St. Aloysius On The Ohio
6207 Portage St, Cincinnati, Ohio 45233
About Our Parish
History of St. Aloysius
St. Aloysius on-the-Ohio dates from 1868 when the German working class Catholics of Lower Delhi secured a lot and constructed a small brick one-room school house for their children. The congregation continued to worship at Our Lady of Victory, some five miles distant.
In 1873 the congregation purchased another lot and constructed a small church, which was dedicated June 29, 1873, to God in honor of St. Aloysius.
By 1885 it became apparent that the congregation was out growing the little church and the parish purchased land at the northeast corner of Maple and Polk (Whipple Street) and planned construction of a new church. The dedication of the new St. Aloysius Church took place on October 28, 1888.
With the parish in a new church, the old church was enlarged and converted into much needed classroom space for the growing parish.
Students moved into the new "school" in 1890, that year the school also was placed in the hands of the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, who continuously and faithfully served the parish and school for 107 years.
In 1898 a new parsonage was built. Father Anthony Runnenbaus moved into the new rectory just weeks after the silver anniversary of the parish.
By 1905 the parish was 120 families strong and it became apparent that a new school was needed. In February of that year, the old one-room schoolhouse – St. Aloysius’ original building constructed in 1868 – was torn down and ground was broken for the new building. The new school was dedicated June 3, 1906. There were four classrooms on the first floor, each housing two grades; a cafeteria on the ground floor and an auditorium complete with a stage on the second floor.
As the parish and the school continued to grow, it was decided to provide new space for the Sisters, who had been living in the old parsonage between the church and the old school building. With the space no longer needed, the original church-turned-school building was town down in 1916. On September 4, 1916, the convent (now the parish center) was dedicated.
In the early 1920’s the 150-foot steeple atop the church was condemned because of unsafe timbers. In 1923 the steeple, along with the three bells it contained, was removed and the original parsonage/convent was torn down, making room on the East Side of the church for a new bell tower. The tower also contained the stairway to the choir loft, providing room for more seating in the church body.
That completed construction at St. Aloysius for the next 20 years, although the church was renovated in 1931 and an addition to the Sacristy was built in 1952.
With the growth of the parish it became necessary to make some changes in the school. High School classes were dropped. Indoor restrooms were put inside the building and were ready for use beginning with the 1933-34 school year.
As the parish grew, and with it the enrollment of the school, the stage area was remodeled into two classrooms. An additional classroom and a library were carved out of the open space on the ground floor. In 1979 the parish purchased Wolfer Hall and converted it into the Library, thereby freeing up another ground floor classroom in the school, and for the first time each grade was separate.
In 1973 the parish celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding and the church received a complete makeover. A new altar and lectern, carved to match the old wooden altars, which the parishioners voted to retain, were placed in the Sanctuary and the Tabernacle was moved to the left side altar.
For the 125th anniversary in 1998, another renovation project was begun. Those stained glass windows that needed repairs were fixed, the walls were painted, new carpeting and tile installed, kneelers repadded, and the altars were painted with gold trim. The Baptismal font and the Stations of the Cross were restored to their original colors.
In 2001 the church was air-conditioned and five large stained glass windows, four behind the altar and the one over the main church entrance, were restored to their original beauty. Also a Bose sound system was installed in the church, the three bells which were installed in 1888, one of which had not been rung for 15 years, were restored to their original condition and sound, and a video surveillance system was installed in the school building.
Beginning with the 2003-2004 school year an all-day kindergarten was added to our school curriculum, an up-to-date fire alarm system was installed in the school building, the front doors of the church were beautifully refinished, and the library was renovated to include air-conditioning and new carpeting. For the 2004-2005 school year a pre-kindergarten for children age 4 and 5 was incorporated into our school learning system.
In 2006, our traditional summer festival was moved to May to make way for the major renovations in the school as part of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport’s Noise abatement project. The school received air conditioning, sound insulation, new windows, new doors & new lighting with drop ceilings throughout the school.
In 2007, the Parish Center was renovated to accommodate the parish offices on the first floor. Rooms were reorganized, the second floor restroom updated, the hardwood floors were refinished and all the rooms received fresh paint. Several changes were made to the Sanctuary. The tabernacle was moved back to the center altar and statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph, St Aloysius and the four Evangelists were placed in their original locations.
In 2008-2009, the Library and Parish Grounds were renovated entirely by volunteers and personal donations. The Library received a complete exterior makeover with a new roof, gutters, siding and restoration of the front and back porches. A terraced Memory Garden inclusive of a Shrine to Mary, Gabriel's Garden, and an outdoor reading area were designed and trimmed with a white picket fence to compliment the Library. The Eastern entrance to Sayler Park, beginning at Gracely Dr. is now quite noticeable from Rt. #50 and recognized even with soft evening light as St. Aloysius on the Ohio, a warm and inviting Catholic Community.
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