Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church is located in Proctorsville, Vermont in the town of Cavendish. Population 1,470. We feel that God has blessed this community in Vermont.
In 1848 and perhaps earlier, visiting priests began saying mass in homes for the Catholics in Proctorsville. A few from Ludlow also attended the masses held in Proctorsville. In 1855 Father O'Reilly of Brattleboro began to visit the mission in Proctorsville regularly.
In 1859 John Tierney of Cavendish deeded a parcel of land in Proctorsville to Bishop Louis DeGoesbriand for $150. Ten years later, 1869, Father O'Reilly built a church on that parcel at a cost of $2,000.The church was dedicated to the Holy Name of Mary and the parish consisted of 100 families.
The church also houses what we believed to be one of the first tabernacles used in the church. It was found in the basement of the church and refurbished by longtime church members, a husband and wife team. Inscription found on the back of the tabernacle is - (Rev. Edmund Gendreau- December 25, 1870). It serves as a beautiful simple home for our Lord today. It is also a reminder to us of the dedication of those first settlers to Proctorsville and Cavendish who practiced their faith and passed on their church community to following generations.
Over the next eight years the parish was successively under the care of four priests, Rev. Thomas Halpin, Rev. L.A. Onge, Rev. Bissoneult, and Rev. Edmund Genreau. In 1877 the Bishop appointed Rev. J.C. McLaughlin as pastor of Holy name of Mary who also acted as the pastor of the new church of the Annunciation in Ludlow.
Five years later in 1882 both parish of Holy Name of Mary and Annunciation were placed under the care of a curate in St. Peter's Church in Rutland.
In 1886 Rev. P.J.Houlihan became the first resident pastor of Holy Name of Mary and Annunciation. He served January 1886 to September 1899.
Problems with the floor caused the Holy Name of Mary building in Proctorsville to be declared unsafe and the church was closed for five years.
Rev. M.J. Carmody was appointed in 1899 as pastor of Ludlow and Proctorsville, a post he held for five years (1899-1904). During this period Fr. Carmody offered mass in the Maloney Home and then as the congregation grew, the Fire Hall (Slack's Antique Shop) in Proctorsville.
Eventually, the church was refurbished on the original site, and on December 25, 1905 a Christmas Midnight Mass was celebrated by Rev. F. Dwyer. Father Dwyer served as pastor until J.J. Cullin succeeded him in 1913. Father served the religious needs of the entire town of Cavendish.
In September of 1946, Holy Name of Mary parish became a mission of the newly formed St. Joseph Church, Chester, and remained in that capacity over the next fifty years. In 2001, Holy Name of Mary parish was reunited with Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ludlow. On November 2, 2005, Bishop Salvatore R. Matano came to celebrate Mass in commemoration of the 100th anniversary since the church was re-dedicated in 1905. The parish was said to be a vibrant and thriving community.