St. Mary a bit of history

March 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm 8 comments

ED NOTE: Shouldn’t the staying power of this Parish stand for something????

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church from the A Standard History of Lorain County by George Frederick Wright 1916

“The oldest and the largest Roman Catholic Church in Lorain is St. Mary’s. In 1873 Rev. L. Molon, of Elyria, first ministered to the few Catholics then residing at the mouth of the Black River. Until January, 1878, he visited Lorain monthly, saying mass in private families. The community’s first resident priest’was Rev. Joseph Romer, who came to the village in February, 1878. and for a time held services at the residence of Peter Miller. In March, 1879, a chapel on Reid Avenue near what is now Seventh Street, acquired through the efforts of Father Romer, was opened. The congregation at this time enrolled about thirty families.

In 1883 a larger church replaced the first little chapel. A year later the church was made self-supporting, and Rev. Joseph Eyler became the resident pastor.

The Sisters of St. Francis took charge of the church school in 1888, and late in the same year the present two-story brick school building was erected at a cost of $10,000. On June 5, 1895, the frame church was destroyed by fire and a year later the handsome edifice at present occupied by the church was completed, the building representing an outlay of $35.000. The church was dedicated on Sunday, .May 23, 1897, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Horstman.

Since the coining of the present pastor, Rev. J. J. Johnston, a rectory, costing about $25,000, has been erected. The church’s real property now includes six lots, embracing the entire block on the west side of Reid Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets, the church, school and rectory buildings. The total value of the property exceeds $200,000. The church has a membership of 1,600. The Sunday school enrollment is 300 and that of the parochial school more than 30

Entry filed under: Charleston Village, city of lorain.

Charleston Village Letter- MJ What’s happening in the next two weeks!

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tom Traut  |  March 20, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Thank you, Lorraine, for your posting and Charleston Village’s letter of support. I would think that the civic and business community would be more vocal about a matter which affects the heart of our city and its historic downtown. St. Mary may not be an historic landmark as far as buildings go, but it has been a presence in the city along with nine other churches in a five block area for 136 years. Coincidentally, I had just read the excerpt you quoted above in my copy of that history.

  • 2. Tom Traut  |  March 20, 2009 at 1:37 am

    In looking through a scrapbook I have come across this excerpt from Lorain, Ohio 1903 Souvenir: “In the bosom of this mother parish were nurtured the three other Roman Catholic churches which are now staunch and self-maintaining offshoots of the parent root – St. Joseph’s, organized in 1897; the Polish church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, dating from 1900; and the church of St. John the Baptist, in South Lorain, whose cornerstone was laid September 8, the same year. These four religious societies now possess an actual membership of 3,000 and wield a powerful and increasing influence for good upon the morals of the community.”

  • 3. Tom Traut  |  March 20, 2009 at 1:38 am

    I was disappointed when First Methodist chose to pull out of downtown Lorain and merge with another congregation on West River Rd. in Elyria, but at least that was the choice of those church communities and not ordered from “on high”. The Catholic diocese would do well to carefully examine its position as to its parochial presence in the heart of Lorain’s downtown.

  • 4. thatwoman  |  March 20, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Tom – I agree – I don’t believe the Bishop is fully aware of the all the facts….We are just asking that he give us the opportunity to meet with him. This neighborhood and the downtown is not just about bricks and mortar and dollars- just as a “church” is not a place of bricks and mortar and dollars……. Loraine

  • […] letter invited the Bishop to come to our neighborhood to see the impact closing St. Mary’s would have. We would be extremely pleased to be able to talk to you about the impact of closing […]

  • 6. Connie Price  |  April 21, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    I found this very interesting article from the New York Times, Oct. 7, 1895, about St. Mary’s when “Googling” the parish to read up on the latest developments with the Diocese and the merging/clustering issue. Another bit of Lorain St. Mary’s history, and we all know someone in the list of the injured!

    Here is the link. Let me know if it does not open, and I will send the article. You will probably have to copy and paste it into the address window.

    Connie Price (from Lorain, but living in Toronto)

  • 7. thatwoman  |  April 21, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you Connie the link works – Toronto – great city – been there many times…. Loraine

  • […] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Confucius say-So Who IS TO BLAME for Negative Press ?One Man’s History is another’s ? […]

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March 2009

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