Fr. Finn

father finnFather Thomas F. Finn was born in 1892. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1916, and then entered the Grand Seminary in Montreal, Canada to begin his theological studies. He was ordained to priesthood on December 20, 1919 and died after 48 active years in the priesthood, 13 years at St. Mark’s at the age of 76.

Before becoming the second pastor of St. Mark’s Church in 1955, Father Finn served as curate at All Saints’ Church in Ware Massachusetts; our Lady of Hope in Springfield Massachusetts; St. Joseph’s Church in Pittsfield Massachusetts and St. Peter’s Church in Worcester.

1955 was a time of change in the Catholic Church due to the recommendations of the second Vatican Council. Father Finn introduced the Dialogue Mass and lay participation in the liturgy, and led his parishioners to an appreciation of the changes.

Under Father Finn, the church was renovated and new stained glass windows installed, the brick annex in the rear of the church was build, a new central oil heating system was installed.

When St. Mark’s Hall on Onota Street was destroyed by a fire in 1961, a building plan became necessary, and a tithing program called “sacrificial offerings” was instituted in the parish to fund the new building and to maintain church property. Land was purchased from Coolidge Hill School and plans for a parish elementary school were put into motion. This dream became a reality in 1965 with the opening of St. Mark’s School at Columbus Avenue extension.

st. marks school old drawingIn April 1963, St. Mark’s celebrated its Golden Jubilee with the Mass of Thanksgiving. Following the mass, the bishop dedicated Father Leonard Hall, named for the first pastor.

Fr. Finn had strong convictions which he was not reluctant to express. But he also was remarkably open to new idea, encouraging innovation on the part of his younger associates. During his pastorate at St. Mark’s parish he became known as one of the liveliest and most progressive in the diocese.