Started in 1901 and completed in 1902, St. Thomas Aquinas Church is the oldest church in Palo Alto and is a registered historic landmark. Its distinctive carpenter gothic style makes it a signature building for the downtown area. The church is located just three blocks south of University Avenue. At the corner of Waverley and Homer Avenues, it's at the northern edge of the historic "Professorville" area of the city.
The church includes a number of exquisite period piece stained glass windows and a small remembrance garden for contemplation. Its downtown location makes it convenient for many to walk to the daily morning Mass (M-F at 7:15 am) or noontime Mass (M-Sat. 12:15 pm). We welcome all to Sunday Mass services at 7:30 am, 8:45 am (Thomas Merton Center mass), 10:30 am and the lovely Gregorian Mass at 12:00 noon, sung by the St. Ann Choir.
The church is also a popular venue for weddings.
Succession of Pastors of St. Thomas Aquinas Church
Rev. Bernarad J. McKinnon, 1902-1909
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph M. Gleason, 1909-1928
Rev. Andrew J. Carroll, 1928-1946
Rev. Edmund I. Hogan, 1946-1951
Rev. Henry MacEnery, 1951-1961
Rev. Edward R. Allen, 1961-1965
Rev. Daniel P. Shea, Admin., 1965-1968
Rev. Daniel P. Shea, Pastor, 1968-1983
Rev. Raymond J. Maher, Admin., 1983-1984
Rev. William L. Lenane, 1984-1987
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish Succession of Pastors
Rev. Alexander C. Larkin, 1987-1992
Rev. Dennis Browne, 1992-1994
Rev. John P. Cooper, CSSp, 1994-1996
Rev. Bernard Freyne, 1996-2002
Rev. George Aranha, 2002-2010
Rev. Matthew Stanley 2010-
A note on the patron saint of the church
St. Thomas Aquinas was born in what is now Roccasecca, province of Frosinone, Italy (the Kingdom of Naples) c. 1225 and died in 1274. A student of St. Albert the Great, he went on to overshadow his teacher with his brilliant scholarship earning the title Doctor of the Church (Angelicus Doctor). His best known work is the Summa Theologica, which became the standard summary of Christian philosophy for most of the next millennia.
Steeple Talk Newsletter
The St. Thomas Aquinas Site Committee publishes the newsletter Steeple Talk on a monthly basis. Click on a document at left to see Steeple Talk.