History of Corpus Christi Church
Corpus Christi began in 1922 and it was a busy first year! The first Mass was celebrated on June 25, 1922 in Norumbega Hall above Keyes Drug Store (now BreadSong Bakery) on Auburn St. in Auburndale. A meeting was held that same day to discuss plans for a new church. Rev. Thomas McManmon had been assigned as pastor on June 19th and on July 2nd, the parish was named Corpus Christi Parish - Body of Christ! It remains the only parish in the Archdiocese of Boston with this name. In the first visitation and census in July, 1922, 190 families and 900 souls were listed as members of the parish. The first parish Sunday School was formed in Norumbega Hall on September 3 and on September 10th, the Hildreth home at 45 Ash Street was acquired and renovated as the parish rectory. The Corpus Christi Choir was organized on December 4, 1922. On April 8, 1923, plans were submitted for a new church and the blessing of the ground and turning of the first sod took place on April 15th. By the following November, the basement chapel was completed and ready for the first Mass. The stained glass windows of this chapel are still in our parish hall today.
In the early l940s, funds were accumulated to erect our present church. With the completion of the interior of the upper church, the church was solemnly consecrated on February 26, 1955 by His Excellency Most Reverend Richard J. Cushing. The architects won a prestigious award for the design; architects still visit the church to study the design. Years later the old wooden rectory was replaced by the present building.
From the 1940s, Corpus Christi pastors have encouraged greater lay involvement in parish life. Numerous organizations and project committees have existed over the years. One group is the Corpus Christi Women's Guild, founded in 1946; it is still going strong today!
Father Joseph F. McGlone came to the parish as administrator in 1972 and was made pastor in 1973. Fr. Joe has been here at Corpus Christi Parish for 30 of its 80 years! During the 1980s and much of the 1990s, two other individuals were greatly loved by the parish family: Fr. Paul Gilmartin, SJ who visited us each week to celebrate Sunday Mass and Sr. Anne Marie Ralph, SND who was Pastoral Associate with a myriad of responsibilities that touched us all.
Father McGlone took command at a very difficult period in our Church history. Vatican II were making changes needed to give new breath and life to the church. Father McGlone skillfully dealt with the growing pains, drawing increasing love, involvement and participation from families living in Corpus Christi Parish. Today, the Church is again in crisis and Father Joe continues to lead us by sharing his human-ness with us, by sharing his love, and by calling us to share the gift of God's love with one another!
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