Parish History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1955 A building fund raises $140,000, which is $42,000 over goal.

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

1957 The last Sunday Mass in the white frame church on Dodge Street that served for 64 years is offered on April 7, 1957. A week later on Palm Sunday, a 102 car procession travels 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 is constructed at the same time as the temporary church, opening for classes in September with grades one through six and 150 students. The school is fully staffed by the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania, with Sister M. Rufina, OSF as principal. The rectory, custodian’s apartment, school bus garage, and convent (St. Francis Hall) are completed.

1959 Grade 7 is added to the school. Rev. Albin Radecki arrives as the first parochial vicar (associate pastor) of St. Richard, quickly followed by Rev. Albert Ottenweller (1959-1961), who will become Bishop of Steubenville.

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

1961 Rev. Roger DeBusschere arrives as parochial vicar (1961-1967).

1962-63 A Brick-N-Mortar Fund is launched to begin construction on the church.

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

1966 The first Mass is 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 arrives as parochial vicar (1967-1970), later to become Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Toledo.

1968 Msgr. Matthew Clancy (a Monsignor since January 1964) requests retirement for health reasons in June. He resides in an apartment in the annex (Guadalupe Hall) and continues to assist at Mass. Rev. Maurice Herman is named the 10th pastor (1970-1975). St. Richard Parent Teacher Organization is formed. Sister M. Richarda becomes principal.

1972 Parish Board of Education is established.

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

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

1978 Sr. Eve Marie Korzym becomes the first Pastoral Associate and James Schmidt becomes the first Deacon at St. Richard.

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

1982 Timothy Worline is ordained a Deacon and serves at St. Richard.

1983 Christopher Vasko, baptized and educated at St. Richard, is ordained a priest and offers his Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Richard.

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

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

1989 Sister Marguerite Lamberjack becomes Pastoral Associate.

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

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

1997 Rev. Daniel Zak is named 14th pastor, and Bev Bingle becomes Pastoral Associate and Director of Religious Education.

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

1999 During May, several “listening sessions” are held with dinner to survey the parishioners on the feasibility of conducting a capital campaign. In June, the decision is 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 the campaign “Remember the Past, Envision the Future” is developed. The silent phase begins in August. Potential “pace-setting” donors are contacted to launch the campaign by making a pledge/commitment.

2001 The second phase of the campaign (contacting lead donors) begins in April, and the 3rd and final phase is launched in May (presenting the campaign to the entire parish). The results of the campaign are $1,162,708.35 in pledges made by 227 donors. Two projects are completed. New windows are 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. By June 9, $439,876.58 is collected for the capital campaign. $66,961.30 is placed in the School Endowment.  The first phase of capital improvements begins on June 10th: asbestos removal from the school, handicap accessibility for restrooms, new ceilings, lighting, and windows in the school.

2003 In May a 110th Anniversary celebration is held. Sister Bernarda Breidenbach, OSU becomes school principal. Mary’s Chapel for Eucharistic Adoration is completed with funds from the capital campaign and dedicated on December 8th.

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

2005 The loft above Clancy Hall is enclosed and renovated as a meeting space for the youth group. In December new windows are installed on the north side of the school. A Memorial Garden on the west side of church is added, which includes shrubs, flowers, statues, and a columbarium.

2006 On January 8th St. Richard holds its first Life Teen Mass. On May 21, 2006 the Memorial Gardens are officially dedicated. Business Manager Frederick A. Tiller retires, and Joseph Panning is hired. Miss Beverly Will becomes school principal. Volunteers from the parish remodel the parish kitchen in the school. The Edge Program begins in September.

2007 On May 27, 2007 Fr. Daniel J. Zak celebrates his 40th anniversary as a priest.

2008 September markes the 50th year for the school. On December 8th a new stained glass window is dedicated on the 5th anniversary of Mary’s Eucharistic, donated in remembrance of Terrance Hallett.

2009 Mrs. Susan Richardson becomes School Principal. Sr. Valerie Schneider, SND becomes Liturgical/Music Director. The old heating system in the church is upgraded at a cost of $167, 500. The three phases to repair the heating system are estimated to cost $250,000.00. Over 240 families make pledges. On October 1st Michael Sarra arrives as Deacon.

2010 Joe Panning departs as Business Manager, and Gregory Hintz takes his place in April. A handicap ramp is built to Guadalupe Hall by  parish volunteers. Two front pews are made handicap accessible by Robert Long, who also installs storage closets in the sacristy. Mrs. Ann Hallett retires as RCIA director after over 12 years. Deacon Michael Sarra and his wife Louise become the new RCIA directors. Fr. Dan orders 1,000 books for the parish Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. Sessions are set to start in 2011.

2011 The Diocese starts a task force on continuing our Catholic Schools tradition, examining enrollment and finances. Sr. Valerie and other members of the core staff work on becoming an “Engaged Church.”  Gregory Hintz departs as Business Manager in March, and Mrs. Carrie Reeves takes over as bookkeeper. A part time Business manager, Mary Warner, is hired.  Sr. Jean Walczak SND becomes principal.
 2012  Fr. Zak announces his retirement in June.  Deacon Jerry Ziemkiewicz is appointed Pastoral Leader effective July 2, and Fr. Adam Hertzfeld, the Pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Toledo, is named Chaplain.

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

2014 Water pipes freeze and burst in St. Francis Hall. Total interior renovations are done. The sanctuary has new carpeting and a new altar of repose installed along with a new tabernacle and crucifix. The Eucharist is moved back to the main body of the church. A new Parish Pictorial Directory is published.

2016 The Capital Campaign "God's House, Our Home" is begun.

2019  Rev. Eric Culler is appointed 15th pastor, arriving in August after completing his License in Canon Law (JCL) at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  Fr. Eric serves as Judicial Vicar of the Diocese of Toledo Tribunal in addition to his role as pastor.

2020 Masses are suspended in March due to the coronavirus situation.  Fr. Eric uploads video Masses during lockdown.  Public Masses resume on Pentecost.  The final project for the "God's House, Our Home," repair and enlargement of the north parking lot, is completed at a cost of approximately $180,000.