Celebrating 75 Years of Serving God and Neighbor

182 years ago this month (June 2022) – in June 1840 – seven years before the 1847 founding of the Diocese of Cleveland, an early record of Catholics in Strongsville Township, noted a visit by Bishop Purcell, of the Diocese of Cincinnati, to the two Catholic families in the township. Bishop Purcell was on his way from dedicating St. Mary-on-the-Flats in Cleveland and stopped here before going onto Valley City. He visited two Catholic families. Two. Yet in June 2022, just counting our parish, we have 2,626 registered families.


It is doubtful that Father McGraw and our earliest parishioners could have imagined what the future would bring for this community. Our celebration was joy-filled, for many things, but particularly tonight for the life of our parish – for what has been, what is, and together, what we can still be over the course of the next 182 years. Since that first record of Catholics in 1840, through the founding of our parish now-76 years ago, and continuing through today, the Strongsville community has been enriched by our Christ-filled presence. 

From the days of Fr. Joseph McGraw, whose chalice continues to be used regularly for special Masses, through the building of our current church under Fr. McDonough, the ingenuity of Fr. Donohue, the spirituality of Fr. Dodd, and the compassionate-care of Fr. Sanson, and my own health challenges, Christ has been present and active here through the lives of parishioners and staff and all who have experienced his presence through our own words and actions.. Not even the destruction of our first Quonset Hut church and half the school by the powerful 1965 Palm Sunday Tornado, nor the experience of our communal heartbreak and betrayal in December 2019 crushed our spirit. These events shaped us, but our definition as a community is far beyond any one event. We are people filled with many gifts and great resilience.


During Fr. Joe's COVID Easter, aka Easter 2020, homily, he used a quote “the comeback is always stronger than the setback”…little did he know what that was going to mean for him, personally, but he had a sense what it would mean for us as a parish. We are alive, we are coming back, and we will continue to do so! We are grateful for those who have gone before us to provide us with the community that we have today and we pledge to continue what began in 1946, so our children, and their children, and even their children’s children, will have what we have had. Let us strive, with Jesus’ divine assistance, to give them the best! We cannot wait to see what God still has in store for us. When you can be easily be in other places and in other parishes, Fr. Joe remarked "thank you for choosing to be a part of our community. I hope you will stay along for the ride!" May God continue to bless our community, each one of us, and those we love…

Watch our Opening and Closing 75th Annviersary Masses on YouTube
View pictures and read the homily and remarks from our three major 75th Anniversary events