Our Parish History

St Francis of AssisiIn April 2004, Bishop John J. Leibrecht announced the opening of a new parish in Nixa, Missouri. Bishop Leibrecht appointed Rev. Mark G. Boyer pastor of the newly formed parish. One of Father Boyer’s goals was for the parish to model the Vatican II concept of a self-sufficient, total stewardship, lay-driven parish. The opening of the Nixa parish brought the number of parishes and missions in the diocese to eighty-five.

Organizational meetings were held in May 2004 where potential parishioners from surrounding parishes living in the Nixa area were offered the opportunity to be founding members along with Catholics who had not been involved in any parish. Committees were formed, parish names selected and submitted to the Bishop. On June 25, 2004, Bishop Leibrecht notified the community that he had chosen St. Francis of Assisi as the name of the parish.

One priority was finding a temporary place to worship until the parish was able to build a facility on the 11 acres located on Gregg Road purchased by the diocese in 1994. After much research by Father Boyer, the parish signed a lease renting several bays in a strip mall on 117 West Sherman Way in Nixa.

On July 11, 2004, one of the hottest days of the summer, members gathered for the first time as a faith community under a red and yellow canvas tent to celebrate Mass on the future building site. The altar was a simple folding table and parishioners sat on lawn chairs and blankets.

On Sunday, August 22, 2004, St. Francis of Assisi Parish celebrated its first Mass in its temporary location on West Sherman Way with Fr. Boyer leading the community in the Eucharistic Celebration. The concept of Whole Community Catechesis, envisioned by Fr. Boyer and the founding team members, was introduced. Whole Community Catechesis, WCC, encourages everyone – young children, teens and adults of all ages – to grow in their knowledge of the Roman Catholic Church. Parishioners embraced the idea of learning more about their Church, social justice issues, understanding the Bible, and much more.

Though the temporary location served the parish, members felt it was time to move forward in planning for future growth. To properly address this challenge, parish leadership launched a capital campaign in January 2007 to raise the funds outlined by the diocese prior to building the first phase of the parish’s facilities. By the end of the initial campaign, St. Francis of Assisi Parish received $425,000 in pledges to be paid over three years. On September 20, 2009, Bishop James Vann Johnston, Jr., broke ground for the building of phase 1 of the permanent parish facility. The Worship and Community Center was designed by H Design Group and built by Bailey Construction Company at a cost of $1.1 million. It was dedicated by Bishop Johnston on November 1, 2010. It consists of a worship space, a community space, a chapel, an education space, a meeting room, and offices. At a later date, phase II, the building of a permanent church will begin.

In July 2011, Fr. Tom Reidy was assigned as pastor to St. Francis of Assisi.

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