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Starting to Grow

The nineteen-month period at the Sportsman's Hall Parish without a resident pastor came to an end on November 27, 1817, when Father Charles Bonaventure Maguire, O.S.F., in his own words, "obtained possession of the benefice." He had been appointed pastor of the Sportsman's Hall Parish by Father Louis de Barth, Administrator of the Diocese of Philadelphia.

When Father Maguire arrived at Sportsman's Hall on November 27, 1817, as the third resident pastor, he found little to commend it. All of Father Helbron's personal goods, furniture, provisions, livestock and farming implements had been sold and the proceeds had been given to Mary Hagan in trust for the Church at Carlisle - in accord with the provisions of Father Helbron's Will. And so Father Maguire was obliged to make a considerable outlay of money to buy livestock for the farm and the necessary implements to till the land. Also, a circular barn was now in a dilapidated condition. Father Maguire requested the congregation to build a new barn; they hired a carpenter and the new barn was soon completed. To manage the farm, Father Maguire engaged his own brother and had his sister keep house for him. Also, he leased the best parts of the farm to a David Mulholland for a term of seven years. But in general the farm proved to be unprofitable for Father Maguire, due largely to a sudden depreciation in farm products. And so he was soon faced with personal debts, despite the salary that he received from the congregation.

Father Maguire's pastoral ministry, on the other hand, was well received and offered much promise. During the more than two years of his pastorate there was general satisfaction with his spiritual service. This favorable ministry and the growth in population of the area caused the congregation to increase rapidly. Father Maguire kept an accurate record of baptisms, marriages and funerals at Sportsman's Hall Parish, just as Father Helbron had done. In the spring of 1820, Father Maguire moved to Pittsburgh to become pastor of Old Saint Patrick's Parish, where he had an illustrious career as pastor, and died there, on July 17, 1833, of cholera during the epidemic that gripped the people of Pittsburgh.

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