On August 15, 1978, St. Julie Billiart was established as a parish of the Diocese of Cleveland. Fr. Richard Gonser was appointed as the founding pastor of St. Julie Billiart in North Ridgeville.
After moving into the Parish Rectory/Administration Center/Chapel 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. 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.
Fr. Richard Gonser retired on June 30, 2012.
Fr. George Vrabel was named pastor of St. Julie Billiart on July 1, 2012.
St. Julie Billiart and St. Peter parishes in North Ridgeville are to remain open, active, vibrant, individual parishes. Both parishes are making serious commitments to ongoing collaboration that will strengthen pastoral care and evangelization.
This requires the support and commitment of both pastors, pastoral staff, lay leaders and parishioners. We are currently collaborating in the areas of liturgy, evangelization, and school support.