Church of the Incarnation History

When the redistribution of our Mother parish, Corpus Christi, became a necessity, the Church of the Incarnation was established on September 5, 1963, in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  Reverend John J. Crawford, formerly pastor of St. John of the Cross, Middlebury, Connecticut, was named founding pastor of The Church of the Incarnation.  The first Masses on September 15th were held at the Samuel B. Webb Junior High School on Willow Street in Wethersfield with the aid of the Redemptorist Fathers from Suffield.

By November first, which was coincidentally The Feast of All-Saints, the ground-breaking ceremony was held and the first shovel of earth on the seventeen acres of Incarnation property was officially turned over by Father Crawford, with the assistance of Right Reverend Monsignor Raymond La Fontaine, Dean, in the presence of trustees Howard Sullivan and Dr. Samuel Fornarotto and scores of parishioners.

The building permit for the Church of the Incarnation Rectory and Sanctuary on Prospect Street in Wethersfield, Connecticut, was granted in January 1965, with the value estimated at $641,000. The red brick rectory was the first building to be completed in August of 1965. This sturdy structure houses a chapel, offices, three reception rooms, living quarters for four priests, a meeting room, and accommodations for a housekeeper. The parish was given the assistance of Reverend Raymond Barry in June and in September when Father Barry left, Father Francis P. McDonnell crone to replace him. In October Father Edward McLean, who is in charge of the Catholic Information Center and Catholic Book Store in Hartford, came to live in residence at the rectory.

The exceptionally mild autumn and winter of 1965 facilitated the building schedule and component units of the interior began to arrive. Among them were the specially designed and executed hand-made appointments for the church, some of which crone from as far away as Italy.  Christmas, 1965, brought us close to the great gift of a new church in which to begin our worship in 1966.

Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien presided at the dedication of the Church of Incarnation, Prospect Street, Wethersfield, Connecticut, on Sunday January 23, 1966. Chaplains assisting the Archbishop were the Rev. Francis E. Nash, Wethersfield, and the Rev. Patrick J. Speer, West Hartford. The Rev. John J. Crawford, pastor, celebrated the Solemn Mass, assisted by the Rev. John B. O’Connell, Thompsonville as deacon, and the Rev. Thomas F. Glynn, Forestville, as sub-deacon.

The sermon was delivered by the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Terrence P. McMahon, Elmwood. The assistant priest was the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph R. Lacy, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Hartford. Masters of ceremonies were the Very Rev. Msgr. William J. Mullen, Hartford, and the Rev. Thomas J. Lynch, Hartford.

The Rev. Paul Bryant, C.S.S.R., Suffield, and the Rev. Robert G. Keating, Derby, served as acolytes. The Rev. John F. Curran, Wethersfield, served as thurifer. The processional cross bearer was the Rev. Raymond Barry, New Haven. The metropolitan cross bearer was the Rev. John G. Fanning, Middlebury.

The Archbishop officiated with the laying of the cornerstone of which were included some memorial cards for members of the parish who died before the building was dedicated, as well as other memorabilia of the parish. 

Compiled by Gina DeAngelo and Emily Monaco