Holy Angels Parish began as a mission of Saint Rose of Lima Parish in Meriden. It was established to serve the Catholic families of South Meriden, Cheshire, and Yalesville. Reverend Paul McAlenny broke ground for the new church in December, 1886. Bishop Lawrence McMahon laid the cornerstone on April 3, 1887. Father McAlenny celebrated the first Mass on July 17, 1887.
Holy Angels was established as an independent parish in the Fall of 1887 and the Reverend Richard F. Moore, LLD, was appointed its first pastor on January 10, 1888.
In 1960, construction began on the Holy Angels School and Center. It was completed in February, 1962, and dedicated on April 29, 1962, the 75th anniversary of the parish. The Daughters of the Immaculate Conception, whose Mother House is in New Britain, accepted an invitation to staff the school, along with lay teachers.
Unfortunately, the school did not have a long life. Because of a large debt, increasing interest and other financial problems, as well as an increasing lay staff which meant higher salaries, it was decided in 1972 to close Holy Angels School. The building has since been used very effectively, however, as a Parish Pastoral Center.
When the Reverend Joseph H. Pettit was appointed pastor later that same year, his first priority was to eliminate the parish debt. The church, which at this point was too small, had deteriorated badly and would require an almost total restoration. Since the property on which it was situated was also small, it was decided to close the church and eventually build near the Parish Center. Eventually, it was sold along with the rectory.
Mass was held in the gymnasium of the Center and Father Pettit moved into the former convent. Other parish property was also sold and, in 1978, plans were developed for the building of a new church.
The ground breaking ceremony was held on October 8, 1978, and on September 30, 1979, Archbishop John F. Whealon dedicated the new church.
In July, 1982, the Reverend Alfred R. Merusi was appointed pastor. Upon his arrival at Holy Angels, Father Merusi found a new church building, a pleasant rectory and an active Parish Center. Because the parish plant was completely intact, it now became Father Merusi’s primary goal to build the Church – the people of God that comprise Holy Angels Parish – into a devout, active and responsive Christian community following the guidelines of Vatican II. Father Merusi worked very successfully until 1995 at Holy Angels. Sadly, he died on February 18 of that year and was deeply mourned.
Father Merusi was replaced by Reverend Roland M. LaPlante. For 15 years, Father LaPlante maintained the good work that his predecessors had established, especially Father Merusi’s task of building up the people of God in South Meriden. Parish events have become more frequent and some great fundraisers, such as the ‘Holy Angels Golf Tournament’ and ‘Christmas on the Hill – A Holiday Bazaar’, are now annual events that both the parish and the community are eager to attend.
In July, 2010, Reverend Lawrence S. Symolon was appointed Pastor. He will be tasked with guiding our parish family in friendship and faith, and to that end, we are all dedicated. May God bless our efforts and grace us with success.