Bishop Emmet M. Walsh, the second Bishop of Youngstown, established a mission in 1961 for the area, which had 450 Catholic families living in the townships of Champion, Southington, Bristol, Bloomfield, Farmington and Bazetta as a mission parish. In honor of Reverend William Dunn, the first pastor of the mission, the name Saint William was given to the new mission. The cafeteria and later Masses were offered in the School Gym.
That same year, Sunday morning CCD classes were started in the school in addition to the formation of the Women’s Guild and Men’s Club, which were instrumental in providing necessities for the new mission. The following year, 78 second grade pupils received their First Communion, and work on the original church was begun.
In May, 1963, Bishop Walsh established Saint William as a parish, with Fr. Joseph Werner as the first pastor. A mobile home was purchased for his living quarters until a rectory could be provided. The original church was completed in June, but Mass was still offered in the school until the furnishings arrived. In September, 1964, Notre Dame Sisters from Saint Mary convent arrived to teach four Saturday morning CCD classes. They served the parish for five years. A house, along with additional acreage facing Route 45 was purchased and remodeled to serve as a rectory.
Fr. Gerald Curran was appointed pastor in 1966, succeeding Msgr. Donald Reagan who had served for a year. That same year the parish hired its first part-time secretary (a position previously filled by parish volunteers) and installed new pews in the church, replacing folding chairs. Fr. John Murray took over as parish administrator in 1968 and became pastor the following year. In 1970 the parish hired its first director of religious education, Dominican Sister Jean Desort.
Saint William liquidated its debt in 1971 and the following year an extensive renovation was begun on the original church, with new carpeting, stained glass windows, altar relocation and new seating being the most notable improvements. This renovation was completed in 1973, and Fr. Thomas J. McCarthy was named pastor, serving until 1977 when Fr. Charles Crumbley succeeded him. In January, 1981, the parish launched a building fund drive for a new church and renovation of other parish facilities. Construction began in October, 1983, and was completed in July the following year. At this time the parish had grown to over 700 families.
The present church interior reflects the theme of resurrection in a mosaic of the Risen Christ, in the sanctuary windows whose shapes and colors tell the story of the Resurrection and in the window of the baptistery with its inverted arched shapes that symbolize dying and rising again in the changing colors of light passing through.
In 1988, Fr. Michael Smar was named pastor until his retirement in July 2008. During those years, Fr. Smar guided the parish and its involvement in a full range of programs and activities that included youth ministry, RCIA, parish council and religious education. Notre Dame Sister Mary Cora Skrivan assisted in the development of these programs as pastoral assistant to the parish. In 2005 a new priest residence was constructed adjacent to the Church building. Rev. Michael D. Balash became pastor in July 2008 and currently serves in this position.
Saint William Parish celebrated its Golden Anniversary in 2013 and reflected on the groundwork and vision that has been laid in spirit, ministry and faith to carry the parish forward into the next fifty years and beyond. Saint William Parish continues to embark on a new vision of ministry and service to the Catholic Community of Champion Township and to bring the gospel message of Jesus Christ to its members and community. With thanks to our loving God and through the dedication and commitment of its members, the Parish of Saint William remains a thriving and prospering community rooted in the love of Christ and one another
Located in the northwest portion of Trumbull County in northeastern Ohio and part of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, Saint William Parish has enjoyed a rich and diverse history. Established as a parish on May 21, 1963 by Bishop Emmet M. Walsh, Bishop of Youngstown, Saint William Parish has served faithfully the people of Champion Township and northern Trumbull County for half a century. From humble beginnings, the community of Saint William Parish has grown into a vibrant, life-giving and faith-filled parish of enthusiastic and dedicated members.
In 1958 the spiritual needs of Catholics in the Warren area were being served by Saint Mary Parish in downtown Warren. A steadily increasing Catholic population prompted the Youngstown Diocese to purchase 75 acres of farmland off State Route 45 in Champion to accommodate this growth.
Church and Offices:
St. William Catholic Church
5411 Mahoning Ave. N.W.
Warren, Ohio 44483-1133
Telephone: (330) 847-8677
Fax: (330) 847-7026
Parish Office Hours:
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
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Saturday: 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday - Friday: 8:30 a.m.
Holy Days: 8:30 and 7:00 p.m