Years of Continued Growth 1903 - 1925
FR DOODY TO THE RESCUE
Father Michael J. Doody succeeded Fr Scully as Pastor of St Mary’s on March 1, 1903. Fr Doody was indeed a blessing specially given to St Mary’s. He continued the building apostolate and erected most of the structures still standing today. As at 1905, the population of pupils at St Mary’s was 1,640. The facilities were already too stretched and it was time to change gear. Consequently, St Thomas Aquinas College and the Boys High School were discontinued; their students had to be sent to Boston College and Boston College High School respectively to make more space for the Grammar School.
When the Sisters of Notre Dame, De Namur, took over the management of the School for Girls in 1876, their accommodation was a big challenge. They started using the homestead of Howe Estate as convent in 1877 but in 1907, a new convent was embarked upon to accommodate 30 Sisters. The new convent was finished in 1908.
The parish suffered a setback caused by fire outbreak, on May 5, 1909, when the old Gymnasium burned down. The Gym had come to play a very important role in the life of Cambridge, and not even fire could burn that away. Thanks to concerted efforts from the public, a brand new Gym was built in its place the next year, on October 10, 1910. It was a remarkable date (10/10/10).
In continuation of his school advancement program, a new Grammar School (Boys School) was built which occupied the space left by the old convent, the grotto and the Free School. Then in July 1925, the last two frame buildings were taken down: Aquinas Hall was torn down and replaced by a new Rectory, which is the current Rectory in use; while the old Rectory was sold and the frame building moved to 160 Norfolk St.
Unfortunately, after serving as St Mary’s pastor for twenty-two years, Fr Doody was called away from this life to receive the eternal rewards of his hard labor. He passed away on July 3, 1925. The generation served by Fathers and Scully and Doody was a generation of building, and most of the buildings are still here.