Holy Trinity Parish, originally called the Ferryland Mission, was established in 1789 by Bishop James Louis O'Donel; it extended from Brigus South to St. Mary's Bay. The extensive parish was sub-divided on several occassions. In 1834, St. Mary's Parish, which included Trepassey and surrounding areas, was created. The following year, the communities of Port Kirwan, Fermeuse, Kingman's Cove, Renews and Cappahayden were placed under the jurisdiction of Holy Apostles Parish. In 1934 Archbishop Edward Patrick Roche transferred the communities of Brigus South, Admirals Cove and Cape Broyle to the newly-created parish of the Immacualte Conception. From 1934 to 1998 Holy Trinity Parish included the communities of Ferryland, Calvert and Aquaforte. In 1998, Holy Trinity Parish was eliminated ("canocially supressed") and the communities of Calvert, Ferryland, and Aquaforte became part of Holy Family Parish.
While 1789 is noted as the official date of the creation of Holy Trinity Parish, in actuality, the presence of Roman Catholic clergy dates back to 1627-1628, when Lord Baltimore brought two Jesuit priests (and later a third) to minister to the first Roman Catholic settlers, making these priests the first ones in British North America to be attached to a specific community and population. After Baltimore left Newfoundland for Maryland, the Jesuits priests stayed for some time. Their presence and their celebration of mass (a penal offense at the time) was discovered by a Church of England minister and they left Ferryland.
The first priest appointed to the Ferryland mission was a Rev. Fitzpatrick. He was succeeded by Rev. Ewer (sometimes seen as Yore) who became the first parish priest of Ferryland when it was established in 1789. In 1791, permission was given by the Governor to build a church in Ferryland and it was Rev. Ewer who built the first chapel and presbytery in the parish. The current stone church in Ferryland was built in 1865 by Rev. Murphy. The people of the parish carried the stone for the church from Stone Island to Ferryland.
Calvert (previously known as Caplin Bay), a mission of Ferryland Parish, had its first Roman Catholic church built in 1860. A new church was built around 1920 and, by 1956, the church had undergone some reconstruction. In 1971, Calvert's church was destroyed by fire but another was quickly built.
It is known, however, that a mission church was built in Acquaforte in 1958 and the old one was torn down. When this "old church" was constructed is not known.
The first schools established in Ferryland parish were non-denominational. In 1844, however, with the establishment of separate Roman Catholic and Protestant school boards in Newfoundland, a Roman Catholic and a Protestant school were established in Ferryland. The Protestant school closed in 1847 and these students attended the Roman Catholic school. In 1852 the Ferryland Commercial School was established and taught the boys of the community. The year 1858 saw the arrival of three Presentation Sisters to Holy Trinity Parish. These sisters had left the Fermeuse Convent in order to establish a Convent in Ferryland. They also established a school in their Convent, Sacred Heart School, and began to teach the girls of the community; The first school in Calvert was only a winter school and was opened in 1862. In 1955, the schoolhouse in Calvert was enlarged and a new school was built on the North Side for grades kindergarten to grade three.
The first school in Aquaforte was a Protestant school that had been established sometime around 1846. This school served both the Roman Catholic and Protestant population. In 1852, however, a separate Roman Catholic School was established in this community.
The 1960's brought a lot of changes to the schools in Holy Trinity Parish. A central high school, called St. Joseph's, was built in Ferryland, in 1962, for grades 8-11 and the Convent school, Sacred Heart, housed grades K-7. In 1968, Baltimore Regional High School was built to house grades 9-11 from Holy Trinity, Holy Apostles and Immaculate Conception parishes. This new school meant that the Junior schools were closed in Calvert and Aquaforte and the convent school, Sacred Heart, became a primary school with St. Joseph's as a Junior High School. In 1978 Baltimore Regional High School was destroyed by fire but a new one was built by 1980. The Presentation Convent School closed in 1986 and by 1989 a new St. Joseph's Elementary School was built in Ferryland to teach grades K-8 students from Calvert to Aquaforte.
As with most Roman Catholic parishes the people of Holy Trinity Parish were involved in the activities of the parish. As early as 1938 a letter mentions the establishment of the Sodality of the Children of Mary in the parish. Holy Trinity Parish also had a Parish Council which, as one of it's activities, officiated the 200 year celebration of Ferryland as a Parish in 1989. Some other groups within the Parish include the Catholic Women's League, the Kinsmen and Kinettes of Lord Baltimore, the Women's Institute, Historical Society, Guides, Pathfinders, Brownies, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers. While some of these groups have a direct relationship in the organization of the parish, other groups belong to the communities in the Parish and partake in the parish's events and activities. Please note that this list does not give a complete picture of all the groups within the parish but reflects only those that were mentioned in the fonds.
Some of the priest who served the people of Holy Trinity Parish are as follows: Rev. Fitzpatrick ([1784?]-1789); Rev. Thomas Ewer [possibly Yore] (1789-1805); Rev. Ambrose FitzPatrick (1806-[1812?]); Rev. Timothy Brown (1812-[1836?]); Rev. James Murphy ([1836?]-1870); Rev. Michael Clancy (1874-1884); Rev. Lawrence Vereker (1884-1918); Rev. Alfred Maher (1919-[1927?]); Rev. W. J. Ryan (1927-[1931?]); Rev. J. A. Cotter (1951-1964); Rev. John Corrigan (1966-[1977?]); Rev. Dermot McGettigan (1977- 1982); Rev. Kevin Molloy (1982-1986); Rev. J. Kevin Mckenna (1986-1990); Rev. John McGettigan (1990-1996); and Rev. Paul Lundrigan (1996-1998).