baskets of choice flowers. The smallest of the little girls carried beautiful floral designs among which was noted a crown, cross, anchor, wreath and heart. Hymns were chanted, and they processed to the church. When the words reached "We haste to crown thee now" Aggie O'Brien, assisted by Father Callanan placed a wreath of flowers on the head of the statue."
1886 June 26. Foxboro Reporter. It is evident that Fr. Callanan had a personal devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Describing the Feast of Corpus Christi the article reported, "The object of the feast is to give opportunity to the faithful to show their faith and veneration for the Blessed Sacrament." For this reason are 'public processions' are formed as an opportunity of showing faith and veneration in 'public'. The service was to consist of an altar on the church grounds and one on the lawn of the parochial residence and a sermon to be delivered by Fr. Callanan entitled, "Christ truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament. The foundation of the Catholic Faith."
1886 July 3. Foxboro Reporter. The festivities to occur at the annual July 4th picnic in Cook's Grove.The simple annual picnic was greatly enlarged by Father Callanan. A "barge" was the forerunner to our modern bus service. It was a wagon with seats drawn by a team of horses. After an evening of games, dancing, and festivities barges left at eleven o'clock to return guests. A ride to Medfield cost 30 cents, Walpole 20 cents, Sharon 15 cents and Mansfield 12 cents. In spite of the large expense for the annual picnic, the net proceeds were $200.
1887 September 18. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Callanan announced that twenty-three feet would be added to the front. The present front would be torn down and double doors and an eight foot vestibule added. New pews would be added, and a cupola will adorn the building. Fr. Callanan mentioned that a Catholic Fair would be held in the Town Hall in aid of the church building fund. Fr. Callanan secured the upper and lower Town hall for two weeks, dating from February 1st.
1887 December 25. Foxboro Reporter. "Preparations for the ten day Catholic Fair are progressing. Goods for distribution are pouring in, we may almost say, from all over the country, and shares in the distributions are being taken from as far west as New York and Albany."
1887 During the later part of the 1800s and in to the twentieth century it was common practice for deceased Catholics to be buried in Foxboro's Catholic cemetery. In the first weeks of January the Reporter recorded two funeral processions weddings their ways through the streets of Foxboro to the Catholic cemetery. One procession from Mansfield numbered twenty-six carriages passed through town. The other procession carried the remains of David Welch of Walpole.
1887 February 19. Foxboro Reporter. Extending through eleven consecutive secular evenings, February 2 - 14 occurred the "Catholic Fair." The Reporter described it as "a series of entertainments exceeding in the extent of its layout and in its successful results anything of like nature ever attempted in this vicinity and exhibiting also great, inventive and executive ability on the part of its originator, Fr. Rev. Callanan."
Both halls of the Town Hall were secured, the lower being reserved for dancing whenever the upper hall was too crowded for the purpose, which apparently was the case upon several of the evenings. Over 6,000 admission tickets were issued. One of the most successful means of raising funds were the "voting contests. "A series of articles including a solid-gold headed ebony cane, a sewing machines, boys suit, doll, barrel of flour, a shooting, and a gentleman's gold ring were set up as prizes. A list of nominations was voted upon for the various prizes. The qualified voter was anyone who with legal tender purchased ballots. The ballots could then be used as votes for any of the candidates on the nomination lists. Voters were encouraged to "vote early and often."
The results of the Fair were most impressive. The expenses attendant upon it were $700, the gross receipts were $3,200 and St. Mary's realized a benefit of $2,500. As a result of the success of the Fair work on the enlargements of St. Mary's was continued.
Fr. Callanan secured the lower town hall for religious ceremonies during the construction in the late Spring.
1887 - FOXBORO CATHOLIC. April 2. Foxboro Reporter. Apparently the rules for observing the season of Lent were much stricter than the rules governing present Catholic behavior.
In a letter to the editor Fr. Callanan wrote against the holding of public entertainments of any kind during the holy season of Lent, "As a Catholic priest I protest against it as contrary to every teaching and practice of our Society. No matter the nature of the entertainment, no Catholic is allowed to take part in or be present at it." Not only was dancing forbidden during Lent but Fr. Callanan used the opportunity to mention, "The same may be said of any Catholic who engages in Waltzing at any time." As compared to plain dancing "Waltzing is forbidden at all times." Fr. Callanan wrote that, "the spirit that actuates the Christian during Lent, is nothing more than the spirit of respect for Christ and his approaching death on Good Friday."
1887 March 3. The American Protective Association (A.P.A.) is founded in Clinton, Iowa. Organization committed to anti-Catholicism and isolationism.
1887 March 4. Foxboro Times. Article states that Fr. Callanan is "ailing, no services this week, but pew rents will be collected in Foxboro and Medfield the following Sunday. (** my conversations with both C. Dacy & Jim Bagley both recall three respective pastor announcing the amounts of donations given for pew rents, listing those who had not given.)
1887 June 10. Foxboro Times. Reported a Memorial Day sermon given by Fr. Callanan in which he states, "The approach to Memorial day always suggests to me - first, gratitude for the past; second, charity for the present; and third, hope for the future."
1887 August 20. Foxboro Reporter. The new St. Mary's Church held formal opening services was held on August 15. This day was also the festival of the Annunciation of the angel to the Blessed Virgin. The Reporter described the church as an "ornament to our beautiful little town." The article mentioned that it was Fr. Callanan's desire, "to have a church edifice, suitable to be called the House of God, and one worthy of the generosity and faith of his people." The morning service was a solemn high mass at 11 o'clock. The celebrant was Rev. F.S. Wilson of St. Peter and Paul's church, South Boston. Concelebrating were priest from Franklin, Hyde Park, and the Cathedral. In the evening there was a vesper service. Fr. J.F. Broderick of St. Peter's Church, Cambridge officiated. The sermon was delivered by the President of Boston College, Rev. Thomas Stack. The theme of the sermon was taken from Matthew's Gospel 21:13, "My house shall be called a house of prayer."
1887 - THE CHRISTIAN AND MISSIONARY ALLIANCE . The Christian Alliance for home missions work and the International Missionary Alliance for work abroad are organized - two separate organizations.
1887 – MORMON. Following the Civil War, the federal government mounted an increasingly intense campaign against Mormon polygamy. In 1882, the Edmunds Act provided stringent penalties, and in 1887 the church was disincorporated and its properties confiscated.
1887 September 3. Foxboro Reporter. Article mentioned that "A petition is circulating this week for a new town was between a point on Church Street, near the lumber yard of J.W. Carpenter & Son, to a point on South Street." At a town meeting on October 10, the proposed town way as laid out by the selectmen was unanimously accepted. It was to be known as Carpenter Street. Work began on the new road in mid-November.
1887 - MISSIONARY ALLIANCE. The Christian and Missionary Alliance originated in 1881 under the leadership of Dr. Albert B. Simpson, a Presbyterian minister in New York City who left that church to carry on independent evangelistic work among the unchurched. Organized in 1887, the group was originally two societies, The Christian Alliance for home missions work and the International Missionary Alliance for work abroad. The two bodies merged in 1897, forming the present Christian and Missionary Alliance.
1887 – MORMON. Following the Civil War, the federal government mounted an increasingly intense campaign against Mormon polygamy. In 1882, the Edmunds Act provided stringent penalties, and in 1887 the church was disincorporated and its properties confiscated.
1887 November 19. Foxboro Reporter. During November a week long mission of "preaching and prayer,"for the cause of temperance took place at St. Marys. The speakers were well known preachers in the archdiocese. The sermons included, "Moral Evils of Intemperance; Temporal Evils of Intemperance; and Causes & Remedies."
1887 December 24. Foxboro Reporter. Sermon to be delivered by Fr. Callanan during the vesper service, entitled, "The true and false infallibility of the Pope."
1887 - MISSIONARY ALLIANCE. The Christian and Missionary Alliance originated in 1881 under the leadership of Dr. Albert B. Simpson, a Presbyterian minister in New York City who left that church to carry on independent evangelistic work among the unchurched. Organized in 1887, the group was originally two societies, The Christian Alliance for home missions work and the International Missionary Alliance for work abroad. The two bodies merged in 1897, forming the present Christian and Missionary Alliance.
1887 – MORMON. Following the Civil War, the federal government mounted an increasingly intense campaign against Mormon polygamy. In 1882, the Edmunds Act provided stringent penalties, and in 1887 the church was disincorporated and its properties confiscated.
1888 January 1, 1888 Fr. Callanan reported that the total cost of improvements was $5811.56. The total money contributed from all sources and paid out on the debt up to this date was $4016. The floating debt was but $595. Fr. Callanan having paid for nearly $200 of his own money.
1888 FOXBORO CATHOLIC. March 3. Foxboro Reporter. Formation of Men's Lyceum. During January, 1888 Fr. Callanan established a Catholic Men's Lyceum for the men of his parish.
The object was the "...moral, mental, and physical improvement of the members." Some rooms over the Union Market were secured for the lyceum. They were fitted up with everything necessary for the amusement and well-being of the members. Harmless games were permitted. All the leading daily, weekly, and monthly newspapers were put on file. A dramatic class and glee club were formed.
The lyceum was believed to offer "the educational and refining influence that will be the most useful and salutary means to reach and teach true manhood."
According to the Reporter the "gentlemen who were a part of the Lyceum, which disbanded some months since completed the organization of a social club with the following officers : Pres, Thomas Tierney; V.P., J.H. Welch; Secretary & Treasurer, R.E. Kerwin.
1888 FOXBORO CATHOLIC. March 10. Foxboro Reporter. On St. Patrick's Night, in the Town Hall Fr. Callanan delivered a lecture entitled "Plain Talk or a Plea for Justice." Fr. Callanan believed, "A fair minded community would give patient hearing to many points of Catholic teaching so frequently misrepresented." He spoke, "not as an apologist for the Catholic Church, for it had nothing to apologize for." He mentioned that he was speaking not as a priest in his profession but as a Catholic, an American Citizen. The topics Fr. Callanan spoke on that evening included: Are Catholics allowed to read the bible?; Why does the Catholic Church use the Latin language in her services?; The true and the false infallibility of the Pope; Do Catholics worship images?; and Indulgences, What are they?
1888 FOXBORO CATHOLIC. May 6. Foxboro Reporter. On May 6 Archbishop John J. Williams conducted dedication services at St. Mary's church in the morning. Speaking about Fr. Callanan during his sermon, the Archbishop mentioned that "Through his efforts, by God's approval, Fr. Callanan had accomplished a great work, which would live and grow after him." That afternoon forty-three candidates received the Sacrament of Confirmation, three of whom were converts.
1888 May 12. John H. Hearn. Foxboro Reporter. A 'Memorial' written by 'A Friend.' "John was born in Boston a little more than twenty-four years ago...never of a robust constitution. The welcomed visits by the Reverend Fr. Callanan, his spiritual advisor, were occasions of great comfort to the sick boy, and if for any reason these visits were slightly delayed, Johnny was disturbed...He was a faithful adherent to the Church of Rome; her history, traditions, and precepts were firmly rooted and grounded in his character, and he died in the faith of his father, the heritage of eighteen centuries."
1888 October 13. Foxboro Reporter. In the days before electronic communication the majority of Foxboro's townsfolk were depended upon their imagination to view the cities of Europe or the vistas of this United States. As a result their was great interest in an exhibit that was held at St. Mary's church in late October. A Professor Turner of Boston brought an exhibit consisting of over one hundred views of European scenery showing on a mammoth canvass twenty-four feet square. The scenes included all the principal cities of Ireland, London, Paris, Liverpool, and many other European cities. The exhibit and lecture was a two night presentation. The second night was two hundred views of American scenery from Maine to California.
An article in the Reporter the following week mentioned that "One could not help but gain a wide knowledge of the beautiful and historic places in Europe and America as they were presented to the eye."
1888 SWEDENBORGIAN FOXBORO November 11. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Mr. Pettee of Boston, held Swedenborgian services at the residence of Miss Gandolfo last Sabbath at 8 p.m.
1889 MISSIONARY ALLIANCE - The Evangelical Missionary Alliance became known as the International Missionary Alliance.
1889 November 18. Wrentham made mission of Foxboro. Pastor, Rev. P.H. Callanan; Taunton Street; Sunday Service, alternate Sundays, 9AM. In 1870 Norfolk (North Wrentham) was detached from Wrentham. Throughout this period it remained a mission, attached successively to N. Attleboro, Walpole, Franklin, and after 1889, to Foxboro.
For the mens gold watch the candidates were: Jeremiah Kirby, Michael McNamara, Thomas Tierney, William J. Burke, Robert Kerwin, and John E. Clark. Mr. George Stone was entered by the employees of the Mansfield Straw Shop.
The candidates for the ladies gold watch were: Miss Jennie O'Brien, Miss Julia Kirby, both from Foxboro; other contestants from Wrentham, Mansfield, Cambridge, and Walpole.
A voting contest for a silver watch between four altar boys of St. Mary's: Tommy Gorman, Jerry Brennan, Albert McCarthy, and Daniel Brown.
One of the amusements included a "shooting gallery" in the lower hall. Some of the games included "Elevated Road, Pitchett, Champion Ball Player, and the Devil among the Tailor."
1889 April 22. The Fair opened on Easter Sunday, April 22nd, and closed on May 1st. Transportation arrangements were made with the Old Colony Rail Road. A special train would run from So. Framingham, stopping at stations in Sherborn, Medfield Junction, Medfield, Walpole, and So.Walpole. Free barges from Mansfield, Wrentham, Medfield, and Walpole.
The Fair was characterized by the Reporter as "Probably the greatest financial success of any event which ever occurred in Foxboro." The total amount of profit after expenses was $3,027.57. Enough to liquidate the parish debt which was paid on May 2.
1890 Foxboro Directory. St. Marys Church; Corner of Carpenter and Church Streets; pastor, P.H. Callanan; Organist, Alice Devine, Mass on Alternate Sundays at 8:30 AM and 11AM. Rosary and Benediction at 4:30 P.M.; Sunday School immediately after they morning service, Services every weekday at 8 A.M. Services in Medfield and Wrentham, by P.H. Callanan every Sunday
1890 February 8. Foxboro Reporter. The St. Mary's Lyceum was disbanded and a Social Club was organized in its place.organized
1890 Medfield transferred to South Natick
1890 November 29. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Callanan reassigned. On Thanksgiving morning Fr. Callanan celebrated his last mass at Foxboro. He was assigned as pastor of a church in Newton Lower Falls. The Catholic people of this town were never blessed with a pastor who has so won the hearts and confidence of his congregation.
1890 November 29. 1890. Rev. John F. Broderick assigned to St. Mary's. A curate from St. Peter's in Cambridge assigned as pastor. Former parishioners at St. Peter's were filled with "genuine sorrow" when Broderick announced he was leaving. It is mentioned that because everything was completed in such a successful manner, he had little improvements to add, and in consequence, have time to spend on the "spiritual matters of the parish."
1890 FOXBORO CATHOLIC. Oath taken when mixed marriage occurred. "I solemnly promise that I will not interfere with my wife _____ in the exercise of her religious duties and that if God should bless our marriage with children they shall all be brought up in the Catholic faith." Taken from St. Mary's marriage register.
1890 December 20. Foxboro Reporter. Callanan's 10th Anniversary of Ordination. On December 18th, Fr. Callanan was invited back to Foxboro. He was greeted by Fr. Broderick, R.E. Kerwin, and J.E. Clark. They proceeded to the church where they were greeted by a crowd gathered from Foxboro, Medfield, Wrentham, and other places. The article mention (dated December 20) that "when he took charge the people were not united." Two churches previously destroyed by fire, the third "could not properly be called a church, built on rocky, uneven land, and a back, hard street for travel." Besides church improvements, through his influence and with strongest opposition he had the town build a new street to the church. He also had the old street widened, raised and sidewalks built. He was presented with a purse of gold amounting to $500.
In his speech Fr. Callanan said, "I found you six years ago a disunited, a discontented, and forgive me for saying it, a rather luke-warm people, and I found you without a church, fit to be called a house of God. I look on you tonight a happy, united, and practical Christian people, with a church worthy of your faith, worthy of your generosity, worthy of being called a house of God."
1890 – MORMON. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny all privileges of citizenship to members of the church and the church president issued a manifesto that officially discontinued the contracting of new plural marriages.
1890 – EPISCOPAL. The Episcopal mission was started just previous to 1890, holding its meeting in the Knights of Honor Hall at the corner of South and Market Streets. Rev. George, Rector of the Grace Church of North Attleboro supplied the pulpit. The parish thrived and a stone edifice was built and named St. Mark’s church
1891 - MORMON FOXBORO August 22. Foxboro Reporter. A special open air service was held last Sunday at Foxvale, on the lawn of Daniel Forester, under the auspices of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. C. L. Monroe, formerly of Boston, has charge of the services… Elder Charles A. Coombs of Plainville in the evening and an audience of about 150 listened to him, His text was taken from Acts 11: 27-28 "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy wit thy countaenance." It is expected that Elder J. F. McDonald of Pittsburgh, PA., will speak in Foxboro soon upon the subject connected with the beliefs of Latter Day Saints. They are monogamous in theory and practice. Their church headquarters are in Lamoni, Iowa, and their membership extends into nearly every state and territory of the Union, numbering about 25,000. They have chapels at Boston, Fall River, Plainville, Mass., and Dennisport and Little Compton, RI.
1893 January 3 – EPISCOPAL. A charter granted St. Mark’s Mission and the cornerstone of the stone church was laid on November 29, 1893.
1891 - MORMON FOXBORO January 5. Preaching services held every Sunday at vacant residence formerly occupied by Horace M. Allen. Public invited.
1893 May 27. Foxboro Reporter. Entertainment in the Town Hall by the children of St. Marys, assisted by Boston talent. "Sword, skirt and scarf dances; the Irish jig and reel; the hornpipe and Highland Fling, the tambourine and Spanish bull-fighters. But the Serpentine dance is something new and marvelous..."
1893 – MORMON. The Eastern States Mission reopened. Membership numbered 96.
1893 - METHODIST FOXBORO February 25. Foxboro Reporter. For some months past there has been an unusual interest manifested among those of our citizens who are favorable toward the establishment of a Methodist denomination in Foxboro. Accordingly a goodly number assembled, by appointment, at the residence of George M. Barron, Garfield Street, last Tuesday evening, where plans and prospects were discussed relative to the matter. It was ascertained that there were at least forty members of that denomination in town, aside from many others who would undoubtedly assist in support of Methodist services. The meeting was presided over by Rev. Mr. Kelly of South Walpole.
Foxboro Reporter (June 30, 1923), John Hodges. "Adherents of the Methodist faith formerly met at the Brick house on Oak Street…The preacher was Granville O. Wilson, who drove a baker's cart for David Wyman bakery of East Foxboro. It is related that Mr. Boyden, who owned the house, was asked if the meetings might be continued there and he quickly replied, "Oh, God! Yes."
1893 - METHODIST FOXBORO March 3. Foxboro Reporter. St. Marks hall was filled to overflowing Sunday afternoon, when the first preaching service of this denomination was held. Rev. Mr. Kelly of the South Walpole Methodists, preached.
1894 August 11. Foxboro Reporter. A 'Garden Party' at the parochial residence on Central (the site of the new Senior Center). Fr. Broderick held a "Garden Party." From Newton Lower falls came Fr. Callanan, accompanied by over eighty of his parishioners, twenty-six of whom comprised the Garden City Brass Band. They were conveyed to Foxboro in one six-horse barge, two four-horse barges, and two carry-alls. The party was held on the Common, with dancing until 12PM. For entertainment there were a shooting gallery, an art gallery, and a fortune teller's hut.
1894 – CONGREGATIONAL. The name “Bethany” was added to the “Orthodox.
1894 - MORMON FOXBORO July 28. Foxboro Reporter. Several of our people visited the camp of the Latter Day Saints, located for some past near the schoolhouse in South Foxboro. Last Sunday evening the tent was completely filled with listeners.
1895 American Protective Association (A.P.A.) Patriotic Rallies and Lectures. In general, the A.P.A.'s reasons for forming were (1) The Catholic allegiance to the Pope (2) the insistence of the American Bishops on the necessity for religious education and the failure of the public schools to supply that need (3) protests of the Catholic leaders against the mounting divorce rate and unnatural methods of birth control (4) the increasing prominence in business and government by the growing strength and increasing number of Catholics.
1895 A.P.A. SECRET OATH excerpt “...I furthermore promise and swear that I will not countenance the nomination, in any caucus or convention, of a Roman Catholic for any office in the gift of the American people, and that I will note vote for, or counsel others to vote for, any Roman Catholic, but will vote only for a Protestant, so far as may lie in my power…”
1895 January 12 - FOXBORO A.P.A.. A number of Foxboro citizens invited a speaker, Mr. E. H. Dunbar of the "Supreme Council" of the American Protective Association. The rally was held in the town hall and was attended by a crowd that filled the hall to its utmost capacity. The platform was decked in the national colors, and the altar in front was draped with the American flag, upon which rested the Holy Bible. Joining the speaker were Rev. Flagg of the Bethany church; Rev. Davis of the Baptist church; Rev. Beals of the Methodist church and Rev. White of the Universalist church.
In the course of his lecture Mr. Dunbar mentioned that "the A.P.A. is organized to protect the flag, the school, and all our glorious institutions against the assaults of the Roman Hierarchy...that the religion of Roman Catholics is a gigantic political scheme as now conducted in this country...that if the Pope should curse the the United States, every Roman Catholic is absolved from his allegiance to the United States...for as long as Catholics owe a higher allegiance to a foreigner, they are unfit for public office in America."
1895 February 2. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Horace Hall Buck, of St. Mark's Episcopal, was asked to answer why he was not on the platform with the other Protestant ministers. In a sermon entitled "Religious Toleration V.S. the Principles of the American Protective Association", which was later published in the Reporter he stated, "...could not endorse the methods of the A.P.A...that the principles of the Association if successful would overthrow the foundations of our government and would threaten the life of our country, especially if their members are determined not to vote for any man who is a Roman Catholic, for any office..Did you not hear the scurrilous names which were given to the whole Roman priesthood that evening or the sneers at the reverence of the Roman Catholic Pope?"
1895 February 9. Foxboro Reporter. In response to Rev. Buck's explanation an unsigned letter to the editor, a week later, stated, "...The Roman Catholic never recognized any authority above the Pope; therefore they should never hold office, nor vote, in this country, until they renounce his authority."
1895 February 16. FOXBORO A.P.A.. Foxboro Reporter. A second rally was held in the town hall. A Rev. Scott F. Hershey of Boston, delivered a lecture on the "Jesuit Rule and Ruin in Washington." He stated that it was the, "tendency of the Roman Catholic Hierarchy and Papacy to lead us back into the Dark Ages, and to the tyranny of that power in terrorizing the present age by its bigotry, ignorance, and superstition that always rules where the papacy has full control...that he hoped the day would soon come when every state would have laws requiring the opening of every convent or nunnery to public official inspection...that Roman Catholics can no longer afford to be slaves of their priests.
1895 February 23. Foxboro Reporter. A letter to the editor. "The Catholic Church claims to be the only true church, and to them is due all the advancement for the improvement of Mankind. Does not their claim seem ambiguous, when we see such specimens of manhood that come to us from foreign countries where they have had to control since the Christian era, and the nearer to the Vatican the more ignorant." Signed William E, Shannessy.
** The reader should know that during this era there were camps of Italian laborers in the area working on the construction of the Inebriate Asylum (later Foxboro State Hospital) and also public work projects. **
1895 January 23. Foxboro Reporter. Richard L. Gorman and Earl A. M. Sumner, have signed a contract with the Little Rock, Arkansas, baseball club. The former for that of third base, the latter for the outfield.
1895 March 9. Foxboro Reporter. "A great many 'gristle-backs' and so-called true Americans say there is no fear of the Catholics ever overpowering us, because we number in the majority. But they must remember the Catholics are gaining power every day, and with all their organized military associations, they have great power.
1895 March 23. Foxboro Reporter. Letter to the editor. "So many young Catholic born Americans have broken away from their Church...they are to an extent, the hoodlums of our towns and cities and fill our jails and prisons, seemingly fearing neither God nor man." Signed "An American Protestant"
1895 March 23. Letter to the editor. Reply to Shannessy. "Mr. Shannessy, there are some good things about the catholic Church. I notice that locally our most promising young Irish citizens are the most devoted to their Church, not that is so in every case. I have lived with them for 40 years, gone to school with them, played with them in boyhood, esteem and respect them as men, friends, and neighbors. Don't think, I beg of you that their hands will ever be at your or my throat over a question of papal authority."
1895 July 4. APA receives permission from the governor to march in the East Boston Fourth of July parade.
1895 FOXBORO A.P.A. 13 July. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Joseph Slattery, a former Catholic priest, who became a Baptist minister, spoke at the Town Hall. The Reporter mentioned that every seat was filled, and many were obliged to stand. Several surrounding towns were represented. His talk was entitled "Satolli, The American Pope, or Rome's Attitude Toward Liberty, As Exemplified by the Savannah Riot."
Slattery stated that "Satolli left 75% of the people of his own country an illiterate mass of beings, and came over to America to teach you and I how to educate our children." He also said "I do not object to a Roman Catholic because he is Catholic, but because he bows in allegiance to a foreign potentate, and makes the will of the Pope first, his country second, and while this is the case he is not worthy to hold public office."
1895 - ADVENTIST FOXBORO - August 3. Foxboro Reporter. The first tent meeting of the Adventist was held in their tent near Wilbur Brother's store, Thursday evening, a large audience being present. Their belief seems to be but little different than the general evangelical belief, the points upon which they lay the most stress being the second commandment of Christ, according to the scripture, is not far distant, the prophesies having nearly all been fulfilled. The speakers are interesting and vital questions of the times are freely discussed. Their services are held every evening at 7:30, and afternoons at 2:30. In addition services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. Everybody will receive a cordial welcome.
1895 - ADVENTIST FOXBORO - August 10. Foxboro Reporter. The Adventists are holding interesting meetings nightly in their tent… They are earnest workers in the cause of Christ, and should be encouraged in their good work by the members of our various churches especially. Their prayer and testimony meetings have not only been well attended but have been freely participated in. The word of God is preached in a manner, which must bring home conviction to many hearts. Some of our church people have already taken part in the testimony meetings.
1895 August 24. Foxboro Reporter editorialized this quote, "The wheel is so popular in Foxboro, that soon the man or woman who walks will be a curiosity."
1895 August 31. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Slattery returned with his wife in August. They offered three lectures. Rev. Slattery's topics were "Why I Left The Roman Catholic Priesthood and What I Saw Therein," and also "The Secret Theology of the Confessional." Mrs. Slattery's topic, who was to speak to the ladies only was, "Secrets of Nuns, and the Confessional Exposed."
1895 - ADVENTIST FOXBORO - August 31. The Adventists, who have been holding meetings in a tent on Central Street for a month or more past, left town for Mansfield on Tuesday, where they commenced a series of religious services Wednesday evening.
1896 May 1. Purchase of rectory. Rectory was former home to Rev. Isaac Smith, MD, who came to Foxboro as pastor of the Baptist Church and was later to practice medicine until his death in 1884. Building was originally a one story structure later enlarged to two levels.
St. Mary's rectory and property is deeded from L. Byrant Wilbur to Archbishop J.J. Williams.
1897 March 20. Foxboro Reporter. St. Patrick's Day celebrations begin in Foxboro under the auspices of the 'Columbian Literary and drama Society of St. Marys.'
1897 – MISSIONARY ALLIANCE. The Christian Alliance for home missions work and the International Missionary Alliance for work abroad merged in 1897, forming the present Christian and Missionary Alliance.
1898 FOXBORO CATHOLIC. In the Autumn of 1898 work was begun simultaneously in Mansfield and Foxboro to organize councils of Knights of Columbus. When interest in the undertakings had been thoroughly aroused, it was evident to those at the head of the movement that one council for both towns.
1899 7 March. On March 7, 1899 a National Convention of the Knights of Columbus was assembled in the city of its birth, New Haven, Connecticut. Two weeks later it was announced by the Foxboro reporter that the Knights of Columbus will soon come into existence in Foxboro.
1899 FOXBORO CATHOLIC: KNOGHTS OF COLUMBUS June 17 (June 24. Foxboro Reporter) According to the Reporter, throughout the Spring of 1899 negotiations between the aspirants of the local area and representatives of the Council met concerning organizing a council.
Finally, on June 17, a lodge of the Knights of Columbus was instituted in Foxboro. Early Saturday morning a delegation from Quincy arrived on a special train and was quartered in the Cocasset House. Another delegation arrived from Norwood on two special electric cars. Delegations also arrived from Hyde Park, South Boston, and Attleboro. The ceremonies lasted until 9:30 PM that evening.
There were thirty-four charter members including: James W. Brennan as Grand Knight; George C. Shields as Deputy Grand Knight; and Fr. Broderick as Chaplain. The council was organized under the name "Foxboro Council #420." The thirty-four charter members were almost evenly divided between Foxboro and Mansfield. Transportation between the two towns was easily facilitated by the electric trolley line. The quarters for the Knights of Columbus was on the second floor of William's and Appleby's Hall on Cocasset Street. The organization was fond of holding dances for entertainment and raising funds. A typical dance was attended by about fifty to seventy-five couples. There would be a musical concert, dancing, a grand march, and dinner would be served at midnight.
A special evening appears to have been an annual "Ladies Night." The hall would be decorated throughout with banners, flags, and mottoes pertaining to the order such as: "Equity; Unity; Charity; and Hail, Columbus."
1899 September 9. Foxboro Reporter. Catholic laborers were among the first to unionize in Foxboro. The Reporter recorded that on Labor Day, 1899, the members of the Iron Moulder's Union of Foxboro.
It a shop of 27 men, the majority of whom were Irish Catholics, participated in a grand parade in Providence. Led by their Captain John F. Welch, they marched up South Street from the foundry on Mill Street and circled the common stopping in front of Samaritan Hall. They were attired in dark clothes, wearing dark blue flannel shirts, on the front of which the letters I.M.U. in white were sewn. They each wore a leather belt. Their banners made for the occasion read: "Bryant's Baby Local, Foxboro; In Union There Is Strength; and Working Men Organize."
Some of the membership included; William McGrane, Daniel Dolan, Daniel Welch, Joseph McGrane, Patrick Gorman, John Ryan, Thomas McGrane, Timothy Lynch, Frank Fitzpatrick and others.
1899 Young Men's Social Club organized. Bernard Rafferty, Pres., Eugene E. Kirby, Vice Pres., John D. O'Brien, Sec., and Charles Kempton, Treas.
1900 FOXBORO ARSONIST. Arsonist in Foxboro. Between the first week of March and the end of June there were eighteen reported fires in Foxboro. All of which appeared to be the work of an arsonist. The fires destroyed not only barns, shops in the center of town, large tracts of forest but also the Union Straw Works and the Town Hall. The Reporter mentioned that "there are scores of of people who believe a firebug is working this town and other towns nearby." During the last week of June the Catholic church in Franklin is totally destroyed by fire.
1901 April 13. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Broderick was reassigned as pastor of St. Teresa's parish in West Roxbury.
1901 April. 13 Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Thomas Norris is assigned as pastor to replace Fr. Broderick. Fr. Norris had been senior assistant curate at Church of the Sacred Heart in Roslindale. He had celebrated his silver jubilee eight years earlier. Before the month of December was out he had resigned his appointment due to failing health.
1901 December 21, 1901. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. James W. Hickey is assigned as pastor. Fr. Hickey was a colleague of Fr. Broderick. He was a native of Lowell and a graduate of Holy Cross College. He had recently spent eleven years as pastor of the mission of McCook, Nebraska, which includes all the territory as far west as the Colorado State line. According to the January 11, Foxboro Reporter, Fr. Hickey appears "to be a man who can not fail to win the esteem of his people. His entire ministry, energy, and ability have characterized his administration of affairs."
1901 August 31. 1901. The first Democratic town committee organized. Appears to have been a committee comprised mostly of Catholics. The membership included: John Gurry, Chairmen; Harry Gray, Clerk; James Barret, Secretary; and committeemen John Clark, James Igoe, and Thomas Tierney. Their meetings were held also in William's and Appleby's Hall.
1902 January 11. Foxboro Reporter. "A new organization connected with St. Mary's Catholic Church came into existence known as the Sodality of Immaculate Conception. The elected prefect was Miss Lizzie Hearn, secretary Miss Nellie Geary and Treasurer Miss Nellie O'Brien."
1902 January 4. Foxboro Reporter. Knights of Columbus meeting hall is arsoned. During the first week of January the Foxboro Reporter expressed the frustration of the residents of the town concerning the acts of arson.
The article reported that the building opposite Cocasset Stable, owned by E.E. Butterworth, had two weeks earlier been the scene of an attempted arson, " A lighted candle being placed in a box of excelsior in the rear, the latter being soaked in oil. Fortunately the candle extinguished..."
The article concluded that "...efforts to solve the mystery of incendiary fires in Foxboro during the past two or three years, has been in vain thus far..."
Two days later the hall in which the K of C held their meeting was destroyed when the William's and Appleby's Block was torched. The Reporter stated "...when the firemen arrived, the door at the main entrance to the stairway was found unlocked and the flames were making good headway at the right and the back of the above door where there is every indication that the incendiary commenced and completed his preparations..." Once again the Reporter spoke frustration when it mentioned "...is it not time that something was done to stay the destruction of property in Foxboro through evident incendiarism? There is no doubt in anyone's mind but this is the cause of these recent fires as well as several of the previous ones within the past two years."
1902 February 15. Two weeks after the fire the Knights of Columbus held their third annual "Ladies Night" in the Odd Fellows Hall. Over a hundred and twenty-five couples attended the affair. As if in defiance of their situation the Reporter recorded that "the Charter if the K of C that passed through the recent fire occupied a prominent place in front of the principal platform. This Charter with its frame was considerably scorched; in fact the whole Charter showed the ravages of the fire, but nearly the entire work is still legible, and is a valuable souvenir of that memorable fire."
1902 July 12. Foxboro Reporter. Issue of the Reporter an editorial stated that, "Not a very long time ago a prominent clergyman made the statement that unless a young man was earning at least $12 per week, he had no business to take a wife, and further stated that many times if he marries on less than that, the girl is obliged to work in the factory of starve, and the rearing of children is out of the question...There are lots of married men who realize from experience that this is only too true. A quarter a century ago $12 a week was a very comfortable sum to marry on. Modern life and ways create needs, real or fancied, that makes a big hole in the average weekly wages."
1902 August 9. Foxboro Reporter. St. Mary's held its first grand picnic held at Lake Pearl in Wrentham. Electric trolley cars ran every half hour from the center of Foxboro, the fare was fifteen cents. The attractions were swings, flying horses, boating, and games, not to mention an exhibition by Billy Gardner of Lowell, light-weight champion pugilist of New England.
1902 September 27. John Falvey. Obituary, "born 1825 in the city of Cork, Ireland. Settled in Foxboro in 1847. Built his house on Church Street in 1862. He was a shoemaker with his shop adjoining his residence.
1903 February 28. Eugene Kirby. Foxboro Reporter, "The firm of Sumner and Kirby is becoming familiar to Foxboro people. Eugene E. Kirby having associated himself in business partnership with Charles C. Sumner in the Cocasset stables...Hundreds of people in Foxboro have enjoyed sleigh rides in the winter and barge rides in the summer with Eugene holding the ribbons."
1904 March. Diocese of Fall River created.
1904 March 12. Foxboro Reporter. Foxboro Council #420 moves to Mansfield. During the first weeks of March the membership of the K of C voted unanimously to hereafter hold the meetings of the Council in Gifford's Hall in Mansfield. <On June 4,
1906 the Foxboro K of C is changed to Mansfield Council #420.>
1905 March 4. John F. Falvey, Obituary, "One of the leading merchants of South Boston. Senior partner of Falvey Brothers Co., well known retail dry goods." Opened the largest department store in South Boston with his brother William H. Falvey in December 1900. He was born in Foxboro, October 1, 1900.
1905 July 15. John Gary. Obituary, "81 years old, born in County Cork, Ireland. Came to this country 60 years ago and first worked in Foxboro on the cellar of the Union Straw Shop. A favorite workman with the late E.P. Carpenter.
1905 November 4. Foxboro Reporter. A reunion was held in the Grange Hall during November. Fr. Hickey and "corps of able assistants" delivered for the parish quite an affair. The refreshments consisted an ice cream and tonic tables. The entertainment included the "Whistling Bowery Boys" better known as Walter Lillyman, Thomas Mullen and Walter McKenna. Also the "Yankee Doodle Cadets" and the "Florodora Girls." There was chorus and solo singings, with music and dancing for all.
1905 - BAPTIST. The Baptist General Association is organized. The church adopted the name American Baptist Association in 1924.
1905 – MORMON. President Joseph F. Smith addresses a large gathering at Deacon’s hall in Boston in 1905 on a return trip from dedicating a monument at Joseph Smith’s birthplace in Vermont.
1905 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST FOXBORO. Janetti Turner moves to Foxboro. Prior at New Brunswick, and moved to NH 1903. Turner is considered the founder of this faith community. Reader and influenced by Adventist magazine "Sign of the Times." Meetings held in Turner's home.
1906 FOXBORO CATHOLIC January 13. Foxboro Reporter. A letter from the Bishop was read during Mass at St. Mary's during January concerning dancing. According to the Reporter the sermon preached was also on the theme of the evils of dancing. The letter and the sermon apparently was met with consternation for many of the youth of the parish enjoyed the pastime. Among other things the letter said "...The world may sneer at such teaching, and call our denounciations exaggerations and unreasonable exactions without solid foundation."
1906 May 5. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Hickey took up a collection, "for the sufferers by earthquake and fire in San Francisco, and hoped that everybody would be prepared to respond according to their ability." The collection was in an amount of $25. But it was also mentioned that this amount would have been increased had not quite a number responded to the call where they were employed.
1906 May 5. Foxboro Reporter. A new shingle roof was completed, and the building of two fine approaches over the church doors were finished, with a cover over each. The article stated that "the approaches to the main entrances will not only add much to the general appearance of the frontage but will be greatly appreciated during stormy weather.
1906 FOXBORO HOLINESS CHURCH May 25. The Foxboro Holiness Union decides to disband and organize a formal church. Early meetings held at the corner of Central and Spring Streets, known to have regular two-week camp meetings. The group was affiliated with The Cincinnati Bible School.
1907 Barry J. Barret assigned as pastor. Rev. Garret J. Barry replaced Fr. Hickey as pastor in 1907. Fr. Garret had travelled extensively in Europe for throughout his time at St. Mary's he gave quite a number lectures with stereophonic views. His lectures included the Holy Land, Rome, and Ireland.
1907 MISSIONARY ALLIANCE CHURCH – FOXBORO July 4. The Foxboro Holiness Union had been meeting since the early 1900s and disbanded in 1906 and reorganized as an independent mission active in missionary work in the West Indies. In 1907 members voted to remain undenomination but to affiliate as a branch of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church (C&MA) – the Church of Emmanuel. The group had become aware of the Bible School at Nyack, NY, affiliated with C&MA. Meetings were moved to Samaritan Hall until 1912 and then at Cocasset Hall.
1908 January 5 – MORMON. A Mutual Improvement Association was started in Boston.
1908 January 29. Bishop William O'Connell succeeds Archbishop John J. Williams.
Archdiocesan statistics. 750,000 Catholics, 248 Churches, 582 Priests
1908 June 29. Pope Pius X issued the apostolic constitution 'Sapiento Consillio' which declared, among other things, that the Church in the United States had been removed from the jurisdiction of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide. It was place on a basis of equality with other churches. The American Catholic Church is no longer a 'mission' church.
1908 June 6. Foxboro Reporter. Establishment of Holy Name Society. A mission was held in St. Marys during May and one of the results was the establishment of a Society of the Holy Name for men.
** Actually throughout the Archdiocese over 40,000 members marched on November 1, 1908. Cardinal William O'Connell expressed a desire to have an organization in every parish. **
1908 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST FOXBORO. Elder Utchman came to Foxvale, occasional meetings at Jenetti Turner’s Home and later in the former Holiness chapel at corner of Spring and Central streets
1909 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST FOXBORO. Elder J. K. Jones came to Mansfield at the request of Conference Committee. Beginning of Adventist regular services.
1909 March 20. Foxboro Reporter. The celebration of St. Patricks day appears to become a major day of celebration around this era. The celebration would be held in the Grange Hall. The entertainment included: songs of Erin; mind reading exhibition, magic by Houdini's closest rival, the Great Fuller; a tale teller, and boxing exhibitions by John J. McCarthy, amateur heavy weight champion of New England and boxer John L. Cloney, boxing in the new and old styles.
1909 March 6. Foxboro Reporter. Article: Catholic View of Women Singing in Church. The Foxboro Reporter mentioned a letter from Rome sent to the bishops to be read in the Catholic Churches. The letter stated, "I have to inform you that the Holy Father has not given permission for women to sing in the choirs of the Catholic Churches, and the news that he has done so is entirely groundless...The instructions of Pope Pius must be obeyed literally in this country as well as in other countries. The sing of women must not be continued."
1910 – MORMON. A branch started in Lynn
1910 January 1. Foxboro Reporter. Pew Rents. In the Reporter's column "St. Mary's Church Notes" there was a reminder regarding pew rents. It read "The quarterly pew rent is due Sunday. All should come prepared to fulfill this duty of justice and religion."
1910 March 5. Patrick Foley. Obituary, "resided in Foxboro for about 63 years. Born in Ireland, March 15, 1828. Came to Foxboro at the age of 19 in 1847. He was universally respected and esteemed by all who knew him. One of the oldest employees of the Union Straw Works before their destruction, commencing with their establishment in 1852-53 and continued as long as his health permitted. Married Miss Elizabeth Hagerty of Foxboro in 1852.
1910 April 24 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST FOXBORO. Church Covenant, "We, the undersigned, hereby associate ourselves together as a church, taking the Name Seventh Day Adventist, covenanting to keep the commandment of God and the faith of Jesus Christ." Meetings continue to be held Jennetti Turner's home and the former Holiness chapel, until 1916.
1910 7 May. Foxboro Reporter. Establishment of St. Dominic's Court #244. According to an article in the Reporter, "Between 20 and 30 candidates for the new lodge instituted 'Court of Forresters" passed a successful examination, and several more applications are in the proper hands. The institution took place in the Odd Fellows hall. The obligation of the Order was taken by 24 applicants. The ceremonies were impressive, with delegations from Courts in North Attleboro, Stoughton,Attleboro, Canton, and Sharon in attendance. The officers included: Charles F. Green, George McGrane, Miss Evelyn Hearn, William Clark, John Evans, Wesley McGrane, Mrs. Mary Grenne, Joseph McGrane, and John Evans Jr.
1910 September 3. Foxboro Reporter. Columbus Day. "The Catholic Societies of Greater Boston are making extensive preparations for the celebration of Columbus day, October 12, which is to to observed as a legal holiday in Massachusetts for the first time."
1911 May 20. 1911. Fr. James O'Rourke assigned as pastor. In May, Rev. James A. O'Rourke was assigned as pastor of St. Mary's.Fr. O'Rourke had been nine years a curate of St. Margarets in Campello and was well known as an organizer and preacher. The officers elected for this year were: President William O'Conner; Secretary R.W. Barton; Treasurer Frank Fitzpatrick and Financial Secretary Joseph Drum.
1912 - FOXBORO CATHOLIC June 1. Foxboro Reporter. An article in the Reporter on June 1, 1912 mentioned, "in the departure of Margaret Clifford and Hannah Leary for their birthplace in Killarney, Ireland, after being employed about six years in town. Foxboro is losing the type of Irish servant girl that is decidedly scarce. They were faithful friends to those they liked and devoted adherents of the Catholic faith. Their everyday life of noble sacrifice and hard work, endeared them not only to their little charges, the children for whom they cared, but to the parents, their employers, as well.
1912 June 1. Foxboro Reporter. During the first week of June Rev. Fr. Norbert of the Passionist Order of Scranton, Pennsylvania conducted a weeks mission. Mass was celebrated and 5:30AM and 8AM, and services in the evening at 7:30PM, consisting of rosary, sermon, and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The Reporter stated, "these missions are in reality one of the most sacred institutions of the Catholic Church, as they tend to strengthen the faith of the people and also of great assistance to the pastor in his holy calling of saving souls.
1912 August 3. Foxboro Reporter. During the Summers of this era an annual St. Mary's outing or field day at Lakeview Park was a common occurrence. During August one such outing attracted over 1,000 people. Attractions included boating, dancing, partaking of a baked bean supper, a midway, and a miniature minstrel show. A moving picture was also shown. Games included a two mile run, 100 yard dash, the shoe race, and a three legged race. Also other games included African Dodger, Cane Board, and Chinese Laundry. The electric trolley cars made numerous trips to the park transporting people from Mansfield, Attleboro, Walpole, Norwood and Wrentham.
An article stated that, "when the last cars left the park at midnight they were crowded with a tired but happy hearted throng of parishioners who are loyal to their church and to their well-beloved pastor."
1912 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST - First African American Seventh-day Adventist Church in Boston, founding members gained admission to the organization of Massachusetts Seventh-day Adventist (later renamed the Southern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists).
1913-1921 March 8. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. John McKenna assigned as first curate. In the Spring of 1913 St. Mary's, because the duties during the year increased such an extent an assistant curate became necessary. Rev. Fr. John McKenna was assigned as Foxboro's first assistant curate
1913 Proposed constitutional amendment to the U. S. Constitution providing woman suffrage is defeated.
1914 - FOXBORO CATHOLIC. Article: Catholic view of dancing the Tango. When the dance the Tango was first introduced to Europe and North America, it was so scandalous that it was outlawed by the Church and civil authorities. When it reached the United States it became a craze. The dance was considered risque' because of the way partners held each other...very close. The Tango was considered, "an offense against God.”
1914 - FOXBORO CATHOLIC September 5. Foxboro Reporter. Article from the Canton Journal. It stated, "all Catholic organizations of the town have voted to discontinue public dancing for one year. This is made in the hope that human decency, if given a little time, would reassert itself and after a year dancing might be resumed free from its present day disgraceful exhibitions."
1915 - FOXBOROCATHOLIC March 27. Article published in the Pilot, reprinted in Foxboro Reporter. Catholic view of Women's Suffrage, "Whatever, then may be the outcome of the present movement for women's emancipation this assertion cannot be challenged.Any attempt to force women from her natural sphere of activity to place her in rivalry with man in the rude business of life can only end in disaster. Twenty centuries of christian civilization have surrounded her with charms which are the secrets of her dignity and her power. Any attack upon these endowments must end eventually in the return of the Amazon to assume the place now held by Christian womanhood."
1915 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST. Death of Ellen G. White, the trusted spiritual counselor of the Adventist family for more than 70 years.
1915- April. WOMEN SUFFRAGE. Mount Holyoke College. Miss Hortense Hubbard’s letter to her parents in which she mentions women suffrage. “…Yesterday was “Suffrage Day” and after chapel a girl dressed in white, beat a drum, and there were all sorts of signs around about suffrage. On the lawn between the Library and Mary Lyon Chapel they had a table where they distributed papers and tried to get people to join the society up here. Cornelia did, but I didn’t. Late in the afternoon Miss Marks, one of the faculty, went around campus with her dog, a collie, and around his neck was a basket of jonquils in it and they were selling them for the benefit of the suffrage. But I wouldn’t buy one, because I am not ready to ally myself with the suffragettes, although I think they have some arguments. For instance last night Cornelia was trying to convince Dorothy Richardson about suffrage. Something was said about the Catholics and Cornelia said that the head popes & priests etc., don’t favor it because, that they realize it will mean more of an education and an enlightenment for the women, and they don’t want it. Is that true? I didn’t happen to get any of the papers that they distributed, but Cornelia did and maybe she will let me send them to you, if you will send them back….”
1915 June 5. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. William J. McCarthy assigned as pastor during the summer of 1915. Means of transportation was evident in the fact that the Reporter mentioned that Fr. McCarthy "motored" over from West Lynn where he had been ministering for the past twenty years.
His going away reception had earlier been attended by hundreds of former parishioners, who awarded him a purse of $1,500 for a parting gift. During his tenure at Foxboro his responsibilities came to include ministering to the Catholics in the Foxboro State Hospital, the State School for the Feeble Minded Children in Wrentham, and the John P. Holland Vocation School for Disabled Veterans in East Norfolk.
When I interviewed Walter Lillyman he vividly remembered Fr. McCarthy as a political force in Foxboro as the number of Democrats came to power. He particularly noted that when a Democratic administration was in office Fr. McCarthy was very influential in the naming of the postmaster in town. During this era the position of postmaster, which was appointed, would usually be awarded to an influential politician or townsperson.
Walter also recalled that of the two Masses on Sunday the late Mass was always so packed that many of the faithful would be standing out the doors. He remembered that the priest would say "You are not participating in the Mass if you are not in the church" But he stated that at collection time the baskets would come outside! Walter also recalled the monthly call for payment of pew rents. Sunday school children were seated in the balcony.
Fr. McCarthy was also sought after as a public speaker on Patriotic subjects. He is especially remembered for his Memorial Day speeches on the Common during WWI. In fact it was Fr. McCarthy who was called upon to deliver the address on the Common band stand to announce to the citizens the Abdication of the Kaiser at the end of the War.
1915 August 15. Foxboro Reporter. In a convention in Seattle the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus issued the following statement, which was reprinted by the Reporter. The statement appears to be a reaction to the beginnings of a revival of Nativist sentiments reappearing.
The statement mentioned that they "...should lose no proper occasion to declare the portion of Catholics and the teachings of the Church on the matter, namely, that Catholics acknowledge the Pope to be supreme in spiritual matters. We do not hold that he has any authority in civil matters. If any spiritual authority were to direct us to do any act contrary to the rights of free citizens or the welfare of society, we would be bound to disagree."
1915. St. Dominic Court. During WWI and well into the next decade the Massachusetts chapters of the Catholic Order of Foresters become very active. In Foxboro the local chapter took the name St. Dominic's M.C.O.F.
According to Eula Kelly the association was a "fraternal insurance organization" for women whose husbands were deceased. She mentioned that, "in the olden days many widows were left to the four winds of the earth!" The goal in each area was to acquire a membership of 1,000, with the plan that when a member died, each of the others would contribute a dollar toward the $1,000 benefit of the widow.
Many socials and whists parties were held in the home of Mr. and Mrs. D. Alfred Ouimet for the benefit of the local chapter, whose principles were; "Fraternity, Unity, and True Christian Charity."
During the war St. Dominic Court would hold harvest whist and dance socials to benefit the soldiers who have gone from Foxboro. After the war the Court held a number of "poverty balls" in the Grange Hall. Prizes would be awarded for the "worst looking costume."
1916 May 20. John W. Gorman. Obituary, "Son of Mr.and Mrs. Richard Gorman. He was the head of J. W. Gorman Amusement Company, 61 years old. After being educated in Foxboro he went to Boston where he immediately became interested in the amusement enterprise. He was a pioneer in the park amusement plan and spent his entire career promoting amusement enterprises.
1916 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST FOXBORO. Regular rental of the little chapel from the Union Evangelical Society of Paine District for $1/month until 1950.
1916. FOXBORO High School Graduation Problems. When the town hall burned in 1900 the graduating class from the public high school in town was left without a hall for the ceremonies. For the following fifteen years, until 1915, the graduation ceremonies were held in the Congregational Church without a problem. When Fr. McCarthy became pastor he refused to allow Catholics to enter Protestant churches.
The graduating class of 1916 had to wrestle with this awkward situation. There were sixteen students in the Class of 1916. According to a full page editorial [June 17. Foxboro Reporter] on the subject, "a member of the graduating class, on account of religious beliefs, had refused to graduate in a Protestant church."
The situation became compounded when a majority of the class asserted, "...that if the exercises could not be held where such events had heretofore been held, the exercises should be dispensed with." But the school committee voted that "...another audience room must either be selected for graduation or the graduation could be dispensed with so far as they were concern!" Two other halls were considered but both had set backs.
The controversy began to get press in newspapers outside Foxboro. In fact one newspaper entitled its story, "Foxboro in the Throes of a Religious War." Apparently the outcome was that two Catholic school committee members were opposed to graduation ceremonies being held in a church. The result was that the sixteen diplomas were given out officially at 9AM in a local hall by the Secretary of the School Committee, Francis A. White.
That evening 700 residents attended a ceremony for 14 graduates in the Bethany Church which was for all intents and purposes an independent graduation ceremony. But is was a ceremony without the presence of the class vice-president and valedictorian both of whom were Catholics.
1917 April 15. Cardinal William O'Connell directed all the priests of the Archdiocese to observe April 15th as 'Patriotic Sunday' to preach that day on duty to the Nation and on the need of men in the service.
1917 FOXBORO CATHOLIC June 16. The Foxboro Reporter. Letter to the Editor. "In these days of selfishness and trouble, it does one's heart good to see a real charitable act performed.
On Sunday last, after a services at the Foxboro Catholic Church, many people stood on the Church steps waiting for a letup in the storm. Mr. Kirby, townsman and member of the church, was there with one of his machines. He kindly offered his services to see all reached home safely, making several trips to different parts of the town and refused utterly any reimbursement for his trouble." signed 'A Subscriber.'
1918 May 25. Foxboro Reporter. Red Cross activities in all cities and towns throughout the war were of major importance. During the final week of May a Red Cross Chapter was organized in Foxboro. A national Red Cross Campaign to raise a total of $100,000,000 was the objective. Foxboro's quota was $2,500.
WWI Red Cross & War Bond Drives. As the war progressed the importance of food production and conservation, was an issue of importance in the Archdiocese. The slogan used was "Food Will Win The War." In Foxboro, the assistant curate, Fr. McKenna was in charge with this issue. He encouraged people through the Reporter writing that "...Every person in town is urged to plant a garden...all tillable soil should be planted!"
1918 May 30. Memorial Day. Fr. McKenna's sermon, " Any man can be a warrior in the time of peace, but it takes a true soldier to don his uniform, shoulder his musket, and offer his life, in defense of his country's life and that of its people."
1918 June 1. Foxboro Reporter. By the first week of June the Foxboro Reporter reported, "Foxboro goes over the top in the Red Cross Drive...Our town seemed to be handicapped in more ways than one in this particular drive. But by individual and group effort by men, women, and children, the amount of the quota was not only raised but an appreciable amount over the quota."
1918 July 13. Foxboro Reporter an editorial, "We are asked to cut out everything of German nature or a German name. Therefore Hamburger steak has been named Liberty steak. We are not told whether the quality will be any better for the change of the name, but it may taste better to lots of people!"
1918 July 20. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. John McKenna was elected chairman of one of several Red Cross Committees. He canvassed every house in Foxboro for his slogan was, "Every Citizen of Foxboro a member of the Red Cross." Members of Fr. McKenna's committee included Joseph Metrano, D.A. Ouimet, E.A. Foley, Eugene Kirby, and James Brennan.
1918 – LUTHERAN. The Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church is formed by a minority that declined to join the other Norwegian groups when they united in the Norwegian Lutheran Church (the former Evangelical Lutheran Church) in 1917.
1918 – MISSIONARY ALLIANCE. The lot is secured and construction of the present church building commences.
1918 – MISSIONARY ALLIANCE FOXBORO. The lot is secured and construction of the present church building commences. From the Foxboro Reporter, John Hodges, quoting former pastor Rev. William Tucker (first pastor, 13 years, starting circa 1904), "On Sabbath morning a few of the members crossed the lot, and on the exact spot where the church now stands, bowed their heads in prayer, that if it was His will, He would secure this lot for the Church. One week later the lot was secured." Building dedicated debt free.
1918 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST The South Lancaster Academy very early in its existence felt the need for work to be offered beyond the secondary level. It became Lancaster Junior College in 1918
1919 January 4. Foxboro Reporter. Received word that Frank Welch, 319th F.A.H. Field Artillery, died of wounds on October 31, 1918. Body would arrive in Foxboro in September 1921, and it lied in state in Memorial Hall with full military honors before reburial in St. Marys Cemetery.
1919 FOXBORO GRADUATION PROBLEMS. Chancery Correspondence files. The problem of Catholic graduating seniors not being allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies at the Congregationalist Church would not abate until the high school was built in 1928. Catholics seniors would receive their diplomas in the school on the last day of the term.
March 1. A letter from Mary E. Stevens to Cardinal O'Connell asking for, "permission to graduate. I have looked forward for my four years in high school to my graduating and want to very much...the priest of this town has not given his permission for the Catholics to graduate in the Congregational Church for the last three or four years." The matter is referred to the pastor.
April 2. A letter from the principal, Leighton S. Thompson to Cardinal William O'Connell, "to make a request, and explain a condition which I know is common in small towns....The facts are these. The Town Hall burned and never has been rebuilt. There is no auditorium in the high school. Graduation, as per decision of the school committee has been in the Congregationalist Church. The only auditorium suited for that event. Up till this time the pupils of the Catholic faith has been small. This year the percentage is high, approximately 25%, with the result that it is creating a strained feeling in the school...I am very strongly in sympathy with the Catholic boys and girls because I feel that it is a situation over which they have no control and in which the school committee has no choice. I am wondering if some action can not be taken so that these pupils who have been associated with their class for four years in all educational, social, and athletic activities need not be deprived of the honor of graduating with their class."
1920 - BAPTIST. The Fundamentalist Fellowship is established, founded within the Northern Baptist Convention. Predecessor to Conservative Baptist Association of America.
1920 – MISSIONARY ALLIANCE FOXBORO October 13. The church is incorporated.
1922 - FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH FOXBORO July. The term ‘Foursquare Gospel’ came to church’s founder Aimee Semple McPherson while preaching in Oakland, California.
1922 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST Lancaster Junior College renamed Atlantic Union College (AUC). Its early degrees were B.Th. and B.R.E.
1922 September 25. Miss Bridget Garrigan. Obituary, "lived alone on Cross Street. Born in Ireland about 80 years ago and came to Foxboro during the palmy days of the woolen industry at Lakeview. She was the last of her generation."
|1922 - WWI Frank Welch body returned from France. Interred at St. Mary's Cemetery|
1923 February 24. Foxboro Reporter. "The girls are developing great skill with the hockey stick, the golf club, and the tennis racket, but it is not generally claimed that they are making equal gains with the broom."
1923 July 21. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Michael A. Butler assigned as pastor. His previous assignment was senior curate at Immaculate Conception in Everett. A number of accomplishments were to occur under his direction. Within two years of his pastorate the value of St. Mary's church increased in value from $6,000 to $30,000. This was primarily due to the improvements made to the church such as the erection of the massive cement steps at the entrance and the interior was completely redecorated and beautified.
Because of the demand of service of both the Wrentham State School and Foxboro State Hospital, and also the mission of the Catholic church in Wrentham Fr. McCarthy requested from the Cardinal a second assistant curate. The chancery granted the request along with approval for $6,000 of improvements to be made to the rectory to allow more room for the new assistant curate.
1923 May 12. Foxboro reporter. An advertisement for "PRUNITONE, How Thin People Obtain a Plump, Strong, Robust Body...put on ten to thirty pounds of good solid, stay there, flesh and muscular tissue. Take Prunitone. Available at D. Alfred Ouimets."
1923 During the fall, 1923, Fr. Butler begins an earnest attempt to raise funds for a church edifice in Wrentham. Within the first year he had raised $10,000. Common means of raising revenue were annual harvest festivals and dances. The proceeds from weekly whist parties run by Mrs. Alice M. McCarthy and Mrs. Annie M. Cook were donated to the building fund.
During the Summer "Field Days" on the Foxboro Common were very successful affairs for raising revenue. There would be booths throughout the common each representing different sections of the St. Mary's parish and Wrentham. The festivities would include a concert, children's picnic, running races, sack race, potato race, shoe race and doll carriage parade. During April
1923-33 Under Fr. McCarthy's pastorate nine assistant curates were assigned and reassigned, to and from St. Mary's from 1923 to 1933. They included Reverends J.D. MacEachern, J.B. Moore, E.J. Carey, W.E. Tierney, J.F. Bracken, J.J. Hughes, F.G. Shields, B.J. O'Rourke and W.P. Castles.
1924 May. FOXBORO KKK Foxboro Reporter mentioned that the police in town were being kept busy removing KKK posters in the center of town. Later that Summer a KKK organizer spoke at the East Foxboro Chapel. A reporter for the Attleboro Sun at that time wrote that the speaker was "a good talker all right!" He mentioned that the minister who rented the hall "spoke about things that he wouldn't dare to say from the pulpit." A $94 collection was taken up for the chapel. The speaker was there more to sow the seeds of the cause than to recruit and organize.
The movement was political in nature and predominately anti-Catholic. Another source, Joe Bagley recalls a cross being burned at the chapel. A burning that was more of a rallying call for the claven that had gathered.
Al Fitzpatrick related to me the following account. The Fitzpatrick's house is directly across the street from the front of the Church (present Knights of Columbus Building). He remembers his father looking out the window and seeing a burning cross on the lawn of the church. His father ran out of the house. He kicked the cross burning cross down and put out the fire. When he returned to his family he said, "If I catch the person who did this I will ring his neck with my bare hands!"
1924 October 3. KKK Meeting. Mansfield News. "Several Mansfield people passing through Norton Sunday about 4:30PM stopped to inquire about a large gathering near St. Mary's Catholic Church on the Taunton Road and found an open air meeting of the Ku Klux Clan in full swing. In fact it is said that twenty initiates were signed up by a young man whose name is unknown. The alleged Klansmen came from Brockton, Raynam, Taunton, and Easton. The Majority were young men...no local residents on hand...Chief of Police Benjamin Scalon was on to resolve order, but had nothing to do in that line."
1924 According to Mr. Bagley on East Street he recalled a cross being burned on the lawn of the old church. An angry crowd had gathered and Fr. Butler stood on the front steps of the church until the crowd dispersed.
1925 KKK activity. Clarence Dacy, Mansfield historian, recalled, "In April, 1925, a Saturday night, a night commonly popular for shopping for local Mansfield residents approximately ten automobiles both Sedans and touring cars came down the old Route 106 from Easton. They drove through the center of town, many dressed in full KKK regalia, sheets and hoods, tooting their horns and cheering. They continued down Main Street on to Norton where they returned to Easton." According to Clarence a claven was located in Easton.
1927 St. Dominic Court. The officers for St. Dominic Court in 1927 included Mary J. Brown, Chief Ranger; Albert L. Belcher, Vice Chief Ranger; along with John Gaudet, Vincent Igo, William McAuliffe, Fred Brown, Mary Green, Nellie Walsh, and P. Francis McGrane.
According to a letter from the Cardinal dated June 8, 1927, Fr. Butler was asked to attend to the spiritual needs of a new prison colony established on land formerly the Norfolk State Hospital. Fr. Butler replies "I will tend to the needs."
1926 A "Radio" Concert and Dance was held in the Grange Hall under the auspices of St. Mary's. The stage was set up like the interior of a broadcasting studio. The performers were introduced by an announcer and they "did their stuff" before a microphone. The building of the church in Wrentham was progressing in earnest during the summer of 1926.
1926 In 1926 there had been but one English missal extant, and it was in very limited use. But in the years after WWII there were at least 19 editions available. It was after WWII that the practice of following the priest's Latin in the English was becoming widespread. In fact "before 1926, the laity sat at Mass in uncomprehending stupor - rising, kneeling, or sitting according to the movements of the priest, while the priest celebrating the Mass whispered the Latin words of the rite up against the a wall."
1928 St. Mary's in Wrentham becomes independent parish Masses at St. Mary's were listed as 7:30AM and 10:15AM. At Wrentham Masses were held at 8:30 and 10:00. Foxboro State Hospital at 9:00AM and Wrentham State School at 8:30AM. Sunday School was held in Foxboro at 2:00PM. Both John Ahern and Doug Brunelle recall walking to Sunday school through the woods from Lakeview Road.
1928 It appears the first organized inter-town baseball team was organized by St. Mary's. The team played teams from Jamaica Plain, Brockton, Sharon, and Wrentham State School.
1928 December 15. Foxboro Reporter. On land donated by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Mahoney the "neat new stucco church," was completed in Wrentham. St. Mary's in Foxboro, its priests and parishioners were no longer responsible for the Wrentham mission which also included the Catholic communities in Plainville and Norfolk.
1928 June 29. Sesquicentenial Day and also dedication of the high school.
1928 September 1. Foxboro Reporter. Al Smith's presidential campaign. The presidential campaign between Republican Herbert Hoover and Governor Al Smith of New York, Democrat, was the first campaign in which one of the candidates, was a Catholic.
Al Smith's campaign became for his fellow Catholics a reminder that they and their church were an object of mistrust and suspicion. In fact, during the campaign the Catholic faith was given the image as a menace because of its alliance with corrupt machine politics, its encouragement of intemperance, hostility to prohibition, and its internationalism.
In an interview with the New York Telegram in September, former Foxboro resident Bruce Barton commented that "...I'm a Protestant, but I think the Methodists ought to move out of Washington, and the Catholics to keep out..."
1928 November 10. Foxboro Reporter. On election night when Al Smith conceded to his opponent, an impromptu parade was staged by several Republican enthusiasts. The inspiration for the parade was Dick Newell's hurdy-gurdy ...with a large illumination of a Hoover sign on top. A life long resident of the area remembers this parade of about twenty automobiles, filled with men and women serenading to the accompaniment of firecrackers, red fire, and tooting of horns, particularly the homes of prominent Catholic Democrats, including the parish rectories of both Foxboro and Mansfield. The eye witness remembered the parade as one to "rub it in"concern the defeat of
1929 Superintendent Clark purchased an additional four acres of land from Joseph Hearn with money from the association which was kept in a private account. The title to the land was never transferred to the Archdiocese, until after much negotiations with the family. After the death of Superintendent Clark, his nephew Fred Clark believed those acres to be land which may have been his.
1929 March 30. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Francis E. Ryan, a native of Foxboro, celebrated his first solemn high mass. Ordained March 22, in chapel of St. Charles College at Catonsville, Maryland. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Ryan of Chestnut Street. First Foxboro native to be ordained a priest. Fr, Ryan was an ordained member of Josephite Society of the Sacred Heart, a mission dedicated to the evagelization of Negroes of the South
1929 April 5. Rev. Bernard O'Rourke's letter, "I was ordained April 5, 1929 and St. Mary's, Foxboro was my first permanent appointment. At that time Fr. Butler was the pastor...In addition to the parish we had the Foxboro State Hospital with 500 patients. The demise of the great hat industry took place while I was there. The only other industry was the Foxboro Company...The little grey church was down on a side street."
1929 – SOUTH FOXBORO UNION CHURCH. The interior of the sanctuary was finished.
1930 – EPISCOPAL. The Episcopal Church had 152 bishops, 105 dioceses, 6,000 clergymen, and 1,250,000 communicants
1930 January 4. Foxboro Reporter. St. Mary's basketball team. The team was playing teams from Mansfield, St. Patricks of Cambridge, and Holy Cross Cathedral of South Boston. The games were played in Grange Hall. In the game against Holy Cross the Reporter mentioned that the local boys were unable to make a single point in the last half, losing 27 to 10, for the visitors were bigger and older than St. Mary's team. Also during the Spring St. Mary's minstrel show was held in the Odd Fellows Hall. It was Reported that the show was put on by fifty "snappy young people." The show included a chorus and two short plays.
1930 September 26. Joseph Hearn deeds a lot of land to St. Mary's Corporation of Foxboro, as an addition to the cemetery.
1931 June 17 – CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTIAN CHURCHES. The Congregational Church and the Christian Church merge to become the Congregational Christian Church.
1932-39 - FOXBORO CATHOLIC Whist parties appear to have been both the social activity and fund raising event for the parishioners of St. Mary's. The whist parties were commonly held in Grange Hall and the high school auditorium. There would be anywhere from thirty-five to sixty tables in play.
Apparently the "Turkey Whist Party" became an annual event. Over two hundred participants would compete for gifts of dressed turkeys, grocery baskets, fruit, vegetables, sugar and cakes. Some of the parishioners who enjoy they games were Frances and Helena McDonald, Helen Devine, Emily Gaudet, Mary Rattigan, Thomas McNamara. Also Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Kirby, Mrs. Walter E. Clarkin, Mrs. George T. McGrane, Mrs. Vincent Igo, Mrs. Katie Welsh, Mrs. Garrett Spillane, Mrs. Ambrose Curtain, and Mrs. Daniel Ryan.
A few years later the names of John Gaudet, Sadie McAuliffe, Ray Smith, Walter Lillyman, Agnes Brown, Bertha Fitzpatrick, Ruth F. Clark, Mrs. Timothy Ahern, John Monahan, Charles Sutkus, Frank Hughes, Mrs. William Hearn, Catherine Rattigan, Mabelle Kelly, and Novella Adams were mentioned.
The latter years of the decade of the 1930's those names appearing at the whist parties included, Walter Kennedy, Charles S. Greene, Bartholomew Golden, Eunice Upham, Eleanor Kennedy, Annabelle McDonald, Theresa Roche, Mary Brunelle, Alice Heffernan, Mary McNamara, and Mildred Saunders. Also appearing were Francis McGrane, Charles Brackett, Kenneth Cole, Edward Comeau, Herbert Cook, Albert Kelly, Stephen Kennedy and Gerard Kennedy, Daniel McFaul, James McCole, John Lynch, Anthony and Frank Metrano, Thomas McGrane and Joseph Sweeny.
1933 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST AUC authorized to grant the B.A. degree
1933 December 26. Chancery Correspondence. Rev. Rudolph M. Tuscher assigned as pastor.
In late November Fr. Michael Butler passed away having been ill for several years. Rev. Rudolph M. Tuscher is assigned as pastor. Fr. Tuscher's first order of business is to notice the archbishop that "one of the curates be relieved of an assignment for there is not enough work to "keep three active men busy." Fr. Castles is reassigned a short time later.
Rev. Tuscher's tenure as pastor also experience quite a number of associate curates being assigned and reassigned to St. Mary's. The curates include Reverends Joseph B. O'Brien, Thomas. P. Connolly, William. J. Riley, Philip G. Hennessey, James J. Rafferty, George E. Murphy, and Edward F. King.
1935 September 9. John P. Gaudet installed for third term as Grand Knight of Mansfield Council, K of C.
1935 November 16. John P. Gaudet, of Railroad Ave., appointed Deputy High Ranger of the Massachusetts Catholic Order of Foresters.
1936-39 "Penny Sales" in the high school auditorium appear to been the activity of the young ladies of the parish. The ladies would canvass the parish to solicit prizes.
There would be a master of ceremonies and auctioneer who would offer for sale the foodstuff, aprons, towels, and fancy work that was gather by the young ladies. The auctioneer was Joe Kennedy and later Gerald Hennesey.
The young ladies included Eleanor Kennedy, Bertha Fitzpatrick, Rita Kennedy, Mary Grieb, Eleanor Harrison, Mary Brunell, Loretta Brown, Annabelle McDonald, Theresa Roche, Jeanette Ouimet, Anna Johnson, Mary McGrane, Frances McCarthy, Rita Welch, and Louise McAuliffe. Also Mary Brown, Theresa Brown, Peggy Cook, Mary Gaudet, Mildred Monson, Sophie Novack, and Marjorie Saunders.
1938 – SOUTH FOXBORO UNION CHURCH. Additional land was made available as a gift from Stella Sherman.
1938 September 21 - UNIVERSALIST. The church severely damaged in the great hurricane. The tower and bell crashed through the roof.
1939 November. The "Catholic Girls Club" was organized. The officers were: president, Amy Cook; vice president, Anne Kennedy; secretary, Marie Bagley; and treasurer, Angela Dorsey. Fr. Tuscher was the spiritual advisor. The young ladies were under the direction of Mrs. Bertha Fanning and Miss Loretta Brown.
1940 December 24. Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve was an evening of traditional music under the direction of the organist C. Robin Maker. He was accompanied by violinist Rosalie Dolan; soloists Mary Dolan and Theresa Brown; soprano Helen Dugas; tenor Douglas Brunell, and baritone Leo Brunell.
1940 – SOUTH FOXBORO UNION CHURCH. The Union Church of East Jaffrey, New Hampshire gave the congregation some pews for their church.
1942 Archdiocesan Statistics. 1,582 priests; 375 churches; 1,092,078 Catholics.
1942 Rev. Edward F. King letter, "How can a priest ever forget the first parish in which he serves? In May 1942 a South Boston boy, fresh with the oils of ordination on his fingers heads for St. Mary's in Foxboro. Then we were not allowed to have cars arriving on the Providence train and meeting Fr. Rudolph Tuscher. Was afraid, and was he tough. Had to be in every night at the rectory at 9PM. The Hospital had to be covered by the curate and I heard all confessions at State Hospital. Fr. Tuscher didn't want to go. It was a beautiful community, lovely people whom I will never forget, the Bagleys, Cooks, Kennedys, etc., etc. I remember taking over the cemetery from laymen for the archdiocese. Then Fr. James Dowling came and we fixed it all up.
One more memory I have. Over the pastor's objection I started a parish football team, consisting of all ex-high school players. Oh' one more thing. Would you believe we ran a musical show in the old church, with the sanctuary as the stage and everyone came. The Catholic faith at that time was not that strong and not that warmly received...Fr. Ed King
1942 June. 1942. Fr. John Fowler returned to St. Mary's church to celebrate a mass. He had been born in this town, the son of Fredrick M. and Mary F. Fowler. He had attended the local schools until moving to Malden. He attended B.C. High School before entering the Maryknoll. He had celebrated his first mass the previous Sunday at St. Theresa in Everett, and was soon to leave for Bolivia. Mr. Fredrick Fowler was postmaster of Foxboro, and Chief Ranger of St. Dominic Court M.C.O.F., during his residence here.
1942 June 7, 1942. The 7AM Mass began to be celebrated at St. Marys. This Mass replaced the regular 7:30AM Mass in order to enable those going away for the day and especially for those working on defense jobs to stay for the whole Mass.
1943 Fr. James P. Dowling was appointed as pastor of St. Mary's. He is fondly remembered, "for the consolation he brought to those afflicted by the war." He had previously served for twenty-two years at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Jamaica Plain. One of the highlights of his pastorate in Foxboro appears to have been the Silver Jubilee celebration of his ordination.
1944 May. Over 500 parishioners and friends gathered at the high school for the occasion. Jeremiah F. Sullivan was chairman for the event and the musical program was under the direction of Mrs. Joseph K Lynch. One of the highlights of the evening was the chartering of a newly organized Boy Scout troop #37 May 6, 1944. The troop was presented its charter by Old Colony Vice President Rex A. Bristol. Mr. Joseph McNair , chairman of the troop committee accepted the certificate, and promised to provide the troop with quarters and assistance.
The newly organized troop had been initiated by Fr. Dowling, with his assistant curate, Rev. Joseph P. Reilly as his representative. The troop scoutmaster was Vin Igo, with Roy Brackett as assistant.
During the war period Fr. Dowling was active on both the War Bond Committee and the Homecoming Fund Committee.
The curates serving St. Mary's under Fr. Dowling included Rev. Joseph P. Reilly, who incidentally left St. Marys to become the youngest priest to serve in the Army Chaplain Corps during WWII.
1944 Richard J. Cushing becomes Archbishop of Archdiocese of Boston.
1944 June 10. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Dowling began a nine-day novena for the Armed Forces in the Invasion (D-Day?).
1945 November 3. 1945. Formation of St. Mary's Catholic Youth Organization. In the Fall of 1945 a new Catholic group was form known as the Catholic Youth Organization (C.Y.O.).
Some of the early active members were Geraldine Urban, Richard Hennessey, Janet Spillane, John Gaudet, and John Lynch. The stated purpose of the national organization was "to enrich and deepen the soul-life of boys and girls, young men and young women and to advance their temporal interests. It enables youth to sanctify their souls and insure their salvation by bringing them closer to God and their church through leisure-time programs which include spiritual, cultural, social, and recreational.
1945 November 10. 1945. Formation of second Holy Name Society. During the Fall of 1945, Archbishop Cushing opened a membership drive for the Holy Name Society.
St. Mary's responded under the direction of Fr. Dowling with a chapter being organized at St. Mary's with a 150 members. The officers were: President, Stephen J. Kennedy; Vice President, Albert D. Kelly; and Secretary, Walter Lillyman. The executive committee was included Vincent M. Igo, John Lynch, Mitchell A. Mandin, Charles S. Green, Garrett H. Spillane, Joseph Bagley, and William T. O'Connor.
1945 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST AUC becomes a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
1947 February 8. Foxboro Reporter. In the early part of 1947 Rev. James A. Hicks, a former curate of Watertown was appointed as pastor of St. Mary's. Fr. Hicks pastorate of seven years were highlighted by several accomplishments. He was instrumental in the fencing and landscaping of St. Mary's cemetery. Under his guidance the basement of the church was remodeled to include kitchen facilities. He is also mentioned as the force behind the reorganization of the Holy Name Society and the C.Y.O. programs.
Fr. Hicks is also remembered as the founder of the Woman's Guild. During Fr. Hick's pastorate the parish membership doubled in population. During the late summer of 1950 fr. Hicks, in the accompaniment of 550 brother priests made a spiritual Holy Year pilgrimage to Rome with Archbishop Richard Cushing. While there he wrote back to the parish mentioning that "...All this concentration of Christianity in Rome is rather wonderful, didn't you know?"
1947 May 17 - BAPTIST. The Conservative Baptist Association is formally organized, at Atlantic City, New Jersey, as an association of local conservative Baptist churches.
1949 August 20. The Foxboro Reporter. Mr. Charles F. Rafferty, "We believe that Mr. Charles F. Rafferty deserves to be congratulated for the conscientious manner in which he performs his daily duties. This time last years, the common was an untidy sore spot. Mr. Rafferty starts his rounds at 5 a.m., and by the time most of us are up and about, the common and the main streets have been made tidy and neat. Through his efforts, we can again look with pride upon the historic center of Foxboro."
1947 In April, 1947 the C.Y.O., with an open invitation to all teenagers who care to participate, staged a minstrel show at the high school auditorium entitled, "Nice Going." The show was under the direction of Fr. Arthur Dunnigan. The climax of the evening was reached when the "Bathing Beauties of the Gay Nineties," arrived on stage.
1947 November 8. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Adrian O'Leary's assigned to Foxboro. Fr. O'Leary's letter stated, "It was just after WWII and the parish was growing fast. We had the old church and it was bursting to the seams. Nuns came from Norwood and the Sisters of Mercy from Cumberland, R.I., for Sunday School. Fr. Hicks was the pastor. It was a busy three years."
1948 March 24. Chancery Correspondence. A little know fact, but tucked away in the diocesan correspondence files is a request that brought much joy to parishioners then and now. A request by Fr. Hicks to install rubber kneelers.
1949 August 1 – EPISCOPAL. The first full-time Rector was called.
1949 June 18. Foxboro Reporter. The graduating class of 1949 dedicated their year book to two long time parishioners, Eugene E. Kirby and Sumner B. Kirby. The dedication mentioned that, "This we do in the recognition of the kindly interest they have taken in us throughout the years...of their untiring efforts to make us keener students and better citizens."
1948 The officers of St. Mary's Guild during these early years were: Mrs. Alfred D. Ouimet, Mrs. Alice Barry, Mrs. Harry Plummer, Mrs. Pauline Shea, Mrs. Eula Kelly, Mrs. Joseph Donnoly, and Mrs. Katherine Mandin.
The Guild was very active in parish affairs. They conducted "Bridge and Whist Parties," under the direction of Margaret Ahern, Eleanor Kennedy, Mary McNair, Mary Holbrook, Regina Sweed, Eileen Dumas, Constance Welsh, Amy Cook, and Patricia Belcher. They held fashion shows and covered dish suppers. They even organized a "Blanket Club," and "Gracious Living Club."
One of the most popular guests had to have been Roy Williams, Mouseketeer of the Disney T.V. Show. Earlier in the day it was reported that "It took two policemen to handle the crush of Foxboro youngsters who thronged to Ouimets Drug Store to see the Mouseketeer." In 1957 Mrs. Martin Heffernan was elected "Woman of the Year."
Officers of later years included Teresa Giovini, Jeanne Samuel, Connie Champagne, Barbara Durst, Madeline Morlock, Natalie Kerr, and Marge Johnson.
1950 Holy Name Society. Some of the men of this era who served as Holy Name officers were; Joseph Donnelly, Joseph Pigeon, Mark Bagley, Guy Brackett, Joseph McNair, Paul Roche, Thomas Kennedy, and John Ahern.
The monthly Communion breakfast was the activity of the organization. Two of the speakers were: Secretary of State, Mr. Edward J. Cronin and author David Goldstein. There were speakers from the prison system, an F.B.I. agent, and professional sports. Some officers in later years included Frank Corliss, William Kennedy, Donald Myers, and Emil Ferencik.
1950 September 23. Foxboro Reporter. Archbishop Richard Cushing announced his support for the campaign whose two-fold purpose is to obtain the signature of every Massachusetts person opposed to Communism and to raise contributions to help finance a chain of private radio stations that will beam the truth about American Democracy behind the Iron Curtin throughout Europe and Asia.
1950 During November 1950 Fr. Robert J. Hankins was appointed curate to replace Fr. Leary. He was ordained in May of that year. The few years that Fr. Hankins was here, until 1956, Fr. Hankins was very actively involved in the life of the parish. He was the spiritual director of the C.Y.O. and involved in Boy Scout Troop #37. He was also chaplain of the Mansfield Civil Air Patrol and director of the altar boys.
Fr. Hankins also instituted an annual St. Patrick's show at the high school auditorium. The show became very popular. The entertainment included Irish jigs, reels, and horn pipes, along with Houlihan's Irish band and dancers from Worcester. Mr. Alvin H. Ball directed the Foxboro String Orchestra.
1950 MORMON FOXBORO November. The Foxboro branch was organized after a year of investigation and study had resulted in three local families joining the church. Bible studies held in the home of Chandler and Edith Abbot on Beech Street. Membership was three families, until the need for more space was met by moving to the Odd Fellows Hall on Central Street (1951).
1950 February 8 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS FOXBORO. Chapel deeded from Union Evangelical Society of Paine District to Southern New England conference Association of Seventh Day Adventists of South Lancaster.
1952 October 10. Foxboro Reporter. The sister of John F. Kennedy, Miss Jean Kennedy appeared on behalf of her brother who was running for the U.S. Senate against Henry Cabot Lodge. She spoke at Cocasset Hall, using the theme, "He is Good for Massachusetts."
A few weeks later, in the election Foxboro voted 2202 votes for Republican Henry Cabot Lodge and 906 of Democrat John F. Kennedy.
1952 MORMON FOXBORO September. Church purchased present site on Main Street and began raising funds for the chapel.
1953 – SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST. Worcester Tornado, June 9, 1953. The most devastating tornado ever to occur in New England was the Worcester Tornado hit Worcester at 5:08 p.m. Within one minute more than 90 people were dead and over 1,300 injured, damage estimates were placed in excess of $52 million. The Adventist church gave first aid given to scores of tornado victims. By nightfall, canteens were feeding the homeless. For ten days, the Adventists fed 500-700 people daily and distributed 10,000 pieces of clothing. [Adventist 'survival kit' and 'disaster kit']
1954 Sunday Masses, under Fr. Hicks were at 7AM, 8:30AM, 10:30AM, and 11:30AM. Confessions on Saturday from 4 to 6PM and 7:30 to 9PM. When Fr. Keegan came he instituted Masses at 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12PM.
1954 February 4. Foxboro Reporter. John Hodges, local historian penned an article in early 1954 revealing the historical hostility towards the Irish purchasing land in Foxboro. He wrote, "in my studies I have found two instances where deeds stated that the property could not go to any of the Irish race." These instances regarded the sale of farms on Chestnut and South Streets.
In a later article he quoted John P. Clark of High Street saying, "the Irish had difficulty years ago in finding real estate which they could purchase."
1954 On March 19, 1954 Fr. Hicks, in feeble health, passed away on the Feast of St. Joseph, patron of a happy death. Curates under Fr. Hicks were Reverends Adrian P. O'Leary and Robert J. Hankins.
1954 April 4. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Garrett F. Keegan assigned as pastor. Rev. Garret Francis Keegan, D.D., from the Academy of the Assumption in Wellesley, celebrated his first Mass as pastor of St. Mary's. Fr. Keegan had been ordained in Rome in June, 1926. he had obtained the degrees of Doctor of Divinity, and Doctor of Sacred Theology. He was at St. Mary's only twenty-seven days when he announced to the Holy Name Society that he was assuming the task of building a new church, "a church to keep pace with the growing town and the parish."
Fr. Keegan put his whole life efforts into the task. He began by securing pledges, inaugurated field days, church reunions, opened a thrift and religious shop. Fr. Keegan insisted that. "the building was to be of colonial architecture to complement the character of Foxboro."
Shortly after his arrival he inaugurated a program of six masses every Sunday. He moved the Sunday school to Cocasset hall, on Cocasset Street, a building which he purchased to be used as a hall and house the shops.
Fr. Keegan actually made a trip to Rome at his own expense to purchase an altar and other furnishings. He purchased a bus to transport children to parochial schools out of town.
The Reporter mentioned in an editorial that Fr. Keegan, "set an example for the rest of the community by becoming the first resident to sign up to give a pint of his blood when the bloodmobile comes to town June 4 at the vestry of the Bethany Church."
1954 May 6. Foxboro Reporter. During the first week of May Fr. Keegan announced that a "bulletin of announcements" will be distributed every Sunday in church. The pastor asked, "One member of each family be delegated to bring one home." The purpose of the bulletin is, "to make announcements from the altar shorter and to offer doctrinal instruction which can be perused at leisure."
1954 June 24. Church Bulletin. "We are asking the cooperation of the school committee in establish 'Release time For Religious Instruction' in the elementary classes...Permission to take the children to the church for one hour a week during school hours where a course similar to Sunday School will be given.
It is a system used in Boston and is recommended as a practical means to combat delinquency."
[The American Civil Liberties Union was against this concept.]
1954 July 29. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Keegan informs the parish that land owned by Dr. Victor Carpenter on Carpenter Street had been purchase by Mr. Donald Currivan for $5000.00. [August 6th, Currivan transfers the land to Roman Catholic Church.]
Fr. Keegan, being the very shrewd and intelligent man that he was took no chances securing a piece of property he was interested in. Fr. Keegan approached Mr. Donald Currivan who was "dabbling" in real estate at the time to research the land or lots across the street from the church. Together with his brother, a lawyer, Don Currivan discovered that the title and ownership of the land belonged to Dr. Victor Carpenter, a dentist in Boston. The Currivans approached Dr. Carpenter concerning selling the property. Carpenter stated that he was interested but not in much of a hurry to sell. He did mention though that he would consider selling the land for double the value. The Currivans returned to Fr. Keegan. Fr. Keegan's without a flinch replied to the Currivan brothers, "Why don't you go in and buy it!" With Don Currivan acting as the straw, the purchase was made for ten thousand dollars. Within a very short period the land was sold from the Currivans to Fr. Keegan. When notifying the Cardinal of his successful purchase he wrote in the letter that he was going to situate the new church on the center of Church Street so that it could be seen from Rte. 140.
The Keegan and later the DeCourcey era witnessed a variety of fund raising efforts, including four annual St. Mary's Field Days, waste paper drives, annual parish reunions at Lakeview, variety shows, minstrel shows, and the return of the popular "whist parties."
1954 August 12. Foxboro Reporter. Foxboro historian, John Hodges described the building of homes throughout Foxboro. He wrote that home construction had extended from the Dudley Hill development down Oak Street. Building was occurring on Beach, Pierce, Main and Cross Streets. Activity at the Brookside development in East Foxboro, and also Meadow View in North Foxboro. Building on the Wayside Farm at Robinson Hill, and down South, Green, and High Streets. The author predicted a population of 10,000 within a short period of time. Between 1948 and 1953 a total of 470 homes had been built, with an additional 150 permits issued in 1954. The town population had increased in the same period by 1519 residents, or a 21% increase. By the beginning of 1957 the population had increased to 8,864, or a 26% increase since 1950.
1954 September 9. Foxboro Reporter. The store, formerly known as the "Fiore Shoe Store" was opened to display the 'riches from the attics and garages'. Under the Chairmanship of John Kelley of Meadowview Road.
1954. September 27. Foxboro Reporter. Mrs. John T. Shea is Harvest Captain for communities in Foxboro, Wrentham and Walpole. A goal of $75,000 set by the Catholic Guild members for the Blind in their Annual "Odd Change Harvest" from Labor Day till Columbus Day.
1954 October 29. Foxboro Reporter. A meeting was called to discuss plans to raise $200,000. Some of the members in attendance were Dr. Joseph K. Lynch, C. Hillaire, Walter E. Clarkin, with Vin Igo presiding pro tem.
Fr. Keegan mentioned, "there would be four classrooms in the new church, and that an additional four classrooms in the old church would make it possible to conduct an elementary parochial school for the first time." Nuns residing in Foxboro would be the teachers.
Three years later, in January 1957, in a heated debate over the building of a new public school for future enrollments a Mrs. Carol Julius asked "What about St. Mary's parochial classrooms?" A letter was read from Fr. Keegan in which he outlined his plans to remodel the present church for parochial classrooms after the new church is finished, in about 1959. Fr. Keegan estimated eight classrooms for grades one through four in the next seven years.
At the beginning of the 1958 school year school enrollment had reached 1,749, it had literally doubled from 1947. Responding to a letter penned by the Reporter, Cardinal Cushing informed the parish, "I beg to advise you that there is no possibility whatsoever in the foreseeable future of a parochial school in Foxboro."
1954 December 2. Foxboro Reporter. Kickoff Fund Drive attended by Cardinal Cushing. At "Kickoff Fund Drive" attended by Archbishop Cushing, and under the direction of Fr. Keegan, the beginning of the completion of a "dream" of the Foxboro Catholics was commenced. The event was held at the State Hospital Auditorium. The Archbishop presented the parish with a check for $25,000. The following Sunday one hundred and forty parishioners canvassed the entire town, visiting all of the Catholic families. Each family received a pledge card by which they were invited to pledge a sum of money, in accordance with their means, to be paid monthly over a period of two years.
The Archdiocean regulations of this era required that a parish must raise and have on deposit in a bank one half the total cost of the construction project. When this was accomplished the archdiocese would lend the parish loan the parish an equal amount. The prospective cost for the new church was $250,000.
At a "Victory Supper" a short time later it was announced that the total gifts raised in cash and pledges amounted to $121,470. The pledges were to be paid on the second Sunday of each month for twenty four months, or until 1958. Gifts of $300 or more were to be recorded on a bronze memorial tablet to be known as the "Church Founder's Roll." An anonymous member of the parish donated $25,000 as a memorial for the sanctuary of the new church. Many non-Catholics also contributed donations to the parish.
1954. December. The Reporter at this time published an article, "A union of the friendly spirit of old Catholic families with the added strength of newcomers, under the devoted and far-sighted leadership of Fr. Keegan, means bright prospects for St. Mary's parish. It hopes to make a contribution to the harmony and welfare of the town as well as to the glory of God! Enough money was raised by October 1957 to begin construction."
1955 February. Chancery report. In a diocesan report completed on St. Mary's parish in September, 1954 it was recommended that a full-time chaplain be assigned to the Foxboro State Hospital. In February 1955, Fr. George Murray was appointed to this ministry. Fr. Murray is also remembered for his chairmanship of the annual St. Mary's Field Days.
1955 April 28. The kindness of Fr. Keegan to his parishioners was demonstrated in a celebrating of a Mass in the home of Dennis Welsh. Not since the building of the original church edifice had a Mass been celebrated in a private residence. Dennis Welsh was confined to his bed, and it happened to be the fiftieth anniversary of his marriage to his wife. They had been married by Fr. Broderick in 1905.
1955 MORMON FOXBORO May. Ground broken for new chapel.
1955 Labor Day. Foxboro Reporter. "St. Mary's Thrift Shop" on the site of Cocasset Street was opened. The lower floor was to be used as a thrift store and to display the "riches" donated that could be resold. Articles were also taken on consignment. The store was under the management of Mrs. Alfred E. Kelly. She was assisted by 30 salesgirls who donated a day a month. The upper floor was for the use of Boys Scouts, C.Y.O. and religious education. Religious instruction was to held for grades five through eight on weekday afternoons from 2 to 3PM. Grades one through four were taught by the Sisters of Mercy Mount Academy. Grades nine through twelve were taught by Sisters of the Dominican Academy. The thrift shop also had space for the sale of Catholic religious article including rosaries, pictures, medals, prayer books, books, and even Catholic comic books. On occasion Orville H. Davis would be the auctioneer at auctions held at the thrift shop.
1956 May 24. Foxboro Reporter. A new Democratic Town Committee was formed. Its officers included: John Kelley, president; Thomas Dalton, vice president; Joseph McNair, treasurer; and Roy Brackett as secretary.
The executive committee was composed of Joseph McDonald, William Ronayne, Russell Bent, Joseph Curran, Francis and Alice Barry.
Two years later an editorial column mentioned, "...This area of the Commonwealth has been a traditional bastion of Republicanism for as long as most can remember. Any other arrangement seems remote and fantastic...The Boston Irish, those solid blocks of Democratic votes are moving to the suburbs, to small towns such as, Franklin, Sharon, Plainville, and Foxboro.
1956 February. Fr. Henry F. Doherty was a newly ordained priest appointed to replace Fr. Hankins in February, 1956. In a letter Fr. Doherty writes that he, "still must admit that those four years were really the most memorable for me and I have retained contact with so many over the years from St. Marys."
He remembered the parish visitations that was a common practice then, and also the Friday night card parties in the lower church where one got to know some of the non-Catholics who frequented them.
Fr. Doherty also mentioned that Catholics had a difficult time then for years but the influx of residential development changed the balance. He stated that there were few Catholics in south Foxboro, but the Dudley Hill area was filled with new families.
In closing Fr. Doherty mentioned that "Fr. Keegan told me that the best chance for a priest to be with his people was to be visible outside after every Mass possible on a Sunday. I've been doing it since and sure was right."
1956 November 1. Foxboro Reporter. There is mention of a parish bus that would call for children for the 8 o'clock morning Mass and would return after Sunday school. The bus made stops at the East Foxboro Store, Corner of Oak and Mechanic, corner of Meadowview and North, and the corner of Lakeview and Main.
1956. November 11. Douglas Brunelle was presented the St. George Medal, the highest award of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting. "An exemplary Catholic leader who has devoted himself to the Catholic Boy Scouts for many years."
1956 - MORMON. The first meetinghouses were completed in the early 1950s. The Longfellow estate in Cambridge was purchased and later became the headquarters for the New England Mission.
1957 Organization of "St. Mary's Couples Club" During the Summer of 1957 a couples club was formed. The officers for this year included Mr. and Mrs. James Madden, president; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Owen, vice president; Mr. and Mrs. Richard Robinson, treasurer; and Mr. and Mrs. Philip Shine, secretary. The club was formed for the purpose of providing social activities for married couples of the parish. Activities included; cookouts, minstrel shows, Christmas and Valentines parties, ice skating parties, square dancing, and Halloween parties.
1957 MORMON FOXBORO January 6. First meeting held in new chapel. Recorded membership of 77, which includes 25 families residing within a radius of 15 miles of Foxboro.
1957 SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST FOXBORO April. Foxboro Reporter. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Sunday morning at the site of the New Seventh Day Adventist Church at the corner of Spring and Central Streets….Elder Merle L. Mills, president of the Southern New England Conference of the Seventh Day Adventists, Elder Ernest E. Wheeler local pastor, and Elder Clifford C. Turner, Sr. Elder of the local church. Congregation had decided in April 1953 to erect new building, and in December 1956 the church congregation was canvassed.
1957 MORMON FOXBORO May 26. Foxboro Reporter (May 23). The newly completed chapel of the Foxboro Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dedicated. (President Antoine R. Ivins, of Salt Lake City, Utah, a member of the First Council of Seventy was to preside).
1957 June 25 – UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST. The Congregational Church, the Christian Church, the Evangelical Synod and the Reformed Church merge. The union was completed when the constitution was adopted at Philadelphia in July 1961.
1957 – LUTHERAN. The Evangelical Lutheran Synod is established.
|Interior of old Church 1957|
|Interior of old Church 1957|
1958 July 17. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. Keegan passed away not seeing the completion of his new church. The Rt. Rev. Walter J. Leach delivered the eulogy, "Fr. Keegan wore out the physical frame that God bestowed upon him building this church...a church that has been acknowledged by authorities to be one of the most beautiful additions to the churches of the Archdiocese."
The Reporter stated in an editorial that "...The new St. Mary's is more of a living reminder of the man who made it possible...he would be the last to want us to call it a monument for it will in truth become a dynamic and living force in the community for years to come."
Fr. Keegan was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery at his request.
1958 Memorial Day. The Statue of Our Lady of Grace was blessed at St. Mary's Cemetery. It was the gift given by the family of the late Edward F. Joyce.
1958-1960 Cana Conferences. During these years Cana Conferences were being held at St. Mary's annually. Fr. Robert Meffan presented the workshops designed to renew and enhance the relationships between married couples. In 1961 a pre-marriage, or Pre-Cana course was offered at St. Mary's.
1958 Rev. Daniel DeCourcey assigned as pastor. Fr. Daniel DeCourcey was assigned as pastor to Foxboro when it was evident that Fr. Keegan was seriously ill. Fr. DeCourcey was an ex-army chaplain and came from St. Agnes in Middleton.
Fr. DeCourcey completed the building of the new church. He faced a large mortgage when he came and through his ingenuity several thousand dollars was reduced from the original mortgage. Fr. DeCourcey was quoted in the Reporter saying, "In no way can I take credit for this church...All I am doing is paying the bills!"
1958 November. Blessing & Dedication of New St. Mary's Church. The blessing of the church took place in late November by the pastor, Fr. DeCourcey.
1958 December. In early December Cardinal Richard Cushing dedicated the new church. The impressive ceremonies were witnessed by an overflowing crowd of 800 people. Even though the Cardinal was suffering from a virus infection, he made the trip to Foxboro, against doctors orders. Cushing stated, "I resolved I would come here at any cost..." The Cardinal blessed the corner stone, officiated a low Mass, and personally offered communion to 300 parishioners. In his homily he declared that Foxboro, "is an indication of the exit of people from urban areas to suburbia." He concluded by giving tribute to Fr. Keegan mentioning that not only "is the new church one of the most beautiful in the diocese, but it is functional and in harmony with the terrain and colonial atmosphere of the town."
1959 SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST FOXBORO April. Janetti, the daughter of founderess Janetti Turner writes, "After 49 years from April 1910 to April 1959 our church is being dedicated today."
1959 December. Foxboro Reporter. On December 24, 1959 St. Mary's celebrated its 100th Anniversary.
Bishop Jeremiah Minihan, representing Cardinal Cushing gave the homily at a Solemn High Mass. He referred to the church as the "mother church" of the area. He pointed out "that with the continued expansion of the local parish it is obvious that present day parishioners are carrying on the same faith, courage, and loyalty as their ancestors.
1960 January 7. William H. Bannon of 127 Morse Street, executive of the Mansfield Bleachery has been honored by Pope John XXIII with the Star of Gregory, the highest rank of the Papal Order. He was also at this time a Knight of Malta. His obituary of January 24, 1963 mentioned he was a man who quietly distributed much of his wealth...known as a large contributor to the fund which made possible the new attractive St. Marys Church building.
1960 March 3. An annual minstrel show during this era was very popular. The first one was in 1959. The show was directed by Larry Jondro and Jim Hennessey. Many people were involved in the success of the events, both as cast and talent. Some of those who participated were; Jack McCarthy, Lorraine Norton, Don Cleary, Marilyn Scott, Joseph Silva, Mary Callahan, Tom McGowen, Charlie O'Brien, Steve Linfield, and Jeanette McKay. The talent included: soloists Dolores Pinsonault, Nancy Baker, Lillian O'Malley, James Silvi, and Helen McKay; acrobat, Leona White; The Roulette Twirlers; ballet, Ellen O'Reilly; tap dance, Coleen O'Donnell and Susan Doonan; a trio, the Banjoliers. Many times the show was performed before "standing room only" crowds in the high school auditorium.
1960 June. Rev. John J. Keahane was assigned as pastor at St. Mary's. Fr. Keahane came from St. Mary's in East Walpole. He was born in 1897 and was a WWI veteran. He also was quite a tall man, standing six foot, five inches. He had played basketball for Boston College. He even held the amateur boxing New England Heavyweight title, under the name "Joe O'Brien."
It was under his administration that the church debt was finally paid off. In fact an additional $30,000 in property was purchased.
In May 1967, Fr. Keahane had the title of "Monsignor" bestowed upon him. It is a title reserved for "priest of the Catholic Church for some outstanding work in the field of administration, missionary endeavor, or scholastic achievement." When Bishop Jeremiah Minihan was installing the title he mentioned that "the honor was not sought, which made it ever more glorious!" In October 1967 Fr. Keahane, citing health reasons retired to Regina Cleri. Fr. Keahane passed away two years later.
1961 A former parishioner, Rosemary McNabb remembered that it was during this era the "Catholic Family Movement" was commenced in the parish. It was groups of couples, meeting in each others homes, reading and discussing scripture...later the priest, who was always present, but not joining in the discussions, would then participate.
1961 – UNIVERSALIST. The Unitarian and Universalist churches in the United States and Canada were consolidated as the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in North America.
1962 – MORMON. The Boston Stake, the first in New England, was created. It included parts of New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
1962 September. A CCD Board was elected. Its officers were: President, Doug Brunell; principals Greg Shinsky and Mrs. Sheila Coyle; and program chairperson, Miss. Margaret Ahern. Later officers and helpers included C. Joseph Chaisson, Norman Rice, Anthony Fiore, Gertrude Bresse and Geraldine Davies.
1962 June 14. A statement was issued by the school committee in early June 1962. "Schools not to close on Good Friday...the Foxboro Public Schools will not be closed on any religious holiday. Any teacher wishing to take a day off in order to observe a religious holiday will not receive pay. Any student wishing to be dismissed early for the purpose of a religious service must bring in a written request."
1962 February 15. Fr. Richard J. Butler, ordained only a week, was assigned to St. Mary's. In a letter he shared a few memories. "My days at St. Mary's were great...arrived here six months before the bishops convened for the Second Vatican Council. It was the last of the old days but already in Foxboro the spirit of new days was present...The executive board of the CCD exercised a vital ministry and held responsibilities that could match any parish council which Vatican II encouraged...the parish was growing and the people were responding to the growth...then came Vatican II."
He mentioned that, "Ecumenism took hold well from the onset. In January 1965, there was the first of a series at Lakeview Ballroom. In the civil rights crises that surfaced throughout the country in 1965, the response in Foxboro was rooted in the ecumenical bonding that had already taken hold."
Writing about the liturgical changes that were the result of Vatican II, "liturgical changes came quickly, Even before I left the parish in 1966, Fr. Keahane had arranged for renovations in the sanctuary with the altar brought forward and the introduction of lectors and song leaders."
Finally Fr. Butler related the importance of the Cursillo movement. "Cursillo was responsible for much of the early formation of parish leaders in Vatican II changes. From 1964 onward several dozen members of the parish had gone to various centers-Cumberland, Attleboro, North Easton, and Brighton- for the three day program and were living out the 'Fourth Day' in a variety of parish activities."
Curates under Fr. Keahane: Priests who served under Fr. Keahane included Reverends John T. Finnegan, Richard J. Butler, David Mulligan, Gerard T. McMahon, John Bernatonis, George Connolly, and Joseph Mullen. Fr. Finnegan was assigned to the parish in February, 1960. He was a native of West Roxbury, and served as an officer aboard the USS Gianard, a destroyer during the Korean War. St. Mary's was Fr. Finnegan's only parish assignment for after two years at St. Mary's he was selected to study Canon law in Rome. After returning from his studies abroad he became a professor of Church History and Canon Law at Pope John XXIII Seminary.
1962 – LUTHERAN. Atlantic District of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod decides to place mission congregation in Foxboro.
1963 – MORMON. Some 2,000 members met in a conference in Boston. The largest LDS gathering in New England history.
1963 – LUTHERAN. Services held in “Old St. Mark’s” Episcopal Church (Corner Market & South).
1964 February 13. Foxboro Reporter. With the establishment of the English dialogue during the celebration of Mass it became necessary to adjust the Mass schedules of Sunday Masses. The new schedule was; 7AM, 8:15, 9:30, 10:45, and 12PM.
1964 Establishment of lay-commentators/readers during Mass. John Ahern one of the first.
1965 January 25. Foxboro Reporter. First Ecumenical workshop held in Foxboro. Three hundred men representing all the faiths of Foxboro, despite a snow storm, gathered at Lakeview Ballroom for the first "Ecumenical Workshop Service." Representatives were John Ahern and Jack Authlete. These annual gathering began in the late 1950's composed mostly of Protestant men from St. Marks, Bethany, and the Universalist Churches. After the service they were joined by 'representatives' of other denominations.
1965 March 18. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. Gerard T. McMahon; Selma, Alabama, racial turmoil. He was one of ninety clergymen and laymen from Massachusetts to attend the memorial service for the late Rev. James J. Reeb of Dorchester. McMahon quoted in Reporter, "The most impressive feature was the silence of the seven block march to the Dallas County Court House following the memorial service. It shows people throughout the country the seriousness of our concern about the racial situation."
1965 November 11. Foxboro Reporter. It was announced to the parish that the eight year debt was finally paid off. Consideration was now being given, and suggestions offered whether to invest $40,000 in renovations to the old church for the construction of twenty classrooms for the CCD program.
1965 December 9. Foxboro Reporter. Vatican II. Catholics Observe a Triduum of Prayer. "As the Second Vatican Council draws to a close a Triduum of Prayer is being observed throughout the world in all the Catholic parishes.
The Council was first announced on January 25, 1959, by Pope John XXIII, first convened in October, 1962 and will concluded on December 8, 1965.
The purpose of the triduum is that all throughout the world might be drawn into the spirit of the Council in praying for a new Pentecost that will renew, through the Holy Spirit, the face of the spouse of Christ and of the times."
1967 – EPISCOPAL. It is stated in the preface of The Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church, since 1967 known as The Episcopal Church, that “this Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship.”
1967 January 1. Foxboro Reporter. School committee grants permission for school rentals. In January, 1967 the school committee was presented with a petition by Fr. NcMahon, signed by five other clergy of the town. The petition stated, "We, the undersigned clergy of Foxboro, agree that since the state law leaves it up to the discretion of the school committee of our town whether or not to rent school property if it is to the advantage of the community - we agree that the churches of Foxboro should be offered the opportunity to rent the public school buildings upon said churches' request and the approval of the school committee."
The committee voted favorably for the request. It was expected that over 1,100 children of St. Mary's will attend Saturday morning classes.
1967 October 11. Foxboro Reporter. Jubilee Campaign. Establish by Cardinal Cushing to raise $50,000.000. "St. Mary's, Foxboro, assessed at $140,000...This drive will take care of his commitments which he has collected and spent millions of dollars during the past 22 years for project. Mrs. Geraldine Parker, executive secretary, at St. Mary's."
1967 – EPISCOPAL. It is stated in the preface of The Book of Common Prayer of the Protestant Episcopal Church, since 1967 known as The Episcopal Church, that “this Church is far from intending to depart from the Church of England in any essential point of doctrine, discipline, or worship.”
1967 October 18. Foxboro Reporter. St. Mary's Adult Programs. As 1967 was coming to a close, it was evident that St. Mary's was very progressive in its programs and outreach to the adult population of the parish. The Adult CCD program was expanding. There was considerable interest in a "Discussion Club' and a new "Couples Club." The former was an avenue for parishioners to discuss Vatican II, especially the "Constitution on the Church." While the latter was a "new venture" under the direction of Bob and Brenda Weiss, to develop a Christian social atmosphere.
The entire adult program at St. Mary's during this era was, "in consonance with the "Year of Faith" proclaimed by Pope Paul VI, "to help, by prayer and action, to bring Christianity to a renewed vitality so necessary in the modern era."
1967 October 18. Foxboro Reporter. In the Fall of 1967 Rev. William P. Castles was appointed pastor.
Fr. Castles had been an associate pastor at St. Mary's in the early 1930's. He remembered fondly the quite village town. But his three years as pastor were difficult years for the parish had changed greatly. His style of leadership frustrated many members of the parish. He "wasn't a man to place himself in the limelight...had a soft touch approach."
Fr. Castles went into retirement early in January, 1970. Associate pastors under Fr. Castles included Reverends William Bene, James H. Connolly, and Joseph Condon.
1968 April 10. Foxboro Reporter. Formation of second Knights of Columbus Council. During the latter part of February, 1968, organizational meetings were being held concerning forming a new Foxboro Council, Knights of Columbus. From the early part of the century when the first Foxboro council moved to Mansfield, to this present year a number of Foxboro men belonged to the "George C. Shields" council in Mansfield. During the month of April, the newly formed council was given the go-ahead to conduct its first degree initiation rite.
On May 7, 1968 the the organization was instituted as the Foxboro Council, Knights of Columbus, #6063. Early organizers included Pat Munn, Richard Noonan, Lloyd Gibbs, and Emil Ferencik.
1969 January 22. Foxboro Reporter. Election of St. Mary's Parish Council. In November, 1968, St. Mary's began preparations to elect a parish council. The parish council was a response to diocesan recommendations and was to act as an advisory and decision-making body with the pastor and priests of the parish.
Members of the Nominating and Organizing Committees included; Linda Sawyer, Dan Enxing, Dorrie Manning, Bob Palmer, Frank Ricker, Terry Giovino, Rev. Joseph Mullen, Neil Arsenault, Frank McCusker, and Jim Graham.
The election was held early in 1969. The Reporter mentions the race for "Administrative Chairman" between Frank Barros and Attorney Garrett Spillane was a "Cliff Hanger." The vote was 140 for Barros and 140 for Spillane. The tie was broken by a vote of the members of the Organizing and Nominating Committee. The vote gave the position to Barros.
Other officers elected were Robert Pyne, Theresa Giovini, Bob Weiss, Frank Ricker, Bob McAullife, Frank McCusker, and Robert Palmer.
1960's For many priests the question was: how far should a priest, or any Catholic for that matter, consider that his religion requires him to 'make a commitment' to the various aspects of social justice: the civil rights movement, the war on poverty, urban renewal, or even the problem, vaguely if ever understood by most Americans, the morality of war.
1969 January 29. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. William Bene's CCD Letter to Editor. It appears that from the content of a letter to the editor, entitled, "A Close Look at CCD Panel - Sometimes Hot," by Fr. William Bene, that St. Mary's parish was divided between two styles of religious education.
One style was "informational" the other "formational." More than 400 parishioners had gathered in January 1969 to take part in a panel discussion and open forum on the subject of high school religious education - its goals, content, and methods. The students on the panel arrived at a conclusion that CCD should prepare them for the future. It should, "give them a background for facing responsibilities, give them insights into life, point out ideals, and be relevant to their present situation." The teachers related how the weekly class was a learning and growing experience for them.
According to Fr. Bene's letter, "Some people in the audience drew the conclusion that personal opinion was replacing church teaching, that classes were mere 'gab-sessions' on current events.
Fr. Bene described the "informational" style as a means that seeks to impart a list of facts to be learned. It attempts "to be thorough at the expense of being broad, and is often, in fact quite narrow. The presumption exists that for every question there already exists an answer." The other style, "formational," attempts to develop an attitude, a way of living. It is "capable of being quite broad at the expense, sometimes , of being superficial."
But, according to the letter, the key question of the evening was: "What is the role of the parent?" Apparently the question came indirectly when one of the teachers on the panel expressed the feeling that some students could speak more openly in class than at home. To some this was taken to mean that "there was little or no direct communication between parents and students and that CCD teachers had moved in and became a wedge between the generations."
Fr. Bene expressed in his letter that "...it was not evident that this misunderstanding was cleared up by the time the program ended. It was Fr. Bene's conclusion that the role of the parent in the total education of a child and young adult is central. The CCD program "...exists to assist parents in their responsibility."
He closed his letter writing that "Throughout the evening, ideas were exchanged openly and sometimes sharply. Although the call of the opening Scripture reading to was to 'charity and love' it was temporarily forgotten..."
1969 February 2. Foxboro Reporter. Fr. William Bene's Palm Sunday Sermon. During the early part of 1968 the Vietnam war was taking its toll on the consciences of the people of the United States. The Catholic clergy were struggling with the implications of a "just war."
Fr. Bene delivered a very controversial Palm Sunday homily, that not only upset many of the parishioners, but resulted in him being transferred within a month to a new parish. The following are excerpts from his sermon, the words speak for themselves. He spoke, "Modern war is serious business. What did Christ say about peace? What has the Church said about peace? Christ said 'My peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you,' and also 'he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.' Has the Church followed up Christ's teaching at all?...What has happened to the just war theory since then? Is it dead or alive?...The Second Vatican Council took as its own a just war theory and noted that it had to be applied more strictly than ever because now all wars are world wars in their impact!
A just war therefore has conditions to be moral. First, it must be a last resort, having exhausted all peaceful means. Second, it must be an act of defense, not backed by aggression. Third, it must be declared legally constituted by the nation involved. Fourth, there must exist a reasonable certainty of victory. Lastly, military tactics and objectives must discriminate between civilians and soldiers. How many yes answers do you come up with concerning our country's involvement in the war with Vietnam?
The Palm we carry home this morning is a symbol of peace. But, can we in good conscience do this unless we are really in favor of peace? And can we really be in favor of peace unless we are willing to do something for peace!...In light of all this, have we, as Christians, any choice but to accept the teachings off Christ and the Church? Or, do we consider these optional?"
1969 May 21. Foxboro Reporter. Near the end of May, 1969, on a Sunday afternoon, the names of the 33,000 Americans killed in Vietnam were to read in a 20 hour session on Foxboro's Common.
The idea was conceived by four Foxboro clergymen. The clergymen were: Fr. William Bene, St. Mary's; Reverends John Benbow and Steven Wilkenson, both from Bethany; and Rector Walter Sobol, St. Marks. Their statement was that "The Vietnam War is a national tragedy of horrifying proportions and it has divided the American people as nothing else since the Civil War..."
1969 June 20. Parish Council minutes. Letter written to the Liturgical Commission requesting a Saturday evening Mass which would meet Sunday obligations. Apparently it was soon after this meeting that the five o'clock Saturday Mass was instituted at St. Mary's.
1970 January 13. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. James B. Murphy was appointed as pastor. He was at the time of his appointment a retired Army Chaplain with the rank of Colonel. He was a veteran of thirty years in the service. Fr. Murphy's style of leadership was quite different than that of Fr. Castle's. He encouraged lay-involvement, but in matters of policy making the decisions were his prerogative. The pastor signed the checks.
It was under Fr. Murphy that the "Friends of St. Mary's" was instituted. It was a means of fulfilling St. Mary's financial assessment to the "Archbishop's Stewardship Appeal" without having to resort to personal appeals or door to door canvassing. Associate pastors under Fr.Murphy included Reverends William Devine, James Barry, and Stephen Koen.
1970 March. Parish Council minutes. Altar rail is removed and altar repositioned. During the month of March, 1970, the parish council took action that resulted in the removal of the altar rail.
1970 November. Parish Council minutes. The parish council voted to discontinue the collection of seat money.
1970 – EPISCOPAL. The general convention authorized the ordination of women to the deaconate.
1972 March 16. Foxboro Reporter. "The Holy Outlaw" a film about Daniel Berrigan and his activities involving the Vietnam War to be shown at St. Mary's Hall.. A day of fast will be broken with a simple meal of rice and cheese. These meetings are held in an effort to educate the average American citizen about the situation in Southeast Asia.
1972 August 8. Foxboro Reporter. Curate, Rev. George J. Connolly. Assigned to Foxboro June 1961 to August 1972. Chaplain at Foxboro State Hospital. Fr. Connolly recalled, "The strong ecumenical movement which developed in Foxboro had its beginnings in the good relationship he enjoyed with all the patients and the many friends of the hospital on whom he called for assistance. In time, his attitude reached many outside the hospital, making him one of the earliest 'Apostles for Ecumenism.'"
1972 First woman reader
1973 January 18. Foxboro Reporter. Demise of Parish Council. By January, 1973, the parish council was having difficulty attracting candidates. A statement issue read, "The promise of an on-going parish council seems fruitless unless we can muster up the support and assistance needed to fill the vacating positions."
1973 October 4. Foxboro Reporter. Establishment of second "Couples Club".
1976 November 4. Foxboro Reporter. Rev. William F. Kenneally assigned as installed as pastor.Rev. William F. Kenneally assumed the duties of pastor of St. Mary's parish. Associate pastors under Fr. Kenneally were Reverends Arthur Flynn, Robert Wolongevicz, Joseph Carney, and Joseph Welsh.
1976 First men becoming Eucharistic Ministers
1976 – EPISCOPAL. The general convention authorized the ordination of women to the priesthood.
1976 – LUTHERAN. Five percent of Missouri Synod congregations leave Missouri Synod to form Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. Foxboro Lutheran is one of these churches.
1978 First woman becoming Eucharistic Ministers
1978 February – EPISCOPAL. Anglican Church of North America established (opposed to liberal reforms of the Episcopal Church).
1978 June – MORMON. It was ruled that, “all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.”
1981 – MORMON. The Hingham Stake is established.
1981- MISSIONARY ALLIANCE. Alliance Theological Seminary founded.
1981 – MORMON. The Hingham Stake is established.
1987 - MORMON. The Springfield Stake is established.
1987 Rev. Leo Boyle assigned as pastor
1988 – LUTHERAN. Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) begins operations in Chicago on January 1.
1990 - FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH FOXBORO. Services being held at South Foxboro Community building and later/currently at Charles Taylor Elementary School.
1990 - SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST AUC authorized to grant the M.Ed. degree.
1997 June 13 – MORMON. Ground broken for a temple in Belmont.
1998 – LUTHERAN. Following 30 years of conversation, Lutheran and Roman Catholic theologians reached “a consensus in basic truths of doctrine of justification.”
2001 LUTHERAN February (Ash Wednesday). First worship service at 212 Main Street
NOTABLE CATHOLIC RESIDENTS
Daughter of Timothy and Annie J. (Desmond) Ahern. Oast principal of St. Mary;s CCD program and Women's Guild member. Graduate of Cardinal Cushing School of Theology. She was a former actress having traveled to Hollywood in the mid 1930's. Was a bit player in several Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer productions: Joan Crawford 'Mannequin'; Myrna Loy's 'Man Proof'; Norma Shearer's 'Marie Antoinette; and Wallace Beery's 'Bad Man of Brimstone.' Died October 1976.
Born August 10, 1880, County Cork, Ireland. Former employee of Picket Hat Factory (Now the Sentry Building)
Died September 1964.
BAGLEY, Miss Marie Josephine.
First Foxboro women to enter a convent, January, 1978. Graduate of Emmanuel College.
BANNON, Catherine (Kate).
Obituary. January 1, 1916. Born in Ireland. Active in the Catholic Church during Fr. Callanan's pastorate. Along with William Clark presented a Memorial Window in the old church building. Obituary mentioned that she was nearly seventy years old and died at her residence on Church Street. "She was ever ready with sympathy and helping hand to soothe and help over the hard places those in misfortune or sorrow." Wife of Tom Bannon.
Born 1860, native of the town. At her death in January, 1952, she was 91 years of age, one of the oldest women in the town. Former Mary Ann Russell, widow of the late Richard W. Barton (former fire chief).
Named Chief Engineer of the Foxboro Fire Department in May, 1923. On the department the past 39 years. Born 1862 in East Foxboro.
Obituary. Born 1859 and died November, 1909.
Book-keeper for the Union Straw Works in 1873. Secured a place in the Boston salesroom of the Franklin Straw Shop located on Summer Street in 1884. Vice-president of the St. Mary's Lyceum in 1888 and in 1890 is employed at the Bay State Boot and Shoe Company near the railroad station on Bird Street. By 1892 he is manager of the Boston Branch Clothing Store. A December 24, 1892 Foxboro Reporter article mentioned, "Adopted the use of the Automatic Cash register System; it is a novel device, and not only gives a clear record of cash sales for reference, but shows a register of the purchase to each customer.
GAUDET, John P.
Obituary. September 29, 1960.
Came to Foxboro from Nova Scotia in 1912. He was first employed in farm work at Daniels farm and later worked for the Foxboro Company.
GAUDET, Emily F.
Obituary, February 16, 1967.
Active in the affairs of St. Mary's Church and served as an officer in the Catholic Order of Forresters. Mother of Chief of Police, Gaudet.
GORMAN, Richard L.
Obituary, May 16, 1957.
Theatrical pioneer and resident of Framingham. A native of Foxboro, played professional baseball in the South Association and was an outfielder for the old Baltimore Orioles. In association with his brother, John, he formed, Amusement Attractions, producing and managing vaudeville shows. He is credited with the first to book Charlie Chaplin into American theaters.
IGO , Vincent M.
Obituary. December 24, 1832
Past Grand Knight of the Mansfield K of C., past Chief Ranger of St. Dominic's Court. Married Mildred M. Kirby on November 4, 1920.
Obituary, August 18, 1906
74 years old. Last surviving member of his immediate family. Native of Mayo, Roscommon County, Ireland. Blacksmith. Known as a good neighbor, an honest, conscientious man in all his dealings, ever ready to assist anyone in distress, a man of invariable cheerful disposition. Came to Foxboro in 1863. One of the organizers of the Catholic Church.
KERSEY, Mrs. Mary Ann.
Obituary. Born in Ireland. 77 years old. resident of Foxboro for more than 50 years, and about the same length of time has been a faithful and devoted member of St. Mary's. Widow of David Kersey for whom Kersey Point and Kersey Road are both named in his honor.
KERWIN, Robert E.
Obituary. November 10, 1940.
Prominent shoe merchant and civic leader in Framingham. Known as the 'Shoe King,' Head of Kerwin System, operating stores in Framingham and Natick. Known as the 'Shoe King'. Graduate FHS, class of 1882. Foxboro Reporter articles reveal he was very active in St. Marys parish 1888-1890.
KIRBY, Eugene, E.
Obituary. September 23, 1965. Native of Foxboro, born 1865, the son of Jeremiah and Mary (McPartlin). Jeremiah was Vinnie Igo's grandfather. He served a total of 20 years as Supertindent of Streets and retired in 1946 at the age of 78. He guided the department from the horse-drawn days to the motorized equipment and he built the first hard surface roads in Foxboro. First man on the island of Martha's Vineyard to drive a car from Oak Bluffs to Gay Head. Three children, Mildred Igo, Eugene E. Kirby, Jr. and Sumner B. Kirby.
Obituary. November 22, 1902. Son of Michael and Mary (Lyons). About 1899 he was obliged to discontinue his work for the Foxboro Reporter, where he had been employed since he was 14 or 15 years of age. Entered the office under W.H. Thomas and serving under
R.W.S. Blackwell, A.J. Nichols, Alden and Barron and J.H. Alden. He was born in the house where his death occurred. Born May 21, 1848.
Obituary. July 9, 1932. Born in Ireland. Lived in Foxboro for 69 years and worked in the old Foxboro Foundry until it went out of business. Since then he has been interested in farming. Married Miss Annie Doolan, and had one son, Francis M. Welsh, who was killed during WWI, and the square at the foot of the common is named in his honor.
Obituary. September 2, 1899. Born in Black Rock, near Cork, Ireland. Came to America in 1855 and arrived in Foxboro in 1874. Many years in charge of St. Mary's Cemetery, holding that position at the time of his death.
MAKER, C. Robin.
Obituary, October 7, 1965. 80 years old. Life long resident of Foxboro. St. Mary's organist for over 50 years, along with Florence Ouimet and Mrs. Joseph K. Lynch. Holy Name member.
Obituary. December 4, 1915. 90 years old. Native of Crosshaven, County Cork, Ireland. A few years after the Civil War, and faithful to his oath of allegiance to his adopted country he enlisted on the "Ohio" at the Charlestown Naval Yard. Was transferred to the frigate, "Congress" taking part in the engagement of his vessel with the Confederate terror, the "Merrimac" in Hampton Roads, Virgina, when his vessel was destroyed. He was a gunner and was among the last to leave the vessel before she went down. Join Boston Police Force, 20 year veteran, with a record of never having lost an hours time.
** Twelve hours after the "Last Rites" over the body, Mrs. McNamara passed away. (Some say of a broken heart.)
OUIMET, David Alfred
Obituary. September 29. On Basset Street, born 1876, St. Albans, Vermont. Came to town in 1903 and entered into the employ of Edward M. Phelps. He purchased the store after the death of Phelps. Respected and admired for his unfailing courtesy and honesty in his dealing with all persons. Appointed acting Postmaster September 5, 1936.
RYAN, Daniel and Ellen
50th Wedding Anniversary. May 9, 1908. Married Ellen Creedon, a native of County Cork, Ireland. Came to Foxboro 54 years ago. Dan
is a native of Limerick, Ireland. Came to America with his parents. Have occupied their home for the last 43 years, tilling their farm on Chestnut Street.
Obituary. July 7, 1900. A member of St. Marys and a member of Foxboro Lodge A.O.U.W. (Ancient Order of United Workers) since 1894. Born in Ballaucalig, Ireland on October 12, 1849.
WELCH, Mrs. Mary E.
Obituary, June 28, 1902. Widow of late John Welch. Native of Ireland, came here when she was 18. About 60 years of age a death. Mother of 16 children.
WELSH, Anna Theresa.
Obituary. September 15, 1900. Wife of Daniel Welsh on South Street. Born in County Cork, Ireland in 1857. Resident of Foxboro 20 years. Mother of Nellie T., Mamie, Frank, Julia and Joseph.
BARTON, Richard William
Obituary. November 30, 1940. Former fire chief, born in East Foxboro, October 27, 1861. Worked in local hat factories till 1900 when the Union Straw Works burned. Member of the Holy Name Society and Knight of Columbus, Mansfield. Joined fire department in 1884, made chief in 1923. As the casket was being lowered the fire alarm sounded the last call, and as the procession retired from the cemetery the all out signal was blown.