On June 7th, 1914 Bishop Rice of Burlington visited here and dedicated the newly constructed chapel in Cambridge, a small mission under the direction of Rev. Joseph Therrien and St. Thomas Parish in Underhill Center. Approximately 100 parishioners attended Mass at this mission chapel, the present site of St. Mary’s Church. It was not until the 1940’s under Rev. Charles Marcoux that the chapel was enlarged to its present size. Less than a generation later, devastation struck as a fire raged through and destroyed the interior of the church in June 1960. Rev. Daniel Roberts, pastor at the time, moved Mass to the Cambridge Community Hall and began renovations immediately. By 1964, St Mary’s interior had been restored to its present decor, with softer pastel colors and stained glass to enhance this simplicity, along with new statues as a parish church, with St. John the Apostle in Johnson as its mission. The new pastor, Rev. Francis Holland, St. Mary’s first full-time pastor, saw the parish thrive under his guidance. In 1966, a rectory was built and the existing parking area enlarged after purchasing adjacent land from the neighboring farm owned by Warren Fos. The 1970’s saw continued growth for the parish; at one point, the LaSalette Fathers of Enfield, New Hampshire sent a team of two priests and one religious brother, anticipating even greater growth and attempting to serve Johnson State College as well.
Growth has been steady and now includes parts of Waterville, Belvidere, Fletcher and Underhill, along with Cambridge and Jeffersonville. Now in a shared pastorate with St. Thomas Church in Underhill Center St. Mary’s is no longer attached to St. John’s in Johnson; it remains as a independent parish, retaining its canonical status as a parish. The number of families is approximately 190 households.
When Rev. Francis Prive assumed the pastorate of St. Mary in the summer of 2000, he invited the religious order of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit to move into the rectory and act as a supportive presence to both parishes. Fr. Prive resided in Underhill, Sister Rose Gauthier was hired as Pastoral Assistant, Sister Yvette Rainville continued her mission at St. Thomas as DRE and Sister Connie Perron initiated a Parish Visitation Program in both parishes. This new collaborative effort between parishes had the distinction of being the first one of its type in the Diocese of Burlington.
|1918-1925||Father G.E. Pariseau|
|1925-1935||Father L. William Mann|
|1935-1941||Father Micheal Costello|
|1941-1944||Father Joseph Dussault|
|1944-1949||Father Charles Marcoux|
|1949-1962||Father Gavin Maloney|
|1962-1964||Father Daniel Roberts|
|1964-1971||Father Francis Holland|
|1971-1973||Father Edward Moore|
|1973-1974||Father Roland Bedard, M.S.|
|1974-1976||Father Rene Caissey, M.S.|
|1976-1989||Father Raymond Moquin|
|1989-1993||Father Robert Campbell|
|1993-1995||Father Robert Richardson|
|1995-1997||Father John Arnot|
|1997-1999||Father Joseph McCarthy|
|2000-2003||Father Francis Prive|
|2003-2004||Rev. John McDermott|
|2004-2008||Father Daniel Jordan|
|2008-2016||Father Charles “Rick” Danielson|
|2016-present||Father Christopher Micale|