The story of St. Philip Parish begins in the early 1830`s when a group of Grafton families was visited by Rev. James Fitton, "the missionary of New England." The Grafton church was a mission of Christ Church in Worcester, St. Brigid in Millbury, St. Mary in Uxbridge, St. Ann in Worcester. During the 1850`s a small chapel was constructed on West Street and dedicated in 1861 to the patronage of St. Philip. The church was enlarged during the 1860`s and in 1869 became a parish by itself with the appointment of Rev. Angelus Baret as the first pastor. Through the years St. Philip has been served by sixteen pastors and more than twenty-five curates and associates. Rev. James Boyle, the second pastor, expended his enormous zeal in building the rectory and churches in the other parts of town. His successor, the compassionate and businesslike Rev. John Murphy, beautified the church and cemetery.
Among the longer serving pastors during the twentieth century were Rev. John Casey (1925-45), Rev. James Ruddy (52-68), Rev. Raymond Lange (69-77), Msgr. Richard Collette (79-85), and our present pastor, Rev. Anthony Marteka, who has served since 1985 and is leading the parishioners as they meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.
Since its founding, St. Philip has been the mother church of four parishes - Holy Angels in Upton, St. James in Fisherville, St. Mary in North Grafton, and Our Lady of Lourdes, formerly in East Millbury. The parish priests also tended the Grafton State Hospital.
While the "old St. Philip Church" served for well over one hundred years, it was replaced in 1977 by a new, modern building designed to better serve the needs of a growing parish. Additions through the years include outdoor statues, illuminated starburst crosses, carillon bells, and, most recently, beautiful stained glass windows. Today, as through the long history of St. Philip Church, the Pastor and parishioners work and pray together as they build for the future a parish family in the long and honored tradition of dedication to "the glory of God and the service of His people."