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St Mary Church
Lakeville Ct

                                        The Church of Saint Mary: Brief History

Catholicism in Connecticut's Northwestern corner began to take root in the early 1800's when a large number of Irish immigrants settled here to work in the ore mines and iron foundries. The first Mass was celebrated in Lakeville on July 4, 1849, under a tree at the Davis Ore mines, northwest of the intersection of Main Street and Lincoln City Road. Spiritual needs were then only partially filled by visiting priests from outside the area, who offered Mass in private homes. In 1854, the first church, St. Patrick, was built in Falls Village by Father Peter Kelly. However, by 1875, a shift of population brought the greater number of Catholics to Lakeville. Father Henry Lynch then secured a parcel of land, with the help of a Congregational landowner, on which he erected St. Mary's Church. The church building was dedicated on January 16, 1876 and was built almost entirely from money donated by miners and iron workers. Soon after, Father Lynch also built a Rectory, a School, a Convent, and acquired cemetery grounds in Salisbury on Lower Cobble Road.

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Photo:Brian Wilcox
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