Immaculate Conception Church

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  • Immaculate Conception Church (formerly St. Mary's Church) on Hawthorne Boulevard, established in 1826, was the first Catholic church in Salem.
  • St. Mary's Parish was established in a wooden structure on the corner of Bridge and Mall streets and later in 1850, built and moved into the stone and brick church on Hawthorne Boulevard (formerly Walnut St.) The construction of a new church became an occasion for changing its name.
  • Built in 1857, the architect was Enoch Fuller.
  • Immaculate Conception was the second parish formed by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.
  • Immaculate Conception underwent a large renovation project in 1992, making $550,000 worth of renovations, funded by parishioner's pledges. These included replacing pews and the vestibule, and adding new hardwood floors.
  • A Memorial to the Boys of the Immaculate Conception was erected at the church in 1920. It is a tall rectangular granite monument to commemorate the service men from World War I.
  • After the closing of St. Joseph's Church in 2000, many Latinos transferred to Immaculate Conception Church, and now about half of the congregation is Latino.
  • On August 1, 2017, the merger of Immaculate Conception and St. James Parish will take place. The new parish established will be named: Mary, Queen of the Apostles.

See Also

  • Vertical file in Salem Collection - Churches
  • "A parish is reborn" Salem Evening News, May 30, 1992, p.1
  • "Cardinal coming to celebrate church's 150th anniversary" Salem News, Aug. 29, 2008, p.1.
  • "Parish revels in cardinal's bilingual Mass" Salem News, Sept. 8, 2008, p.1