The Story of Two Parishes Merged into a Common History.
The Catholic Church presence in Conneaut began in 1847 with a visiting priest from Painesville, Ohio providing sacraments and regular services to Catholics in Conneaut. By 1884 a parish under the guidance of Father Jennings was formed and placed under the patronage of St. Mary the Immaculate Conception. A Church was constructed and completed by 1888 which is the current St. Mary’s on the corner of Main Street and Chestnut Street. By 1901, a school was opened on the grounds of the church with an enrollment of 153 students. The school was staffed by the Sisters of The Holy Humility of Mary. The summer of that same year five acres on West Main Road were purchased for a cemetery and dedicated to the patronage of St. Joseph
In 1927, the St. Mary’s Church was enlarged to accommodate a new and spacious sanctuary. In 1938, under the pastorate of Father Gribbon, the church underwent improvements to its interior which featured a new sanctuary and tabernacle.
The Catholic Community continued to grow rapidly between 1920-50s with an influx of an immigrant population in the Conneaut area. With a majority of the new immigrants coming from Italy….many coming from the same village called Santa Maria Del Molise or the same region of Molise/Campobasso Italy.
In 1955, Father Orlando Rich (associate pastor at St. Mary’s) organized a mission Church in the harbor area mainly to accommodate the immigrant community. On January 10, 1955, the mission was formally declared a Parish and was placed under the Patronage of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini who was herself an Italian Immigrant who became a Citizen in the USA. Father Orlando Rich was named the first resident Pastor.
In 1959 a school was established at St. Frances Cabrini. The school was first staffed by the Dominican Sisters and then in 1970, the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart took over. In 1972 St. Mary School was closed and merged with St. Frances Cabrini School St. Frances Cabrini School was closed in 2002.
In 1998, St. Mary and St, Frances Cabrini began collaboration efforts when Father Thomas was named pastor of both parishes.
In 2008 – Both parishes merged into one and was called St. Mary/St. Frances Cabrini Parish.
2013 the Parish was renamed Corpus Christi Parish under the Pastorate of Father Philip Miller. Currently Corpus Christi has 747 households registered, with 1,504 estimated individual Catholics.
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