St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church History

February 26, 1963 – Present

Official Decree (October 2020)

Second Vigil (Sep, 2020)

Collaborative Years (May, 2020 – Sep, 2020)

St. Anselm Rectorate, St Bridget (Maynard, Mass) and Our Lady of Fatima (Sudbury, Mass) began formation of a collaborative of three churches within the Archdiocese of Boston.

  • Fr. Gerald Souza (Rector, May 2020 – Sep, 2020)

Rectorate Years (June 3, 2006 – May, 2020)

The Rectorate conducted its first Mass on June 3, 2006. As a result of our 21 month vigil and through spirited negotiations with the Archdiocese of Boston, St. Anselm was re-opened as the 1st Rectorate in the United States. We have all the rights and privileges of a parish and we are not encumbered by territorial boundaries. Our membership consists of all of the faithful who pass through our doors. Our faith-filled, committed, caring, Catholic community has been rewarded with a renewed spirit of hope in a long and prosperous future!

Throughout these years the Rectorate has been led by:

  • Fr. John Swencki (Rector, Jun 2018 – Present)
  • Fr. Thomas A. Kopp (Rector, Aug 2009 – May 2018)
  • Fr. Brian Clary (Rector, Jan 2007 – Aug 2009)
  • Fr. David O’Leary (Rector, 2006)

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Vigil Years (September 12, 2004 – June 3, 2006)

On September 12, 2004, parishioners began a prayerful vigil to protest the suppression of St. Anselm Parish. The vigil was conducted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 21 months. In many respects, the decision to hold the vigil was a spontaneous reaction of the community to the situation in which we found ourselves. The Archdiocese was going through a flawed reconfiguration that resulted in many vibrant and healthy parishes being closed. Our community chose to exercise our rights as Catholics and to do what we believe Jesus would have done. Our faith grew through the spiritual richness found within the members of our community and our commitment was rewarded with news that we would be reopened.

Throughout the vigil our community was led by a team of talented lay leaders, who were former members of the Parish Pastoral Council (Chairpersons of the Council were Deacon Joseph Ramrath and Mrs. Cynthia Deysher). We also received the support of many dedicated priests, including (Fr. James DiPerri, Fr. John Sassani, and Fr. John Fitzpatrick).

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Parish Years (February 26, 1963 – September 15, 2004)

The Parish conducted its first Mass on Tuesday, February 26, 1963. Families from three parishes in North Framingham and South Sudbury were asked to start fresh and build a new community and a new church. The parish was established with a relatively small geography and population base. Despite its small size, the early members of the parish rose to the challenge and built a wonderful, faith filled community. Volunteers ran all sorts of fund raisers to cover expenses and pay off the large mortgage. At the same time, they built a true sense of family in the parish and a culture of service to the community. These traditions have strengthened and deepened over time and they were the foundation the community needed to survive. In 2002, we welcomed the addition of the Deaf Community to our vibrant parish, as they had been forced to relocate their home of 30 years in South Framingham. Over the course of the several months, all of the programs offered by the Deaf Community Center (DCC) moved into our facilities and the deaf became active and welcome members of our community. On August 25, 2004, our parish received a Decree of Suppression with an effective date of September 15, 2004.

Throughout these years the Parish was led by:

  • Fr. Herbert Phinney (Pastor, 1963-1966)
  • Fr. Thomas Burke (Pastor, 1966-1977)
  • Fr. John McCormick (Administrator, 1977-1982)
  • Fr. John Lyons (Administrator, 1982-1983)
  • Fr. James Bertelli (Administrator, 1983-1985 / Pastor, 1985-2000)
  • Fr. John Fitzpartrick (Administrator, 2000-2004)

Related documents: