The iron mines, the building of the Chenango Canal, and later the knitting mills, brought many Irish settlers to the Clinton area. The first authentic account of the settlement of Catholics in Clinton, NY is of a James McGuire and his family from Ireland. At the McGuire home, and later other Catholic homes, Mass was celebrated first by Rev. William Howard and then by Rev. Gilligan, and Fr. Cull, assistants from St. John’s in Utica. It should be noted that St. John’s, located on John Street in Utica, was founded in 1819 for Catholics in all of Central and Western New York. It was the only Catholic Church between Albany and Buffalo. On April 30, 1851, a building lot for a church was purchased from Judge Williams for $125 and is the same site upon which the present church is located on Marvin Street. The deed, as recorded in the County Clerk’s office reads: “Deed from Othniel S. Williams and Delia, his wife, to John McCloskey.” This first St. Mary’s Church was a wooden structure started in 1852 and competed in 1854. The Church was dedicated by Bishop McCloskey of Albany, on October 25, of that year. It is interesting that Judge William’s donated $50 on this occasion, and smaller sums at other times toward the Church. Other citizens of good will followed Judge Williams’ example and did much to help Father William Coghlan, the first appointed pastor, in his efforts to pay for the church. Under the direction of Fr. Peter O’Reilly, the third pastor for St. Mary’s, the church was enlarged and a rectory built during the 1870’s. The rectory was built for a cost of $13,380.48 during 1871. A fire damaged the rectory on December 23,1909. The loss was extensive, but soon afterwards, the rectory was repaired and enlarged. Fr. Peter O’Reilly remained at St. Mary’s twenty-nine years, and highly regarded by not only his parishioners, but his fellow clergy as well. Fr. Peter O’Reilly was succeeded by Father James O’Reilly, who came to Clinton in 1892, where he was to remain until his death in 1915. Thus the parishioners of St. Mary’s knew the name of O’Reilly as that of their pastor for 52 years. Present Church Building Soon after his arrival in Clinton, Fr. James O’Reilly began collecting funds for the building of a new church. The old church was torn down in 1909 to make way for the present edifice and for the next few years the building that was the Masonic Hall on Williams Street was utilized a St. Mary’s Church. The cornerstone for the present church was laid on June 12, 1910. The stone itself is dated 1909, the year the old church was demolished and the work started on the present building. The church was completed near the end of 1912 for a cost of $91,101.74, and dedicated on January 5, 1913 by Bishop Grimes of Syracuse, NY. The history of a parish consists of more than a collection of dates, buildings and names. It is a story of deep Christian faith and commitment; God coming alive in the minds and hearts and souls of human beings; a story of God’s love for his people and people’s love for their God. For it is in the parish community that we receive the graces, strengths and courage to endure the trials and sufferings of every day life on our pilgrimage through life. After 160 plus years of history, we know that our ancestors worked hard, sacrificed greatly and contributed generously to give us our beautiful church and parish. Each generation has contributed its share in transmitting the Faith to future generations. This is the challenge that each generation faces; this is no less true of all of us today.