Holy Name Church Community Today
The Holy Name Church community is a small vibrant group of people who place a high value on worshipping God in relationship with one another and with the wider community. Those who join us for worship have opportunity for active participation in celebrations that blend lively traditional church and African American music. Our appreciation of diversity is reflected in the makeup of our congregation and our inclusive manner of forming community together.
Because we are small, we have the luxury of easily forming personal relationships. “If you want to belong to a church where everyone knows your name………..” Holy Name church ministries stretch beyond ourselves. We reach out to the local community council and chamber of commerce, a variety of other churches and such neighborhood groups as Anna Louise Inn and Corryville Catholic School, and the Right to Life group who worship in our building each Saturday. We continuously look for new ways to be involved in building the reign of God in our contemporary world. There is no lack of volunteer opportunities. Holy Name Church has a long history, as is described below. Today we are positioned at the edge of significant change. Our Mt. Auburn neighborhood is undergoing transformation.
Churches like Holy Name has the opportunity to play a significant role in bringing together the new and the foundational members of this renaissance community. We are truly an experience of church in evolution.
History of Holy Name Catholic Church
Holy Name parish originated in 1904 when parishioners of St. Xavier and St. George parishes were instructed by archdiocesan officials to found a new parish to better accommodate those Catholics who resided in Cincinnati’s oldest suburb, Mt. Auburn. The site chosen was the old Zimmerman residence, built in 1859.
The new parish grew so rapidly that within two years after it had been established, plans were drawn for a church-school combination building. The school opened in 1907, but by the 1960′s it was necessary to close the school and move the students to St. George School, now known as Corryville Catholic School.
The present Holy Name Church was built in 1950 and consecrated in 1951. The beautiful mosaic altar piece was erected on the occasion of the ll Vatican Council, December 8, 1962. it was given in memory of Clara Y. & William B. Schawe. In accordance with the Liturgical Norms of the Council the altar(Eucharistic Table) was moved from the back wall so the priest could face the people.
Holy Name was staffed by priests of the Archdiocese until 1968 when priests of the Society of the Precious Blood came and ministered in the parish. 1990 was a critical year. The Precious Blood fathers could no longer serve the parish and the archdiocese would not be able to provide a full time pastor.
Parishioners requested to continue as a canonical parish with a full time lay pastoral administrator and a part-time priest pastor to serve as parish leaders. The plan became a reality when in 1990 when Sr. Elizabeth Bowyer, SNDdeN, became the pastoral administrator and Father Terence Meehan the pastor, along with his assignment as pastor of St. Andrew and full time chaplain of Hamilton County Justice Center.
In 2000, Sr. Elizabeth Bowyer was elected to leadership in her congregation and Sr. Mary Gallagher, SC took her place. Holy Name learned that once Fr. Terry was reassigned there would be no priest available to serve the parish. The Franciscan Community was approached in 2002 and asked about the possibility of the pastor of St. Monica/St. George also serving as Holy Name’s Canonical Pastor with the continued service of a pastoral administrator. The Archdiocese and the Franciscan Friars agreed to the “partnering” plan and it went into effect in 2002 when Fr. Terry Meehan was transferred to another parish.
In 2013 Holy Name Catholic Church continues to thrive under the leadership of Rev. Mr. Daniel Thomas and his wife, Dr. Jessie Thomas, DMin., As a deacon couple they serve as co-pastoral administrators. Holy Name Parish continues to be a community of diverse believers witnessing to the goodness of God, giving hospitality and support to anyone in need of compassion and healing.
After a two-year commitment to Holy Name, and with many accomplishments and journeys extended to the parishioners, Deacon Dan and Dr. Jessie, re-entered semi-retirement. Fr. Paul Desch, OFM., our Sacramental Minister, left also for another assignment. Fr. Paul gave us so much inspiration with his homilies and friendship. We will miss them all and send them with the blessings of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Father Tom Speier, OFM, is our beloved Pastor.