About Our Parish

Humble Beginnings

1857: Pope Pius IX established the Diocese of Fort Wayne and named

Bishop John  Luers the first bishop of the Diocese.  Fr. John Ryan was the

First priest to visit Pierceton on horseback from Lagro.  In the 1860’s

Fr. Francis Lawler looked after the spiritual welfare of the Catholics in

And around Pierceton.  On Dec. 23, 1863 land was purchased and through

Financial generosity and construction skills of the parishioners, the first

Frame Church was completed in 1864.  The Parish was named St. Francis

Xavier.  In 1866 additional land was purchased.  In 1874 property was

Which is now the Parish Cemetery.  St. Francis Xavier became a mission

Parish and was ministered to twice a month.

The first resident pastor was Fr. Robert Hoevel at which time there were

29 families registered here.  Soon families from surrounding towns started

To come to S.F.X.  As the parish grew and with the popularity of many lakes

In the vicinity, the parish went from 2 Summer Masses to 5 Sunday Masses.

Barbee Conservation club building was used for parish events and activities

So as the parish grew, and parish hall was built in 1950 with an apartment

On the west end of which the resident pastor lived.  At this time there were

Nearly 80 families. 

Growing Through Change

In 1953 the house across the street was bought and used as the rectory.

1956-59: Fr. Thomas Koch served

1957:  The Diocese of Gary was formed off the Diocese of Fort Wayne

1959:  Fr. Joseph Lothamer served here for six months

Fr. Joseph Crowley (now auxiliary bishop) was appointed admin.

1960:  Fr. James O’Connor was appointed pastor at which time there were

          Approximately 75 families.  Nipsco ran natural gas into Piercton and

          The bottled gas was replaced.

1962:  Fr. Eugene Zimmerman was pastor.  The celebration of the centennial

          Of the parish took place on Aug. 16, 1964.  At this time there were 90


1967:  Fr. Zimmerman was appointed to start a new parish in Syracuse,

          (St. Martin de Porres) and therefore took residence at St. Martin’s,

          As a result the parish census dropped to 51 families.  Fr. Zimmerman

          Then sold the house which had served as the parish rectory.

Through a generous contribution provided in a bequest from a deceased

Parishioner a new Church was built and dedicated  on April 16, 1972 by

Bishop Crowley.

1976:  Fr. Kenneth Sarrazine was appointed pastor of St. Martin’s and St.

          Francis.  Mr. H. Dean Tucker was ordained permanent deacon serving

          In our Diocese.

1981: Fr. Donald Muldoon was appointed administrator at which time there

          Were 80 families

1986: Fr. Michael Buescher served temporarily.

Looking to the Future

2014: St. Francis Xavier celebrated their 150th anniversary. Bishop Kevin Rhoades presided over a Mass to commemorate the milestone. Rev. Charles Herman was assigned to St. Francis Xavier Church as their fulltime priest. Parish continues to offer Mass Sunday 7:30am at Jellystone Campground during the summer months. Parish continues to participate in Pierceton Days parade, entering a float every year. The parish participates with other area churches in a community dinner every other month on the 3rd Thursday in our parish hall. Donations for the food bank are collected every Sunday. Refer to bulletin for schedule. Parish Picnic is held each September. Donuts & coffee are available the 1st Sunday of the month in the parish hall after 9am Sunday Mass.

2016:  A new youth group was started during the summer of 2016, The SFX Flames. They will meet the 2nd and last Sunday after Mass during the summer and the 2nd Sunday after RE during the school year. On August 14th, 2016 St. Francis Xavier will begin holding Mass 2nd Sunday of the month 2pm at Millers Merry Manor. Father Chuck will be presiding. The church has recently received Diocese approval for an addition which will provide much needed storage and relocate our musicians during Mass. Addition is scheduled for completion in time for Christmas.


Over 150 years of Catholic Faith, community, and tradition!

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