St, Therese Church

Mass Schedule

Saturday
(Vigil)-5pm

Sunday
8:15am & 10:30am

Weekdays
8:30am
Parish Center Chapel
(No Friday morning Mass)

Holy Days
8:30am & 7pm
(Services held in the church)

Reconciliation:

Saturday – 3:30pm
(unless otherwise noted)

St. Therese Parish History

More than one hundred fifty years ago, Granby’s first Catholics, Irish immigrant farmers, settled in the northern part of town.  Catholic families from Lithuania and Poland followed, settling in the area in the 1880’s.  Originally, these families traveled to St. Bernard Church in Tariffville to attend Mass and religious education classes.  Horse & buggy, or leg & foot power were the only means of transportation in those days, but the dedication of these families to practice their faith was strong.  As World War II ended, Granby began its transformation into a suburban satellite of Hartford and Springfield, and the need for a Catholic place of worship closer to home was becoming more and more apparent.  Granby’s Catholic population, estimated to be at about 438, approached St. Bernard’s pastor, the Rev. John O’Connor, to discuss the formation of a mission (or “daughter”) church of St. Bernard’s in their town.  Fundraising efforts were quite dogged, with the goal of their own church foremost in the minds of Granby’s Catholic community.  Suppers were held at the Grange Hall, “gala” minstrels and carnivals were arranged in order to raise funds.

“Original” St. Therese Church                             (photo courtesy of V. Hendricks)

On August 20, 1950, the small white frame chapel at the intersection of Routes 20 and 189 was dedicated to St. Therese as a Mission Church.  The new $50,000 building was considered more than adequate to meet current needs and for future growth.  Two Masses were celebrated each Sunday by priests from St. Bernard’s Church.  Finally in 1958, Archbishop Henry O’Brien formally dedicated St. Therese Parish, elevating it to full parish status, and appointed Father Leonard White as the first resident pastor.  Fr. White served the parishioners of St. Therese for seven years and during his tenure, saw it grow from about 800 to more than 1,600 parishioners by the end of his tenure in 1965.  Fr. Stanley Hastillo was installed as the new pastor in May of 1965.  Fr. Hastillo was the driving force behind the building of the new church, rectory and parish center on 22 acres of land on Route 20.

(photo courtesy of V. Hendricks)

Fr. Hastillo felt the new church, being modern in style, needed a modern focal point for the sanctuary.  To that end, he commissioned a pile tapestry, depicting “Christ In Glory” with two angels.  The tapestry was constructed based on the 4th century mosaic located in the sanctuary of St. Paul Basilica in Rome.  Constructed of many different fabrics (velvet, satin, silk, cotton, wool and corduroy) the tapestry weighed over 40 pounds and was the artistic focal point of St. Therese’s sanctuary for many years.

The new church was dedicated by Archbishop John Whealon on June 24, 1973.  Fr. Ronald Yelle was installed as the third pastor on October 26, 1993 after Fr. Hastillo’s retirement.  Fr. Yelle lead the faithful of Granby for more than 15 years.  He was instrumental in the year-long celebration of the Parish’s 50th Anniversary Jubilee.  Under his tutelage and exceptional management skills, Fr. Yelle was able, upon his retirement, to leave the Parish in a strong financial position.  Our congregation blossomed to more than 3,000 parishioners as well.  In the fall of 2006, Fr. Yelle authorized his legacy to the parish — a complete renovation of the inside Church.  Work began and was completed in the final quarter of the year, with the unveiling of the changes on Christmas Eve 2006.  The four months of work consisted of new pews, the re-formation and installation of a wooden floor for the sanctuary, new statues and Stations of the Cross, and Tabernacle, and a new tile floor throughout the entire Church.  Reaction to the renovation was overwhelmingly positive, and the “new” Church stands as a lasting tribute to Fr. Yelle’s affection for this Parish family.

New Sanctuary – Christmas 2006                        (photo courtesy of D.Klotzman)

Rev. Thomas Ptaszynski took over from Fr. Yelle in July of 2010 as our fourth and current pastor.  Under his guidance, policies have been refined, buildings have received much needed maintenance, and the entire parish has been rejuvenated.  Many new families have joined the parish, and Fr. Tom (as he prefers) has joyously welcomed these parishioners with open arms.  St. Therese Parish continues to be a vibrant and alive parish, with new ministries in place to serve all it’s followers.  The most significant change Fr. Tom instituted was a new religious education program.  St. Therese Advocates Family Faith Formation, or STAFFF, is now in place, catering to the spiritual needs of the entire parish, from the youngest to the oldest, families and singles alike.  Fr. Tom, the Parish Staff, and a group of dedicated volunteers continue to look for ways to improve the spiritual needs of St. Therese Parish.