Our History

St. John the Evangelist

St. John the Evangelist Parish was founded in 1883, having been briefly a mission of North Attleboro with St. Mary's in Norton.

  • St. John ChurchSeptember 17, 1883: a cornerstone is laid for the wooden church, (pictured on the right). The basement was finished in December of 1883, where Masses were held.
  • September 22, 1885: the new Gothic Style wooden church, located on 150 North Main St. was dedicated.
  • 1891: a rectory is built across the street at 155 North Main St.
  • 1904: the church is now part of the newly formed Diocese of Fall River.
  • 1908: land is purchased on West St. for SJE Cemetery.
  • 1930: plans are finalized for a new and grander church designed by Maginnis and Walsh of Boston.
  • 1932: a fire destroys the original church, while flying embers destroy local homes, and even the new church structure.
  • November 6, 1932: the new stone Gothic Church at 133 North Main St. is dedicated.
  • 1947: a house at 165 North Main St. is renovated as a Convent for the Sisters of Mercy, who arrived to supervise the Religious Education Program at the church.
  • September 4, 1955: a new school, St. John the Evangelist, opens for Pre-Primary and Grade 1. The Sisters of Mercy staff the school.
  • 1959: plans for Bishop Feehan High School are announced by Bishop James Connolly. The Sisters of Mercy make plans to move to the new convent there.
  • 1960's: the church is renovated and liturgical changes from Vatican II are implemented.
  • 1961: The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, (CCD), is established.
  • 1983: the parish celebrates their 100th Anniversary.
  • 1996-1997: new plans are announced for a new Parish Center and Rectory near the church.
  • 1998: the new Parish Hospitality Center is dedicated.
  • 2005: the parish school celebrates their 50th Anniversary.
  • 2010: new plans are announced for a new addition to St. John the Evangelist School.
  • 2012: the new addition to the school is finished and dedicated.
  • November 6, 2016: the parish celebrates its 84th Anniversary of its dedication.

St. Vincent de Paul Parish

Our parish community of St. Vincent de Paul Parish was founded in 2013 after the merger of St. Joseph & Holy Ghost parishes, both in Attleboro, MA. Originally the home of Holy Ghost Parish, SVdP Parish was dedicated by Bishop Connolly on April 12th, 1964 (see above). As directed by canon law, it retains its original dedication to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, although the name of the parish was changed at the time of the merger. We were the first parish in our diocese to be trilingual from its foundation and also maintaining the French-Canadian tradition of St. Joseph's Parish. St. Joseph and Holy Ghost Parishes both had active social ministries which are continued in our service to the poor and needy in our community, following the model of our patron.

St. Joseph's Parish

St. Joseph's was founded in 1905 to serve the French Canadian population in Attleboro. Land was bought at the corner of North Main and Maple Streets, and construction on a basement church was begun in 1906; it was dedicated by Bishop Stang in the next year. Construction on the upper church commenced in 1927, being completed and dedicated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Montreal on October 13th, 1929. The parish continued to grow in the following years. Beginning in 1971, the Spanish community in the Attleboro area was centered at St. Joseph's. In later years a food pantry would be opened in the rectory basement. 

Having been served by diocesan priests from its inception, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo arrived in 2000 to take charge of pastoral care. Among their accomplishments was the foundation of a chapel for Eucharistic Adoration. In 2009, Fr. John Murray was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph's Parish as well as of Holy Ghost Parish. Soon after he was succeeded by Fr. Richard Wilson in 2012, proposals on a merger between the two communities were discussed, being realized at the end of the year.  Financial considerations, as well as the needs of the local community, were among the factors in this decision.  Soon after its closure, discussions for sale to the local Coptic Christian community began, taking place in fall, 2013. The dedication of the church to St. Joseph has been expanded to include our Lord and our Lady, with the church now named Holy Family Church. Click here to visit their website.

Holy Ghost Parish

Holy Ghost Parish grew out of the pastoral endeavors of the pastor of Fr. Sam McGee of St. Stephen's Parish to care for his flock in the area around the southern part of Attleboro and North Seekonk. Fr. McGee would teach catechism near the railroad tracks in Lonicut in the early years of the twentieth century, and arranged for a Portuguese-speaking priest to celebrate Mass in the area beginning in 1916. Bishop Feehan arrived to dedicate the original church on July 10th, 1921. 

A kindergarten was operated for many years beginning in 1947 and continuing for several years to follow. The parish also benefited from the ministry carried out by religious sisters throughout the years, including from the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Trinity. A new church was dedicated in 1964. The first Holy Ghost Feast, which has its origins in celebrations in the Azores, was celebrated in 1974, and continues today. Under the leadership of Fr. Bento Fraga, a new parish center was built and dedicated in 1980.