St. James Church
The Catholic population in 1957 was 1500 families. Father Morris began preparations to build a larger church, but, sadly, died before his work was completed. Within a few months, during which time Father Hill served as administrator, Father O’Gorman was appointed as pastor and he continued preparations for the building of the new church. The priests moved into a house on Vincent Street and demolition of the old buildings began. During the building of the new church, the hall became the temporary chapel.
The designs for the stained glass windows were all envisioned by Father O’Gorman. Three of the windows – the Transfiguration, the Calling of the Apostles to be Fishers of Men, and Christ Raising the Daughter of Jairus from the dead – are massive, compelling works of art. Along the sides of the church, above the Stations of the Cross, are the Ten Commandments, also depicted in stained glass. The new church and rectory were completed in 1961. The church was dedicated on June 18, 1961.
In 1977, Father Gerald Walker began thirteen years of leadership of St. James. That same year, the bimonthly newsletter, which had been discontinued, began again.
Father Tim Nichols became pastor of St. James in 1990. During his twelve years, he brought many new and wonderful changes. A parish wide census, requiring many manpower hours, was conducted. The result was a registered parish population of 3000 families. The establishment of a pastoral committee enhanced communication between the church leadership and the parish family. In the church, a new state-of-the-art electronic organ replaced the previous organ and a new sound system was installed. The choir area was improved with a new concert piano and staggered choir seating. In addition, all of the pews were refurbished. The parish offices were taken out of the rectory and moved to the former convent across the street, which was completely renovated for this purpose. Finally, the hall was redecorated inside and out, including updating the kitchen. The modernized kitchen became the focus of an effort to feed the homeless in our area. Currently, lunches are provided by a group of volunteers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There were also several changes in the school. See below.
In 2002 a new era began – Father Nichols was reassigned and Father Jim Kavanagh was appointed pastor of St. James. He was assisted in his service by Associate Pastors Father Joe Kammerer and Father Brendan Kearney, and Deacons Richard Shinkle and Bob Miller.
In 2011, Monsignor Michael Meyers joined the parish as pastor. Father Jim Kavanagh retired and resides at Saint James. In 2013, Father Francis Aguilar joined the parish. Together they have brought many new ministries and are changing lives and helping the parish grow to spiritual maturity , helping to make Saint James a holy, healthy and vibrant parish community.