Saint Luke Church

     Westport, Connecticut

    A Brief History

 

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Saint Luke Parish

 The parish of Saint Luke was founded in 1957 to serve the northeastern region of Westport.  The Reverend Cornelius J. Looney was appointed as its first pastor.  In the beginning, services were celebrated in two local schools, in a colonial house which later become the Rectory and in “The Stables” which was remodeled into a small chapel.

Two years later, a permanent chapel (originally planned as a gym) was completed  and an adjoining nine-room school was opened in September of 1961.  Regrettably, the school was short-lived and closed in 1971.  Since then, its facilities have been renovated and expanded and are used continually both as classrooms for Religious Formation and as busy meeting rooms for the many groups and activities that have developed at Saint Luke’s.

Father Looney died suddenly in 1974 and his popular assistant, the Reverend Thomas J. Driscoll, was named pastor.  Work soon began to renovate the chapel (gym) into an attractive church with stained glass windows and a balcony loft.  In October of 1979 a new steeple was installed and, in 1984 was completed the apse which embraces in its arc the altar, the tabernacle, the mighty pipe organ and additional seating for the choir and parishioners.

Saint Luke has continued as a center of religious and social activity and as an active participant in ecumenical affairs with neighboring churches and synagogues.

In 1990, Father Driscoll was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese in Bridgeport. Father Pierre Botton was transferred from Saint John’s in Darien and welcomed to Saint Luke’s, serving as its third pastor until his retirement in 1997.  Our present pastor, the Reverend Andrew G. Varga, D.Min., was named the fourth pastor of Saint Luke’s in August of that year. 

Saint Luke Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding in 2007 and marked the occasion by the construction of the new Gathering Space and Baptistery to be a visible sign of welcome to the community.  The parish Offices were also renovated to be more welcoming and serviceable to our parish needs, and the parking areas were expanded and landscaped.

Our parish is also served by our parochial vicar, the Reverend Alfred A. Riendeau, Deacon Brian J. Kelly, Ph.D., and Deacon Lance Fredricks.  Ms. Maggie Diviney serves as Pastoral Assistant to the sick, elderly and homebound.  Sister Maureen Fleming SSND is our Coordinator of Pastoral Outreach Activities.  Deacon Fredricks also serves as the Director of Religious Formation.  Ms. Deb Toner is the director of a vibrant and ever-growing Youth Ministry.  Our Music Staff consists of Mr. Leon Bernard, Director of Music and Director of the Adult Choir; and Assistant Organist Mrs. Marguerite Hastings.  Our housekeeping and maintenance staff, Mrs. Princess Williams and Mr. Joe Domena, provide us with a facility that is always clean, bright and welcoming.

This necessarily brief history omits so many details, events and people that have made Saint Luke’s the faith-filled, diverse and active parish that it is.  We hope that you’ve already come to know that through your friends and neighbors who are members of Saint Luke’s.  Please know that you are always welcome to come and visit with us!