Parish History

A Brief Parish History

John Cardinal O’Hara, the then Archbishop of Philadelphia, founded St. Maria Goretti Parish in 1953. The first pastor was Father Thomas F. Doyle. On June 14 of that year, the first Mass was celebrated at the Hatfield Fire Hall. Soon afterwards, Masses were celebrated at Hen’s restaurant (presently Finn McCool’s) on the Hatfield-Souderton Pike.

Ground was broken on December 27, 1953, for a church-school combination building and a convent for the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The school opened in September 1954. As early as 1960, a small social hall and gym were added. However, the Palm Sunday Holy Week celebrations began in these rooms in 1961. These rooms were to remain the Parish Church for the next 34 years.

On May 15, 1994, ground was broken again. This time, however, it was for the present Church. By July 1995, the building was ready for partial use. Finally, after 34 years in the temporary church, Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua dedicated the new church on Sunday, November 19, 1995

Notwithstanding, the parish is blessed with many good families who take their faith seriously enough to want to be involved in parish life as much as they can. This is the real treasure of the parish. That fact outweighs in importance the buildings we have constructed; the priests, the sisters, and lay staff who have served the parish; and all the tales, tall or true, that could be written here.