Our Lady of Grace Church was founded on June 6, 1965, Pentecost Sunday. The church received her name from the Vatican II document “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” which was one of the most significant documents of the Second Vatican Council. Bishop Clarence Issenmann dedicated Our Lady of Grace Church on August 11, 1968. Father John Kusiak, the founding pastor, served the growing parish community from 1965 to 1981.
In May 1969, an open house was held for parishioners to celebrate the completed church and church hall. Through the years several additional parishes had been established in the Medina County area which diminished the parish’s geographic borders; however, the faith, hard work, and love from the parishioners at Our Lady of Grace Church have helped it become the warm and welcoming parish it is today.
Leadership has been gracefully bestowed upon the parish through the dedication of our former pastors beginning with Father John Kusiak, Fr. Richard Raszkiewicz, Fr. Joseph Yarnovic, Fr. John Tezie, Fr. William O’Neill, Fr. Joseph Mecir, Fr. John McDonough, who was in residence during his retirement at the parish, and our current pastor, Fr. William Smith.
Father William Smith was appointed the seventh Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church on May 1, 2018 and installed September, 2018, continuing the more than 50 years of Catholic faith, service, traditions, and Catholic presence in Hinckley Township.
I am Fr. Bill Smith and I am excited to be named pastor of Our Lady of Grace. I was born and raised in Cleveland. I am one of six children of William and Anna Smith, who are both deceased. I am the product of the Cleveland Public School System graduating in 1972. I attended CCD classes at St. Joseph Franciscan Catholic Church, which used to be on East 23rd and Woodland Avenue.
My background is in the medical field since 1974. I started out as an on-the-job trainee in Inhalation Therapy. I then attended Cuyahoga Community College (CCC) to become certified and then a Registered Respiratory Therapist. After finishing at CCC, I went on to study nursing at St. Vincent Charity Hospital to obtain a diploma in Nursing and becoming a Registered Nurse. In 1985 I continued my education in order to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. I worked in the field of Anesthesia full time until I entered the Seminary in 1997.
I was ordained May 17, 2003 and was assigned to St. Monica Church as parochial vicar until 2007. In June 2007, I was transferred to St. John Bosco as parochial vicar until 2011. From June 2011 until June 2012, I was the parochial vicar at St. Augustine in Barberton. I became the Priest Chaplain at St. John Medical Center in June 2012 until being named pastor of Our Lady of Grace on March 20, 2018. May 1, 2018 was my first official day at this great parish.
Whether you are a parishioner, home from college, or just visiting, please know that you are always welcome at Our Lady of Grace Church.