We, the members of Saint Paul Parish, by our belief in the gospel message, answer the Lord's call to use our time, talent and treasure to serve in ways that give glory to God.
We became parishioners of St. Paul in 2011. We had recently moved to the area with three young children (at the time ages 4, 2 and 1.) We went to a few other churches, but we fell in love with St. Paul’s. Mass can be stressful with young children but we always felt welcomed.
Our children have enjoyed faith formation classes and vacation bible school at St. Paul’s. I was a teacher before I became a stay at home Mom. I love teaching CCD classes because it gives me the opportunity to bring the good news of the gospel to children and have fun! I love it when the students leave my class with a smile on their face.
Over the years we have celebrated three first Communions, three first Reconciliations and one baptism of our newest little one. Recently, through the invitation of another parishioner, my husband went to RCIA and joined the church. I am so thankful for St. Paul’s church and the people that make it feel like home!
Our family has been members of St Paul Catholic Church in North Canton, Ohio since 2003. We were previously members of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Cuyahoga Falls. We relocated to the North Canton area after purchasing our new home.
By many metrics, St. Paul is a vibrant parish. When visiting the St. Paul, the first thing that strikes you is the breathtaking beauty of the church, the welcoming spirit and the strong engagement of the parishioners.
The church building used to be a long rectangular structure where parishioners sitting in the back of the church could hardly see or hear what was going on at the altar, thus reducing participation and spiritual experience. Its renovation allowed adding another wing to the church and move the altar to the center of the three wings allowing all three sides to be closer to the altar. During mass, worshipers are able clearly see and hear the priest. This interaction increases lay participation during mass celebration.
Regarding the welcoming spirit, at the start of the mass, the choir leader welcomes the congregation especially the visitors and invite them to come back soon. In addition, the names of the celebrant priests and deacons are announced. I find this important because, in the audience, there are people who may not know who the priest or deacon is. It may also be a visiting priest who parishioners are not familiar with. This also helps the openness and the bonding between the priest and the congregation.
Another reason that my family loves St Paul parish is that Deacons are used extensively. The parish has five of them. During most mass celebrations, a deacon assists the priest. Depending on the schedule, the homily is provided by a deacon. This provides additional flexibility to our parish and some relief to our priests since they must celebrate so many masses.
When visiting St Paul, you cannot miss the robust participation of the Extraordinary Eucharist Ministers. St Paul has more than 100 of these ministers that serve the Eucharist at the 5 masses that are celebrated each weekend.
Another major highlight for St Paul is its robust Youth Ministry. For example, the CCD program (grades K-8) has an average attendance of 250 kids per year. The parish also has Elevate Youth Ministry for post-confirmation students. The RCIA program which includes adult catechumens and candidates 20 years and older has about 20 students on a yearly basis.
Before Covid-19, the 3rd Sunday of the month was Donut Sunday at St Paul. This is one of the favorite Sundays for my kids as they, along with other parishioners, get to enjoy donuts, coffee, water, and lemonade. This is an opportunity to meet other parishioners and chat, which enhance the bonds among parishioners. By the way, the parish nurse is always present to check peoples’ blood pressure.
St Paul does several other things to enhance the faith formation of its members. For example, St Paul buys books from popular Catholic authors such as Matthew Kelly and distributes them to parishioners for free. The church also paid free membership to all parishioners to access Church teachings on the Formed website and app. The church regularly advertises and encourage the parishioners to listen to local Catholic radio on AM1060, which is one of the EWTN affiliated radios.
By Eric Nshimiye, St. Paul Parish Member
I am Donna Dannemiller. My husband, Tim Dannemiller, and I moved our young family to North Canton in 1979 and St. Paul Parish became our Spiritual Home. Our children, Holly, Heather and Dusty, attended CCD and Tim and I were active in Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
At different periods of time, I taught CCD, attended Christ Renews His Parish and served on a team, I have been honored and humbled to assist at Mass as a Eucharistic Minister. When Tim died in 2016, I found support and consolation at daily Mass and also participated in the Bereavement Program offered at St. Paul as well as one at Mercy Hospice.
The many opportunities for spiritual and community involvement in our parish have played a vital role in my life. We initiated a social group for senior widows and single ladies enabling us to develop a circle of friends who dine together every few weeks. We call ourselves THE LIVELY LADIES and we live up to our name! New friendships and interests have enabled us to attend plays, movies and some have even ventured to travel together. We are open to new members and ladies can contact me if interested in joining our group.