St. Mary's Cathedral and Rectory (Fall River, Massachusetts)

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Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption
Saint Mary Fall river.jpg
41°41′55″N 71°9′28″W / 41.69861°N 71.15778°W / 41.69861; -71.15778Coordinates: 41°41′55″N 71°9′28″W / 41.69861°N 71.15778°W / 41.69861; -71.15778
Location 327 Second Street
Fall River, Massachusetts
Country United States
Denomination Roman Catholic
Dedicated 1855
Status Cathedral
Functional status Active
Heritage designation NRHP
Designated 1983
Architect(s) Patrick C. Keely
Maginnis & Walsh
Style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking August 8, 1852
Diocese Fall River
Province Boston
Bishop(s) Most Reverend Edgar Moreira da Cunha, S.D.V.
Rector The Very Reverend John C. Ozug
Organist/Director of music Madeleine Grace
St. Mary's Cathedral and Rectory
Built 1852
MPS Fall River MRA
NRHP Reference # 83000723[1]
Added to NRHP February 16, 1983
The Cathedral's Spring Street façade

The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, colloquially simply known as Saint Mary's Cathedral, is a historic church on 327 Second Street, in Fall River, Massachusetts. It is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River. The cathedral, built in 1852, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, as St. Mary's Cathedral and Rectory. It is the oldest extant church building in the city of Fall River, and was one of the city's first Catholic parishes. Like several other cathedrals around the world, as well as a French parish in the city, the cathedral is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The current Bishop is Edgar M. da Cunha, and the current rector is Rev. John C. Ozug.

Bishop John Fitzpatrick of the Diocese of Boston laid the church's cornerstone on August 8, 1852, on the site of the former Saint John the Baptist Church. Bishop Fitzpatrick returned to dedicate the structure on December 16, 1855, although the steeple was unfinished until 1858. In 1872, the church became a part of the newly created Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. In 1901, Bishop Matthew Harkins of Providence consecrated the sanctuary, and in 1904 Pope Pius X named it the cathedral church of the newly founded Diocese, its seat first held by Bishop William Stang.[2]

The church and the entire steeple are stonework (save for the gilded cross at its 190-foot high apex), with a shingled roof. The interior includes intricate woodwork, with some gilding above the sanctuary. It is attached to the rectory, chapels and diocesan offices to the rear by a colonnade. The cathedral is one of several grand Catholic churches built in the city during its heyday as an industrial center, including St. Anne Shrine, the Good Shepherd Church (formerly Saint Patrick's), Sacred Heart Church, Espirito Santo, and Saint Joseph's Church, as well as several that have since been lost, including St. Matthieu's in the North End (taken by eminent domain in the 1960s) and Notre Dame de Lourdes in the Flint, which was destroyed in one of the city's most famous conflagrations on May 11, 1982.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "St. Mary's Cathedral". The Diocese of Fall River. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 

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