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In 1925, a Catholic parish was formed in Belchertown, and our church was originally a mission of the parish. In the late 1920's, Mass began to be celebrated every Sunday in Kellogg Hall. As the people grew in their desire to build their own parish, they formed the Welcome Society to bring about their goal. This group purchased land for the church from the Durant farm.
In 1949, the cornerstone of the church was laid under the direction of founding pastor Father Andrew Sullivan. Stones for the building came from stone walls which had fenced Granby farms since colonial days. The church, colonial in design, was built by parishioners with strong assistance and support from townspeople. The stained glass windows, purchased by some of the families of the parish, portray the five Sorrowful Mysteries and the five Glorious Mysteries.
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve of 1950 was the first celebration of the Eucharist in the still unfinished church. In May of 1951, the completed church was blessed and dedicated. Father George Friel, the first resident pastor arrived in December of 1951, and supervised the building of the rectory which was competed in 1953. He served the parish until his death in 1970, when Father John Shea was assigned. Since the early days of the parish, St. Hyacinth's College and Seminary (operated in Granby by the Franciscan Fathers of St. Anthony Province) had sent priest to assist our pastor in celebrating weekend Masses.
In 1977, a fund raised by parishioners was used to purchase a parcel of land behind the church for recreational development. A bequest from the estate of Mary E. Griffin in 1978 made it possible to build the pavilion named in her honor and dedicated in 1978 as well as a storage building.
Parishioners completed a fund drive in 1981 to replace the electronic carillon system in the church bell tower. A carillon, notable for its authentic English bell tone rings the Angelus, commemorating the Annunciation, at morning, noon and evening. It also plays a series of Christian hymns. In 1996, the electron carillon system was again updated.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish has approximately 2500 members. We are well served by a Resident Pastor, as well as by a Religious Education Coordinator, two secretaries and a Music Director. Our facilities include the Church, Parish Center in the lower church, the Rectory, the Religious Education office in the lower rectory, five acres of recreational land behind the church parking lot, a large pavilion for outdoor events and two storage buildings.
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