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.
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.
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.
God, through St. John the Apostle You willed to unlock to us the secrets of Your Word. Grant that what he has so excellently poured into our ears, we may properly understand. Amen.
St. John, the son of Zebedee, and the brother of St. James the Great, was called to be an Apostle by our Lord in the first year of His public ministry. He became the "beloved disciple" and the only one of the twelve who did not forsake the Savior in the hour of His Passion. He stood faithfully at the Cross, where the Savior made him the guardian of His Mother. His later life was lived in Jerusalem and at Ephesus. He founded many churches in Asia Minor. He wrote the fourth Gospel, and three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation is also attributed to him. St. John was brought to Rome and tradition states that he was ordered by Emperor Domitian to be cast into a caldron of boiling oil, but came forth unhurt and he was banished to the island of Patmos for a year. It is estimated that he lived to be very old and he died in Ephesus around the year 100. St. John is called the Apostle of Charity, a virtue he learned from his Divine Master, and which he constantly lived in word and example. The "beloved disciple" died in Ephesus where a stately church was erected over his tomb. It was afterwards converted into a Mohammedan Mosque.
St. John Church
For many years before the turn of the century the Catholic people of south Lima wanted a parish in their section of the city, but their efforts were spasmodic and futile. As the city grew, the number of Catholics in the south side increased. In 1899 the Bishop gave permission for a parish in south Lima. The news overwhelmed the seventy-two devout families with joy and instilled in them an enthusiasm and willingness to work for the good of the parish. Property with a hundred and fifty-five foot frontage on South Main Street was purchased at a cost of $6,200.
The first pastor was appointed on June 10, 1901 with the first Mass celebrated in Wheeler's Hall on the southeast corner of Market and Elizabeth Streets on June 30, 1901. A capacity crowd filled the Hall to attend this first Mass, which was offered on a little Altar built on wheels.
The cornerstone of a school building of brick and stone was laid on September 8, 1901 in the 700 block of South Main Street. On December 8, just three months after the cornerstone was laid, the first High Mass in the history of the parish was sung on the third floor of the new building and the bell was blessed. The Church was dedicated on December 15, 1901.
The parish grew and the third floor became too small to accommodate the parishioners, so on Easter Sunday, March 20, 1910, the pastor announced that the collection would be the nucleus for land for a new Church. Land was purchased north of the school. The School was remodeled and the basement was fitted for church purposes until the new church basement could be built. By November 24, 1912 the new church basement was blessed and the people worshiped there for twelve years.
The new Church was completed and dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1924. It was renovated in 1971, 1998 and 2012.
The new school facing Union Street was built in 1958 and was dedicated on April 26, 1959. The original school was razed and the property on Main Street was used as a parking lot. The school was operated until the close of the school year June 1973.
Through all the years of it's history, St. John has stood as a symbol of the love and generosity of the people who gave their energy and hard-earned money to build it and those who have maintained it.
St. John today is a blend of the old and the new. We carry the tradition of over three-quarters of a century with us as we blend new ideas into old traditions.
The same spirit, enthusiasm and dedication which characterized the seventy-two founding families can be found in the entire St. John family today, and this is our hope for the future.
St. John's Parish can be described as an "outreach" parish. The St. Vincent de Paul Society in Lima was begun by St. John's in the early 1970's. Currently St. Vincent's has a food pantry and clothing store and monies generated are used to assist the needy in Lima with housing, medicine, and other expenses. The other Lima Parishes are all involved at this point with continuing the ministry that was began by St. John's parish.
The rectory of St. John's is now a group home for women. It is ran by Lutheran Social Services. The home houses ten women who are working to improve their lives and be able to one day live on their own again.
The St. John's Altar and Rosary Society visits shut-ins from our parish. Many of our parishioners are Eucharistic Ministers and we are currently the only Lima parish to distribute the Holy Eucharist to Lima Memorial Hospital. We also serve many shut-ins at two local Nursing Homes with Communion and prayer services.
St. John's celebrated their Centennial in 2001 and was built at the turn of the century and dedicated on December 15, 1901.
We were twinned with our sister parish, St. Rose, in 2002. We share one office staff and our pastor is the Very Rev. David M. Ross. Fr. Ross became pastor on July 1, 2008 and replaced Fr. William Rose who had begun the work to unite our parishes in our many ministries.
One of our "outreach" projects was to help a Catholic parish in New Orleans following the Katrina and Rita hurricanes. Their pastor is a son of St. John's parish, Fr. Robert Seay. Our parishes raised over $10,000 in aid and sent it to Fr. Seay to use to help his people at St. Paul's.
We are currently involved with St. Rose on our third project of sending supplies to our military troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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." Our involvement in the Lima community and our outreach to those who are sick, homeless, and in need of God's word are all Corporal Works of Mercy which we strive to fulfill on a daily basis.
We are involved with Church Women United and take part in their events, including World Day of Prayer. We host a refreshment table annually at the Lima Christmas Tree Festival which is held at our local museum. Many of our parishioners are involved with Habitat for Humanity and the building of homes for low income families. St. John's is home to the Catholic Collaborative Vacation Bible School each year in June hosting students age 4 thru 5th grade throughout the Lima area. St. John's has hosted various groups for sales, walks, and distribution of literature to assist in the quality of life of our community. In January of every year the Lima Symphony Orchestra performs a "Mozart by Candlelight" concert and the proceeds are used to promote the Arts in Lima. The local branch of Ohio State University holds their annual Spring Concert at St. John's in May. Kathy Troccoilli has also performed in concert at St. John's.
Lima Towers is a government subsidized apartment complex that sits across the street from St. John's. Our Parish assisted the residents last year during a power outage due to an ice storm. Many of the tenants are parishioners of St. John's. We are also the host to Celebrate Recovery every Wed. evening from 6 - 9 pm
We participate in Family Promise and work in tandem with St. Rose to host one of their families several times during the year.