St. Thomas More Parish

A brief history of St. Thomas More Church

The Saint Thomas More Parish in Somerset was originally a mission to her mother church, Saint Patrick’s in Somerset village, and remained such until 1949.

The Chapel of Saint Thomas More was Somerset’s newest church. The building was planned during the tenure of Saint Patrick’s Pastor, Reverend Thomas C. Doherty, whose pastorate extended from 1930 – l938.

In 1949, the main portion of the present old church, known as the chapel, was canonically erected as a separate parish. Later, because of rapid growth in the area, Bishop James Cassidy saw fit to add the wing in an endeavor to accommodate the great number of people moving within the boundaries of Saint Thomas More parish.

By the year 1960, the Parish had outgrown both the original chapel and the addition. In June of 1964, the Reverend Howard A. Waldron was transferred from pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville on the Cape to Saint Thomas More with the mandate to build a new church.

Construction of the present structure was started in the spring of 1965 and the church was completed and formally dedicated on November 6, 1966, by his Excellency James Louis Connolly, D.D., the Bishop of the Fall River Diocese at that time.

Presently, there are over (3500) souls in the parish. It might be well to note here that Saint Thomas More is a territorial parish – by this, it means that all persons residing within its territorial boundaries, regardless of nationality, are free to be members of this parish.

The first pastor of Saint Thomas More Church was the late Monsignor William H. Harrington. He was succeeded by the late Reverend Joseph K. Welsh, who in turn was succeeded by Reverend Howard A. Waldron, in June 1964. Upon retiring in November 1978, Reverend Waldron was succeeded by Monsignor John J. Regan who was then succeeded by Monsignor Henry T. Monroe. The late Monsignor John J. Steakem succeeded Monsignor Munroe until Monsignor Steakem’s death in October 2000. Reverend Michael K. McManus filled in until Reverend Edward J. Byington became pastor in June 2001 until retiring in June 2006. He was succeeded by Monsignor Edmund J. Fitzgerald who became pastor in June 2006 and retired in June 2019. Reverend David A. Costa became the new pastor effective June 26, 2019.