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St. Thomas Aquinas - Parish History

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HISTORY OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS PARISH


The history of this small parish goes back to 1838.


At Saint-Basile de Madawaska Rectory one may find a loose leaf document entitled "Tobique and Neighborhood Missions" written by the late Monsignor Louis-Napoléon Dugal, who was pastor of the Saint Basile parish for fifty years (1880-1930).


The parish of Saint Bruno in Van Buren, Maine, took charge of the Tobique and neighboring Missions (i.e. Aroostook, Rivière-des-Chutes and Woodstock) from 1838-1860 with:


1838-1852:  Fr. Antoine Gosselin

1853-1854:  Fr. Walter Aylward

1854-1857:  Fr. Michael Meloy

1857-1860:  Fr. Michael MacKeagney


This explains how Germain Dionne and Lucie Roberge's mariage record celebrated somewhere on the Tobique is to be found in the St. Bruno Parish register and signed by the Fr. Michael Meloy on July 22, 1856.


The Saint Basile Parish took charge of the Tobique and Missions from 1860-1868.


Father J. J. O'Leary from Grand Falls took over from 1868 to 1886. The first priest to reside at one of the Tobique Missions was Fr. Martin O'Brien from October 1, 1886 to August 15, 1887.


The Grand Falls Parish priest again looked after this territory from 1887-1903. They were:


1887-1892:  Fr. J. J. O'Leary

1892-1903:  Fr. M. A. O'Keefe (the year he became bishop)


 From 1903-1904 the Eudists fathers took over the Missions where we find the first pastor for this small parish of St. Thomas, Father Aimé Morin, C.J.M.


Father Morin was at that time superior of the Eudist Fathers and resided in Rogersville. At the end of August in 1903, he took charge of the Tobique Missions.


In 1904 Father Olivier de Fer de la Motte, C.J.M. took his place until 1906 when the Rt. Fr. Frederick C. Ryan was appointed pastor.


He was replaced by Fr. Hugolin Lemay, O.F.M. in 1925. The following is a list of pastors at Saint Thomas Aquinas until the present date:


1925-1931:    Fr. Jean-Baptiste Langlois, O.F.M.

1931-1939:    Fr. Hubert Perron, O.F.M.

1939-1941:    Fr. Mathias Langois, O.F.M.

1941-1942:    Fr. Jean-Paul Morneau, O.F.M.

1943-1948:    Fr. Berard Nobert, O.F.M.

1948-1957:    Fr. Michael Seiferling, O.F.M.

1958-1967:    Fr. André Godmer, O.F.M.

1967-1971:    Fr. Laurier Albert, I.V.D.

1971-1988:    Fr. Leo Grégoire, I.V.D.

1988-1991:    P. Paul Boulay, i.v.d.

1991-1996:    Fr. Alfred Irving, I.V.D.

1996-1997:    Mr. Harold Short-Evans, Administrator

1997-1999:    Fr. Pierre Thibodeau

1999-2007:    Parish Pastoral Team (Fr. Pierre Thibodeau, Moderator)

2007-2010:    Parish Pastoral Team (Fr. Curtis Sappier, Moderator)

2010-2011:    Parish Pastoral Team (Fr. Gilbert Doddatto. I.V.D., Moderator)

2011-....:        Parish Pastoral Team (Fr. Gilbert Doddatto. I.V.D., Moderator)


Saint Thomas Aquinas celebrated its 90th anniversary on September 18, 1994 with Bishop François Thibodeau, C.J.M.


Our history has deep roots within the Society of the Eudist Priests.


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Référence : Livre-souvenir à l'occasion du 50e anniversaire de la fondation du diocèse d'Edmundston publié par la Revue de la Société Historique du Madawaska (vol. XXIII, numéros 1, 2, 3 et 4), 1995.


Photo : Jacques G. Albert

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