Most of the early settlers of Salem were Quakers, and there were no Catholic families in the village for almost half a century after the founding of the settlement in 1806. During the building of the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago Railroad in 1853, a few Irish laborers settled in Salem. Until 1868, the spiritual needs of Catholics in the Salem area were attended to by priests in the nearby vicinity. However, 1868, Rev. Eli W. J. Lindesmith, who then had charge of churches in Alliance and Leetonia, organized the Salem group, holding services once a month in the house of Catholic people, and four times a year in the Town Hall. Father Lindesmith selected St. Paul as patron saint for the congregation and selected the conversion of St. Paul, January 25, as the parish feast.
The Right Reverend Monsignor Clement Treiber was the first resident pastor, coming to Salem in July 1880. With 25 catholic families he began plans immediately for the erection of the original Church, and the mission became a parish.
The first Mass was celebrated in the incomplete structure on November 27, 1881. Five years later an addition almost as large as the original structure was built. On November 28, 1886, the church was dedicated by Most Reverend Richard Gilmour, Bishop of the Cleveland Diocese.
In 1891, a rectory adjoining the church was built. In 1904, a parochial school was erected. The Sisters of the Humility of Mary staffed the parish school and continue to serve the parish today. The convent was built in 1925.
The Rev. Maurice J. Casey came to Salem in July 1928. He found a substantial treasury on hand in anticipation of a new church. After months of careful study and thought, the decision to build a church was made and ground broken in August 1930. Additional property had to be purchased. The priests’ house was moved to a site on Ohio Avenue so that the church might occupy a commanding position and be seen from all points of vision.
The present school was begun in May 1954, the first section being ready for classes after the Easter holidays in 1955, when the removal of the old school began. The four rooms in the second section were opened for classes by the end of January 1956.
The parish structures have continued to undergo renovations and improvements, to better meet the needs of our parish community. Faithful to the vision of the first Catholics in Salem, we strive to be faithful to the Gospel message and to be a special presence as we join with those in Salem in the efforts to build the Kingdom of God in our world today.
935 East State Street
Salem, Ohio 44460
Saturday Vigil: 4:30pm
Sunday: 8:00am & 5:00pm (Spanish)
Holy Day: See bulletin
Weekdays: Monday – Friday – 8:00am
Sacrament of Reconciliation: Saturday 3:30 – 4:30pm
Rev. Robert Edwards, Pastor