About Our Parish
"A Commitment to Parish Life"
We, the Catholic Church of St. Mary of the Annunciation, called to Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and nourished by Word and Eucharist, commit our time, talent, and treasure to the growth of God's Reign in our world.
Our Parish History
The history of St. Mary of the Annunciation Church goes back to 1859. The original edifice that housed the Annunciation Church was a structure on High Street built by the Universality Society in 1833.
On July 1, 1859, the Right Reverend John B. Fitzpatrick purchased the building with its land for $2,500.00. The altar of this original Annunciation Church was built by two brothers living in Danvers. The old church had two floors and was constructed of wood.
On April 30, 1871, the church, having been enlarged and remodeled, was dedicated by Bishop John J. Williams of Boston and was named the Church of St. Mary of the Annunciation.
1872 -1873: Reverend Patrick O’Reilly was the Pastor for St. Mary’s Church . He was succeeded by Reverend Patrick Hally from 1873 to 1882 during which time the Danvers Catholics numbered about 1500. From 1883 to 1885 Reverend Daniel B. Kennedy was the Pastor.
1885-1902: Reverend Thomas E. Power was the Pastor. He built a new rectory and redecorated the existing church. In 1897 a second parish cemetery, located on Hobart Street was purchased. The Danvers Council of the Knights of Columbus is named after Father Power.
The first Mass at the new site was celebrated by Father Canarie. The opening of the church on Conant Street ushered in a new era for the Annunciation Parish. After the death of Father Canarie in 1943, Father Stephen O’Brien succeeded him. A rectory was built on 1948 and was altered a few years later only by the addition of the cloister door and the passage to the church.
1902-1910: Reverend Henry A. Sullivan, became the Pastor. The Catholic Daughters, Danvers Court, bears his name.
1910-1912: Reverend Francis Maley became the Pastor. He organized the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin for the women and girls of the parish. 1912-1922: Reverend Daniel Horgan became the Pastor. He established St. Rose Chapel in Topsfield. St Mary’s Hall was built on Maple Street in 1914 and housed the Catholic Total Abstinence Society.
1922-1928: Reverend Henry Lyons became the Pastor.1928-1943: Reverend James D. Canarie became the Pastor. It was during his pastorate that the new church was built in 1937 at the corner of Conant and Franklin Streets, because the original St. Mary of the Annunciation on High Street, Danvers, which served as a Catholic Church for about 78 years until 1937 had to be demolished in the cause of vehicular progress, to build Route 128.
The present site of the new St. Mary of the Annunciation Church was decided upon after much thought and deliberation. It is centrally located, easily accessible from all areas of the town and close to public transportation. The Church was built on the property of the late Charles Kerans, a leather manufacturer in Danvers. At the time of the transfer, the property was owned jointly by his three children, Rebecca, Rachel, and Edward. It took only ten months following the turning of earth for the new building to be dedicated. On November 7, 1937, the beautiful edifice was opened. The Church was designed in Romanesque architecture by John A. McPherson of Boston. The main body of the church accommodated 920 people and combined with the 350 seats in the chapel provided a total seating capacity for 1270 parishioners.
A parochial school was built on Otis Street in 1958 and a convent in 1960. The school and the convent remained a part of the Annunciation Paris until 1963 when the second Catholic Parish in Danvers was created. The advent of St. Richard’s Parish meant that the school facilities were no longer the sole responsibility of the Annunciation Parish, and the buildings came under the direct jurisdiction of the Archdiocese of Boston.
After the death of Monsignor O’Brien in 1963, Father Francis Sullivan served as interim administrator for about six months. Father Edward Walsh became then the pastor, but only a few months later he was struck by a sudden and disabling illness. He was succeeded by Father Thomas Tobin. Father Tobin inaugurated a pleasant custom, still maintained by the parishioners, of kneeling after mass for a moment of personal recollection and prayer. In 1967 Father Tobin died and was succeeded by Monsignor John Murray.
In 1968 St. Alphonsus Parish was created.
From 1991 - 2012 the Pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation Church was Father Gerard L. Dorgan.
From 2012 to the present the Pastor of St. Mary of the Annunciation is Father Michael J. Doyle.
About Our Parish
Deeply committed to Jesus Christ, we endeavor to become a unified community of faith, worship, and service. We strive to be a warm, welcoming and caring parish in which the gifts and talents of all, young and old, are recognized and graciously used to nourish others.