Parish History

Parish History

St. Francis Xavier Church is located at 607 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, Ohio. This was the location of the first diocesan cathedral and the center of early Roman Catholic life in Cincinnati. It was dedicated to St. Peter on December 17, 1826. "Christ Church" (founded 1819), the city's first Catholic church was located at Vine and Liberty streets. Its frame building was moved on wheels to Sycamore Street in 1826 to serve as the first seminary.  The Athenaeum of Ohio was created by Bishop Edward D. Fenwick, the first bishop of Cincinnati, when he established St. Francis Xavier Seminary and the Athenaeum College on May 18, 1829.

St. Francis Xavier has existed as its own parish since 1845 when the Catholic cathedral was moved to Saint Peter In Chains Cathedral at Eight and Plum Streets. The parish has been under the direction of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) since 1840. The present brick edifice with sand stone facing and ornate clock tower was built in 1859.

Xavier University and St. Xavier High School were founded next to the St. Xavier Church. Both institutions have since moved to separate locations due to space constraints and expansion. Today the church serves the downtown community with two daily Masses, six weekend Masses, daily confessions, and service outreach to those in the downtown area.

A History of St Xavier Church

Roster of Pastors of St Xavier Church

A Video History of St Xavier College  The first 13 minutes show the history of our downtown properties.