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Toledo Polish Churches > St. Vincent de Paul Church

St. Vincent de Paul Church

The parish of St. Vincent de Paul was canonically erected on March 5, 1928 by decree of Bishop Samuel Stritch. The new parish was established to provide for the ever-growing needs of the Catholic people living beyond Forest Cemetery. The boundaries of the new parish were that section of the city of Toledo which is bounded on the west by Mulberry, on the south by Ashwood, Paxton and Seek Streets, and on the east by the Terminal Railroad tracks, reaching northerly from their intersection with Buckeye Street. The north boundary was the State of Michigan. The Reverend Francis A. Slattery was appointed pastor of the new parish. Within this territory, there were 255 households.

A frame church was erected by the end of May,1928, and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered for the first time in the new church on June 10, 1928. Bishop Stritch was present for the Mass and blessed the new church on that occasion.

From the existing houses on the property, one was remodeled to serve as a Rectory for Rev. Slattery, and another frame building became the first Convent for the Mercy Sisters of Fremont.

During the summer months of 1928, a four-room school was constructed. It was blessed by Bishop Stritch on September 9, 1928. The number of pupils who were estimated to attend the school was grossly miscalculated. The school was prepared to handle 200 students. However, 375 registered for the first school year. Three more classrooms were hurriedly erected while half-day sessions were held to relieve the crowded classrooms. The Mercy Sisters of Fremont staffed the new school until its closing.

In 1929, construction of a parish hall was begun and completed in February 1930. The building was 50 x 105 feet and cost $15,000. The hall was necessary, as there was no building available for parish activities.

Father Michael McFadden was appointed second pastor of the parish replacing Father Slattery who was assigned to Crestline. This was a difficult time by reason of the Great Depression. The parish was in a deplorable economic state. Father Slattery had done his best, but he had to build a parish at a time that was extremely difficult. Father McFadden kept the parish financially stable during this burdensome period. The parish was still growing and an additional classroom was added to the school in September 1936.

On August 27, 1937, Father Stephen Jazwiecki succeeded Father McFadden. As the parish continued to increase in the number of souls, the number of pupils in school also grew. By 1953, the sixth grade was taught on the stage of the auditorium. Children in the second grade attended half-day sessions. There were now 501 students enrolled in school.

With school enrollment rising, the necessity of a new school became evident. Property was acquired on Clay Street for $19,000 to make way for the building of a new school. On October 31, 1955, ground was broken for a fourteen-room, fireproof school building. It was completed and ready for the new school year of 1956. On November 11, 1956, it was blessed by Bishop Rehring.

In April 1956, construction was started on a new convent to house twelve Sisters. The new convent was built next to the school and faced with brick veneer to match that of the school. In early November 1956 it was completed, and blessed by Bishop Rehring on December 27, 1956.

In an effort to accommodate the many individuals who attended Mass at this parish, the church was enlarged in 1956 to provide seating capacity for 600. The total cost of property purchased, new school, new convent and renovation to the church came to $485,000.

A great sadness fell upon the parish in 1962. Father Jazwiecki, who had served the parish for twenty-five years, died on October 23, 1962. On December 11, 1962, Father Sylvester Schmelzer was appointed pastor of this parish. He was to continue the work of his predecessor in completing the building of the parish plant. The building of a new rectory was begun in May 1964 and completed by the end of that same year. On January 16, 1965, the priests occupied the new rectory. The cost of this construction was $105,000.

On December 23, 1967, ground was broken for the building of a new church with a seating capacity of 450. Due to strikes and delays, the new church was not completed until May 1969. Finally the parish was able to use a facility it had longed for and needed so much. The dedication took place on May 21, 1969. The cost of the new church was $249,000.

Father Robert Reinhart was appointed pastor of the parish on June 20, 1974. He had been administrator of the parish since January 1, 1973. He was fully acquainted with the parish and the new problems arising from a changing neighborhood. He served the parish well until his appointment to the Cathedral as pastor on June 24, 1976.

The parish was closed in June 2005. The school continued until June 2007 as St. Elizabeth Seton School. All parish records have been removed to the Diocese of Toledo Archives.

The number of souls in the parish reveal the growth and decline through the years: 1920 – 865; 1940 – 1,600; 1950 – 2,132; 1960 – 1,983; 1970 – 2,388; 1980 – 1,581

Pastors of St. Vincent de Paul Parish: Reverend Francis A. Slattery (1928-1933) Reverend Michael A. McFadden (1933-1937) Reverend Stephen A. Jazwiecki (1937-1962) Reverend Sylvester Schmelzer (1962-1973) Reverend Robert J. Reinhart (1973-1976) Reverend Joseph Jaros (1976-1985) Reverend Thomas J. Extejt (1985-1996) Reverend Thomas J. Gorman, administrator pro tem (1996) Bishop James R. Hoffman, administrator (1996-1997) Reverend John R. Laudick (1998-2004) Reverend Dennis Hartigan (2004-2005)

Patron Saint: St. Vincent de Paul, “Apostle of Charity,” 1581-1660, feast day September 27 Vincent was born on April 24, 1581 at Pouy, France to peasant parents Jean de Paul and Bertrande de Moras. After his ordination in 1600, he was captured by pirates five years later and sold as a slave in Algeria. He escaped, ministered to galley slaves (who worked on ships) and peasants, and established societies to aid the poor, hospitals and orphanages, founded the Sisters of Charity and seminaries. Vincent was a friend of royalty and nobility, his entire life was dedicated to the alleviation of human suffering. He died in Paris on September 27, 1660, was canonized in 1737 with a feast day of July 19 (because his day of death was already used for the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian), and was declared patron of charitable groups in 1885. Pope Paul VI transferred the celebration of Vincent’s memorial to September 27, as he is now better known in the West. Cosmas and Damian have been moved to September 26. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, dedicated to serving the poor, was established in 1833 by French university students.


O Glorious Saint Vincent de Paul, the mention of your name, suggest a litany of your virtues: humility, zeal, mercy, self-sacrifice. It also recalls your many foundations: works of mercy, congregations, societies. O Lord, give us the grace, that You bestow upon, your servant Saint Vincent de Paul, to relinquish the temptation, of material things, in our holy effort, to minister to the poor. Amen.

1035 Woodward Avenue Toledo, Ohio 43608


Dictionary of Saints by John J. Delaney, Doubleday & Co., Inc., Garden City, NY, 1980.
Clerus Toletanus: A Directory of Clergy, Religious Communities and Parishes of the Diocese of Toledo in America, 1910 to 2011, vol. 1 no. 1


St. Vincent de Paul original church building


St. Vincent de Paul old church interior
This is an interior view of the old St. Vincent de Paul Church. The parish was founded in 1924, and located at 1035 Woodward Avenue, near Brigham and Clay just to the east of Stickney Avenue in north Toledo.


St. Vincent de Paul rectory
This is the St. Vincent de Paul Parish rectory, located on the block bounded by Woodward, Brigham, Clay and Doyle Streets.


St. Vincent de Paul school
The new St. Vincent de Paul School was located on the south side of Clay Avenue near Brigham.


St. Vincent de Paul servers
1946 The pastor at St. Vincent de Paul Parish is surrounded by altar servers in 1946.