The Early Years
The original Stokes family farm was situated where St. Thomas More Catholic Church stands today. The farm property was purchased from the Stokes family for the building of the new parish church.
St. Thomas More parish was established on September 29, 1956. Fr. Matthew Clifford was appointed pastor of the newly created parish. During the first few years, parishioners worshipped at St. Thomas More Catholic School, adjacent to the recently acquired farm, with the first Mass being celebrated on September 30, 1956 in St. Thomas More Catholic School.
A proposal for a new church was started in 1957 at an estimated cost of $200,000.00 On February 2, 1958, Fr. Clifford held the ground-breaking ceremonies to begin construction of St. Thomas More Catholic Church. Construction of the church was completed in December, 1958 and the first Mass in the new Church was celebrated on December 24, 1958 at Christmas midnight Mass. On May 31, 1959, the solemn blessing of the new church took place. Construction of the offices and the rectory began in May, 1963 and was complete in early summer that year.
On July 12, 1963, devastation hit the parish community of St. Thomas More as fire raged through the building, destroying it and spreading into the sacristy and the main body of the church – completely gutting it.
Firemen from the Fallsview and Lundy’s Lane departments were called to the scene. Firemen had to contend with three blazes – one in the rectory, another in the Church itself and a third in a large grass area behind the building. The interior of the church was gutted from the altar rail to the back. Fortunately, through the courageous efforts of firemen and parishioners, most of the sacred vessels and furnishings of the church were rescued from the flames. Parishioners wrenched the locked tabernacle and recovered the Blessed Sacrament from the altar. The congregation returned to St.Thomas More Catholic School for worship, with Mass eventually being celebrated in the church hall until the Church was rebuilt.
The new rectory was completed on December 15, 1963 and the reconstruction of the church and parish offices was completed in March, 1964. The first Mass in the reconstructed Church was held on Palm Sunday, March 22, 1964.
Priests and Deacons who have served the Parish of St. Thomas More
Rev. Matthew J. Clifford 1956 - 1969
Rev. Joseph T. Mahoney 1969 - 1979
Rev. Dominic J. Pizzacalla 1979 - 1989
Rev. Richard J. Grecco 1989 - 1992
Rev. Vincent D. O’Donohue 1992 - 1995
Rev. Hugh C. Gibson 1995 - 2000
Rev. Randy J. Gallant 2000 - 2003
Rev. Donald J. Lizzotti 2003 - 2005
Rev. Stuart A. MacDonald 2005 - 2012
Rev. Peter T. Rowe 2012 -
Associate Pastors and Deacons
Rev. Walter Burns1960 - 1964
Rev. Denis Mazerolle 1964 - 1969
Rev. Dominic Pizzacalla1969 - 1970
Rev. Donald Grecco 1970 - 1978
Rev. Leo Clutterbuck 1978 - 1983
Rev. Peter Walton 1983 - 1983
Rev. Andrew Goodwin 1983 - 1986
Rev. Randy Gallant 1986 - 1990
Rev. William Murray 1991 - 1993
Rev. Basil Boudreau 1995 - 1996
Rev. Thomas Cresswell 1996 - 1997
Rev. Eugene D’Orazio 1997 - 1999
Rev. Deacon Jack Gauthier 1996 - 2000
Rev. Alphonsus Enelichi, M.S.P. 2001 - 2003
Rev. Obioma Anyanwu 2005 - 2005
Rev. Deacon Jeff Pearce 2005 - 2006
Rev. Sunny Sebastian 2006 - 2006
Rev. Kessette Hammad, O.F.M. Cap. 2006 - 2007
Rev. Nicholas Twumasi, C.S.Sp. 2007 - 2008
Rev. Edgar Polotan 2009 - 2010
Rev. Vincent Panikulam, C.M.I. 2012 - 2016
Rev. Deacon Gunther Eyer 2014 -
Rev. Gregory Schmidt 2016 - 2019