Over 140 years ago, the early Catholics of North Andover sacrificed to build their own church on Water Street. Saint Michael Church was dedicated in 1869 as a mission church, served by the priests of the city of Lawrence. Since then, the church has gone through many changes – moving to Main Street in 1886, becoming a parish in 1900 with Rev. James Gilday as its first pastor, building the rectory in 1901, enlarging and restyling the church into its mission appearance in the late 40's, buying the town's Merrimack School to establish a parochial school in 1950, building a convent for its teachers, the Sisters of Charity, and building a 'new school' in 1956.
More recently, 17 new classrooms were added to the 'new school' in 1998 where, today, nearly 540 students enjoy up-to-date classrooms at Saint Michael School. Over 1800 public school students gather at the school and at the former convent, now the Youth Ministry Center, for religious education. On October 24, 1999, parishioners gathered to dedicate the 'new church', a place of new life, hope and love – the fruit of God's faith-filled and generous people. The 'old church' has been transformed into a parish hall, parish offices and meeting rooms where over 60 groups come together to learn, to pray, to serve those in need, and to build up our parish community.
At the core of the history of Saint Michael Parish is its people's recognition that life is a precious gift to each and every one of us by God who loves us with an incredible love. God offers us this gracious gift, inviting us to reverence God as the source of all life, which is the call to religious worship and praise. Saint Michael Church has been the prayerful center for people of praise and thanksgiving for 140 years. It has been and continues to be the spiritual home where the faithful, young and old, celebrate the Sacraments of the Church. It has been a place of healing presence to one another in times of great crises. It has been a center of education our children in the faith and a resource of reaching out in service to those who have been in need. Christ's Mission of love and service has been alive and continues to be alive through Saint Michael Parish family:
Bring the Good News to the Poor; proclaim liberty to captives; offer new site to the blind; set the downtrodden free, and proclaim the Lord's year of favor because the Spirit of the Lord has been given to us. God has anointed us with Love.
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