Notre Dame du Sacre

*The Church of Our Lady of The Sacred Heart*


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 Reverend Charles Crevier


 [ Picture is courtesy of Laurel O'Donnell ]

When the French-Canadians first arrived to the city of North Adams, they didn't have a permanent home for their religion, but they were determined to bring part of their culture, which was their church. In the year 1856, the old Methodist Church on Center Street was purchased for the Catholics of North Adams. Soon after it was bought, Father Charles Lynch became the first pastor of the North Adams congregation. "He bought the land where St. Francis Church is now, started building in 1867, and opened the building for services on July 18, 1869" (North Adams Historical Society, Inc.). Although the church was mostly made up of Irish ethnicity, it also served for the French-Canadians.

"One French-Canadian historian said "what a new and painful sensation for the Canadians to feel themselves strangers at the church" (North Adams Historical Society, Inc.). Since the church was predominantly Irish, the Mass was spoken in English. This made the French-Canadians feel like an outcast, and they felt really far from their homeland. By 1870, there was a large enough population of French-Canadians to build a French congregation. This congregation would only be built by persuading Right Reverend Patrick Thomas O' Reilly, the first bishop of Springfield. "The French-Canadians had to look to Springfield for permission to establish a parish, but it was to the diocese of Montreal, that they looked for a pastor" (North Adams Historical Society, Inc.). The pastor selected was Father Charles Crevier. Father Crevier preached the first Mass at the old Irish chapel on January 4, 1871. At this particular time, there was about 900 French-Canadians in North Adams.  

The French-Canadians continued to meet in the old Irish chapel for $400 per year for rent, until they finally had enough money for improvements. Soon, they had enough money to buy a church of their own. Father Crevier and Samuel Vadnais paid $5,500 for the lot on East Main St., from T. F. Loftus. In spring of 1872, the building of their new religious home began.

"Ground was broken in the following Spring, under the supervision of Mr. S. H. Horton, and Messrs. F. Davis & Brothers obtained the contract for the carpenter work. The bricks were bought from Mr. Calvin Cook for the exterior masonry, and Mr. Matthew Owens furnished the bricks for the interior work. The brown stone trimmings were from A.S. Dwelly's marble yard at Springfield, Mass. The original plans were drawn by Architect Murphy of Providence, Rhode Island. The Congregation numbered then about 150 families of mill operatives. In 1875 the old chapel was abandoned for the basement of the new and elegant church this congregation had now just completed. Reverend Father Crevier, to whose untiring labor, energy, and enterprise this success is chiefly due, is now pastor at Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.

The first pedal organ was bought from Cluett & Son, at a cost of $700" (Notre Dame North Adams, Massachusetts 5).

Two years after the initial building of the new church, the French-Canadians moved into the finished basement of their new church to perform services. The intentional plan was to have it completed by summer of 1886, but instead was prolonged until 1888, when it was finally finished. Father Louis LeDuc becomes the new pastor for the new church, Notre Dame du Sacre Coeur.

 Stained glass windows that were originally in the Notre Dame Church.

[ Picture is courtesy of The Historical Society, Inc. ]


Notre Dame Church in North Adams, MA 1880

 [ Picture is courtesy of  Shirley Bruso ]