Our Catholic Parish

The word "Catholic" means universal and that is really what the Catholic Church IS----a universal body of believers, united in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Our Catholic family is made up of all races, ages and walks of life and we pride ourselves in being the MOST WELCOMING parish in Lima. For centuries, the Catholic Church as been the place to turn to for the source of christian belief, a welcoming family, a guiding light to enter heaven and an intimate encounter with Jesus Christ.

What Makes The Catholic Church Different

The Catholic Church is not just one denomination among many. In fact, it can trace its founding roots back to Jesus Christ, who started our church. For 2000 years, the Catholic Church has guarded the truth that Jesus has taught, whether in or out of style. In the Church today, you may experience the most personal relationship with Christ through the Holy Eucharist, the gift of Christ's body and blood to us. Since it's founding, the Catholic Church has continued to be the largest body of Christians on earth, though it's not perfect, nor does it have perfect members, the Church still contains the fullness of truth, which Jesus promised would set us free.

Catholic Beliefs Rooted In The Bible

Not only are Catholic teachings rooted in the bible, the Catholic Church having been given authority by Jesus Christ and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, compiled the Bible in the form that it exists today. The Catholic Church has as its sole rule of faith the entire Word of God, as it is found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. It is important to remember that all of the Word of God was at one time (after the death of Christ and before the compilation of the Bible) passed on orally through Sacred Tradition. Catholic beliefs are all rooted in the Word of God----communicated through Scripture, Tradition and preserved by the Church.

Saint Rose of Lima

God, You filled Saint Rose with love for You and enabled her to leave the world and be free for You through the austerity of penance. Through her intercession, help us to follow her footsteps on earth and enjoy the torrent of Your delights in heaven. Amen.

St Rose was born in Lima, Peru in 1586. As a girl she took a vow of virginity and began to live a life of extreme penance and mortification. She excelled in needlework and used this skill to help support her family, which was poor. A beautiful girl, she deliberately cut her hair and tried various ways to hide her beauty so that she would not be sought in marriage. In 1606 she became a dominical tertiary and for the remainder of her life, followed a program of rigorous penance and prayer. She ate very little, helped the poor and was granted the grace of a mystical union with God. She died in 1617 at the age of 31. She was canonized in 1667, the first saint from the Americas to be canonized. She was a lovely saint and has been a gracious patroness of this parish. We have no way of knowing the great graces she has obtained by her intercession for this parish, certainly one of the first in this country to be placed under her patronage. We owe a great deal to her; and her name, Saint Rose, is one of the most familiar and dearest names in our lives.

St. Rose Church

Lima, Ohio

St. Rose Church is the oldest parish in the city of Lima. The parish was formally established in 1856, although the neighborhood constituted a mission outreach of the Diocese of Cleveland from 1845 until 1856. Masses during this time were held in various people's homes. In 1856 Rev Matthias Knuesch was assigned as first pastor to care for the Catholic people in Lima. In 1858 the first Church of St. Rose, a small, brick structure, was built on land donated by Nicholas Gunckel. In 1862 Mr. Matthias Nichols, a non-Catholic, donated a plot of land fronting McKibben and West street, 360 feet by 350 feet, to the church,. It was in 1870 that plans were drawn, and a financial campaign for the building of the present church began. The generous parishioners raised the money quickly and the Very Rev. Edward Hannin, administrator of the diocese of Cleveland, laid the cornerstone on May 21, 1871. On January 1, 1872, the first Mass was offered in the Church. 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.

Since our humble beginnings our parish has been blessed with fifteen dedicated men who served as pastors. Each one brought his own leadership style to the table and our parish was enriched by all of them. The parish grew in numbers. Education was vital to the growing community and our treasured St. Rose School was started in 1865. Then the first parish school was built on McKibben Street next to the church and was staffed by two lay teachers. Enrollment only continued to increase, so in 1888 a three-story brick school was built next to the church on West Street. As more and more immigrants poured into Lima and desiring education the school grew by leaps and bounds. By 1895 the beginnings of a high school were started. Classes were held on the third floor of the grade school building. Time indicated a need for a separate high school so, in 1906 the structure on McKibben St. was expanded to house the high school and parish societies and included a small gymnasium and swimming pool. Later the structure expanded for more classrooms and a big gymnasium. (The building, no longer there, eventually came to be home for St. Rose Day Care and Bob Burns Hall.) In 1914 the high school became fully accredited.

Growth continued for the elementary school. In 1952 the cornerstone for the new grade school building was laid and blessed. April 11, 1954 the new school was blessed and dedicated by Toledo Bishop George J. Rehring. The total cost of the school, which included twelve classrooms, a cafeteria and offices, was $330,000. The high school interior was refurnished and re-equipped.

The Lima community expanded by the early 1950s to include four parishes with many high school students. In September of 1956, St. Rose and St. Johns High Schools were merged to form the new Lima Central Catholic High School with the St. Rose building used as its principle campus. Gerard High School joined the two schools the following year. A site for a new central Catholic high school was purchased in 1957 on South Cable Road. St. The three parochial schools were merged as the final step in establishing Lima Central Catholic High School. They continued to use the building until 1961 when the construction of the new Lima Central Catholic High School building on Cable Road was completed.

By 2015 it was evident that our parish needed to raze the old high school building to build a new gym and parish center. In 2016 the project was completed. Although the appearance of our campus has had drastic changes, it's the interior, the heart and the spirit has remained consistent.

All these years, our parish has been known as the cradle of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, sons and daughters of the parish with forty-one priests, three deacons, one brother, and seventy-three sisters. What has been the reason for the remarkable tradition of vocations in St. Rose Parish? Certainly, these vocations, given by God, have grown primarily because of the faith and the good religious family life in the Parish. But this is not the full explanation. There are other reasons which can be summed up as follows: the example and encouragement of good priests and sisters: intense parish devotion to the Sacred Heart and extraordinary devotion to the Holy Eucharist.

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 led by Rev. J. Norbert Howe, pastor at St. Rose. St. Rose hosts fund raisers and food drives to support the Samaritan House. St. Rose also works with our sister 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.

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.

In 2001 Rev. Christopher Vasko was appointed pastor with a unique task: to be shared Pastor with our friends from St. John parish. 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.

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 home bound, nursing home and hospital patients daily.

Our parish takes pride in our Boy Scout involvement. We have troops in both scouting groups. Our Confirmation Classes have attended the Right to Life March in Washington, D.C. St. Rose Church 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.

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.