First English Parish

For about 70 years, English-speaking and French-speaking Catholics from Larchwood, Chelmsford and Azilda attended the same churches: Saint-Joseph in Chelmsford and Sainte-Agnès in Azilda.  In 1960, the number of English-speaking families was sufficient to found an English-language parish, however, with the parishioners spread out over a distance of seven miles, it was a difficult task to arrange.  For two years, Father Murphy celebrated mass in various locations including halls, schools, and the basements of French-language churches.  The Catholic Women's League and the Holy Name Society were soon formed and separate English-language schools began to receive children from the parish.

Soon it was decided that the best way to serve the parish was to build two identical churches in Chelmsford and Azilda with a single rectory.  The churches celebrated their first mass in December of 1963.  Mgr. Carter, Bishop of the Diocese, came to consecrate the parishes and administer confirmation one year later.  The new parish took the name of Saint Alexander.


Material compiled from Chelmsford 1883-1983 and Chelmsford.

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