News from San Antonio Church – July 24, 2022

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Weekly Bulletin July 24, 2022

by Terrie Evans

San Antonio Church welcomes new and Holy Family Parish families to our 9:00 AM Sunday Mass due to the change in Mass schedules.  Holy Family Church is a big part of the history of Price Hill dates to 1884 with the founding of their church. At that time,  Price Hill became a popular destination for families after the floods of 1883 and 1884 after many left their homes in the valley to settle on higher areas of the city.  Price Hill today is now considered as one of the oldest outlying settlements of Cincinnati.  The population grew with German , Irish and Welsh Catholic Families who relocated to enjoy the lush grounds and clean air on top of a hill that was serviced by the 2nd Incline in the city of Cincinnati , started in 1874 by John and William Price.  The Incline, one for passengers and the other for freight would bring thousands of Cincinnatians to the Price Hill House and Pavilion.  Also located on the Hill was the all-girls school St, Vincent Academy established by the Sisters of Charity in 1854 that would years later become Seton High School.  

The new Catholics coming to Price Hill started to attend Mass at St. Lawrence Church, founded in 1868, that soon became overcrowded with the new residents.  Archbishop William Henry Elder agreed for the establishment of a new parish with a committee meeting with 4 possible names being considered.  Those coming up for votes were St. Alphonsus, St. Leo, Holy Family or St. Cecilia with Holy Family being picked on the second round of voting.  The dedication for the new parish took place on August 24, 1884 with the 1st Pastor, John Menke (1852-1897) presiding over the 1st Baptism, Michael Tracy, the 1st Funeral was for Richard Cleary and the 1st Wedding celebrated for Joseph Berry to Caroline Schmidt.  The 1st Communion Class consisted of William Hogan, Henry Moening, Théodore Lichtenstein, and Frank Nordhaus with Archbishop William Elder confirming 23 parishioners.  The 1st Holy Family School was established with a total enrollment of 30 taught by the Sisters of Charity living at Cedar Grove (Seton High School).  They came to school every morning in a Conestoga Wagon (horse drawn carriage) and took the children on field trips to the Cincinnati Zoo traveling in a brewery wagon.   By January 1900, the debt of the church, $8,060.61 was paid in full and a proposed addition to the church and school buildings was introduced. 

The area around Holy Family Parish grew and by 1911, 540 families were members of the church.  By 1914, another 227 families were parishioners and with a total of 767 families a new church was in the next phase with school enrollment reaching 473 with 9 Sisters of Charity at the school.  On Trinity Sunday on June 18, 1916, the new church designed by J. F. Sheblessey was dedicated by Most Reverend Henry Moeller that would hold 760.   The Firsts in the new church:  First Baptism:  Florence Elizabeth Brindley, First Marriage:  Carl George Weber to Martha Elizabeth Mechlenborg and the 1st Confirmation for 81 boys, 70 girls, 2 men and 5 women of the parish.    In 1934, the 50th Anniversary was celebrated along with the first recorded Festival was a milestone in the history of Holy Family.    Parishioners were asked to donate 65 ounces of gold, 65 ounces of silver, and small and large precious stones for a one-of-a-kind Monstrance crafted by Andrew Messmer & Company. 

On December 6, 1959, a solemn High Mass was celebrated for the 75th Anniversary and a farewell reception for Fr. Kuhn.  The Centennial 100th took place in June 1983 with a Homecoming Festival, a Parish Day at the Reds Game and a Holy Family Parish Picnic.  During the years 1988-89, Holy Family Parish merged with Our Lady of Grace and Our Lady of Perpetual Help and in 1994, St. Michael Church in Lower Price Hill became a Chapel of Holy Family until it closed.  In 1998, their statue of St. Michael found a new honorable home when it was placed in the Memorial Garden at Holy Family.  In January 2005, the Spanish Ministry began a prayer group and soon, Mass was celebrated on Sunday’s in Spanish.  Holy Family Parish celebrated their 125th Anniversary in June 2008 with a Mass and Dinner.  In 2010, Holy Family Parish agreed to align with San Antonio Church under the direction of Fr. Jim Kiffmeyer and then Fr. Len Wenke, who is now assigned to a parish in Dayton, Ohio with Fr. Rudy now assigned to Holy Family.  We welcome Rev. Rodolfo (Rudy) Coaquira Hilajie, a Peruvian Carboni Missionary.  Fr. Rudy was the Parochial Vicar of St. Leo and St. Boniface Parishes before coming to Holy Family Church.  Holy Family Parish will celebrate their 140th Anniversary in June 2023!

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