Parish History

Prior to 1872, Catholics in East Palestine walked 5 miles to St. Rose in Cannelton, PA to attend Mass offered by Father Bingham.  On June 6, 8:00 a.m. 1872, the first Mass in East Palestine was said at the home of Mr. And Mrs. John Boyle by Father Eli J.W. Lindesmith, pastor from Salem and Leetonia. During the time from 1872 to 1880, Father Lindesmith continued to offer Mass weekly in private homes in East Palestine.  In 1881, Msgr. Clement Treiber founded the parish of 25 families and began to construct the first church.  It was a 30 by 60 foot wooden structure at West Clark and North Walnut Streets.  The first Mass was offered by Msgr.Treiber in 1881.  The church was dedicated June 10, 1883 by Reverend Richard Gilmore, Bishop of Cleveland with 2,500 people in attendance..  In 1886 Msgr. Treiber purchased three acres on the back road to Unity for St. Mary’s cemetery.  The first burial took place on February 17, 1887, for Mrs. Albert Shaffer, 27 years old.  Father William Finucane served as pastor from 1887-1888, followed by Father Senner from 1888-99.  During that time the mission debt was liquidated.  Then in 1899-1900 Father Edward M. Reagan purchased the site for a rectory and the present day church at 210 East Main Street.  During 1900 Father Boyle, pastor in Salem, ministered to the parish until a new priest could be sent. From 1900-1929, Father Joseph Barth supervised the building of the rectory and was the first of ten priests to reside there.  In 1905 St. Mary’s Ladies Aid, a vital and active part of the church community,  was formed.  The Knights of Columbus Reagan Council was founded on February 10, 1918.   Father Peter Gribbon served from 1929-1933.  Father J.W. Kegg served from 1933-35.  Father Heid arrived from Cleveland in 1935.   Under his guidance, the new church was built with the cornerstone laid on October 22, 1939.  On Feberuay 14, 1940, Reverend Thomas Walsh of East Liverpool dedicated the new church and Father Heid celebrated the first Mass in the new church.   In 1951, construction of the parish school began.  On September 17,1951 the school was blessed by Bishop Emmet M. Walsh.  There were 59 boys and girls Grade 1-8.  In 1952, Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown moved into their 6-bedroom convent.  More classrooms were added in 1961.  In 1965 Rev. John Cunningham was appointed to assist Father Heid.  In 1967 Msgr.Joseph Heid retired.  Father John Pertz was pastor in 1967-68.  From 1968-72, Father Martin Matulick’s pastorate, the old altar and altar rail were removed and replaced and the school was closed due to lack of enrollment.  In 1972 the school was renovated and a kitchen was added and named “Heid Hall”.  Father Edward Dierker served from 1972-74 and Father Robert Bruce from 1974-1981.  Father Dezo B.Torok served from  1981-93 and converted the convent into a duplex.   Father Dan Cipar served from 1993-2010.  He was appreciated for his pastoral gift of caring for the sick and dying.    Formal collaboration with St. Jude, Columbiana began in 2009.  From 2011-2014, Father Thomas G. Ziegler cared for the parish as administrator; he oversaw the sale of the rectory.  In 2014 Father Christopher Cicero was named pastor, the church is now in the process of being renovated.  The history of the church in East Palestine is one of pride, caring, dedication and this continues to this day.


210 East Main Street
East Palestine, Ohio 44413
Mailing Address:
180 7th Avenue
Columbiana, OH 44408

Contact Information:

Phone: 330.426.9346
Fax: 330.532.0027

Mass Times:

Sunday: 8:30am
Weekdays: Wednesday & Thursday – 8:30am
Sacrament of Reconciliation: 2nd & 4th Sunday – 8:00am or by appt.
Adoration Wednesday: 9:00am – 10:00am

Rev. David Misbrener, Pastor