History

In the Beginning
Our roots go back to June 1970 when a dream became reality for an energetic, hale and hearty, new pastor who was about to establish Saint Dominic Church. The vision of Fr. Walter F. Geraghty was coming to fruition as he set out recruit a core of parishioners of like mind to build a new parish and church. The founders of the new mission parish of Saint Thomas Church arrived at a consensus to adopt the name of Saint Dominic.

At the outset, the facilities were meager, modestly simple, sometimes borrowed but always filled with warmth and love. For a time, Masses were held in the DePaolo Junior High School auditorium. But the situation was ephemeral, destined to be relatively short-lived. Responding to every call to help shape its future, the founding parishioners took up the challenge to build a parish with Rev. Walter F. Geraghty as their pastoral inspiration. With the help of God and a lot of raffles, fairs and other fund-raisers, the small congregation completed its new church. The new church, now known as the Geraghty Parish Center, was dedicated in October 1973.

Tenacious Inspiration - An Evolving New Spirit

Much more work had to be done. Within three years, a half million dollar debt on the church hall and the rectory was retired. Inspired, the focus of the parish turned to the Nave. Its successful completion was to be a major milestone. On February 7, 1981, the first Mass was celebrated in our new Church.

Through the ensuing years, the parish continued to grow, ultimately becoming the complex that stands today on the nine-acre lot situated at the corner of Flanders Road and Laning Street. Through the collaborative efforts of so many who took responsibility to build the parish, not only were they successful in raising the funds and human resources the development ultimately required, but, much more important, a spirit of Christian community was born.

Over the years, the Dominic Spirit continued to grow. Its brightness still glows. Whether regulars or occasional visitors, those who are observant know that the Dominic Spirit can be seen, heard and felt in the daily life of our parish today.

Education and Faith Formation
It all started with a nursery school for 3 and 4 year-olds which was established around 1980. It was to be the forerunner of Saint Dominic School which was built grade by grade, year by year. Saint Dominic School, under the leadership of Fr. Geraghty and its principal for twenty years, Gladys M. Wood, would prove to be the only new Catholic school to be opened in the Hartford Archdiocese in over 25 years! Many awards were received by the school for excellence in Catholic elementary education.

The Maturing of a Parish As the years came and went, the parish grew and flourished under the stable hand of its founding pastor. Families grew, new families arrived, children married, with many remaining in the parish raising their own. Lifelong friendships were formed. The threads of parishioners' lives were interwoven with many others into a rich and radiant fabric whose resilience has endured even as many who were here left and many more came in their place.

The Passing of a Pastor
As the years came and went, the parish grew and flourished under the stable hand of its founding pastor. Families grew, new families arrived, children married, with many remaining in the parish raising their own. Lifelong friendships were formed. The threads of parishioners' lives were interwoven with many others into a rich and radiant fabric whose resilience has endured even as many who were here left and many more came in their place. After 27 years as pastor, and several years of failing health towards the end, illness took its toll. Father Geraghty succumbed early Sunday morning, February 23, 1997, not many hours after the arrival of his successor whom he was so pleased to welcome. Walter F. Geraghty was a man that had spent his whole life in the service of God and His people. Surely, he went directly to a special place in the House of the Lord. Those who knew him also know he would be happy to see how his parish has grown and flourished since he left.

The Beginning of a New Century
On February 22, 1997, following 37 years of exemplary service and outstanding accomplishment in Catholic education, Fr. Henry C. Frascadore arrived here at Saint Dominic Church to assume the first pastoral assignment of his career.

There was much to be done. Immediately, he commissioned the development of a written parish mission statement. Within the first year, the new pastor called for a parish wide election of a new parish council. He empowered the council to work with him to set a new agenda for a parish approaching the millennium. With the council, he established a new Long Term Planning committee to conduct an assessment of the physical condition of the parish plant and facility and a plan to address a long list of needed repairs, maintenance and improvements. Meanwhile, he appointed a finance committee to review and make recommendations concerning the wavering financial condition of the parish.

Lay leaders and parishioners rallied to his support as the first and succeeding annual parish appeals were effective in raising sufficient funds to systematically take care of a steady succession of needed capital improvements, one after the other.

Through the generous support and stewardship commitment of hundreds of parish families and some substantial gifts, grants and a sizable bequest of Father Geraghty, we were able to paint the entire parish center, replace old furniture with new, implement structural repairs, thoroughly clean all church carpeting, remove and replace obsolete underground oil tanks, clean the exterior stone surface of the church and re-stain doors, complete the improvements to the school and move of all of its buildings to the new campus, and through the gift of the family of Bertha Desell, the construction of a patio, new garden park and a bronze statue of our patron, Saint Dominic. In the year 2001 a parking lot extension adding 100 new spaces was constructed while the existing parking lot has been resurfaced and the pond was reclaimed.

Fr. Ronald P. May, is the current pastor of Saint Dominic Parish. 

Spiritual Growth and Development
While the five-year major capital improvement plan was on track for virtual completion within less than four years, an extraordinary growth in the size of the parish was taking place. From an enrollment of 941 parish families in 1995, the year 2002 opened with a total registration exceeding 2,000 families. Our parish provides religious education to over 1,000 children from nursery through Confirmation (tenth grade).

Our spiritual life and spiritual support system has grown with the help of our expanding ministries. The future of our parish is limited only by the imagination and our willingness to challenge the amazing possibilities in the areas of liturgy enhancement, education, youth ministry, health advisories and screening, community service, action for social justice, counseling to every constituency of our faith congregation, social activities and state-of-the-art communications.

The Parish Information & Communications Center
In developing a vision for the parish of today, we recognized the growing importance of reaching out for

We started by defining the vision for our parish and how PICC would play its proper role in bringing the hope to reality. Having done so, and that task is a continuing one, we ourselves have a better understanding of our goals, challenges, tasks and how to effectively address them.

The next important step was to assess the resources that would be required: the expertise, talent, time, equipment and technology. Substantial strides forward have been made to date, as we developed a team of people who are part of PICC. Each day our hope comes closer to reality as each of our new and old volunteers play an important role in the ultimate development and implementation of our communications plan.

An emphasis of our goal is to enlist in our overall parish mission every man, woman and child who would like to take an active part. Our invitation is extended through the sights, sounds and feelings we generate every day through our liturgy, the pastoral homilies, music, our welcoming hospitality, all the ways our ministries serve others and our communications.