Since 1849, a faith community has gathered regularly in Xenia to worship in the Roman Catholic tradition and give thanks for the many gifts He has bestowed upon us. In 1999, St. Brigid Parish celebrated a milestone achievement, its 150th anniversary.
St. Brigid Parish is the oldest of six Roman Catholic communities in Greene County and the only Catholic Parish in Xenia, Ohio.
Beginning in 1844, visiting priests from the area celebrated Masses on the porch of Mr. Jacob Klein’s home in downtown Xenia and then in the basement of the old Greene County courthouse.
The growing Roman Catholic community in Xenia was organized as a formal parish under the patronage of St. Michael in the Diocese of Cincinnati on August 11, 1849. Reverend Father James Kearney became the first pastor.
In 1851, Reverend Father Thomas Blake renamed the parish in honor of St. Brigid of Ireland. He also supervised the construction of the first St. Brigid church structure in 1852. With his own pen, Fr. Thomas Blake wrote the name of St. Brigid over the name of St. Michael on the Register of Baptisms. This change in the church patron’s name was apparently endorsed on October 31, 1852, when Archbishop John Purcell dedicated the first St. Brigid Church in Xenia.
After serving as a place of worship for 122 years, the original St. Brigid Church near downtown Xenia was destroyed by the powerful 1974 tornado, along with the rectory, West Second Street School, and the Sisters of Charity convent.
A new St. Brigid Church was constructed on Fairground Road and dedicated in 1977. Since that time, a parish campus has evolved to include the expansion of the Parish school, addition of a school lunchroom, construction of a Parish Activity Center, the addition of a permanent modular, and the acquisition of residences on Purcell Drive, one of which is the Parish Office.
St. Brigid lived from about 450 to 525 A.D. and is thought to have been born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, Ireland. Her father, an Irish chieftain, and her mother were baptized by St. Patrick. As a young girl Brigid displayed a strong interest in the religious life, and at an early age became a nun and lived the contemplative life with seven other nuns at Croghan Hill.
Around the year 470, she founded two monasteries at Kildare – one for men and another for women – and became abbess of the convent, the first in Ireland. These religious communities developed into a center of learning and spirituality. Brigid also found a school of art at Kildare, and its illuminated manuscripts became widely famous.
She died at Kildare on February 1, which has been established as her feast day. St. Brigid is buried at Downpatrick along with St. Columba and St. Patrick, with whom she is the patron of Ireland. St. Brigid, sometimes rendered as Bridget and Bride, is also considered the patron saint of scholars.
Rev. James Kearney (1849–1850)
Rev. Maurice Howard (1850–1851)
Rev. Thomas Blake (1851–1885)*
Rev. John Cunningham (1886–1887)
Rev. Joseph Stoeppelmann (1887)
Rev. Isaac Hocter (1887-1900)
Rev. Clement Beckmeyer (1900-1901)
Rev. Nicholas Kelly (1901-1908)
Rev. Francis Quinn (1908-1913)
Rev. James Quinn (1913-1919)
Rev. Albert Burke (1919-1924)
Rev. John Kuhn (1924)
Rev. David Powers (1924-1930)
Rev. Lawrence Wessel (1930-1937)
Rev. Alphonse Schumacher (1937-1966)
Rev. Erwin Bertke (1966-1970)
Rev. Anthony Andres (1970-1971)
Rev. Robert Von Holle (1971-1984)
Rev. Stanley Doerger (1984-1997)
Rev. Kenneth Schartz (1997-2009)
Rev. John Krumm (2009- Present)
*First resident pastor