We the community of Saint Matthew Parish, are a people who proclaim and reach out with the Good News to all. As Catholic Christians, we celebrate our redemption in Prayer, Word, Sacrament, and Service. We commit ourselves to be an expression of God's love to one another, using the gifts He has given to us by providing leadership, educating our youth, offering fellowship and giving hope to the broken-hearted. We rely upon the Holy Spirit to empower us as we joyfully accept Jesus' call to share in His Ministry.
On August 18, 1943, Archbishop Edward F. Hoban established the seventeenth parish in Akron – the Parish of Saint Matthew. The Reverend Robert R. Wingerter was appointed as the founding pastor. The first Mass was offered on Sunday, September 12, 1943 in the auditorium of the former Ellet High School, currently Ritzman Elementary School. Mass was celebrated there until 1946.
Charles and Salome Reymann donated about two and one-half acres of land for the site of our parish. The plot of land is located east of Canton Road, between Berne and Benton Streets, with Woolf Street as the eastern boundary. The first building was completed in the fall of 1946; a Church and meeting hall (our present library now occupies part of this space). The first Mass was celebrated in the Church on November 11, 1946.
On September 7, 1949, Saint Matthew Parish School opened its doors for the first time. The convent for the Sisters of St. Dominic was completed shortly after the school opened. Our present Church and an addition to the school were completed in 1956. In 1960 the present rectory was completed. The most recent building addition, the social hall, was completed in 1980 and renamed in 1990 the Father Silva Center, in honor of our fourth pastor.
Because of shrinking enrollment and depleted financial resources, Saint Matthew School was forced to close on June 30, 2020. A permanent display describing the history of Saint Matthew School can be viewed at the north doors of the former school building and a farewell video from the last day of classes can be seen at this link: FAREWELL!
The onset of the Covid Pandemic coincided with the closure of the school. As with many parishes, Saint Matthew Parish had to weather the storm of declining attendance as many parishioners were hesitant to return to in-person worship, even as the effects of the pandemic lessened. Still, many vibrant ministries continue in the parish and those who have returned to worship have continued to create a vibrant, joyful, and welcoming atmosphere. Now approaching our eightieth anniversary, Saint Matthew Parish will continue to be an important part of the Ellet area, reaching out to all who are seeking to grow in their faith in serving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our Pastoral Staff
Rev. Michael Williamson
Director of Music Ministry
Director of Religious Education
Religious Education Secretary