Parish History
In 1870, when the Springfield diocese was founded, the Cordaville/Southville sector of Southborough was serviced as a Catholic mission from a base in Milford. Later the tiny pioneer group, which formed the Catholic community in town, became a mission of the Westborough parish. Services were held in Wilson’s Hall, now the upstairs section of Fitzgerald’s General Store. In 1872, Herbert Wilson, owner and operator of the local mill property, deeded a half-acre of land to be used as the Catholic Church site. Under the direction of Father Eagan, excavations began, and, in 1877, Father Cornelius Cronin completed the work. Still a mission of Westborough, St. Matthew Church did not have a permanent pastor until 1886, when Father John F. Redican was appointed. Father Redican, shortly after his appointment, made plans and led the people of Southborough Center and Fayville in the building of St. Anne Church. Father Redican, living in a residence at the corner of Cottage Street and Cordaville road, serviced both churches with the St. Matthew’s neighborhood as his headquarters. During the pastorate of Father William T. Finneran, a new parish residence was built adjoining St. Anne church, and the parish headquarters was moved. In 1956, five years after the establishment of the Worcester diocese, the Most Reverend John Wright, first bishop of Worcester, re-established St. Matthew church, Southborough, as a parish of the diocese. Reverend John Bakanas was appointed administrator of the new parish. One year later, Father Eugene Archey was appointed as the first pastor of the new Cordaville/Southville Catholic community. In 1968, Reverend Thomas Lonergan succeeded Father Archey. Shortly thereafter, Father Pasquale Biscardi assumed the reins of the pastorate. During his tenure the church building was completely renovated. Reverend Raymond Anger continued the work of Father Biscardi as pastor of St. Matthew’s, and he, too, was succeeded by Father Daniel Driscoll and Father Brendan O’Donoghue who remained as pastor until 1993. In 1993, Reverend James B. Flynn was asked by Bishop Timothy Harrington to lead St. Matthew Parish as its sixth pastor and continues in that role to this day.