R 254
2019 -- S 0843
Enacted 05/01/2019

S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N

Introduced By: Senators Satchell, Gallo, Ruggerio, Lombardo, and Lawson
Date Introduced: May 01, 2019

     WHEREAS, It has been known by several names in its long history, but St. Mary's
Church has been a mainstay in the tiny village of Crompton, in the Town of West Warwick for
the past 175 years; and
     WHEREAS, By 1844, the Irish settlers of Crompton had grown tired of the ten mile trek
to Providence for Catholic Mass.  Mary Doran, the wife of a printer in the Crompton Print Works
purchased an acre of land and donated it to Father Fitton for the purposes of building a church.
The cornerstone for the church was laid on October 15, 1844 and a small church was built upon
it.  The Irish of the Pawtuxet Valley finally had a church of their own; and
     WHEREAS, The church started out as a mission church served by priests from the
Cathedral in Providence.  The church became a separate parish and was renamed St. Mary's under
its first Pastor the Rev. Daniel Kelly in 1850.  Less than a year later, the Reverend James P.
Gibson came to St. Mary's.  Under Father Gibson, the transepts and sanctuary were added in
1856; giving the church its distinctive cross shape.  The church's bell tower was added in
1859.  Reverend Gibson served until his death in 1892, and is buried adjacent to the church; and 
     WHEREAS, After Father Gibson's death, the church was once again a mission church for
traveling Catholic priests from Providence.  On August 6, 1926, the church was devastated by
fire.  The church was re-opened on Easter Sunday, 1927.  In 1946, the church was returned to
parish status and Rev. Barton Daggett was appointed pastor; and
     WHEREAS, The church continued to grow spiritually, although the building itself had
suffered the ravages of time.  In 1978, the church's 133rd year, the parish undertook the task of
planning and funding an extensive renovation.  Work on the project began in April of 1980.  The
structure was lifted and moved while a new foundation was built.  After returning the building to
its original location, interior renovations revealed evidence of previous fires.  After the
renovation, the building was rededicated on January 25, 1981, by Bishop Louis Gelineau.  In
1994, St. Mary's held its 150th Anniversary Celebration; and
     WHEREAS, Today's parishioners are acutely aware of the history of their church.  St.
Mary's and the adjacent St. Mary's Cemetery are now entered on the National Register of Historic
Places.  From high atop the hill, the church looks over the village of Crompton and the other
villages that would eventually become the Town of West Warwick; and
     WHEREAS, Most of the original parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel are buried
behind the church.  Many of their gravestones indicate their Irish birth places.  Among their
graves are the graves of Mary Doran and Father Gibson.  There are also the graves of those who
have served our country, and the graves of thousands of other parishioners that have found their
way to this little building on Church Street; now, therefore be it   
     RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
hereby joins the parishioners of St. Mary's in celebrating the 175th Anniversary of their church.
May she continue to serve as the Mother Church of the Pawtuxet Valley and may she continue to
grow with her 18th generation of parishioners from this day forth; and be it further
     RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to
transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, and the Reverend
Douglas J. Spina, Ph.D.