History St Augustine

St. Augustine Church Timeline

1844 – Rev. James Smyth of New Haven offers first Roman Catholic Mass to 6 Irish residents ( Nicholas Brockway, Daniel Brockway, Nicholas Cass, Patrick Gaffney, Thomas Gaffney and Daniel Quinlan) of Humphreysville at “old long house” on Raymond Street.

1851 – Rev. Jon Lynch purchases land for $400 to erect first Roman Catholic Church in Seymour

1856 – St. Augustine Church completed and dedicated. This is the present rectory.

1870 – St. Augustine Church made a mission church of Ansonia

1885 – Parish elevated to status of being independent parish. Rev. John McMahon named as first resident pastor.

1886 – Rev. Richard C. Gragan appointed 2nd pastor. Debt of $1000 to build church is paid in full. Church is debt free.

5/4/1888 – Ground is broken for a new church and on July15th a cornerstone of a new and larger church is laid and blessed by Bishop McMahon. This new church was of wood and was 53 by 101 feet with a spire 118 feet in height. There were dials on the four sides ready for a clock to be installed. The seating capacity was 600 people. Cost of the new church was $13,000.

12/25/1889 – The first Mass is offered in the new church

5/18/1890 – Formal dedication of new Church. The old church building is converted into the rectory. The congregation is a mixture of Irish, Polish and Germans.

1891 – The church congregation has grown to 700 parishioners. Of these 600 reside in Seymour and the remainder live in Beacon Falls and Oxford

4/01/1894 – Rev. Michael Rigney named as the third resident pastor until 1919. The Church basement is renovated and the cemetery improved.The Church population has grown and the parish is divided as St. Michael’s in Beacon Falls is built to accommodate residents from that area who are parishioners.

5///07/1895 – A tolling bell is blessed and placed in the bell tower

7/30/1910 – Rev. Charles A. Leddy appointed new pastor. New organ purchased.

1919 – Rev. Martin O’Brien succeeds to pastorate. Church interior completely refurbished.

1935 – Rev. James J. McCormick named pastor

1936 – Rev. William F. Casey becomes the seventh pastor of the parish.The church interior sees the installation of new altar, new lights, pews and Stations of Cross. The Sanctuary is enlarged and the tolling bell is removed from tower and the tower’s height is cut back. The church census now shows a greater influx of Polish and Slovak parishioners.

12/05/1937 – Wooden exterior of Church is completely covered with brick and impressive new edifice rededicated

1948 – Rev/ Albert A. Callahan becomes the eighth pastor

10/14/1956 – Centennial Celebration of parish’s first Church presided over by Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien

1957 – Rev. Callahan purchased property across from Church. Originally intended to be used as convent.

1967 – Congregation divided into 2 parishes – Church of the Good Shepherd formed on West side of town.

1968 – Rev. Bradford Colton named the ninth pastor (1968-1987). The Church interior is redecorated and the basement renovated. A handicapped ramp installed on the north side of the Church building.

1987 – Rev. George Ziezulewicz appointed as tenth pastor (1987 – 1995)

1995- Rev. Brian E. Jeffries named as eleventh pastor (1995 – 2008)

1999 – Major renovations to rectory, and parish center completed.

2005 – Major renovations are made to the interior of the church including restoration of plaster and wooden walls and stain glass windows, existing statues of Mary and Joseph are restored, repairing and painting of the ceiling, refinishing of the pews, rewiring of lighting and some up-dating of the electrical systems was done. A new main altar with a white marble freeze of the Last Supper were added along with a new tabernacle were moved back to the center of the sanctuary. A mural of St. Augustine and St. Monica is painted onto the wall, and a hanging crucifix is hung over the main altar. A handicapped bathroom was also added to the vestibule of the church

2008 – Rev. Stephen Bzdyra is appointed twelfth pastor (2008 – 2010)

2009 – The exterior front stairs of the church are repaired and resurfaced at a cost of $16,000.

2011 – Rev. Honore Kombo named Administrator of the parish (2011 – 2015)

2015 – Rev. Kevin J. Forsyth Thirteenth Pastor

Pastors:
John McMahon – 1st resident pastor
Richard C. Gragan 1886-1894
Michael Rigney 1894-1909
C.A. Leddy 1910-1919
Martin O’Brien 1919-1935
James McCormick 1935-1936
William F. Casey 1936-1948
Albert A. Callahan 1948-1968
Bradford Colton 1968-1987
George Ziezulewski 1987-1995
Brien E. Jeffries 1995-2008
Stephen Bzdyra 2008-2010
Honore Kombo 2011-2015
Kevin Forsyth 2015- Present

Permanent Deacons:
Richard Ryan
John Saffo, Sr
Richard Renker
Frank Bevvino
Mario DiRienzo

Former Altar Boys We Honor:
Anthony Bunk
John Hannon, Sr.
Arthur Paquette