Our History

Our parish was founded in 2013, resulting from the merger of St. Joseph and Holy Ghost parishes, both in Attleboro.

St. Joseph's Parish was founded in 1905 to serve the French Canadian population in Attleboro.  Land was bought at the corner of North Main and Maple Streets, and construction on a basement church was begun in 1906; it was dedicated by Bishop Stang in the next year.  Construction on the upper church commenced in 1927, being completed and dedicated by the Cardinal Archbishop of Montreal on 13 October, 1929.  The parish continued to grow in the following years.  Beginning in 1971, the Spanish community in the Attleboro area was centered at St. Joseph's.  In later years a food pantry would be opened in the rectory basement.  Having been served by diocesan priests from its inception, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Charles Borromeo arrived in 2000 to take charge of pastoral care.  Among their accomplishments was the foundation of a chapel for Eucharistic Adoration.  In 2009, Fr. John Murray was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph's Parish as well as of Holy Ghost Parish.  Soon after he was succeeded by Fr. Richard Wilson in 2012, proposals on a merger between the two communities were discussed, being realized at the end of the year.  Financial considerations, as well as the needs of the local community, were among the factors in this decision.  Soon after its closure, discussions for sale to the local Coptic Christian community began, taking place in fall, 2013.  The dedication of the church to St. Joseph has been expanded to include our Lord and our Lady, with the church now named Holy Family Church.  Click here to visit their website.

Bishop Connolly dedicates the new Holy Ghost Church in 1964.
Holy Ghost Parish grew out of the pastoral endeavors of the pastor of Fr. Sam McGee of St. Stephen's Parish to care for his flock in the area around the southern part of Attleboro and North Seekonk.  Fr. McGee would teach catechism near the railroad tracks in Lonicut in the early years of the twentieth century, and arranged for a Portuguese-speaking priest to celebrate Mass in the area beginning in 1916.  Bishop Feehan arrived to dedicate the original church on 10 July, 1921.  A kindergarten was operated for many years beginning in 1947 and continuing for several years to follow. The parish also benefitted from the ministry carried out by religious sisters throughout the years, including from the Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Trinity.  A new church was dedicated in 1964.  The first Holy Ghost Feast, which has its origins in celebrations in the Azores, was celebrated in 1974, and continues today.   Under the leadership of Fr. Bento Fraga, a new parish center was built and dedicated in 1980. 

St. Vincent de Paul Parish, originally the home of Holy Ghost Parish, was dedicated by Bishop Connolly on 12 April, 1964.  As directed by canon law, it retains its original dedication to the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, although the name of the parish was changed at the time of the merger.  We are the first parish in our diocese that is trilingual from its foundation, celebrating Mass each Sunday in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and also maintaining the French-Canadian tradition of St. Joseph's Parish.  St. Joseph and Holy Ghost Parishes both had active social ministries which are continued in our service to the poor and needy in our community, following the model of our patron, St. Vincent de Paul.