Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Kind of Town -- Two of My Favorite Churches

A while ago Fran at Sacred Ordinary issued a challenge to fall in love with your town again. I vowed to answer to it and decided to take it a step further and will be posting now and again little stories about about places and things that I love most in my town. I'm just sorry it took me so long to do it!

The property was originally the farm of one John Shorb and the first Mass was held under a tree there by a circuit-riding priest. It's where you can find me most Sunday mornings. I am very proud of my parish. It's located downtown and I've written in the past about the wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners we sponsor for those in need. We sponsor a weekly soup kitchen called The Samaritan's Table which I'm told is the best free lunch in town.

"The mission of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church is to give witness as a parish community to our Christian beliefs by celebrating Jesus Christ's presence in Word, Worship and Sacrament, reaching out to serve those in need and sharing the love of God through teaching, actions and living example."

Our pastor, Father Klinger, is a wonderfully kind, intelligent man who gives wonderful homilies. I spoke with him several times when I was going through my divorce -- a scary thing for a girl who the nuns of the 50s taught that divorce is a mortal sin -- and he was really understanding and supportive of my decision. He also has a pretty cool sense of humor and a few years ago when he was invited to the Vatican, when he returned instead of the normal homily he told us all about his trip. We thought it great fun.

Below is St. Peter's Catholic Church which is a mere block away from St. John's. The bells of both compete throughout the days did the parishes for many years.

Back when parishes tended to be ethnically oriented, St. John's was known as the Irish parish and St. Peter's was the German parish. The irony of that old rivalry is that we now have Father Klingler as our priest while Father Finnegan presides at St. Peter's. Funny how things change in life.

I have been asked why I've chose St. John's when I moved into the city since I was raised by a German (Bavarian) Catholic mother. Frankly, I'm a better Scots-Irish lass than I am a fraulein and there's just something about the friendly, caring people (and Father K.) that puts it in my comfort zone.

I hope y'all enjoyed this little window on one aspect of Kay's corner of the World. I'll be wandering around the county with my camera exploring more of my favorite places to show y'all in coming months.

Happy Blogging!!!!!!!!!!!!



  1. I enjoyed the "tour."

  2. What a great post! I grew up in an area where Catholicism was considered a weird and mysterious belief system. Guess who's now Catholic?

    My parish is Holy Family; and our priest, too, is Irish, a native of Dublin.

    Thanks for sharing, Kay. I, too, often think we must look at our towns and cities through fresh lenses, lest we take them for granted.

  3. kay, this is a delightful essay, a good window into an america that opens up what goes on in your part of ohio.

    in late 1960s we lived in oberlin,a world away from your part of the state and a very protestant turf. earlier, as a college student there in 1950s, i got to know one of the few catholics students. she indicated how "unapproved" she felt--especially in the religion class we were both taking. as a jew, i was not comfortable either but that was not unusual!

    one hopes much is changing! -naomi

  4. A great view into things I have not seen. Different from Rural Arkansas

    10-4 Willy

  5. Santa Fe is a very Catholic City. The Cathedral is the central focus of town.
    Enjoyed your post.


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