1886-1890 Michael McCauley
1890-1891 Francois X. Guay
1891-1894 No Pastor - Under Interdict
1894-1899 Peter Van Holderbeke
1899-1903 John E. O'Brien
1903-1906 A. T. Bourke
1906-1946 Tryphon F. Van de Walle
1946-1949 Andrew J. Shaughnessy
1949-1961 Garrett Galvin
1961-1965 Anthony Throckmorton
1965-1972 Patrick G. O'Neill
1972-1974 John Peeters
1974-1979 Michael O'Brien
1979-1999 Dennis V. Champagne
1999-2003 Richard J. Ward
2003-2012 Joseph (Jay) A. DeFolco
2012-Present Milhton Scarpetta
Saint Michael Catholic Church has a long and fascinating history as one of the first Catholic churches in the western United States. Originally centered in Tulalip, the greater Snohomish area was served by three Oblate Fathers, Fathers Chirouse, Boulet, and Cesari from 1861-1886. Together, the Fathers formed the mission, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Snohomish was served by Father Cesari, who commuted via boat from LaConner to Snohomish.
Under Reverend Louis A. Kusters in 1883, a parcel of land was donated to begin building a Catholic church in Snohomish, but community tension delayed action. Construction began in 1886, and the church was dedicated in 1889 under the tutelage of Fr. Michael McCauley. It was at this point that the church took on the name of Saint Michael, perhaps because Saint Michael was Fr. McCauley’s patron saint. The church was 55 feet long, 28 feet wide, and had a spire 80 feet high.
Catholicism was a serious point of contention amongst Snohomish residents. The American Protective Association in Snohomish, a group that condemned Catholics, Jews, African Americans, and Asian Americans, threatened to burn down the new church. Many times it was necessary for parishioners to protect the parish overnight from arson and vandalism. Saint Michael faced a particularly violent period from 1891 until 1906 in which four priests—Fr. Francois, Fr. Peter Van Holderbeke, Fr. John E. O’Brien, and Fr. A. T. Bourke—were attacked and forced to leave Snohomish to protect their safety.
The first renovation and expansion of the church occurred in 1920 by Father Van de Walle. In 1949, Father Garrett replaced the pump organ with an electric organ. Slightly under 10 acres were purchased by Fr. Anthony Throckmortin in 1964 to build a parish center and new church. The religious education center was dedicated in 1969. This building now houses our parish school, which opened in the fall of 2007. The new church, where masses take place today, began construction in 1983 and was dedicated in 1986 on Christmas Eve.