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
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
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.