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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In the decades following the Civil War, the Catholic Church became the largest church in the United States. Its unprecedented and tremendous growth was due almost entirely to immigration. The American Catholic Church struggled repeatedly to assimilate various immigrant groups. First Irish, and then German Catholic immigrants, dominated the Roman Catholic Church. The ethnic composition of the Catholic Churches became ever more diverse as immigration peaked at the turn of the 20th century. By 1900, for example, one in every ten Catholics in America was of Polish origin. The middle Connecticut River Valley was home to thousands of Polish immigrants. This church in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, is named for Saint Stanislaus, a Polish saint.
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