Old St. Andrews



Church of St. Andrew



St. Andrews Beacon, April 2, 1901
(Written for the Beacon)
History of St Andrews R. C. Church
The first Catholic Church built at St. Andrews was erected in 1825, as a result of the visit of Father Mauricett, who visited St. Andrews in September, 1822. After celebration of Mass a meeting was held, and Thomas Dunn, Peter Dunn, Henry O'Neill and John Lochary were named trustees of the proposed church. A collection was taken up, and 30 pounds obtained, Father Mauricett then went to Quebec with the intention of returning to St. Andrews, but he never came back. His visit in 1822 was his first and only visit.

The congregation, however, went ahead with the work, and during the year 1824 erected a building, 24 x 46 feet on a piece of land donated by Mr. John Dunn, then collector of the port. The building, which was small and unpretentious, was completed on the outside in the year mentioned and next year the interior was finished, and the church dedicated, much to the joy of the people. The little church bore this inscription: "Erected to the Honor and Glory of the Only True and Living God. A. D. 1825."

The first entry in the parochial records is the baptism of E. J. Carney, under date of Dec. 23rd, 1827, by Father John Commins, then in charge of the parish. The first interment in the Cemetery was on March 15th, 1825, when Catherine Cavenagh was interred there. On Nov. 22nd, 1836, Rev. Father Vereker succeeded Father Commins, to be followed Jan. 16th, 1839 by Father Quinn.

In Nov. 1844 Father W. MacDonald took charge of the affairs of the parish, which he administered until Feb. 12th, 1848, when Father Walter Aylward took the place and held it until November of the same year (1848). Father M. A. Wallace then succeeded, to give place in March 1849, to Rev. J. C. McDavitt, at present at Fredericton, under chose charge eleven feet were added to the length of the church, with a spire and a vestry.

It is related that the bell used in the church came as a present from Mr. John Wilson, of Chamcook, which he promised to give the trustees in case he won a pending lawsuit between himself and the comptroller of the town.

In 1852 Father Quinn returned to the parish; Nov. 20th 1854, Father Barron was in charge and remained until June 29th, 1857. Then Father Edmond Doyle became pastor and continued so until 1860, when he died. Father R. Vereker was his successor, and he remained there until 1873, when he died.

From 1873 to August, 1877, Father William Doyle, now of Milltown, took charge and remained until 1880, when the present incumbent, Rev. J. M. O'Flaherty, was placed over the congregation.

Within the last few years it had become apparent that a new church was required, and steps were taken to erect a building. Land 160 feet square, in a convenient place (bounded by King and Parr Streets) was secured, contracts were given out, and the work energetically pushed forward, so that by Dec. 1886, the new sacred edifice was completed. On the 5th of that month it was privately blessed and divine service was held in it for the first time.