Parish Histories


Conversion of St. Paul


The beginning of St. Paulís Church dates back to the first Mass offered in early 1851. The Catholic population grew large enough to have its own church in 1878, when a congregational church building was purchased. It became an autonomous parish in 1893 when its 1st pastor was appointed. Fr. Joseph Turcott lived with parishioners until 1894 when the residence of Melvin Elliot was bought as a rectory. It is still in use today. Anxious for the care of souls, Fr. Turcott opened St. Paulís School in 1896. It was conducted in a home on May Pond Road. A building was bought and moved near the church. It was used as the school, parish hall, and later became the Convent.


On May 18, 1902 the cornerstone for the current church was blessed. The work was completed and dedicated on May 24, 1903. Total cost of construction was $13,000, but would have cost much more had much of the labor not been volunteered by parishioners. At the time of ts dedication the parish had 60 families and a weekly attendance of 300.








St. Theresaís Church


This church was a mission of Barton from 1922 to 1942. The first mass was offered in the Darling Block in May, 1911 by Rev. Eugene Cray. That same year Fr. Cray erected the first church on a plot of land donated by the E.L. Chandler Co., a piano manufacturing concern in Orleans.


The old church became too small for the rapidly increasing Catholic population and in 1932 the Dunham property on East Street was purchased for $2,600 and a church with a seating capacity of 400 was built under Fr. Marionís supervision. The beautiful modern church was completed in 1933 at a cost of $19,000. Two years later Fr. Marion purchased an unused Catholic Church in Concord, Vt., and the materials were used to build a parish hall near the new church.


Rev. Leopold Bastien became the first resident pastor of St. Theresaís Church in May, 1942. In June of the year a house known as the Addison Fletcher property was purchased and has been in use as a Rectory ever since. A plot of land on Route 5 was donated to St. Theresaís as a cemetery by Mr. Georges LeBlanc, then Grand Knight of the Bishop Ryan Council 2933, Knights of Columbus.




St. John Vianney Church


The Catholics in Irasburg were administered to by the pastors of East Albany until 1922 and probably before that time by Fr. McAuley from Stanstead. The first church wsa built in 1911 under Fr. Crayís administration. From 1922 to 1942 it was a mission of St. Paulís Church. Since 1942 is has been a mission of St. Theresaís Church.


In 1934 the small church was destroyed by fire, and Fr. Marion promptly purchased the unused Methodist Church, which after the necessary alterations was opened for Catholic services and is still used by the Irasburg parishioners.



Back to Main