Parish History

church-historyThe Parish of St. Thomas is comprised of the towns of Thomaston, Plymouth except for the Terryville section, and the Northfield section of the Town of Litchfield. On December 24, 1868 incorporation papers were signed by Bishop Francis P. McFarland, Bishop of the Diocese of Hartford, Father James Hughes, Vicar General of the Diocese, Father Christopher Dugget, Pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Bristol, Michael Ryan and Patrick O’Connell Lay Trustees for the new parish. The signing took place in Academy Hall in Plymouth Hollow (as Thomaston was then known). In mid-January of 1869 word was received that the Secretary of the State had accepted and filed the papers establishing St. Thomas as a corporate Church Society.

In 1871 the First Resident Pastor, Father Eugene Gaffney was appointed. The foundation for a church had been constructed and Father Gaffney finished the original church which was located on the east slope of a hill convenient to the Railroad Station. The acre of land was donated by Aaron Thomas, son of Seth Thomas. Bishop Galberry of the Hartford Diocese dedicated the Church on October 15, 1876. Upon the death of Father Gaffney, Father Michael J. McGivney, a Waterbury native came to Thomaston from New Haven and was appointed the Second Resident Pastor of St. Thomas. He arrived in Thomaston on November 30, 1884. Two years prior to his arrival he had established a Catholic Men’s Benevolent Society which was named the Knights of Columbus. While Pastor at St. Thomas he did much to upgrade the physical plant of the Church. Father McGivney founded the Atlantic Council #18 which has the distinction of being the only Council founded and sworn by Father McGivney. On August 14, 1890 Father McGivney died.

By the turn of the century, St. Thomas had grown to well over a thousand member parish community. Father Daly and his successor Father Timothy O’Brien realized the need for a new and larger Church. Land was purchased at the intersection of East Main and North Main Streets in the center of Thomaston. In 1905 under Father John H. Walsh’s direction, construction of the New Church began. The cornerstone was laid amid a joyous Community celebration on May 6, 1906 and dedicated on May 31, 1908. The Church structure still serves our Parish Family. Today, St. Thomas is going strong and its Parish Community is comprised of approximately 1620 families. Under the direction of Father Bernard Flynn, St. Thomas Parish School was established and built.

The St. Thomas Parish Community strives to bring the presence and love of Christ to its members and to the surrounding community through liturgical services, education programs and social ministry.

The Catholic Christian Community of St. Thomas provides a warm and welcoming atmosphere for both it’s members and visitors.