A Brief History of St. Michael
In 1960 Bishop Emmet Walsh established St. Michael Mission to
serve the area Catholics. After St. Michael's was given parish
status in 1962, Fr. Gallagher was named the first pastor. The
cornerstone was laid by Msgr. Owen Gallagher in November of 1963.
Mass and programs were held in the new church as early as March
1964, including CCD classes for approximately 230 students.
Bishop Walsh dedicated the new church on October 4, 1964. Fr. Gallagher's tenure
ended in 1968, and a new pastor, Fr. Orlando D. Rich, succeeded on June 14 of
Fr. Rich realized the financial problems the Parish was
facing and directed his efforts toward working as a Parish to eliminate
them. Fr. Rich appointed a group to act as the Finance Committee, the
first of its kind in the Youngstown Diocese. The Finance Committee,
through some wise business investments, the financial backing of the
parishioners and generous donations, were able to eliminate the debt in a
relatively short period of twelve years.
On June 26th, 1977, Fr. Rich retired as pastor of St.
Michael. Succeeding Fr. Rich was Fr. Thomas McCarthy, formerly of St.
William parish in Champion, Ohio. When Fr. McCarthy assumed the pastorate
at St. Michael, the leadership style changed. Under his stewardship,
greater emphasis was placed upon participation of the laity. According to
Fr. McCarthy, he had been sent to St. Michael's to accomplish two goals.
The first goal was to physically expand existing parish buildings and the second
was to expand the staff and thus improve programs. Because the Parish was
expanding so rapidly, it became evident that the current facilities were simply
too small to meet the needs of the church community. After consideration
and deliberation, it was decided that an addition was needed. Ground
breaking for a new Parish Center was held on March 2, 1980.
In June of 1983, it was announced that Fr. McCarthy would be
leaving St. Michael to accept a position of pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish
in Warren, Ohio. Fr.
James E. O'Brien was named pastor in 1983. Under Fr. O'Brien's
leadership, the parish continued to prosper and grow. Fr. O'Brien
remained as pastor of St. Michael Parish until January of 1997,
when the current pastor, Terrence J. Hazel was appointed.
Since Fr. Terry has arrived, many changes have occurred at St.
Michael. Through the generosity of several members of our parish
community, stained glass windows have replaced the clear glass windows in the
church. Each window portrays important people who have played key roles in
the development of the Church throughout it's history and each is memorialized
in tribute to a loved one or in thanksgiving to God for blessings bestowed on
our members. New Italian mosaic Stations of the Cross have been installed,
also in memorials to loved ones or in thanksgiving. To accommodate the
growing membership, pews were added on the north and south aisles of the church
and air conditioning has been installed to eliminate the need to celebrate Mass
in the Parish Center during the hot summer months. The
current membership of St. Michael Parish is approximately 1,740 families and
continues to grow.