Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Stephen Theodore Badin, Proto-Priest of the United States

Father Badin bears that title because he was the first priest to be ordained in the United States, meaning under the government of the United States, not in the territory. He was born at Orleans, in France, in 1768 and came to America, in 1791, to escape the persecution of the Revolutionaries. After completing his studies, in 1793, Fr. Badin was ordained by Bishop John Carroll of Baltimore.
In those days, priests didn't always have a set parish. They went where they were needed, and Fr. Badin managed to range all over the landscape, from Pittsburgh to Illinois. His primary field was Kentucky, however.
In the 1830's, Fr. Badin was headquartered in the Cincinnati Diocese, and went to whatever part of Ohio needed him most. From 1835 to 1837, he helped out in Fremont and Tiffin, in what's now the Diocese of Toledo.
Fr. Badin retired ( At least as far as was possible ) to Cincinnati and died there, in 1853. HERE'S a brief account of his life.

St. Aloysius, Republic

Formerly Saint Aloysius Catholic Church, This complex has been decommissioned and closed by the Catholic Diocese of Toledo. The property, Located at 211 East St. Republic,Ohio, embraces a 400 seat A-frame style church. There is a social hall in the full basement, complete with kitchen, rest rooms, and a personal lift, making it handicap accessible. Also located on the property is a ranch-style home offering 2 bedrooms with a full bath for each. A kitchen, living room, dining room, half bath, office, conference room, 2 car attached garage, and a full basement complete the home. The basement is arranged for classrooms and includes a half bath. The complex includes a large open picnic shelter, two storage buildings, and a paved parking lot, all on 5 +/- Acres. "

This advertisement finished the tale of one of the Diocese's closed parishes. I've been informed that the property has been sold. No word on what it will be used for. Architecturally, it's tolerable, but nothing special.

Let me say two things, to begin. First, I feel terribly sorry for the parishioners of the closed parishes. Second, it's my own personal opinion ( And only that. ) that when a parish is closed, the building should be torn down to prevent questionable use.

The former St. Aloysius, an interesting vernacular Greek Revival building, started out as a Universalist congregation and is now a Masonic lodge. I wonder if there was a fuss when it was sold. In my lifetime, I've seen quite a number of churches sold, torn down, or otherwise disposed of, and a number of parishes closed. It's always an unfortunate situation, but it's been going on for centuries, usually without the sort of hullaballoo we're seeing now. Tears were shed, regrets felt, but everyone moved on. They didn't trumpet, in complete disregard for Church rules, that the Bishops had no right to close parishes. They didn't insist that, contrary to what the Pope, the bishops, and two millenia of the Church's teachings, Catholicism is really supposed to be operated on a Protestant congregational form of government. They didn't run right to the press and the secular courts and whine for their "rights", AKA their own way. They recognized reality and accepted duly appointed authority, and went on with their lives. It's too bad everyone's not so sensible nowadays.

Old St. Mary, Toledo

Old St. Mary's was designed by Toledo architect Carl Schon, who was also responsible for SS Peter and Paul and the second structure for Immaculate Conception parish, both in the Old South End, and Salem Lutheran, in the Vistula Historic District. Another of his works is the elaborately corniced trio of buildings ( Though they look like one. ) on Madison that housed Rensch's store.
Photo: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

Bishop Alter

Photo: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

St. Mary, Norwalk

Photo by Alex Fries

Elsewhere in Ohio

St. Francis de Sales, Cincinnati

Ursuline Convent, Downtown Toledo

Photo: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

"Stagecoach Mary" Fields

Sometimes, a story comes along that proves truth is much more interesting than fiction. Mary Fields provides one such story. A former slave, who worked for the Ursuline nuns in Toledo, she went on to become a Montana legend. HERE'S a brief introduction. You'll find more HERE.

Monday, October 29, 2007

St. Michael, Kalida

Pictures borrowed from their WEBSITE, which is as well done as the church. Both are magnificent.

St. Michael, Kalida

New and old churches side by side, 1926.

St. Aloysius, Bowling Green

Help Wanted

If anyone from the western part of the diocese drops by, we're in need of good pictures of the churches in that neck of the wood. I know there are some good ones. If you have any, or want to take some, just e-mail them to . You'll get full credit and serious gratitude.
For that matter, we'll gladly accept pictures of any church you haven't seen covered.

Queen of Apostles School, Old South End

Even the chimneys have terra cotta caps.

Northwest Ohio Blog

I've reworked Back to Damerosehay as a Northwest Ohio architecture and history blog. Have a look.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

St. Peter, Huron

For a modern church....the sanctuary is quite powerful to see in person. I get the feeling i'm in a pub or saloon or something with the light fixture above the altar. (has lights, and speakers in it)

There are some blinds spots of the alter in this church....

reminds me of some sort of military fort

St. Joseph, Marblehead

SS Peter and Paul, Ottawa

Very simple for one of the old German designs. I've just been told it was replaced in the 60's. ( Shudder )

Our Lady of Consolation, Carey

Elsewhere in Ohio

St. Mary, Dayton.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

St. Peter, Upper Sandusky

Photo from 1890 with old spire, inset photo is a Father Braschler. From a parish history book.

St. Patrick, Warehouse District

St. Bernard, New Washington

I like this, though the top of the tower needs help. Notice the different colored bricks, and the decorative tiles at the top. The door hinges are nice, too.
Does anyone know when it was built? I'd wager a newer brick facing was added to an older building.
Photo by Kevin Hammer

St. Pius X, Sycamore

Very simple, but at least it manages to look like a church The facade is rather interesting, in an odd sort of way.
Photo by Kevin Hammer

Monday, October 22, 2007

St. Bernard, New Washington

Next to the church, St. Bernard School.

These pictures do not do justice to the church interior. I hope our more talented photographers can make a visit to St. Bernard's.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

St. Charles, Toledo

The old church had a very unusual interior. Notice the curving walls at the sides of the sanctuary. The ceiling is also interesting, and not the sort of thing you're used to seeing in churches of the time. If I had to guess, I'd say it might be pressed tin. I'd love to get a closer look at the decoration over those doors and I rather hope those statues are still around somewhere.
St. Charles built a combined church and school, a practise that was common among new parishes. Does anyone have a picture of that cupola, or tower, at the top? This is an interesting building. Wouldn't mind seeing it from the other sides.
Photos: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library

Immaculate Conception, Old South End

A crucifix in the rectory.

An Ohio Cardinal

Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of Houston-Galveston is to be elevated to cardinal. You may be interested in the fact that he's a native of Steubenville. HERE'S a brief biography.

Toledo's Sister Cities

The Church of Our Lady and the cathedral in Poznan, Poland.
(Photo Credit)

St. Mary's New website

This post is mostly for Jay's viewing, but to everyone else who cares, here's a sneak peek at what St. Mary's New site should look like. Hopefully the basics will be up by the end of the week. St. Anthony's in Milan is also getting a makeover. I'll have her up in a few days.

Friday, October 19, 2007

All Souls Day approaches -

A few photos from St. Joseph Cemetery in Tiffin.

Stone for the Remakel family, 1886.
Stone for the Christian Mueller family, 1884. Apparently the artist gets a credit on this stone, see inset.

Jacob Scheiber grave stone (I'm assuming it's the Jacob Scheiber who started Tiffin Manufacturing Company), 1905.

A good resource for cemeteries in certain counties of the diocese: