History

of St. Thomas Aquinas

Humble Beginnings

The Catholic Church of St. Cloud has been around as long as the city itself. From a humble beginning in 1912, the St. Thomas Aquinas church has grown from a small, one-room, frame structure into one of the most beautiful buildings to grace the St. Cloud Community.

In 1910, Father Michael Fox of Orlando, visited the small community of St. Cloud. Father Fox said Mass in the private residences of Mrs. Rouse and Mr. Peter Walsh. They kept the church fires burning and were instrumental in establishing the Catholic Church in St. Cloud. Eventually, Fr. Fox received some property from the founders of the colony, but did not have enough funds to build a small frame chapel. Two years later, a frame structure with a seating capacity of thirty people for the sum of $600 was erected. The first Mass was celebrated in the new Chapel in May of 1912 and soon after, St. Cloud became a city.

In December 1917, Father Walter B. Golden, the first resident priest in Kissimmee, began to care for the spiritual needs of the Catholics in St. Cloud. Beginning with Fr. Golden and continuing until 1962, priests from Holy Redeemer Church in Kissimmee.

Father William J. Holmes came to St. Cloud in 1964 after the opening of the town's Church-operated hospital. The Mission Parish of St. Thomas Aquinas was made vacant through Rev. Holmes' retirement. One September 11, 1968, Fr. Brendan Donnelly was appointed Pastor. With this appointment, the mission church was elevated to the status of Parish with a decree given October 1, 1968. In 1970, the church building was complete.

Following Fr. Donnelly's footsteps would be Fr. Arthur L. Dunningham, who served St. Thomas Aquinas until his retirement in 1982.
 

Growing Through Change

Fr. Fabian G. Gimeno became the third Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in 1982. Under his leadership, the Parish Center, a newly renovated church, a bell tower, and the first Catholic school in Osceola County were built.

Sister Linda Martin and Sister Ann Whitely became our school's first principal and assistant principal, respectively. Under their leadership, the school opened on August 21, 1989 with 123 students (Pre-K through 2nd grade). The current principal of St. Thomas Aquinas Church is Mrs. Maura Cox.

On June 28, 2011, Monsignor Fabian Gimeno retired from life at St. Thomas Aquinas.
 

 

Looking to the Future

On July 1, 2011, Father Kent Walker was appointed Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. One month later, he was joined by Father Lionel Pacheco as Parochial Vicar.

Father Walker has tremendous ideas for growth and solid hope in ideas to bring a new youth to our parish. In an effort to renew us as believers and instill a refreshed sense of faith in us, he has dedicated himself to improving the parish so that it will be 100% all about community.

In June 2015, Fr. Lionel was transfered to Holy Redeemer Church in Kissimmee, as part of the efforts to become an incardinated Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. As a result, St. Thomas Aquinas was blessed to welcome Fr. Fidel Rodriguez, formerly of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Winter Park, Florida.

 

 

Fr. Kent Walker

Pastor of

St. Thomas Aquinas

Catholic Church

 

Fr. Fidel Rodriguez

Parochial Vicar of

St. Thomas Aquinas

Catholic Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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