About Our Parish

 

A Shared History

 

The first Mass in Tariffville was celebrated in 1846 by Fr. John Brady.  This was the time of great migrations of Irish to all over the world, especially America.  Priests from Hartford, such as Fathers Brady and Peter Walsh, served Tariffville until Fr. Luke Daly of New Britain assumed this duty in September 1848.  In 1850, Fr. Daly undertook the building of a Church on Mountain Road to serve the faithful of Tariffville, and named it St. Paul’s Chapel.  This became a mission (or “daughter”) church of St. Patrick Parish in Collinsville on December 10, 1856.  When they outgrew this small Church, the parishioners built a larger one in 1876, on the north side of Winthrop Street, where the Parish cemetery is today.  This larger Church was dedicated to St. Bernard of Clairvaux on November 23, 1879. On May 1, 1881, the St. Bernard (mission) Church was made a Parish with Fr. John Quinn appointed its first pastor.  A fire in 1892 destroyed the Winthrop Street Church. Land was purchased on Maple Street to build a new Church (across from the present-day St. Bernard Cemetery).  Bishop Lawrence McMahon blessed the cornerstone of the new St. Bernard Church on September 25, 1892.  It was later dedicated in 1895.  The new St. Bernard Church continued to be an important member of the community into the 21st century.

Families from Granby and surrounding towns 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 those families (just over 400 strong) to practice their faith was strong. After World War II,  Reverend John O’Connor, pastor of St. Bernard Church, was approached to discuss the formation of a mission church in Granby.

On August 20, 1950, the small white frame chapel at the intersection of Routes 20 and 189 was dedicated to Saint Therese of Lisieux as a mission Church.  Two Masses were celebrated each Sunday by priests from St. Bernard’s Church.  Finally in 1958, Archbishop Henry O’Brien formally dedicated Saint Therese Church, elevating it to full parish status, and appointed Fr. Leonard White as the first resident pastor.  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.

The new church was dedicated by Archbishop John Whealon on June 24, 1973.  Fr. Ronald Yelle was installed as its third pastor on October 26, 1993, and served the faithful of the Granby’s and Hartland’s for more than 15 years.  Rev. Thomas Ptaszynski took over the reins from Fr. Yelle on July 1, 2010 as our fourth and current pastor.  Under Fr. Tom's guidance, policies have been refined, buildings have received much needed maintenance, and our Parish continues to grow strong.

In 2015, in an effort to "lead Connecticut Catholics into a vibrant future," the Archdiocese of Hartford, under the leadership of Archishop Leonard Blair, began the challenging task of "pastoral planning." This effort began with priests and lay Church members meeting to discuss the needs and challenges facing the Archdiocese, most importantly the dwindling number of available priests to lead its Parishes. This monumental endeavor resulted in the merging and/or closing of many of its 212 parishes on June 29, 2017.  

The closing of St. Bernard Church was difficult for its parishioners as it had developed into a vital, loving and caring community.  However, we are now presented with anopportunity to grow our new Saint Therese Parish to rival anything that came before!  People are finding their way to Eucharistic celebrations as well as the various ministries offered here at Saint Therese Parish.  Change is always difficult but with the help of the Holy Spirit and the openness and acceptance of both communities, we pray that these two parishes will develop into one vibrant, loving community of faith, serving God and one another through each other’s gifts.  We are once again one Church, one Parish, one family.  We say to all our parishioners, both new and old, welcome home!

 

 

 

Welcome


While St. Therese officially serves the communities of the Granbys, Tariffville and the Hartlands, our registered parishioners represent a multitude of different towns in the area. Visitors are always welcome.

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Faith Formation Sign Up - 06/24/2018

Registration for the 2018-2019 year will be held in the Parish Center after each Mass on Sunday.

Altar Servers Needed

The parish is looking for children interested in becoming Altar Servers. Any child that has made their first communion is eligible to participate. Contact the Parish Office for the next training session.

Lectors Needed

Anyone who has interest in helping in this capacity can contact Deborah Klotzman. Training is minimal and new volunteers are desperately needed. Thank you for your support!

 

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