ST. ROSE CHURCH
St. Rose Parish is the oldest parish in the city of Lima. The parish was formally established in 1856, although the neighborhood constituted a mission outreach from 1845 until 1856. Early parishioners were mainly of Irish descent, although German and Italian families were also prevalent. Names like Finn, Gorman, Daley, Bourk, Goes, Graff, Azzarello, and Funni abound in the parish records.
The Rev. Matthias Kreusch was the first pastor, and over the years there have been fifteen dedicated men who serve in that capacity. Older parishioners remember Monsignor Manning and Monsignor Elder while for others their memories may only go back to Fr. Lambilotte, Fr. Gorman, and Fr. Walsh. Just about everyone recalls Fr. J. Norbert Howe, Fr. Chris Vasko, Fr. William Rose and now our present pastor Fr. David Ross. Each one brought his own leadership style to the table and our parish was enriched by all of them. Fr. Vasko's task was unique. We started sharing our pastor with our friends from St. John's. A common council was formed and we are striving to emphasize that which is common to both parish communities and eliminate the difficulties which are inherent in a shared pastorate.
The first grade school was in a red brick three-story building, manned by the Sisters of Charity. It was razed in 1955 to provide more parking. The present grade school was erected in 1952 and has proudly served the needs of the parish down through the years.
Today's faculty consists of dedicated laymen and women although we are pleased to have Sr. Kevin Patrice Daley as our 3rd grade teacher. Sr. Kevin is herself a graduate of St. Rose grade school, then and now is an avid follower of its athletic teams. We are fortunate to have her carrying on the traditions of the Sisters of Charity as she enriches the lives of the students she encounters.
St. Rose Parish has been known as the cradle of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It is not possible to name everyone, but let us mention Fr. Richard Szippl, a Divine Word missionary priest, ordained by Pope John Paul II during his papal visit to Japan in 1981. He is the son of Andrew and Dorothy Szippl, St. Rose parishioners for man years. Fr. Szippl now serves in Japan as Vice President of Nanzan University.
St. Rose High School surely deserves a place in our memory. The high school building was erected in 1906 and boasted the first indoor swimming pool in Lima. St. Rose High School became known throughout the community for its academic excellence as well as its athletic prowess. Look into the trophy cases in the current elementary school and you will see academic and sports trophies in abundance. We are extremely proud of our St. Rose graduates, many who have made outstanding contributions to our city, state, and nation, including James McBaron's work on the Apollo 13 spacesuit.
It is a delight to see the remarkable old high school building still in use today. The gym was renamed Bob Burns Hall in 1980 in recognition of the years of service of parishioner Bob Burns to St. Rose athletic programs.
We are an outreach parish. The Samaritan House, a home for abused mothers and children is housed in one of our buildings. The Samaritan House was begun in the mid 1980’s by the Church People for Change and Reconciliation group, who at the time was lead by Rev. J. Norbert Howe, pastor at St. Rose. St. Rose hosts fundraisers and food drives to support the Samaritan House. St. Rose also works with our brother parish, St. John’s, supporting St. Vincent de Paul in our community. Our youth are involved in the Boy and Girl Scouts. St. Rose has helped shape many people from youth to become giving and caring adults.
St. Rose Church is part of the Junipero Serra Deanery and Diocese of Toledo. We share our current Pastor, Rev. David M. Ross with our brother parish St. John the Evangelist.
One of our “outreach” projects was to help a parish in New Orleans following Katrina and Rita. The parish was St. Paul’s and the pastor at St. Paul’s is a son of St. John’s parish, Fr. Robert Seay. Jointly our parishes raised over $10,000 in aid and sent it to Fr. Seay to use to help his people.
Our joint Mission Statement is “We, the communities of St. Rose and St. John, centered in the Eucharist, will model our lives on the Gospel of Jesus Christ by sacraments, word, and stewardship.” We believe that our interaction with youth through Scouting and our school have “modeled” them into being wonderful adults who give back to their community. Our Eucharistic Ministers serve many homebound, nursing home and hospital patients on a daily basis.
Our parish takes pride in our Girl Scout and Boy Scout involvement. We have troops in both scouting groups. Our Confirmation Class attended the Right to Life March in Washington, D.C. this past January. St. Rose, being the oldest Lima parish, assists Gethsemani Cemetery. Our pastor is on the Board of Directors and is the main celebrant at the annual Memorial Day Mass at the cemetery. Our St. Rose Service Club offers an outreach by preparing funeral dinners for our parishioners. They also visit the sick and elderly of the parish. Our parish has been a “base station” for Heartbeat of Lima for their annual walk to raise funds for new mothers. We also take part in the annual baby bottle collection and have a monthly collection for St. Vincent de Paul.
Being from an Irish background, many of our parishioners take part in the annual Irish Day Parade through Lima which is held on the Saturday closest to St. Patrick’s Day.