The Parish History of St. Francis of Assisi
The Catholic Community of Saint Francis of Assisi began on April 25, 1982 with 125 families from neighboring parishes, St. Raphael the Archangel and Our Lady of Lourdes. Bishop Joseph Gosman recognized the rapid growth of the Catholic population in the northwest Raleigh area and encouraged the start of the new parish.
During construction, liturgies were held at Leesville Road Baptist Church, Lynn Road Elementary School and in the backyard of the pastor, Fr. English. The picnic table was the altar and parishioners brought lawn chairs and blankets to sit on. In inclement weather, the liturgy moved indoors to the living room.
According to parish legend, there were two choices for the name of the parish, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the patron of Fr. English’s Jesuit order, and St. Francis of Assisi, Franciscan patron of his good friend, Fr. Bob Hudak. If the day of dedicating the land was sunny, the parish would be named after St. Francis. If it was a rainy day, St. Ignatius would be chosen. The day was beautiful and sunny. The Catholic Community of Saint Francis of Assisi was born. Click here to view our first thirty years of parish history.