Prior to 1846, Catholics of Hopkinton traveled to Milford for Mass. In 1846, Fr. Boyce of Milford began making monthly visits to Hopkinton where Mass was held in the home of John McDonough. In 1849, a Protestant employer called a meeting of all Catholics of the town and, with a gift of $200 from the same person, the attendees unanimously voted to begin a drive to erect a church.

The original Catholic church built in Hopkinton was located on Cedar St. and was known as St. Malachi. It was a wooden structure, 60 by 40 feet. In July of 1866, Rev. Barry was appointed as the first resident Catholic pastor of Hopkinton.

Rev. J.P. Ryan was appointed pastor in November of 1872. Three years later arrangements were completed for the erection of a new granite church, to be known as St. John the Evangelist. Land was purchased on Church St. and Fr. Ryan turned the first sod in May, 1876. Mass was first celebrated in the then the completed basement on Christmas, 1878. The following year St. Malachi church building was torn down. After Fr. Ryan’s death in 1881, Rev. M.D. Murphy became the pastor of St. John and it was he who carried to consummation the plans of Fr. Ryan. On September 2, 1889, eleven years after the first sod was turned he had the pleasure of seeing the church dedicated. Throughout the years the structure has seen a number of changes, however the most significant was the addition of the parish center. Rev. Father James Degnan, appointed pastor 1979, began the planning of the parish center in 1987. The building was to be a commitment and response to the early parishioners and a renewal of the parish’s dedication to the spiritual life of the people and a demonstration of strength of purpose. The new building was dedicated by Cardinal Bernard Law in September, 1991.

The People

St. John the Evangelist parish was begun in the mid-l9th century with farmers, stone workers and servants of the wealthy, mostly Irish immigrants. At the turn of the century large numbers of blue collar workers arrived to seek employment in the shoe industry then thriving in Milford and, to a lesser extent, in Hopkinton. With the advent of the automobile and better roads, this remote country village experienced steady growth. In the last 15 years, Hopkinton has become a most desirable location for many who work in the high tech industry. Dozens of new homes have been built for families with upper middle class means, and the building shows little sign of stopping. Needless to say the number of new young families of all ethnic backgrounds taxes the resources not only of the town but of the parish as well. These are positive challenges for the parish.

Location & Size

St. John`s is located in the West Region of the Archdiocese in the Framingham Vicariate. The Town of Hopkinton (population 14,500) is primarily a residential community with some light manufacturing and emerging high tech industry. There are six churches located an Hopkinton, five of which are of various Protestant denominations.

Currently, St. John’s administers to the needs of approximately 1,600 families.

History of Priests at St. John the Evangelist

1866-1870 – Rev. Thomas F. Barry
1870-1872 – Rev. Peter Minetti
1872-1880 – Rev. John P. Ryan
1880-1881 – Rev. Francis J. Glynn
1881-1885 – Rev. Joseph F. Mohan
1885-1890 – Rev. Michael D. Murphy
1891-1893 – Rev. John F. Cummins
1893-1900 – Rev. John D. Colbert
1900-1908 – Rev. John E. Cronley
1908-1914 – Rev. Francis X. Dolan
1914-1918 – Rev. William E. Keating
1918-1926 – Rev. James H. Flannery
1926-1928 – Rt. Rev. Thomas C. Garrahan
1928-1931 – Rev. William J. Duffy
1931-1936 – Rev. George Gately
1936-1942 – Rev.David V. Fitzgerald
1942-1947 – Rev. Frederick J. Deasy
1947-1954 – Rev. John F. Donoghue
1954-1959 – Rev. George F. Sullivan
1959-1972 – Rev. William R Hodgkinson
1972-1979 – Rev. Joseph LaRaia
1979-2006 – Rev. James Degnan
2006-2012 – Rev. Paul Clifford
2012- – Rev. Richard Cannon

1869-1869 – Rev. LeBritin
1869-1870 – Rev. Dennis J. O’Farrell
1871-1871 – Rev. J.V. McNamara
1871-1877 – Rev. John Cullen
1878-1881 – Rev. Francis J. Glynn
1881-1883 – Rev. T.J. Whalen
1883-1885 – Rev. P.B. McManus
1886-1895 – Rev. Edward J. Fagan
1897-1897 – Rev. John P. Mahoney
1897-1897 – Rev. L.W. Slattery
1898-1900 – Rev. Austin J. Doherty
1902-1902 – Rev. Dennis F. Murphy
1904-1908 – Rev. John E. O’Connell
1906-1906 – Rev. Joseph V. Tracey
1908-1909 – Rev. Michael J. Murphy
1909-1910 – Rev. John A. McCauley
1910-1910 – Rev. Joseph L. Early
1910-1913 – Rev. Francis H. Houston
1913-1914 – Rev.Daniel S. Sheerin
1914-1916 – Rev. David F. Gorman
1916-1916 – Rev. E.J. Herlihy
1917-1918 – Rev. J.J. Sheahan
1919-1921 – Rev. Fabian O’Connell
1921-1925 – Rev. J.L. Driscoll
1926-1938 – Rev. Francis A. Whitley
1938-1941 – Rev. John W. Dowd
1939-1941 – Rev. John F. Mullin
1941-1942 – Rev. John J. Manning
1943-1943 – Rev. James P. Sherry
1943-1945 – Rev. Francis X. Gauthier
1945-1947 – Rev. Joseph F. Bracken
1947-1947 – Rev. Charles X. Lahey
1947-1950 – Rev. George F. Smith
1950-1953 – Rev. John J. Connelly
1953-1955 – Rev. John C. Lyons
1955-1959 – Rev. William R. Hodgkinson
1959-1966 – Rev. John T. Foley
1966-1971 – Rev. Francis M. Russo
1972-1973 – Rev. Ronald Calhoun
1973-1981 – Rev. Daniel O’Leary
1981-1985 – Rev. William T. Kremmell
1987-1992 – Rev. Michael Alfano
1992-1995 – Rev. Kenneth Quinn
1997-1999 – Rev. William MacKenzie
1999-2004 – Rev. Joseph Diem
2004-2006 – Rev. Kenneth Cannon
2009-2012 – Rev. Shawn Carey