Saint Francis Xavier Parish

St. Francis Xavier Parish has been a staple to the ever growing Catholic community in the small town of Medina, Ohio. It was founded in 1860 with the Saint Francis Xavier Mission, named after the famous missionary. The first congregation was set up in a house with the help of Reverend Thomas F. Halley. Reverend John Van Den Brock, a priest from a church in a nearby county, visited in 1864 and said mass there, and when he returned in 1871 to help the mission to gain stability, his influence allowed the presence of Catholicism in Medina to be known, resulting in the prosperity of the church. The first church building was developed by Rev. F. X. Nunan in 1876. The congregation met in small gatherings and was composed of a few local families until 1908, when the new stone church was built. The few catholic families which were brought to the area had turned into a significant catholic population, far from home. The growth in popularity for the religion in this area was a social aspect that created demand for a new worshipping space. This is why it became necessary to build a new church. The second church was a relatively small church on West Liberty Street, with stone walls and stained glass windows. The church lasted 53 years until, in 1961, the the last mass was said. As transportation became more easily accessible, a large population of catholic people shifted away from cities and into small towns like Medina. Some members were from the area and were converted, while many just moved in. At this time, the church was too little to keep up with the growing population and the demand for a larger building became evident. The increase in congregation size brought economic prosperity. Middle class young families were able to donate more, contributing to the growth in size and use of the church after it was built in 1959. Additions to the third church included housing space for the priests, as well as a private catholic school, parking, walkways, and other improvements. The church also bought the Randel house, a house named after former pastor Rev. William H. Randel. The Randel house’s main purpose is to house the homeless and be a location for church events. Saint Francis has succeeded for approximately 155 years now, and with constant upgrades to the church and a steady attendance, Saint Francis Xavier Parish will be around for years to come.

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