St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church

Located on Route 18 just east of the square, St. Francis Xavier is a Catholic Church and K-8 academy with a deep history. It dates back to the 1860's when Reverend John Van Den Brock ran Valley City Church where citizens of Medina would attend their weekly masses. Eventually a group was formed within the community. Led by a new mission pastor, Father Thomas Halley, they had their own private worship services at a house Fr. Halley bought. This group grew over the years and eventually made a push to finally establish the first Catholic parish in the city of Medina.

It was in 1876 when construction for the first church began under the direction of a young, ambitious priest from Wakeman, Ohio by the name of Reverend F. X. Nunan. A small church with a steeple was completed in 1878.

As the community surrounding the church grew, the building deteriorated, and the financial situation took a turn for the worst, newly- appointed pastor, Rev. John R. Kenny decided it was time for a new a building in 1905. Taking place on West Liberty Street, this job was finished in 1908 and stood strong as the parish building over the next five decades.

With the help of Father Randel, a school was built in the 1950's and that was followed by plans to build yet another new building for the church, which would be completed in 1961. That is now the current church located on East Washington Street. It currently stands today as a symbol of the prosperous culture Medina exhibits. Masses are given every weekend and holiday, the school provides a quality education for children, and the parish takes part in various charity organizations. Its history goes all the way back to the earliest construction of the city of Medina and that makes it a special asset to the community.

Images

St. Francis Xavier School

St. Francis Xavier School

Once he had his sight secured, Father Randel was anxious to get to work on building a school. And with the help and encouragement of Cleveland Archbishop Edward F. Hoban, Father Randel managed to fund raise a good chunk of the cost of the building. In 1952, a brick building with ten rooms and an auditorium was up and done. The construction of the school was a major turning point in the history of St. Francis. The church at the time on West Liberty was quickly becoming over crowded and in the the light of those circumstances, Father Randel began plans to build a new church in the same area as the school. Image Courtesy of The Medina County Gazette View File Details Page

The New Parish

The New Parish

Father Randel was who made the initial push to have the new church built in addition to the school. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to raise the funds he would've liked. This, however, did not stop him and his opportunistic parish. They still followed through and laid down groundwork to build a new building. With the help of the bare hands of men around the community, construction for the new building commenced and the job was completed in 1961. Image courtesy of Jared Grenfell from "Church of St. Francis Xavier" View File Details Page

Randel House

Randel House

This house, located right across the parking lot from the main church building on East Smith Road, was named after Father Randel. It currently serves as a shelter for homeless people five weeks out of the year, as it is a member of Operation Homes, Medina County's homeless shelter. Operation Homes consists of between 10-12 different homes that take turns taking in homeless people.When it's St. Francis's turn, they have volunteers who feed them, take care of them, stay with them over night, and keep the place clean. The Randel House is also often used as a meeting spot for various organizations within the parish. Image courtesy of Jared Grenfell View File Details Page

The Wall of Pastors

The Wall of Pastors

Here are all the Pastors of whom St. Francis Xavier has been directed by, starting with Rev. John R. Kenny in 1905 in the top left, going all the way to current pastor Rev. Anthony Sejba in the bottom right. This wall is located in the parish rectory. Image courtesy of Jared Grenfell View File Details Page

St. Francis Xavier Smith Road Entrance

St. Francis Xavier Smith Road Entrance

St. Francis's parish still remains in the same building initiated by Father Randel in the 1950's. Its school educates hundreds of children from grades K through 8. The church has endless ministries and programs to offer. It gives Catholic services every weekend, administers the sacraments such as baptism and marriage, has various youth and adult religious education classes, and performs an abundance of community service. The parish is a part of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Cleveland, which helps the poor and underprivileged in the community. The church provides spiritual care to offer to people in the hospital, the county jail, and several nursing homes. They also organize services to deliver Holy Communion to people around the city. Image courtesy of Jared Grenfell View File Details Page

Audio

Rev. Anthony Sejba on impact of SFX

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Rev. Anthony Sejba on St. Vincent de Paul Society & Randel House

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Cite this Page:

Jared Grenfell, “St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church ,” Discover Medina, accessed April 29, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/91.

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