History

Welcome to St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in East Norwalk, CT.

                 

 

Being a landmark of our community St. Thomas has served Norwalk for over 7 decades. 

 

Catholicism in Norwalk dates back to 1828.  It was in May of that year Michael Cooney moved from New York and settled in Norwalk.  He was Norwalk's first known Catholic.  In 1833, the Reverend James McDermot, Pastor of New Haven, said the first Mass in Norwalk in the Cooney home on Commerce Street. Father visited Norwalk semi-annually each time celebrating Mass in the Cooney home.

In 1851, the first Catholic wooden structure, St. Mary Church, was built.  In about 1870, the present large stone structure was built and was the sole Catholic church in the Norwalk area until the mid 1890's when St. Joseph Church was built in the South Norwalk area.  About 1909, the ethnic Hungarian St. Ladislaus Church was built also in the South Norwalk area.  These three parishes served the Catholics of Norwalk until the founding of St. Thomas the Apostle parish in the East Norwalk area.

On May 1, 1935, Most Revereand Maurice F. McAuliffe, Bishop of the Diocese of HAertford, which included the entire State of Connecticut, established the Parish of St. Thomas the Apostle in East Norwalk with Reverend Thomas J. Sullivan appointed as the first pastor.

Under Father Sullivan's guidance, the newly-formed parish began holding services on Sunday, May 5, 1935, in the auditorium of Roger Ludlow Junior High School.  The boundaries of the parish were roughly described as Long Island Sound on the South, Norwalk River on the West, Westport Aveune on the North and the Town of Westport on the East.  The new Parish numbered about 900 parishioners who were former members of St. Mary and St. Joseph churches.

On May 1, 1935, Most Revereand Maurice F. McAuliffe, Bishop of the Diocese of HAertford, which included the entire State of Connecticut, established the Parish of St. Thomas the Apostle in East Norwalk with Reverend Thomas J. Sullivan appointed as the first pastor.

Under Father Sullivan's guidance, the newly-formed parish began holding services on Sunday, May 5, 1935, in the auditorium of Roger Ludlow Junior High School.  The boundaries of the parish were roughly described as Long Island Sound on the South, Norwalk River on the West, Westport Aveune on the North and the Town of Westport on the East.  The new Parish numbered about 900 parishioners who were former members of St. Mary and St. Joseph churches.

On May 1, 1935, Most Revereand Maurice F. McAuliffe, Bishop of the Diocese of HAertford, which included the entire State of Connecticut, established the Parish of St. Thomas the Apostle in East Norwalk with Reverend Thomas J. Sullivan appointed as the first pastor.

Under Father Sullivan's guidance, the newly-formed parish began holding services on Sunday, May 5, 1935, in the auditorium of Roger Ludlow Junior High School.  The boundaries of the parish were roughly described as Long Island Sound on the South, Norwalk River on the West, Westport Aveune on the North and the Town of Westport on the East.  The new Parish numbered about 900 parishioners who were former members of St. Mary and St. Joseph churches.

Under Fr. Sullivan's guidance, the newly-formed parish began holding services on Sunday, May 5, 1935, in the auditorium of Roger Ludlow Junior High School.  The boundaries of the parish were roughly described as Long Island Sound on the South, Norwalk River on the West, Westport Aveune ont he North and on the Town of Wesport on the East.  The new parish numbered about 900 parishionerrs who were former members of St. Mary and St. Joseph churches.

Fundraising activites were initiated within a week after Fr. Sullivan's appointment; sufficient funds were raised to begin land acquistion within six weeks of the establishment of the parish.  By June 20, 1935, the new parish had title tot heentire frontage on East Avenue between Myrtle and Fitch Strrets.  Five properties were involved, four contained buildings.  The Rider property at 201 East Ave contained the largest building which was deemed most readily adaptable for use as a tempry church.

By July 5, 1935, M.J. Riordan had a contract to remove the interior partion walls of the first floor of the extension at the back of the building.  This would provide an auditrium large enough to seat 350.  The tempory church was formally opened and blessed on August 11, 1935, about 100 days after the formation of the parish.

Fr. Sullivan died suddenly of a heart attack while swimming off Saugatuck Shores on a Sunday evening, August 15, 1943, at the age of 59.  He served St. Thomas the Apostle Parish as pastor for 8 years.

Bishop McAuliffe appointed Reverend Henry E. Flanagan as the second pastor effective September 18, 1943.

The dedication of the new church took place on April 2, 1950.  Most Reverend Henry J. O'Brien, DD, Bishop of Hartford, presided at the dedication service.

In April of 1953, Bishop O'Brien approved construction of the rectory on the site of the existing tempory rectory.

In 1954, the Diocese of Bridgeport was formed and Most Reverend Lawrence J. Sheehan was installed as the first Bishop of Bridgeport in December.  Fr. Flanagan was borrowed to help fund raise for the new Diocese and was returned home to 203 East Ave in late 1954 to the new rectory!

Msgr. Henry Flanagan dies suddenly of a heart atteck on Saturday, Feb. 26, 1966 at the age of 68.  He had served as pastor for almost 23 years.  

April of 1966, Msgr. John Cavanaugh was appointed as third pastor.  At the age of 70, Msgr. retired as of May 31, 1978 due to health problems.  He had served as pastor for 12 years.

Bishop Curtis appointed Msgr. John J. Toomey as fourth pastor effective June 1, 1978.  After serving 14 years, he died in St. Joseph Hospital in August of 1992.  Parochial Vicar Victor Martin was assigned administrator until a new pastor was appointed.

Bishop Eagan appointed Msgr. William J. Scheyd as the fifth pastor of St. Thomas  Msgr. Scheyd served for 10 years and was transferred to St. Aloysius in New Canaan.

January 3, 2003, Bishop Lori appointed Reverend Robert Crofut as the sixth pastor.  Fr. Crofut served 10 years as well,bnv untill he retired as pastor due to health reasons.

May 24, 2014 Bishop Caggiano appointed Fr. Miroslaw Staturski as seventh pastor of St. Thomas where he is affectionately known as Fr. Mirek.