Saint Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Universal Teacher and the Christian Apostle is believed to have been born in the castle of Roccasecca in the old county of the Kingdom of Sicily, which is now known as the Lazio region of Italy, in 1225. Thomas was introduced to his philosophical influences - Aristotle, Averroes, and Maimonides - at the university, where he also met John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher, who influenced him to join the recently founded Dominican Order. When Thomas' family learned of his decision, his mother Theodora arranged for him to be moved to Paris. When Thomas was travelling to Rome, his brothers captured him and returned him to their parents. Thomas’ mother, Theodora realized she could not sway her son, she tried to preserve the family name by arranging for his escape through a window. She believed a secret escape was better than appearing to accept his decision. Thomas was quiet and seldom spoke at the university, leading other students to believe he was mentally delayed, but Albertus Mangus prophetically said, ""You call him the dumb ox, but in his teaching, he will one day produce such a bellowing that it will be heard throughout the world."" Thomas wrote his most famous work, Summa theologiae, which he believed was particularly useful to beginning students ""because a doctor of Catholic truth ought not only to teach the proficient, but to him pertains also to instruct beginners."" Thomas died on March 7, 1274 during a commentary on the Song of Songs. Pope Pius V declared Saint Thomas a doctor of the church, saying Thomas was ""the most brilliant light of the Church."""
St. Thomas Church
The small farming town of Goshen was established along Highway 99 and served the farmers and dairy ranchers of the area. As time passed, the need for a church became evident and, through the generosity of the people of the region, a church was built in 1962. The parish was founded in 1963 with Father Joseph C. Barnes named as first pastor. In later years a hall was added and a small house was moved to the property to serve as a rectory. With changing demographics and the shortage of priests, the Goshen parish was united with Holy Family Parish in Visalia and was served by the clergy of Holy Family until it became part of the united parishes of what is now Good Shepherd Catholic Parish in 2008. St. Thomas the Apostle serves some 300 Catholic families.