Our History

Chronological Time Table of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Events

May 31, 1960
His Eminence Cardinal James Francis McIntyre established St.Thomas Aquinas Parish.

July 1961
A machine shop located at 1100 S Atlantic Blvd, is leased as temporary housing for parish masses.

Sept. 10, 1961
First Mass celebrated by Fr. Maurice Evans. 25 families attended with knee pads and folding chairs.

May 1962
Groundbreaking for St. Thomas Aquinas Church and other parish buildings.

February 3, 1963
First Mass is celebrated at the NEW St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

August 1963
Church, school, other parish buildings ready for occupancy.

Sept. 10, 1963
First day of school. Grades 1-4 (200 students) taught by Sisters of St. Joseph of Newark.

June 1975
Fr. Brian Cavanagh appointed Parish Administrator; Pastor (1979)

1979
Fr. Brian Cavanagh established First Parish Council.

Fr. Michael Morahan, an Irish Jesuit, served at STA yearly from January to June.

March 1980
Fr. Norman Supancheck in residence introduced the Spanish Mass.

June 1980
Fr. Brian Cavanagh formulated & implemented “Call to Prayer Program” in English & Spanish.

1981
Sr. Ellen Muldoon, Sisters of St. Columban, expanded the ministry to the sick.

1982
Fr. Brian Cavanagh formed a group of Eucharistic ministers and lectors.

November 1982
Fr. Armando Palma, in residence, introduced “Flores de Mayo,” children’s choir and Las Posadas.

May 12, 1985
His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Manning presided at the 25th anniversary mass: 750 registered families.

1991
Our beloved Fr. Maurice Evans passed away.

January 1992
Fr. Peter Ling, in residence, started the Chinese Mass on a regular basis.  Our beloved Fr. Michael Morahan passed away.

December 1993
Parish notified of proposal for a center for Chinese evangelization directed by Fr. Delos Humphrey.

March 1, 1994
His Eminence Cardinal Roger Mahoney established a Chinese Catholic Mission to increase Chinese evangelization.

September 1994
Fr. Delos Humphrey replaced Fr. Brian Cavanagh.

1994
Fr. Luis Garcia formed Our Lady of Guadalupe Society.

1995
Fr. Ed Dover and Fr. Gabriel Lui were assigned as a team to minister to the parishioners.

October 1, 2000
In honor of the 120 Chinese martyrs, 120 rose bushes were planted in their memory.

Fr. Larry Estrada assigned as Pastor of the twin parishes, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Stephen Martyr.

2001
Fr. John Montejano appointed Administrator Pro Tem.

2002
Fr. John Higgins appointed Administrator Pro Tem.

School celebrated 40th anniversary

2003
Fr. Gabriel Lui appointed Administrator Pro Tem Pastor (2005).

2004
Parish celebrated Fr. Gabriel Lui 25th anniversary of ordination.

2010
Formation of the Capital Campaign Committee.

July 1, 2011
Fr. Gabriel Lui completed Pastorship.
Fr. John Kyebasuuta- New Administrator and Fr.Jay Wu, Associate Pastor

October 9, 2011
Parish celebrated its Golden Jubilee.