Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Flower_ThomasSIMSBURY – Father Thomas A. Flower, Pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Tariffville, died on July 14, 2010.

He was born on Jan. 12, 1938, in Hartford, the son of the late Andrew and Mary (Quinlan) Flower. He attended public schools in Hartford beginning with Moylan-Wilson (McDonough) Elementary Schools and finishing at Bulkeley High School. As a senior in high school, he was elected president of St. Lawrence O’Toole Parish’s Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). He then was elected president of the Hartford Deanery CYO Council. After that, he became president of the CYO for the Archdiocese of Hartford.

He studied at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and at Christ the King Major Seminary at St. Bonaventure, N.Y. During his last year of studies, he was appointed a prefect of discipline back at St. Thomas.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 27, 1965, by Archbishop Henry J. O’Brien. After a short summer assignment at Sacred Heart in Southbury, Father Flower was assigned as an assistant at St. Christopher in East Hartford. This was followed by a seven-year assignment as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Plainville, where, under his guidance, the parish CYO grew to more than 300 young people. In 1968, Father Flower was appointed to a six-year term as the Bristol Deanery CYO director.

In 1974, Father Flower became a Catholic chaplain at Yale-New Haven Hospital, a position he remained in for 13 years. During these years, he was appointed to serve as the coordinator of Catholic chaplains for the Archdiocese for six years. In 1987, Father Flower became assistant pastor at St. Margaret Parish in Madison. Two years later, he was named Pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Tariffville, where he served for 21 years. Father Flower was chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Bishop Nilan Council of greater Simsbury for more than 20 years and was a member of the Elks Club for 25 years.

Survivors include his sister, Janet F. Martin of Ludlow, Mass.; nieces; nephews; 13 great-nieces and great-nephews; and a great-great-niece and -nephew.

A parish Mass was celebrated on July 18 at St. Bernard, where Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial the next morning. Father John P. Sullivan of St. Joseph Parish in New Haven preached the homily. Burial was in Mount St. Benedict Cemetery in Bloomfield.