St. Margaret Parish, Lowell

A Parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

374 Stevens Street, Lowell, MA 01851-3607 | 978-454-5143 | parish@stmargaretlowell.org

Our History – Page 5

An Era of Change: 1948-1991

On November 21, 1948, Father Galligan died, and in December 1948 Father John J. Joyce became the third pastor of St. Margaret Church. During the latter years of Father Galligan’s pastorate, Father Raymond Hyder acted as administrator and did so until Father Joyce’s arrival. During the first years of Father Joyce’s pastorate, Father Hyder headed programs for repair and renovation of all parish property.

The Legion of Mary was established in 1948 and its members made visits to nursing homes, hospitals, and shut-ins. They also made door to door visitations and occasionally visited those who were unable to cope with bereavement. They also attended Nocturnal Adoration at night before First Fridays at St. Joseph Hospital Chapel.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society was established here on July 15, 1948, and meets on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month. During Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons meetings are held weekly. This society, which aids those in need of financial help, does not receive any direct help fro the parish but depends solely on the generosity of parishioners via boxes placed at the entrances of the church.

After Father Joyce’s unexpected death on March 16, 1958, Father Hyder, later to become Monsignor Hyder, was appointed pastor by Cardinal Richard Cushing in April 1958. Father Hyder was well acquainted with St. Margaret’s, for his first assignment as curate was served here after his ordination in 1929. Before becoming pastor of St. Margaret’s, he was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Lowell in 1956. In addition to being pastor there, he was also in charge of the Catholic Charities Bureau, St. Patrick’s and St. Mary’s Cemeteries, and was the business manager of Keith Academy, Keith Hall, and St. Peter’s Orphanage. He continued with those responsibilities in his new pastorate. In 1959 in anticipation of the 50th anniversary of St. Margaret Parish in 1960, the walks around the church building were relocated, the rear wall of the church was repaired, and the statues of the Sacred Heart and of Our Lady were erected on either side of the main entrance to the church.

The Nocturnal Adoration Society has been active since its initial meeting in November 1962. St. Margaret’s is assigned a different hour each first Friday night. It now meets at Holy Trinity Church on High Street.

From 1910 and 1975 there were some 140 religious vocations from our parish. They are numbered among diocesan clergy, the Jesuits, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the Maryknollers, the Marists, the Oblate and Xaverian Brothers, the Sisters of St Joseph, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the Poor Clares, and the Sisters of the Assumption. In 2000 David Murphy of our parish was ordained a Dominican priest and is known as Fr. Brendan Murphy, O.P.

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