St. Leo the Great Mission Church, Ava, MO, Founded 1940

St. Leo the Great Mission Church, Ava, MO (circa 2010)
St. Leo the Great Mission Church, Ava, MO (circa 2010)

General parish info

Contact info
Pastor: Fr. Paul Wightman, OMI
Associate Pastor: Fr. Leo Arockiasamy, HGN
CRE: B. J. Sterling

Phone: (417) 924-3779
Mailing address: St. Leo the Great Mission Church, RR 6 Box 6700, Ava, MO 65608-9678

All schedules subject to change. Please call parish offices above to verify.

Weekend Mass times

11 a.m.

Daily Mass Times

Monday – Friday
8 a.m., held in the rectory


10:30 a.m.

Updated: 07-10-17


The Catholic community in Ava traces its history to 1935 when Mass was celebrated once a year for four Catholic families in the Baumgardner home by priests from St. Joseph’s Church in Springfield and Mountain Grove. St. Leo the Great became an established mission in 1940. A Church was built in 1958 with help from the Extension Society and the St. Leo Council of the Knights of Columbus of Chicago. In 1980 the church was remodeled and a social hall and classrooms were added.

With the help of the Oblate Fathers and the Extension Society, a rectory was completed in 1982. In 1991 the old windows were replaced with beautiful stained-glass windows and skylights were added. In 1995 a bequeathal paid for more classrooms and a meeting room library.


Priests served

Orf, Msgr. Raymond V., Apr 20, 1959 – May 20, 1961
Hahn, Fr. Quentin V., May 20, 1961 – Aug 1964
Schmittzehe, Fr. Franklin, Jun 15, 1965 – Jan 4, 1971
Binder, Fr. Mark J., May 1, 1973 – Sep 1, 1975
Wightman, Fr. Paul, OMI, Aug 1, 1991 – Aug 1, 1995, Mar 12, 1999 –
     Weidenbenner, Fr. Joseph (Sacramental Assistant), Aug 16, 2007 – Jun 30, 1008
     Isidor, Fr. Rahab (Sacramental Assistant), Jul 1, 2008 – Jun 30, 2009
     Fasching, Fr. Jeffery (Sacramental Assistant), Jul 1, 2009 – Oct 10, 2015
     Hoa Le, Fr. Mark M (Sacramental Assistant), Oct 11, 2015 – Jul 31, 2016
     Dunn, Fr. Charles, (Sacramental Assistant), Aug 1, 2016 – Jul 5, 2017
     Arockiasamy, Fr. Leo, HGN, Associate Pastor), Jul 6, 2017 –

Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.

Parish related

GPS coordinates: N36° 58.17’, W092° 39.45’ (click here for map)
Physical address: St. Leo the Great Mission Church, County Road 201, Ava, MO

Attended from: Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Mansfield, MO

Share This: