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|secure place to room while working at the mills. The crowning
glory to father Michael's pastorship was the consecration of the church
in 1874, a title not given to many churches.
The idea of service was still foremost at St. Patrick's. The was a temperance society, an aid society for the poor, and social groups for women, men, and families. Upon the death of Michael O'Brien in 1900, a cousin, Father William O'Brien, carried on the O'Brien Dynasty. It was under his pastorship in which the church suffered severe fire damage and its subsequent rise from the ashes to its rededication in 1906. Father William was also responsible for the restructuring of St. Patrick Cemetery and the building of St. Bridget Chapel where he was laid to rest in 1921.
In front of the church under the granite slab engraved with a Celtic cross lie the remains of three of the Fathers O'Brien. The parish still lives in their shadow of service and loyalty. Though the numbers of the community are smaller than they once were, and the buildings do not stretch as far as they once did, St. Patrick's is as much a community devoted to loyalty and service to God and man as it ever was. In the words of the nineteenth century parish writer, "Ad Majorern Dei Gloriae - To the Greater Glory of God."
Father John's Medicine
Tradition has it that Father John O'Brien was taken ill in 1855. He made his way to the pharmacy of Carleton and Hovey on Merrimack Street to get something for relief. He was given a tonic that was composed of cod liver oil and had a licorice taste. Unlike many other medicines of its time, the prescription contained no alcohol. It worked so well for the priest that he began recommending folks to visit the apothecary and ask for "Father John's Medicine" - a legend was born.
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