A new parish was formed in August, 2011 as Holy Family Parish emerged. The Parish was a merger between St. Therese Church in Brewster and St. Clement Church in Navarre. In accordance with the Diocesan Pastoral Plan promulgated by Bishop George Murry and with the guidance of
Fr. Nicholas Shori (then Director of the Office of Evangelization) the two Churches became one
in the light of priest shortages and changing parishioner demographics.
St. Clement Church began as a small log cabin church in 1832 not long after Ohio became a state (1805). Settlers created villages near the Ohio and Erie Canal because of its transportation and commercial trade importance. The church in this missionary community was named for the first century martyr and pope, St. Clement. Through the years there were many priests who pastored
the community. The longest serving Pastor was Fr. Anthony Boeff arriving in spring 1938 and
retiring due to illness in 1964. Under his watchful care, the church blossomed in structure and purpose. Since its inception, St. Clement had opened and closed a school twice. Fr. Boeff
decided to reopen the school in 1945 and it remained open until 2008 due to declining enrollment.
The village of Brewster was established in 1906 by the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad Company. They moved their offices and shops to the village, which drew many of their immigrant workers of Italian, Croatian and Slovenian descent. In 1927, 80 families petitioned to have a church built in Brewster and in 1928 the church was built in a three month period of time. It was named and placed under the protection of St. Therese of the Little Flower. Having many different priests serve during the years, the longest pastorate was with Fr. Patrick O’Leary from 1966 to 1991. During his time,
a Parish Hall was created for CCD classes and social events. Many families who live in Beach City, Justus, Wilmot, and Massillon are served by this church because of its outermost location in the Youngstown Diocese.
As a merged Parish, Holy Family continues to bring the best of both churches together. It is a strong, vibrant, farming community that takes ownership and pride in their ability to succeed in the face of change. In July of 2017, Parish Leader Pattie Condello was assigned and installed in the Parish. Together the Leader and parishioners made history with Ms. Condello being the first Lay woman in the Diocese to lead a parish.
Dedicated to putting Christ first in their lives, the parishioners continue to strengthen their faith community through worship, celebration of Sacraments and ministry to the Church. This parish is known for its commitment of service to God and the underserved within the Fairless community.
As the eyes of the Diocese focus on this new configuration of leadership, the people of Holy Family Parish in Navarre and Brewster join together as laity, proving that they truly are the Living Stones
of the Church.
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