About Our Parish

The Roman Catholic Parish of St. Mary, founded in 1840, is an urban, archdiocesan parish located in the West Quincy of Quincy, MA. The parish is a multi-ethnic, socially, culturally, and educationally diverse faith community. This year, we celebrate our 175 anniversary!

Our History

The strong factor which brought the Catholic faith to Quincy was the granite industry. A church was needed in the south shore to serve the workers. The first outside of Boston was erected in West Quincy.

Late in the year 1826 there is record of a Fr. French, Catholic priest, visiting Quincy. We can conclude that Mass must have been celebrated that year because the Catholic group would have asked for it, since they had to travel a long distance for Mass. Soon, Fr. Prendergast visited President Adams to make inquiries concerning the Catholic population. The priest was referred to John Kirk, a Catholic coachman to President Adams. Mass then began to be celebrated in the “Long House” on Adams Street near Furnace Brook.

In 1840, a meeting was called to raise money for a place to worship. The response was very generous. In Nov. 1841, land was bought from James Hall. THe church was built and dedicated on Sept.18, 1842 by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Fenwick. John Quincy Adams was present at the dedication.

In 1842, additional land was purchased from Mr. Hall for the burial of the faithful in the district. It was named and placed under the patronage of Mary. For years, it was the only Catholic cemetery south of Boston.

In 1845, Fr. Carraher too residence in St. Mary Church, which was now a Catholic parish with a resident pastor. The spiritual needs extended from Quincy to Plymouth. By 1859, mission churches were established in Randolph, Abington and Weymouth.

In the same year, a majority gathered together to vote for the erection of a new church, one more centrally located. this in 1853, became St. John of Quincy. Then in 1863, St. John Church was the district parish and St. Mary had to be a mission parish.

In 1875, St. Mary Church, which seated 250 was enlarged to seat 500. This was accomplished under Fr. Frigguletti, pastor of St. John Parish.

On Christmas Day 1899, St. Mary Parish became an independent parish again, with a resident pastor, Fr. Roche.

With the increase of population, Fr. Ambnrose Roche began the erection of the present church. In Sept. 1900, Archbishop Williams blessed the cornerstone of the new St. Mary basement. In 1908 Fr. Grady paid off the mortgage on the church property and remodeled the old church into a parish hall, named St. Joseph Hall.

In 1913, Fr. McCoy continued the task of completing the current ediface we are so proud of today. In Sept. 1917, William Cardinal O’Connell dedicated the completed St. Mary Church.

Fr. William O’Connor cleared the church property of debt, further remodeled St. Joseph Hall, introduced the Sisters of St. Joseph to aid in the Sunday school classes, improved St. Mary Cemetery, and made many other improvements.

The feast of the Assumption in 1931 marked the opening of  St. Mary Convent. In Sept. 1931, St. Mary School was completed and opened with a Mass. In August 1938, the sistered moved to their new convent on Crescent Street.

Fr. Downey paid off the remaining parish debt and remodeled the upper church.

In 1948, Fr. Cornelius Donovan succeeded Fr. Downey. During his tenure, he oversaw the construction of the new convent.

In October 1958, ground was broken for the erection of a new rectory. With its completion, the old rectory was razed. In April 1964, the church and especially the sanctuary, was renovated. The lower church was remodeled into a parish hall.

In August 1965, construction was begun on a new convent, slated to be completed in the spring of 1968.


Our Parish

About Our Parish

Deeply committed to Jesus Christ, we endeavor to become a unified community of faith, worship, and service. We strive to be a warm, welcoming and caring parish in which the gifts and talents of all, young and old, are recognized and graciously used to nourish others.

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