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Souvenir of Loretto Centenary


wards said the first mass in Fitchburg. That was in 1843, and from that time I was recognized as pastor of Fitchburg, in fact, of nearly the whole county. I have no notes or records whatever to refer to, but I remember it well. I was always on the move, officiating in all the towns in Worcester County.
    Mr. Cahill, an Irish contractor, when he completed his contract on railroad from Fitchburg to West, gave me the shanties of his men, which I took down and built a small church with them on the spot where the house stood which I afterwards built a short distance south of the present Church of St. Bernard. It was a long, narrow building, capable of holding 100 people. It got the name of “The Cathedral Shanty.” When I blessed foundations of it, Fathers Reardon, my assistant then, and Williams and O'Brien assisted. O'Brien preached on the occasion from a chair with the American flag over his head on a Liberty pole. We tried to make a great memorable day of it, but I cannot give the dates: it was in the year 1844.
    When the church was up we opened it with a solemn high mass. A few months after there were two windows in the sanctuary, one on each side of the altar, with turkey red curtains and a borrowed carpet. The church held all the Catholics of Fitchburg and surrounding country. This shanty church was used until the new church of St. Bernard's had a foundation up, which we covered and used as a church and school. I afterwards got a grave yard on the other side of the river.
    I was born in Hexham, Northumberland, England, May 1817, and educated in Propaganda, Rome.
    I was ordained by Bishop Kenrick, in St. John's Cathedral, Philadelphia, Pa., August 1841. First mission, Loretto; succeeded Rev. Dr. Gallitzin. In 1843 went to Worcester, Mass.
    Built St. John's Church, Worcester; also St. Ann's Church, Worcester; St. George's, Saxonville; St. Polycarp's, Leicester; St. Bernard's, Fitchburg; St. Luke's, West Boyls-

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Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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