Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110

About Our Parish

St. Brigid Church was established in 1919 and has the distinction of being the first Catholic parish in West Hartford.


In 1916, most Catholics residing in the Elmwood area had been attending St. Lawrence O'Toole Church, which was assigned the chief responsibility for the Elmwood section of West Hartford.

The first Mass in the Elmwood area was celebrated by Father Peter J. Dolin on Christmas Day, 1916 at the New Departure Company.

The following August, land was purchased for the construction of a mission chapel. On September 16, 1917, Bishop John J. Nilan dedicated a wooden chapel that was placed under the patronage of St. Brigid.

The mission was made a parish on August 4, 1919, with Father William F. Odell as first pastor. His successor, Father William Brewer, demolished the old frame chapel and built a new brick church on the same New Britain Avenue site, dedicated by Archbishop O'Brien on April 29, 1951. Construction then began on an 18-room school and convent located on Mayflower Street.


What does CCD mean?

We use the term CCD for our Religious Education classes, but does everyone know what CCD stands for?  It means Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

The Confraternity Of Christian Doctrine a unique, vital organization is rich in historical background which is warmed by the human efforts of thousands of men and women whose talents, sacrifices and overwhelming dedication have made the CCD what it is today.

The CCD has its roots in Italy. There, during the 16th century, the desperate need to educate the people in matters of the Faith was brought to the Church authorities. In 1536 Schools of Christian Doctrine were set up, under the direction of Saint Charles Borromeo, the Archbishop of Milan. In 1556, during the Council of Trent, a decree was issued that instruction in Christian Doctrine should be given on Sundays and feast days throughout the year.

In 1560 the Society of Christian Doctrine was set up. Its purpose was clearly defined: to "round up" children from the streets of Rome and teach them the Holy Faith. Within ten years, over 40,000 boys and girls had attended classes wherever space could be found.

In 1571 the Confraternity was recognized by Pope Pius IV, who recommended its establishment in every parish. His further approval was evident when he permitted very young children to receive Communion if they proved to be sufficiently instructed in their Faith, a task he entrusted to the CCD. The above are only a few highlights of the early days of the CCD.



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