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In celebration of our parish’s 150th anniversary, this blog was used to share the rich history of St. John’s. Please use the Table of Contents to find particular stories, and to learn more about our history.

St. John the Baptist Parish

5361 Dry Ridge Road 45252

Cincinnati, Ohio

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After Fr. Bowes left St. John’s, Fr. Timothy Kallaher was appointed pastor on July 1, 1998. Before coming to St. John’s, he was pastor for Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. This July marks Fr. Tim’s 12th year at St. John’s and he plans on staying with our parish until his retirement.

During these last years, Fr. Kallaher has been apart of many developments to both the church and school, including the forming of a pastoral area school to serve the parishes of St. John the Baptist, Corpus Christi, and St. John Neumann.

As far as what Fr. Kallaher enjoys most about St. John’s…

From my first day here people have been warm and welcoming–not just to me, but to any new people in the parish. The people of St. John’s have helped me to grow as a person, a priest, and a pastor through forgiveness and encouragement. I look forward to being here for several more years.

After Fr. Wollering left,  Fr. Charles Bowes was appointed pastor on July 1,1983. Fr. Bowes had come from St. Savior Church in Blue Ash.

During Fr. Bowes’ time at St. John’s, the parish continued to grow by leaps and bounds. The Parish Center was complete by 1985 to accommodate our growing community.  Saturday evening mass continued in the church, while Sunday masses were held in the new facility. Then in 1990, Fr. Bowes received approval from the Archdiocese to build our current church, which opened its doors in 1995, along with new  additions to the school.

Many parishioners have fond memories of Fr. Bowes during his 15 years at St. John’s. He transferred to Our Lady of the Rosary in Greenhills in 1998, and unfortunately passed away at the age of 63 on January 5, 2008.

Our Lady of the Rosary dedicated a web page to Fr. Bowes memory, featuring favorite parishioner memories and some of Fr. Charlie’s favorite recipes.

After Fr. Huseman left St. John’s parish in October 1979, Fr. Carl Wollering was appointed as the new pastor. Fr. Wollering first came to St. John’s parish the year before as assistant pastor, replacing Fr. John Cooper who had passed away.

Although he was with the parish for only a few years, Fr. Wollering was instrumental in the beginning of the Parish Center, which was completed in June of 1985. To help pay for the cost, he suggested Bingo. Also during Fr. Wollering’s time at St. John’s, the rectory and the convent were switched. At the time, the convent had more space and Sr. Elizabeth and Sr. Georgianna were the only residing nuns.

Fr. Wollering left St. John’s in 1983 before the Parish Center was complete. He went to St. John’s Harrison for 12 years, then he moved to his current parish of St. Jermone Roman Catholic Church.

On Friday, May 14, St. John’s students enjoyed the annual Field Day. Field Day has been a long tradition at St. John the Baptist school, sponsored by the PTO. The children are treated to a day free of classes, and lots of fun and games outdoors.

Here’s a video from this year’s Field Day Opening Ceremony, featuring  principal Rick Harrmann handing over the torch to administrative assistant Andrea Argus.

Mark your calendar to be at the 150th Anniversary Closing Ceremonies on Saturday, June  26, 2010.

  • Special 4:30 mass to close our celebratory year
  • Parish reception in the Gathering Space and on the front lawn right after mass until 6:30
  • Special evening with dinner, guests, and more:
  • Reception will begin at 6:30 with dinner at 7:00
  • Reservations are required by June 1
  • Dinner is $20 per person
  • Babysitting will be available

Call Teri at the Parish Office (385-8010) or email her at treder@stjohns-dr.org for more information.

Parishioner Janet Geier sent us her memories of St. John the Baptist church, along with some of her family’s history which is tied to the parish as well. Janet writes:

I am not sure of the date my ancestors acquired and moved to the land at 6369 Dry Ridge Road and became part of St. John’s. I know the property has been in the family since 1869 as their names are recorded on the Colerain Township 1869 map.

First at St. John’s were my great-grandparents, Johan C. Thiemann and Elizabeth (nee Thole) Thiemann, then their son, William Thiemann and his wife, Philomena (nee Herzog), who acquired the family farm. It was purchased by their daughter and her husband, Concordia and Arthur Peters. Now myself (Art and Cora’s daughter) and my husband, Gerry Geier, live on the property.

The window over the baptismal font was donated by the William Thiemann Family. (The window is spelled with one “n” instead of ending in the double “n”.)

I was extremely pleased when Father Bowes said that the window in the old church, which was between the altar railing and the altar, would be placed in the new church in such a prominent place. Two of my grandchildren were baptized in the new church. My two sons were baptized, as well as had their First Communion and Confirmation at St. John’s.

My grandmother, parents and I lived on the “farm” until I was five and then we moved to Groesbeck and lived there. My father started a plastering business and needed more water than the old farm cistern would hold to wash his work clothes in. The property was continually rented out to friends and relatives who were members of St. John‘s. My father and mother had wanted to someday move back to Dry Ridge Road but my dad died when I was 16.

One year after Gerry and I were married we asked if we could move to the farm. We lived there until 1977, when we built a house on Old Colerain Avenue. When my mother passed away we inherited the property and tore down the old farmhouse and built our present home. So Gerry and I have been in St. John’s parish since 1968.

We worked the St. John’s festival with Trudi Kelhoffer in the cotton candy and ice cream booth before we were married and continued many years there until we started working at Stehlin’s booth. For many years, I also helped Christy Wolterman in the kitchen doing the mashed potatoes. At that time, we were in the old school’s kitchen and in those days we had to place the food in large crocks and roll them down to the Parish Center on a wagon-type dolly. One year, one of the crocks of mashed potatoes fell off and broke!

We have spent our years trying to help out whenever we could. I served as an officer of the PTO for several years. (PTO was later changed to PTA.)  I served on Parish Council as a member and as president. Gerry was involved in the St. John’s Catholic Order of Foresters as president, recording secretary and event organizer for many years. My two sons and I helped sort out the Easter Candy Sale purchases for many years. Our children were involved in the Youth Foresters.  We were in charge of the church’s youth group. Gerry coached one of the first soccer teams at St. John’s under the direction of Ted Engel and Ted Vilas and continued coaching for many years in the soccer program.

Gerry and I help out now when called. We put labels on the Torch or stuff envelopes, etc.  I help with the counting of the collection. I am a hospital caller and I help with the funeral luncheon program.

When the 150th anniversary was announced, I volunteered to be on that committee and Gerry has been there to help with activities, too.

I am proud to be part of a parish that has such wonderful people giving of their time and being committed to the betterment of the church, it’s members and the area community. Over the years we have met many people here and the friendships continue to grow.

We wish Fr. Tim and all the dedicated staff of the church and school the best. And, we hope that St. John’s will continue in the future to grow and be a place of peace and happiness for others. May God continue to bless the congregation!

Janet Geier

P.S.  My uncle, Walter Thiemann, used to talk about when he was a child how he had to take water down to the mules that hauled the rock from the river that was used in the building of the second church. They rested and watered the animals at our driveway after they did the long pull up Dry Ridge Road hill.

Thanks for sharing, Janet! If you have a special story to share, interesting tidbit, or memory about St. John’s parish or school–we’d love to feature it on this blog. Email your story and/or pictures to: stjohns150@aol.com