Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Church

On September 10, 1833, the sloop, The Guide, landed in Derby and among its passengers were the first Irish immigrants to Derby - Matthew Kelledy, his wife, his child and John Phelan. With them came Roman Catholicism to the Valley. (Sea captain Claudius Barthelme was probably the first Catholic in Derby in 1760 after coming from France.) For about a dozen years, priests from New Haven served their spiritual needs in services held in private homes.

In 1845, Anson Phelps donated land and the first Catholic church in the Valley was erected. In 1882, the current church and residence were dedicated. By 1885, the Sisters of Mercy had arrived and parishioners had erected a parochial school next door. In 1904, a convent was erected for the nuns.

The Assumption Parish in Ansonia and St. Jude's in Derby were originally part of St. Mary's

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St. Mary's Today
(Photo by Fred Ortoli)

St. Mary's in 1845

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