Project Description

An inspiring Catholic monument on Blue Hills Avenue

St. Justin’s territory, in the north end of Hartford, derived from the parishes of St. Michael and the cathedral, yet parish history preceded canonical organization. In 1914 Father Francis P. Nolan of St. Thomas Seminary, who was also diocesan Director of Cemeteries, built a residence (the present St. Justin rectory) on land that had been the Thomas farm in the Hartford section known as “Blue Hills.”

On October 16, 1924, the parish of St. Justin was established, with Father Nolan named founding pastor. The site of the early Masses was Northwest School on Woodland Street until February 1, 1925, when the basement of the Blue Hills Avenue church was formally dedicated. Trained as an engineer at Yale, Father Nolan was meticulous in planning the superstructure of St. Justin Church. The parish raised $250,000 during the Depression era. No building fund drive was ever necessary. What rose on Blue Hills Avenue would long remain one of the most beautiful Catholic monuments in Connecticut.

On May 21, 1933, Bishop John J. Nilan dedicated St. Justin Church.

(Joseph W. Duffy, Hartford’s Catholic Legacy: Parishes, p. 189).

Read more about the history of St. Justin-St. Michael: “From St. Benedict Center to St. Justin-St. Michael: A Brief History of Black Catholics in the City of Hartford, CT” by Myles Hubbard.

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Year St. Justin Parish Founded
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Year St. Justin Church Dedicated
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Did You Know?

Thirteen different kinds of marble are found inside (St. Justin Church), the smallest piece of which is an olive branch in the mouth of a white dove (Joseph W. Duffy, Hartford’s Catholic Legacy: Parishes, p.190).

“Celtic symbols decorate St. Justin’s great bronze doors, opening upon the enduring beauty of an interior with numerous artistic masterpieces to inspire and uplift the spirit.”

JOSEPH W. DUFFY

WE ARE CHANGING LIVES TODAY

“What rose on Blue Hills Avenue would long remain one of the most beautiful Catholic monuments in Connecticut.”

– Joseph W. Duffy, Hartford’s Catholic Legacy: Parishes