Our History

On October 19, 1904, Bishop Thomas Daniel Beaven decided to create a new church. The new church’s name was to be The Church of the Good Shepherd (Paroisse du Bon Pasteur). The new church would be comprised of the villages of North Uxbridge and Linwood; it would become the place of worship for the many families of French Canadian descent who came to the area to be employed in the area’s textile mills.

The first Mass was celebrated on Sunday, October 31, 1904 at the former Uxbridge and Northbridge Electric Company in Linwood, located at the end of Maple St. in Linwood. The services were held there until the church was built.

On December 12, 1904, James E. Whitin, president of the Uxbridge Cotton Mills, donated land to the new church. This property is where our church stands today. The first pastor, Rev. A. Henry Powers and parishioners held a meeting on March 31, 1905 and voted to build a new church on the donated land for less than $20,000. Architect Onesime E. Nault was hired to design the church. The church was to be built in the late Victorian Gothic style.

On July 6, 1905, groundbreaking for the new church was held. Mr. Frank Fredette and Mr. Treffle Dion, using granite from the Blanchard Bros. Quarry, constructed the foundation. On September 14, 1905, a signed agreement with contractors Dorias and Dupuis from Worcester was reached to build the new wooden church with a slate roof by July 15, 1906. The total cost was $19,110. On April 6, 1906 a gilded cross, 8 feet high, was placed on the tower of the new church. In July 1906, the first services were held in the basement of the new church.

  On Christmas of 1909, as a Christmas present to the parish, James E. Whitin donated a plot of land. This land was used to build the new rectory located on the corner of Church Street and Linwood Street.

In October 1920, the second pastor, Rev. Gideon Fontaine was given permission to build a school for the parish children. The construction began in the spring of 1921, led by contractor Urgel Dorais. The Sisters of the Presentation of Mary arrived in 1921. Sister Marie Louise-Anna was the first Director (Principal) of the new school with a staff of 14 sisters.

 

 

There have been many functions, galas, and celebrations throughout the last century, all of them to celebrate the wonderful family that has been built in this humble parish.

(Information contained above is taken from the Good Shepherd Parish Centennial Booklet written by Roger Poulin and Marguerite Bendetto. Permission given by Roger Poulin.)