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.

Images

The First Saint Francis Xavier

The First Saint Francis Xavier

This house was the original sight of Saint Francis, and was in use until the congregation outgrew it in 1909. It was the place of worship for a few original catholic families in the area, as well as the priests that made Saint Francis a success, like Rev. X. S. Nunan. Image Courtesy The Medina Gazette View File Details Page

The second location of Saint Francis

The second location of Saint Francis

This church was in use from 1909, until the last mass in 1961. It was used by the catholic community in Medina for masses, as well as special sacraments and prayers over the congregation. this church was built by stone and is still in good condition and regular use today, though not for masses. Image courtesy The Medina Gazette. View File Details Page

Men attend mass at Saint Francis Church of W. Liberty St

Men attend mass at Saint Francis Church of W. Liberty St

It is believed that in this photograph Rev. William Randel is saying a special prayer for the men of the congregation to bid them good luck on building the new school on E. Washington. Image Courtesy Linda Conley View File Details Page

Rev. William H. Randel

Rev. William H. Randel

Reverend Randel was the pastor at Saint Francis from 1950 to 1959. The Randel home that is owned by Saint Francis is named after him. Image Coutesy Saint Francis Xavier Archives View File Details Page

The Front of the Second Church Site

The Front of the Second Church Site

In this picture you can see the windows and sign at the old stone church on West Liberty Street. Displayed on the sign are the times of masses and various local events. Image Courtesy The Medina Gazette View File Details Page

Second Church Still Stands

Second Church Still Stands

The location of the second church on W. Liberty is currently in use by a local financial advisory company called ODA. If you go inside, the staff may be able to tell you some of the history behind the building. Image Courtesy Shannon Conley. View File Details Page

Saint Francis Xavier Catholic School on E. Washington St.

Saint Francis Xavier Catholic School on E. Washington St.

Before the new church was built, a school was built with generous donations of time and money from the congregation. The third and current church was built directly next to the school. Image Courtesy Saint Francis Xavier Archives. View File Details Page

New Church Finally Completed

New Church Finally Completed

This photo was captured right as the last shingle of the new church on E. Washington was nailed in. This church is still in use today and there are now five different masses to fit the entire congregation. Image Courtesy Medina Gazette. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Nelson Custer, Sarah Jones, “Saint Francis Xavier Parish,” Discover Medina, accessed July 22, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/220.

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