About St. Jerome Church
Saint Jerome Church
1010 Slater Road
New Britain, CT 06053
860-225-4477 - Religious Education
Parish Center Office Hours
Friday: 8:30am— 12:00 noon
History of St. Jerome Church
In late 1957, the Archdiocese purchased three acres of land in New Britain at the corner of Horse Plain Road and Corbin Avenue. The priests of St. Mary began to offer Mass at the Thomas Jefferson and Slater Road Schools. On May 26, 1958, Father James P. Cunningham was appointed pastor of St. Jerome, a parish officially created by Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien on July 3.
On July 6, Father Cunningham offered Sunday Mass for the first time at the two public schools. By now a 10-acre tract on Slater Road appeared better suited as a church site. Groundbreaking took place on October 16, 1960, with Monsignor Thomas Greylish officiating. The first mass in the new church was a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1961. A temporary one-day building permit was granted to allow mass to be held in the unfinished church. The new church building was formally dedicated on January 21, 1962, by Archbishop O'Brien, making St. Jerome the fourteenth Roman Catholic Church in New Britain.
The Life of St. Jerome
Feast Day: September 30
Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is frequently remembered for his bad temper. It is true that he had a very bad temper and could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen.
He was above all a Scripture scholar, translating most of the Old Testament from the Hebrew. He also wrote commentaries which are a great source of scriptural inspiration for us today. He was an avid student, a thorough scholar, a prodigious letter-writer and a consultant to monk, bishop and pope. St. Augustine (August 28) said of him, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known."
St. Jerome is particularly important for having made a translation of the Bible which came to be called the Vulgate. It is not the most critical edition of the Bible, but its acceptance by the Church was fortunate. As a modern scholar says, "No man before Jerome or among his contemporaries and very few men for many centuries afterwards were so well qualified to do the work." The Council of Trent called for a new and corrected edition of the Vulgate, and declared it the authentic text to be used in the Church.
In order to be able to do such work, Jerome prepared himself well. He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic. He began his studies at his birthplace, Stridon in Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia). After his preliminary education he went to Rome, the center of learning at that time, and thence to Trier, Germany, where the scholar was very much in evidence. He spent several years in each place, always trying to find the very best teachers. He once served as private secretary of Pope Damasus (December 11).
After these preparatory studies he traveled extensively in Palestine, marking each spot of Christ's life with an outpouring of devotion. Mystic that he was, he spent five years in the desert of Chalcis so that he might give himself up to prayer, penance and study. Finally he settled in Bethlehem, where he lived in the cave believed to have been the birthplace of Christ. On September 30 in the year 420, Jerome died in Bethlehem. The remains of his body now lie buried in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.