The history of Pax Christi is not long, as parishes go, but since 1973, the Pax Christi family has grown both in spirit and in size. We began in June 1973, by decree of Bishop Watters. Father James McCauley was sent to be the pastor developer, and was assigned the daunting task of establishing a new parish, to be called Pax Christi - the Peace of Christ.
The first two years of Pax Christi’s history were spent in planning, fund raising, construction, and bringing to reality the vision of a new parish. While the parish awaited its first church building, Father McCauley celebrated Mass at Skate Country, an indoor roller rink; a beginning that’s captured in one of our stained glass windows. On special feast days and Saturday evenings during the final six months of construction, we worshipped at Assisi Heights, and held weddings and prayer services in the Madonna Towers chapel.
Ground was broken in July 1974, just a year after the parish started. The rectory was completed by Christmas 1974 and in July 1975, Pax Christi Church was dedicated.
As the parish continued to grow rapidly from its original 250 families, so did the parish’s need for more classrooms and meeting space. Thus, in 1979, the Queen of Peace Hall was built and dedicated.
Throughout the first few years of Pax Christi’s history, the parish experienced explosive membership growth and, already in 1981, the parish reached its facility design capacity of 750 families. Father McCauley, was our first pastor.
The explosive membership growth continued, so that Pax Christi numbered 1,000 families in 1984. In the late 1980’s, growth in our northwest section of Rochester accounted for 40% of the growth in the entire city. By then the trend was becoming very clear; the parish simply needed more space. To that end, the Spiritual Center addition to the rectory was completed in 1988, giving us a chapel and much needed office, meeting, and work space.
In 1989, Father Vern Trocinski became Pax Christi’s third pastor. Father ‘T’ served Pax Christi for 11 years. Father Edward McGrath was Pax Christi's fourth pastor. The fifth pastor was Fr. Joseph Keefe who served Pax Christi for 8 years. Fr. Joseph Fogal is our current pastor. He began serving at Pax Christi in 2011.
Pax Christi has also been blessed with Parochial Vicars over the years who have added much to our spiritual growth as they served alongside the pastors. Fr. John Ozbun was at Pax from 1984-1986, Fr. Mark McNea from 1989-1992, Fr. Russell Scepaniak from 1992-1995, Fr. Tom Loomis from 1995-1997, Fr. James Callahan from 1997-1998, Fr. Kurt Farrell from 1998-2000, Fr. Patrick Arens from 2000-2002. Fr. Caeser Dralega from 2003 - 2011, Fr. Pratap Reddy Salibindla, OFM from 2011-2012, Msgr Donald P. Schmitz from 2013-2015, currently Father Chinnappa Pothireddy serves Pax as our Parochial Vicar.
Because the parish continued to face an acute shortage of space, the Activity Center addition to the church was constructed in 1993, giving Pax Christi a versatile building for faith formation classes as well as parish meetings and activities of all kinds.
In 1997, a capital campaign was launched to expand and enhance Pax Christi’s gathering and worship spaces. The renovation was completed and offers a beautiful environment in which to express our faith.
In April of 2005, Pax Christi began Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in their small chapel. This ministry has provided a wonderful opportunity for individuals to reflect and pray while in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The chapel is open to the public Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Also in the Spring of 2005, the new rectory was complete. After assessing the upgrade needs of the former rectory, it was determined that a new rectory would be a more logical solution, and at the same time, provide the necessary office space for a growing staff. The former rectory was converted to office space, staff kitchen, and a recreation area for Jr/Sr High Youth, as well as the gathering space for Youth Ministry, now known as the ROCK. You
Pax Christi now has an outstanding Youth and Children's programs. We offer a broad range of ministries and activities for all ages. In June, 2010 the new Pax Christi Youth Center was dedicated giving capability and capacity for a vibrant ongoing Youth ministry.
Currently, Pax Christi is home to over 1500 families.
We are a growing, vibrant parish.