About Our Parish
Father Jeremiah O'Callaghan visited the area of Underhill in 1833, celebrating Mass at the Michael Barrett residence, in Fletcher, where the Barretts lived before moving to Underhill. He also visited many other hillside farms of Irish immigrant settlers at that time.
On November 15-16, 1853, less than ten days after his installation, Bishop Louis DeGoesbriand journeyed to Underhill, ministering to the 63 Catholic families living there. The congregation of St. Thomas remained a mission of Burlington until 1865 when it was attached to Richmond.
A wooden church was built in Underhill, in 1856. It was blessed by Bishop DeGoesbriand on December 14, 1856. Then, in 1866, the church was renovated and expanded. That same year there were 53 Baptisms, 50 First Communions and five marriages.
The wooden structure of St. Thomas Church burned in 1889. Construction began immediately for the brick church we presently occupy. Mass was celebrated for the first time in the basement of the new church on Christmas Eve 1891. This new church, our present church, underwent many minor renovations as pastors came and went.
In 1989 while Father Jean-Paul Laplante was pastor, major renovations, interior and exterior, were accomplished in preparation for the Church's Centennial 1991 celebration.
Eight major areas are served by Commissions of the Parish Council:
- Worship includes all ministries connected with Sunday liturgy, all other areas of prayer and devotions, and any parish or group spiritual renewal efforts.
- Religious Education encompasses all ages with a staff person as Director. Laura Lynch Wells is our current Religious Education coordinator.
- The Social Concerns Commission is responsible for being alert to family financial and social needs at the parish and local community levels, and for finding ways to respond to these.
- The Parish Life Commission has extensive accountability for all programs, projects and activities that build the social community of the parish, including all fund-raising, as well as being charged with areas of special outreach in community building with groups in the wider community and with other Churches.
- The Stewardship Commission is an active hands-on group responsible for overseeing all maintenance and repair activities of parish property and equipment. It also undertakes all major renovations and improvements, as well as planning projections to protect the beauty of these historical buildings.
- The Youth Commission is in its formative stages and will be empowered to review all youth programs and activities, making suggestions and working with all responsible parties to improve response to youth needs.
- The Cemetery Commission is a separate legal entity created by the Diocesan regulations to administer overall operations, but reports closely to the Parish Council.
- The Finance Committee, a standing committee of the Parish Council, is required by Diocesan regulations. Their purpose is to review all financial decisions, prepare an annual budget and monitor budgets throughout the year.