I realize that it’s been a while since I focused a Thursday Doors post on a single building. I also realize that that building was a church and it was, at least partially, named St. Patrick’s.
I was originally planning to use this church for St. Patrick’s Day in 2016, but then I got sick and couldn’t get the photos. Then I tagged it for St. Patrick’s Day in 2017, and I totally forgot. When I agreed to feed our daughter’s cats last night and this morning, I realized that I had a doorpotunity(1) I shouldn’t pass up. I could snag the photos I need on my way over and write the post while binge-watching Twilight Zone and Star Trek Next Generation episodes on Netflix. Moncton and Preston love to help me.
The church of St. Patrick is one of those curiously aged churches, where the congregation predates the physical building by a good long time. Fortunately, it isn’t one of the many churches whose history spans multiple buildings that were destroyed by fire. This beautiful stone structure has stood for almost 100 years.
St. Patrick’s is in Farmington, CT. We have visited this little neighborhood before, as it is home to St. James Episcopal church and Miss Porter’s School. I’ve featured other Farmington doors, but those two are right around the corner from today’s church.
The history page for the church details the chronology, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense unless you’re familiar with Connecticut geography. Suffice it to say, the sacred needs of Farmington Catholics were cared for priests from churches in neighboring towns, including Hartford, which is about 10 ½ miles away. That’s about 2 ½ hours on horseback, similar to making that commute today during rush hour. I exaggerate, but not by much.
In 1870, Father Patrick Duggett bought an old building on Farmington Avenue to serve as the Farmington’s first Catholic Church. From the churches’ history page:
In the fall of 1918, Bishop John J. Nilan made St. Patrick’s a parish with Father M. Ernest Wilson as first pastor. Bishop Nilan instructed Father Wilson to build a new church on a Main Street site chosen by the prelate himself.
With much help from his parishioners, the pastor soon had a basement church constructed and dedicated on November 27, 1919.
The completed superstructure was dedicated on June 11, 1922.
Today, the church’s parking lot abuts a sports field complex that is part of the expanded presence of Miss Porter’s School. As for Miss Porter’s there is at least one tangible link between the school and this church. The history page of the church’s website pointed me to an article in the New York Times about this area of Farmington. The article contained this interesting bit of history:
“At the small fieldstone St. Patrick’s Church at 112 Main Street, a brass plaque reading “Misses Bouvier” remains on the pew donated by the future Mrs. Kennedy and her sister when they were at Miss Porter’s in the 1940’s.”
This post is part is part of a weekly blogfest sponsored by Norm Frampton. This is where I would normally cast Norm in a significant role in the organization of all things doors. Today, I want to switch gears. You should check out Norm’s doors. You should also click on the Blue Frog to see the other doors. But, I hope you will also consider joining another blogfest, The Cherished Blogfest. I won’t say more, here, but please take a look at the #CBF page.
(1) I tried ‘do-opportunity’, ‘door-opportunity’ and ‘dorportunity’, but this sounded better to me.
You can click on any photo to start a slide show.