Saint George History

Posted October 22, 2017 by George in SaintGeorgeParish

GEORGE HISTORY 1907 — 2007

The Early  Years -1907-1936

 

St. George Roman Catholic Parish, Bridgeport, Connecticut was founded on February 16, 1907. It was the last parish in Connecticut to be established to care for the spiritual needs of Lithuanian Catholics. Since many Lithuanians lived in the South End of Bridgeport, Peter Bezgelis, loseph Ruzgis and Anupras Chimelius bought a piece of land at the present site of the parish hall for use as a parish church in the future. On February 17, 1907, Mass was said at Sacred Heart Church, and then on subsequent Sundays, at St. Anthony’s (French) Church until a temporary church was completed. At that time, the parish had 950 members.

The first pastor of St. George’s was Rev. Matthew Plauszinaitis, who was appointed on February 16, 1907, but resigned due to  ill  health.  On  August  18,  1907,  the  Rev. Vincent Paukszto was appointed by Bishop J. Nilan, and under his direction the small chapel was completed on this property. It was dedicated on October 13, 1907. Also in 1907, the lot on which the present church is located  was  purchased.  Rev. Plauszto resigned on January 13, 1908 and the Rev. Ludvikas Woitys was appointed pastor on January 15, 1908 and remained until July 26, 1910.  St. George was  without  a  pastor from July 26, 1910 until April 4, 1911 and during that time, a neighboring parish, Sacred Heart Church, administered to the needs of St. George parishioners. We find the names of Rev. M. Judge, Rev. T.P. Mooney, and Rev. T. Sweeney in the old baptismal records of St. George.

On April 4, 1911, Rev. Matthew Pankus was appointed pastor of st. George

Father Pauline purchased the present rectory and lot at 443 Park Avenue from Harry T. Wheeler, a coal dealer, on December 1st, 1913.

The pastors lived in various rented houses in the early years of the parish including 10 Clinton Avenue, 691 Howe Avenue, 450 Park Avenue, 360 Park Avenue, and finally 443 Park Avenue. father Pankus helped to establish several fraternal societies and organizations for the needs o1’ the 1,000 parishioners of St. George. These societies are now defunct.