Church of the Week: St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church, Centerville, OH

This Roman Catholic church, south of Dayton, is a fairly new parish church, organized in 1969. The church occupies the site of the worst plane crash disaster in the history of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. On Monday, February 27, 1958, a B-50 bomber crashed and took the lives of the eleven men (nine military and two civilians) aboard. Eight minutes after takeoff and having reached an altitude of 5500 feet, the plane turned northeast, apparently trying to return to base. While attempting an emergency landing, the plane struck the ground in the corn field, continued several hundred yards and struck a house, destroying both the plane and the home. The house was vacant because the owner was vacationing in Florida. The house sat where the picture above was taken, I believe.

The church's modern baptismal (above) is actually in the vestibule of the church; I like it. It must be quite a celebration to gather around this font for a baptism.

The sanctuary, like the rest of the church, is decidedly modern in decor; on the day I visited (a Saturday back in July), the chancel choir was rehearsing, at about 10 in the morning, and I think preparations were starting for a wedding.

Just outside the expansive vestibule and a nice, open library area is a garden and a statue of St. Francis, the church's patron.

The current church building was dedicated in March 2004 by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, who was born not far from here.

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