Parish History

Dates in Saint Thomas the Apostle History

  • January 26th, 1939 – The late Archbishop of Newark, Thomas Joseph Walsh, canonically established the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle in the Brookdale section of Bloomfield
  • June 17, 1939 – Father Thomas J. Herron received the letter designating him the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle
  • Sunday, June 25, 1939 – The first parish Mass was celebrated by Father Herron
  • July 23, 1939 – The first benefit was held for the Church and this was followed by a family picnic
  • August 6, 1939 – Ground was broken for construction of the church school building
  • August 17, 1939 – The parish corporation was formed
  • October 15, 1939 – Cornerstone was laid for the new church and school building
  • December of 1939 – The Confraternity of the Holy Rosary was organized
  • March 31, 1940 – Dedication of St. Thomas the Apostle Church by Archbishop Walsh
  • September 1940 – The School opened
  • October 1940 – The Convent’s Construction was complete
  • February 16, 1946 – Funeral Mass for Father Thomas Herron
  • December 5, 1955 – Archbishop gave his approval to the building of the new Church in a letter to Father Magnier
  • February 21, 1960 – Father Magnier offered the first Mass in the new Church
  • March 26, 1960 – The cornerstone laying and the formal dedication and opening of the new Church
  • June 1975 – Jose Barrios became the first man from the Newark Archdiocese to the permanent diaconate and was assigned to St. Thomas

Walk down memory lane and see how our parish grew from its inception in 1939 to our current day by viewing additional documents using this link.

Scanned in Document of the Dedication of the Church and School
Church History from 1940
School History from 1942
Scanned in Document of an early School Document
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A Picture of the First Pastor Father Herron surrounded with young adults on the steps of the original school and church.

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A Picture of the current church around 1960. The building itself is complete, but the landscaping is still being worked on.
A picture from the first mass said by the first pastor Fr. Herron in the tent June 25th, 1939. If you have heard the name the “tenters” at St. Thomas, it comes from the early years where mass was said in a physical tent. Also note, the word Tabernacle in derived from the Latin word for tent, tabernaculum. We get our usage of the word ‘tabernacle’ from the tent that was used to cover the Holy of Holies in the Hebrew Scriptures (See Exodus 35). Today, the tabernacle holds Jesus in the Eucharist.
A picture of the ground breaking of the current St. Thomas the Apostle Church in September 1956. Monsignor Magnier is the one digging. The first mass said in the current church was February 21, 1960.

Historical Pictures

Groundbreaking Pictures

List of Pastors