North American Martyrs, Marshfield
North American Martyrs Parish in Marshfield was established as a mission of St. Augustine on June 20, 1925. The church, unused at the time, was purchased by the diocese from the Marshfield Union Society Meeting House, on April 3, 1925. The deed was witnessed by Robert H. Ryan and Joseph G. Frattini.
The building was located at the top of the hill in the middle of Marshfield village on the southerly side of Route 2. It was built in 1827.
The parish was established to accommodate Catholics from Plainfield, Marshfield and Cabot whose populations included a number of French Canadian families
The first North American Martyrs Church, Marshfield
who had migrated from Canada in the 1920's. It was served by a St. Augutine's curate who would celebrate an early Mass in Montpelier, then drive with two altar boys to Marshfield for confessions and an 11 o'clock Mass.
During the summer, a later Mass was celebrated at the Harvey Cushing cottage at Joe's Pond. For many years the parish sponsored an annual chicken pie supper as a fundraising event. Over the years, a substantial number of Marshfield parishioners attended St. Michael's High School.
By the late 1950s the parish census increased significantly, with the population growth in three communities. Expansion of the church was considered, but was rejected as an option for several reasons.
In 1963, Rev. George Murtagh, a Montpelier native who had served as an altar boy in Marshfield, was assigned as the first pastor and he directed the construction of a new North American Martyrs Church on Route 2 west of Marshfield village.
Beginning July 1st, 1997, North American Martyrs once again came under the pastoral care of St. Augustine.