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Holy Cross Parish is located in Holyrood, at the head of Conception Bay, and was officially established in 1883 as a parish in the Diocese of Harbour Grace. Holyrood was settled in the late 1700s by Irishmen, a number of Mik'maq from Placentia Bay and a few Portuguese. While the population increased steadily, the community remained almost exclusively Roman Catholic. Prior to the establishment of a parish, a mission church had existed in the community for roughly fifty years, with priests visiting from Harbour Grace and later Harbour Main.
The first parish priest of Holy Cross Parish was Reverend Gregory Battcock. His successor, Reverend Michael Hanley supervised the construction of a new church to replace the old mission chapel. This church burned down in 1918 and was replaced by a new one in 1919. During the tenure of Reverend William McCormack Murphy, schools were built in the communities of North Arm, Newton, South Side and Central Holyrood and in 1959 a new high school was opened in Holyrood. Reverend Edward Shea (1965-1981) built a new presbytery which was also the meeting place of the parish council and most of the parish communities. In 1989, Reverend William Houlahan was made parish priest of Harbour Main, uniting the two communities.
Pastors that have served Holy Cross Parish since its inception include: Gregory Battcock (1883-1891); Michael Hanley (1891-1900); Joseph Murphy (1900-1908); Gregory Battcock (1908-1910); James Donnelly (1910-1913); William P. Finn (1913-1935); Peddle (1935-1940); William McCormack Murphy (1940-1959); Michael James Kinsella (1959-1965); Edward Shea (1965-1981); Raymond Lahey (1980-1982); William P. Hogan (1982-1988); Joseph Crawford (1988-1989); William Houlahan (1989-1991), Edward T. Bromley (1991-1996); Wayne Cummings (1996-1998); Brian Dunn (1998- ).
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