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St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

St. Thomas the Apostle. Photo credit: Kristina Vakhman (we-ha.com file photo)

St. Thomas the Apostle will hold a special 100-year anniversary mass on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, just before the church’s official merger with St. Timothy Church.


St. Thomas the Apostle Parish will celebrate its 100-year anniversary with a special commemorative Mass on Sunday Nov. 7, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. Father Edward M. Moran, the former pastor who served as a priest at St. Thomas the Apostle for 28 years, will deliver the homily at this Mass, and the combined choirs from St. Thomas the Apostle Church and St. Timothy Church will perform special music.

One-hundred years is a significant milestone for any parish. For 100 years St. Thomas the Apostle Church has been a fixture in West Hartford, tending to the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the people of West Hartford and surrounding communities. We have a lot to be grateful for as we celebrate and honor our past. At the same time, we embrace and welcome new opportunities and possibilities.

St. Thomas the Apostle Church first began in a small wooden building located at the corner of the Boulevard and South Quaker Lane in West Hartford. The Parish was established two years after the end of World War I to serve West Hartford families living north of Elmwood who had previously belonged to St. Joseph Cathedral and our Lady of Sorrows of Hartford. The first Sunday Masses were celebrated on Nov. 14, 1920.

Current location

In 1923, Monsignor Callahan was able to purchase land at the corner of Dover Road and Farmington Avenue in West Hartford, thinking it was a more accessible location for parishioners. Construction then began on the basement church, which was completed in 1926. There was a dedication ceremony prior to celebrating high Mass on Nov. 7, 1926 in the new basement church. (The basement is now the Parish Center and Chapel.)

The upper church

It was not until 1951 that finances would allow the upper church to be completed even though the architectural plans had been completed in 1926. Delay was certainly influenced by the great depression and second world war.

On Sunday, Sept. 16, 1951 Monsignor Callahan celebrated the first Mass in a beautiful, new Gothic style upper church as Henry J. O’Brien, Bishop of Hartford, conferred the blessing.

To view the church’s 100th anniversary booklet, which contains additional historical information and photos, click here.

The future

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, St. Timothy Parish is being merged into St. Thomas the Apostle Parish to form a new larger parish called St. Thomas and St Timothy Parish. Each church will retain its name and the new parish will hold services at each location. The parochial schools in each parish will also retain their names and current locations.

Parishioners of St. Thomas the Apostle and St. Timothy are very excited about the opportunity the merger provides. Our goal is to create a welcoming, vibrant parish that opens its doors and its hearts to all. Our mission is to make new and mature disciples, and to make church matter again for the people of our community. That is what Christ asked his church to do. Our mission will also be to bring Christ’s love and compassion to the world by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and treating everyone with the dignity, respect, love, and acceptance that they deserve as children of God.

To view a video about the church and its mission, click here.

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