Parish Historian


From Church Historian: Mary Rhinelander McCarl


I am proud to be the parish historian for St. John’s in this, our one hundred and fiftieth year.
My job this year has been helping Catherine McGeary chair the anniversary committee that has been laboring to put together the celebration, and to supply Jim LaBelle and Don Cole with information for the video of St. John’s history. Since 2012, I have been a member of the Diocesan Parish Historians Council. This has meant that I have been researching the parish history at the diocesan level in Boston. The early rectors were dedicated and candid souls and it has been a pleasure to read their annual reports to the bishop. This April, I arranged for the Diocesan Parish Historians to meet at the Fisk Organ Company and at St. John’s. They had a splendid time.
Because I have long been involved in Episcopal (I was on the historical committee for Trinity, Copley Square) and other religious groups (I was an archivist at the Congregational Library in the 1980s) , I have a considerable range of knowledge about church records. I was able to retrieve the original sacramental records of St. John’s from the Diocesan Library.
Two related projects for which I am asking for help are to transcribe and index the early parish records and to undertake research on the families from the Canadian Maritime Provinces that made up so many of the members of the parish in the 20th century. I look forward to working with members of the parish on these projects.

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