Parish History



           On October 11,1874, when Ulysses S. Grant was President and Pius IX was Pope, the Most Reverend Thomas F. Hendricken, Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, conducted the solemn blessing and dedication of the Church of St. Peter the Apostle and the formal canonical erection of St. Peter’s Parish in Provincetown…..So it was begun!  The original parishioners were mainly simple, faith-filled, Portuguese fishermen and their families, well over fifty percent of the town’s population at the time.  Today, there are fewer and fewer fishermen, and the parish is composed of a great melting pot of diverse ethnic backgrounds, occupations, and derivations that make up the peoples of this town.  The parish is open, loving, and welcoming to all who profess their faith in Jesus Christ and in His Holy Catholic Church.

              The cemetery renovations were begun in 1952 by Monsignor Leo J. Duart (1951-1975) and it is kept in pristine condition by our caretaker, Moe Gonsalves.  The lovely chapel atop the hill at the cemetery was built in 1976 with money that Msgr. Duart had bequeathed for the purpose, with the help of the local St. Vincent de Paul Society.  The beautiful Calvary scene statuary in front of the Chapel was donated by former Pastor Rev. Manuel C. Terra (1893-1924), also by a gift in his will.  The Parish Hall was built in 1967 with money that our late Pastor John A. Sylvia (1924-1951) had saved.  The Parish School was constructed in 1967 with money that Msgr. Duart had saved.  It was closed in 1971 and eventually sold to the Provincetown Public School System.

               The Grotto of Our Lady of Fatima outside the church was started in 1951.  It was sponsored by the Provincetown Court of the Catholic Daughters of America, Msgr. Silvia, and the Provincetown fishermen.

On January 25, 2005, at 6:00 AM, St. Peter’s Church was destroyed by fire.  The beautiful mural and all but one of our stained glass windows were ruined.  

          Our new church was dedicated on July 13, 2008 by our Most Reverend George W. Coleman, Bishop of Fall River