Founded on Sheriff Street in May of 1826. It is said that the first parishioners came from Ireland via a boat from Argentina. Fr. Hatton Walsh, the first pastor wrote a 13 page homily dedicating the church to Our Lady and praising God for sanctuary from religious persecution. Penal Laws in Ireland did not end until the emancipation of catholics in 1829. Among things illegal for catholics in the penal code included possessing bells for worship. This was the first acquisition of Saint Mary’s after purchasing a small cladded church from the 7th Presbyterian Church. The photo gallery below is contained in our library. Please visit Saint Mary’s to learn more about our history and the history of the Lower East Side.