About St. Maurice Church
Saint Maurice Church
100 Wightman Road
New Britain, CT 06052
860-225-4477 - Religious Education
Parish Center Office Hours
Friday: 8:30am— 12:00 noon
History of St. Maurice Church
St. Maurice parish was created by then Bishop Henry J. O'Brien on May 4, 1946, the first new parish of his episcopacy. The founding pastor, Father Anthony J. Murphy, offered the first parish Mass at Lincoln School on May 12.
Father Murphy held daily Mass at a Steele Street dwelling purchased in June 1946 for use as the first parish rectory. Since rapid growth was early anticipated, the parish purchased two large parcels of land facing Steele Street and Wightman Road. Construction commenced after groundbreaking on May 30, 1948. Father Murphy celebrated a solemn Mass on February 20, 1949, at which Bishop O'Brien dedicated the new colonial style church.
In 1954, the parish purchased the White Oaks Community Center, remodeling the facility as a parochial junior high school staffed by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.
In August 1968, parishioners were saddened by a fire that destroyed St. Maurice School. The institution never reopened. The parochial school ideal lived on, however, through its historical link with St. Thomas Aquinas High School, established by Father Murphy in 1955.
The Life of St. Maurice
Feast Day: September 22nd
Maurice was an officer of the Theban Legion of Emperor Maximian Herculius' army, which was composed of Christians from Upper Egypt.
He and his fellow legionnaires refused to sacrifice to the gods as ordered by the Emperor to insure victory over rebelling Bagaudae. When they refused to obey repeated orders to do so and withdrew from the army encamped at Octodurum (Martigny) near Lake Geneva to Agaunum (St. Maurice-en-Valais), Maximian had the entire Legion of over six thousand men put to death.
To the end they were encouraged in their constancy by Maurice and two fellow officers, Exuperius and Candidus. Scholars doubt that an entire Legion was massacred; but there is no doubt that Maurice and some of his comrades did suffer martyrdom at Agaunum.