Pavlo Kharitonenko actively invited foreigners to work on sugar plants. The Roman-Catholic society of the city united Western and Eastern European minority groups throughout Sumy. The largest minority group consisted mostly of Polish artisans, businessmen, engineers, technicians etc., who had come to Sumy to participate in the city’s industrialization. Because Catholic religious ceremonies differ from Orthodoxy’s, there was a real need to build a Catholic church in Sumy. Pavlo Kharitonenko resolved this issue and financed the building of the church.
During the Soviet Union, the church was closed and converted into storehouses. The building was used as a regional museum from 1945 to 1953, and then it became the gym of Sumy State Pedagogical University. The church was later the gym of school №8. The church was returned to the community in May 1994.