Thursday, December 27, 2018 at 2:33 PM
Please note Weekend Mass Schedule is changing for Sts. Martha and Mary- There is NO 4pm Saturday Vigil as of Jan. 5th. The Sunday 7am is now 730am and there will be a new 5pm Mass - Sunday evenings.
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History of Sts. Martha & Mary Parish

On May 12, 1958, the parish of Sts. Martha and Mary came into being. In early May of 1958 Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, signed the decree that formed the parish of Sts. Martha and Mary to encompass the towns of Lakeville and Rochester. Cardinal Cushing named Rev. Francis J. Greene as Sts. Martha and Mary’s first pastor. Fr. Greene’s first task was to find a place to celebrate Mass in Lakeville and then to build the church. Fr. Greene celebrated his first Mass in Lakeville at the Lakeville Sanitarium where he was also the chaplain. The following summer Fr. Greene decided to take advantage of the warm summer months and arranged for a 60 ft. by 40 ft. tent to be placed on the church grounds next to the parish house, the site of the current church building. The outdoor Masses soon became impractical as the colder weather moved in. A barn happened to be attached to the rectory and was quickly renovated into a makeshift place to celebrate Mass. The average attendance was 1,000 parishioners. While far from complete, on Palm Sunday, 1959, the upper church was finished so that Mass could be celebrated. On May 22, 1959, the church was formally dedicated as a parish church.

Meanwhile the people of Rochester were greatly concerned in as much as the new church to which they were assigned was just as far away from them as was Middleborough with the added difficulty of the poor road between here and Rochester. In October 1958 permission was granted to hold Masses and conduct catechism classes in the Rochester Grange Hall. Fr. Greene began to look for land in Rochester on which to build a church. In April of 1959 land was purchased on Vaughan Hill Road in Rochester and the foundation was laid in September of 1960. St. Rose of Lima remained as a chapel under Sts. Martha and Mary until 1979, at which time St. Rose of Lima became a separate parish in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Source: Sts. Martha & Mary Historical Souvenir Book, 1983.



"The parish is a living time capsule. Our founding parishioners left no cylinder buried under the sod... nor have we. There is no need. The parish is a living time capsule, fusing past and future. We are, partly, what has been. Part of what will be we are now fashioning. The faith of many who have gone before and of those we have yet to meet, strengthens ours and guides our hands. May our work be pleasing to the Lord."

Source: Sts. Martha & Mary
Historical Souvenir Book, 1983.

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