Historical Time Line


1890 Swanton Catholics petitioned Bishop Richard Gilmour of Cleveland for permission to build a church. (All northern Ohio was in the Cleveland Diocese.)

1891 Three lots were purchased on Dodge Street along with two acres for a cemetery.

1892 A 30’ x 50’ frame church was built on the three lots on Dodge Street for $1,631.

1893 The first Mass was offered for approximately 20 families on May 7. The church was dedicated on October 22, 1893.

1900 The church was enlarged, making the structure cruciform in shape with the addition of two transepts.

1908 The rectory on Walnut Street behind the church was built at a cost of $4,400.

1909 St. Richard Church became a full-fledged parish when Reverend John Berthelot was appointed resident pastor (1909-1912).

1912 Rev. John Kiebel was named 2nd pastor (1912-1915).

1915 Rev. James Elder was named 3rd pastor (1915-1916).

1916 Rev. Thomas Kennedy was named 4th pastor (1916-1918).

1918 Rev. Michael McFadden was named 5th pastor (1918-1922).

1922 Rev. Alphonse Roach was named 6th pastor (1922-1933) during the depression.

1933 Rev. Alfred Metzger was named 7th pastor (1933-1942).

1942 Rev. Joseph Myers was named 8th pastor (1942-1946). The church interior was remodeled to increase the seating capacity as the parish had grown to 230 families (836 people).

1946 Rev. Matthew Clancy was named 9th pastor (1946-1970) to some 250 households. During the next seven years Mass attendance doubled.

1953 Twenty-two and six tenths acres of farmland were purchased for $19,775 on Farner Avenue (now Brookside Drive).

1955 A building fund raised $140,000 which was $42,000 over the goal.

1956 Ground breaking ceremonies for the hall and school were held on June 17. The hall, with a seating capacity for 500, served as a temporary church.

1957 The last Sunday Mass in the white frame church on Dodge Street that served generations of Catholics in the Swanton area for 64 years was offered on April 7, 1957. A week later on Palm Sunday, a 102 car procession went from the old church (now Faith Lutheran Church) to the new site for the first Mass in the new temporary church (now Clancy Hall.

1958 The school was constructed at the same time as the temporary church. It opened for classes in September for grades one through six with 150 students. The school was fully staffed by the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania. The principal was Sister M. Rufina, OSF. The rectory, custodian’s apartment, school bus garage and convent (St. Francis Hall) were completed in 1958.

1959 Grade 7 was added to the school. Rev. Albin Radecki was the first assistant pastor to St. Richard. Following him was Rev. Albert Ottenweller (1959-1961). (He is now a retired Bishop of Steubenville.)

1960 Grade 8 was added to the school that was built for six grades.

1961 Rev. Roger DeBusschere was assistant pastor (1961-1967).

1962-63 A Brick-N-Motor Fund was launched to begin construction on the church.

1965 Ground was broken in March and the cornerstone laid on December 12th. Crusaders Athletic Development Association known as C.A.D.A. was established. It is composed of men and women interested in the physical education for the children of St. Richard Parish.

1966 The first Mass was offered in the new church on May 15th with seating capacity for 740. A dedication by Bishop Rehring was held on August 18th.

1967 Rev. John McClure was assistant pastor (1967-1970).

1968 Msgr. Matthew Clancy (a Monsignor since January 1964) asked for retirement for health reasons in June. He retired to an apartment in the annex (Guadalupe Hall) and continued to assist at Mass. Rev. Maurice Herman replaced Msgr. Clancy as the 10th pastor (1970-1975). St. Richard Parent Teacher Organization was formed. The principal was Sister M. Richarda.

1972 Parish Board of Education was established.

1975 Rev. Paul Dorley was named 11th pastor (1975-1977).

1977 Rev. Robert Holden was named 12th pastor (1977-1985).

1978 Services of a Pastoral Associate and Deacons were implemented. Sr. Eve Marie Korzym was the first Pastoral Associate and James Schmidt was the first Deacon at St. Richard.

1979 The new $180,000 Parish Life Center was dedicated.

1982 Timothy Worline became a Deacon and serves at St. Richard.

1983 Christopher Vasko, baptized and educated at St. Richard, became a priest and offered his first Mass at St. Richard.

1985 Rev. Steve Cairns was named 13th pastor and Sister Diane Skubby Pastoral Associate.

1988 The pre-school was opened in the old convent building (St. Francis Hall).

1989 Sister Marguerite Lamberjack became Pastoral Associate.

1992 School Endowment Fund was established. $106,000 in donations was raised for Church renovations.

1993 Parish Centennial was celebrated with numerous events and concluded with a Mass celebrated by Bishop James R. Hoffman.

1997 Rev. Daniel Zak was named 14th pastor and Bev Bingle became Pastoral Associate and Director of Religious Education.

1998 Youth Quest, Appalachian Experience and the Memorial Tree Program were implemented. Pre-school rooms were remodeled at a cost of $19,000. $100,000 in capital improvements were completed, including the computerization of all the buildings.

1999 During May, there were several “listening sessions” held with dinner to survey the parishioners on the feasibility of conducting a capital campaign. In June, the decision was made to go forward with a campaign under the direction of Mrs. Susan Smith from the CYSS offices of the Diocese of Toledo

2000 Throughout February and March our campaign name, “Remember the Past-Envision the Future”, and our case statement were developed. During August, the silent phase of the campaign began. Potential “pace-setting” donors were contacted to launch the campaign by making a pledge/commitment.

2001 The second phase of the campaign (contacting lead donors) began in April with the 3rd and final phase being launched in May (presenting the campaign to the entire parish). The results of the campaign were $1,162,708.35 in pledges made by 227 donors. Two projects were completed. New windows were installed in the rectory/offices and in the preschool.

2002 On May 19th St. Richard Parish and Faith Evangelical Lutheran Parish formally signed a Covenant of Cooperation. As of June 9, 2002 $439,876.58 has been collected. After campaign and development expenses were deducted, $66,961.30 was placed in the School Endowment (which brought the balance to $232,631.85). On June 10th we began our first phase of capital improvements. Asbestos was removed from the school, boys and girls restrooms were made handicap accessible. New ceilings, lighting, and windows were installed in the section where the asbestos was removed.

2003 In May a 110th Anniversary celebration was held. Sister Bernarda Breidenbach, OSU was hired as principal for St. Richard School. Mary’s Chapel for Eucharistic Adoration was completed with funds from the capital campaign and dedicated On December 8th.

2004 The Parish Life Center was renovated into the kindergarten and preschool (which was moved from St. Francis Hall to the school building). On September 11th a storage facility was added behind the current maintenance garage. It was built with many volunteers.

2005 The loft above Clancy Hall was enclosed and renovated, which will serve as a meeting space for the youth of our parish. In December new windows were installed on the North-side of the school. The Memorial Gardens took shape with many shrubs, flowers, statues, and a columbarium.

2006 January 8th St. Richard held its first Life Teen Mass. On May 21, 2006 the Memorial Gardens were officially dedicated. Frederick A. Tiller Business Manager retired and Joseph Panning was hired. Miss Beverly Will was school principal. Volunteers from the parish remolded the parish kitchen in the school. September the Edge Program began.

2007 May 27, 2007 Fr. Daniel J. Zak celebrated 40th anniversary as a priest.

2008September marked 50th year for the school. New stained glass window was dedicated on 5th anniversary of Mary’s Eucharistic Chapel Dec. 8th; donated in remembrance of Terrance Hallett.

2009 Mrs. Susan Richardson became our School Principal. Sr. Valerie Schneider SND became our Liturgical/Music Director. The old heating system in the church was revised with the cost of Phase one $167, 500. The three phases to repair the heating system is estimated to cost $250,000.00. Over 240 families made pledges. On October 1st we received a new Deacon, Rev. Michael Sarra.

2010 Joe Panning left as our Business Manager and Gregory Hintz took his place in April. A handicap ramp was put in behind of Guadalupe Hall done by volunteers in our parish. Two front pews were made for the handicapped at church by Robert Long and also he made some storage and closets in the sacristy. Mrs. Ann Hallett retired as RCIA director after over 12 years as director. Deacon Michael Sarra and his wife Louise are the new directors of the RCIA. Fr. Dan ordered 1,000 books for the parish Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. Sessions were set to start in 2011.

2011 The Diocese started a task force on how we can continue our Catholic Schools tradition , looking at enrollment and financial areas. Sr. Valerie and other members of the core staff worked at kicking on becoming an “Engaged Church.” The Diocese told us that in July, 2012 we would be a twinned church with Holy Trinity in Assumption. We would remain individual parishes with just one pastor. Gregory Hintz left as Business Manager in March, 2011 and Mrs. Carrie Reeves took over as bookkeeper. The position will be divided and a part time Business manager, Mary Warner, was hired. We celebrated the 70th Birthday of Fr. Dan Zak on November 4, 2011. Sr. Jean Walczak SND became our new principal of St. Richard School.
 2012 The year began with the announcement that Fr. Zak would retire in June and that a Pastoral Leader will be appointed to lead the parish. Deacon Jerry Ziemkiewicz was appointed Pastoral Leader effective July 2 and Fr. Adam Hertzfeld, the Pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Toledo was named Chaplain. It was a time of transition. 

2013 A highly successful Parish Mission took place in Lent, led by Vince Ambrosetti. A school task force looked at the future of our school.

2014 Water pipes froze and burst in St. Francis Hall during the snowy cold winter. Total interior renovations were done. The sanctuary has new carpeting and a new altar of repose installed along with a new tabernacle and crucifix. The Eucharist was moved to the main body of the church. A new Parish Pictorial Directory was published.

2019 In April, the announcement was made that Fr. Eric Culler was appointed as pastor at St. Richard. He arrived in August after completing his Masters in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Fr. Eric also serves as Judge at the Diocese of Toledo Tribunal.