The original Hopedale High School, this building became
    Sacred Heart Church in 1935. The picture above is on a
    stone marker, made from a piece of the original foundation,
    and placed at the site of the former school and church.

                                                    Sacred Heart Church

      A little bit of undocumented history. I glanced at some of the literature at Church today and thought I
    saw something about how the Catholics of Hopedale decided about building a Catholic Church in
    town in 1935. The date is okay, but I'm not sure that's just how it happened.

      I think it was pretty much Father Jeremiah Riordan's idea, then pastor of St. Mary's in Milford, whose
    parish also included Hopedale and Mendon.  When Sacred Heart first opened in 1935 it consisted of
    both Hopedale and Mendon. At that time Father Riordan had two curates, Father John Donohue and
    Father Frances McCollough, who became the first and second pastors of Sacred Heart.  Of course this
    was all accomplished with the consent and support of the Bishop of Springfield, Bishop O'Leary. There
    was no Worcester Diocese in 1935.

      But to really get back to all of this history, you have to get back to a Mr. Roper, who lived on Freedom
    Street in that house about mid-way down the hill, with the fieldstone bottom story and also with a barn.
    He owned Roper's shop on Northrop Street, a four story brick building adjoining Hopedale Town Park.
    Mr. Roper died in 1916; I think his wife had already passed away.  St. Mary's owned that Roper
    residence as long as I can remember.

      Father David McGrath was pastor in Milford from about 1900 to 1920. (His funeral took place the day
    before Christmas, 1920.) After he died, Father Grace was Pastor of St. Mary's for three or four years
    until he died about 1923. Father Riordan came along about 1924. Father. Grace dedicated that brick
    St. Mary's Academy while he was pastor, I think. So just which pastor bought that Roper property is a
    little unclear but it could have been Father McGrath. I suppose the Bishop of Springfield was the real

       Sometimes the Roper house was unoccupied and sometimes it was rented, but it was supposed to
    have been acquired as a possible site for a Catholic church or chapel for Hopedale.  The new General
    Draper High School, on Adin Street, opened in 1928, and that left the old wooden Hopedale High
    School unused, until 1935, when some kind of a trade was made; the Roper house for the old high
    school, and that served as Sacred Heart Church until they built the present church around 1964. The
    old church served as the parish center, CCD classes, etc., until it was declared to need too extensive
    repairs and they built the new center. The old building was torn down.  Somehow the Roper property
    on Freedom Street came under Draper Corporation ownership, until they sold their rental properties in
    1955.   I realize this is all rather irrelevant today, but it's as I remember it. Don McGrath, (born March
    17, 1918), March 12, 2006. Don's memories of his early years on Freedom Street.

                                       Hopedale High School Becomes Church, by Gordon Hopper

                                        Acquistion of high school building                        Thrift Shop     

Stained Glass Windows   

Fr. Reilley Center, Building and Dedication   
 Now and Then - first High School/Sacred Heart Church       

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