Holy Family Church History

Building the Kingdom of God for 135 Years

In 1876 permission for the establishment of Holy Family parish was given by the Brooklyn Diocese. In accordance with the attached MEMORANDA by our first pastor, Father J. J. Hanselman, our first Mass was celebrated on May 23rd, 1880 on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity at the house of George Ingram located on the corner of 4th Avenue & 27th Street, South Brooklyn.
The following are the firsts for the our parish:


George Woerthe, the child of Phillipp Woerthe and Louisa Stumm on May 30th, 1880.


Uniting Carolus Bayer and Francisca Mayer on June 13th, 1880.


On Sunday, June 12th, 1881 the Feast Day of the Most Holy Trinity the ceremony of blessing the Corner-Stone was performed by Bishop Loughlin. Click to see our original church building ~ outside and inside.

In 1928 our current church building was constructed of brick and stone. Click to visit our current church building ~ Holy Family Church.


In 1908 the school was built and the Sisters of Saint Dominic who had already been ministering in the parish, assumed responsibility for the education of our children. For 70 years our children learned about our Catholic Faith, how to pray and received an exceptional education. In 1978 as part of a Diocesan reorganization, our school was consolidated with that of Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Thomas Aquinas forming an area school for all three parishes.

In 1979 the parish of Saint Stanislaus Martyr was suppressed and Holy Family parish was made responsible for the spiritual welfare of it’s souls. This occurrence was tinged with sorrow for the parishioners of St. Stan’s, brought the blessing of a Spanish-speaking Charismatic Prayer Group and the Legion of Mary to our parish.
A golden memory for our parish was our 100th Anniversary celebration in 1980, during which the interior of our church building was renovated and on June 1st, 1980 ~ the Feast of the Holy Trinity, the church was solemnly re-dedicated by Bishop Francis Mugavero. Click to view joyous memories from our 100th Anniversary book. Anniversary #1 ~ Anniversary #2 ~ Anniversary #3 ~ Anniversary #4 ~ Anniversary #5 ~ Anniversary #6.
Holy Saturday 2006 (April 15th, 2006) was a sad day for our community as our beloved pastor, Father Thomas E. Fox


was welcomed into heaven. Father Fox had been our Pastor since 1994. He was a loving person, a great storyteller and a person who was filled with the joy of being a Christian. Although he wasn’t tall, his vibrant personality stood out in any gathering. Father Fox will forever be a part of the lives of all of the people he touched during his ministry to the Diocese of Brooklyn.
On April 25th, 2006 the Diocese of Brooklyn approved the reconfiguration of Holy Family parish and Saint Thomas Aquinas parish. Due to the shortage of priests and demographic changes in our neighborhood our two parishes are in the process of merging into one community. Change is always difficult and we pray for the Lord’s guidance and blessing on our new community. As our 100th Anniversary book indicated…. “We only glimpse at the past and stand but for a short time in the present, for the future beckons with a strength and excitement that will devastate the forces of evil. Our strength is in the Lord Jesus Christ and we have heard His voice in the words of Saint Paul, ‘I am sure of this much: that He who has begun the good work in you will carry it through to completion, right up to the day of Christ Jesus.'” (Philippians 1:6)
May we work together to complete this good work in our united parish community!
Over the years many changes have occurred to both the parish of Holy Family and the parish of Saint Thomas Aquinas, but through it all we have been open to the whisperings of the Spirit of the Lord among us.
You are most welcome to come and join our community and visit our church. A church however is just a building. The real church is the many people and organizations who make the parish community at Saint Thomas Aquinas and Holy Family such a special place. We invite you to visit our other pages and discover the many different facets of our community.