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History of St. Julie Billiart Catholic Church
On August 15, 1978, Father Richard Gonser was appointed the
founding pastor of St. Julie Billiart Parish in North Ridgeville. After
moving into the Parish Administration Center on Opal Drive in the
summer of 1980, plans were made for the construction of the Church
and Catechetical Center. Construction on the church began in July of
1981, and the first Mass was celebrated on Christmas Eve in 1981.
The geographical boundaries of the parish are approximately three
square miles of the northeast corner of North Ridgeville. Our
membership has grown from the original 485 families to nearly 700
families. Many of our parishioners come from seventeen
different cities surrounding North Ridgeville.
In response to Bishop Pilla’s Pastoral Letter on Vibrant Parish Life in 2001, our parish staff and parishioners committed themselves to a process of self study and reflection that supports our efforts to work in cooperation and mutual assistance with neighboring parishes. The parish continues its mission to reach out to all who are searching for a strong, vibrant, active faith community.
Our parish is one of 15 parishes worldwide that are named in honor of St. Julie Billiart. Julie was a French woman who established a religious order of nuns known today as the Notre Dames. After her death in 1816, the order expanded from France to Belgium to Germany. On June 22, 1969, Pope Paul VI canonized Julie Billiart. Her feast day is celebrated each year on May 13.
Father Gonser retired on June 30, 2012.
Father George Vrabel was named pastor of St. Julie Billiart on July 1, 2012.