St. Michael’s Ridge
05480 Moser Road, Defiance, OH 43512
St. Michael’s Parish Center 6/8/21 Update
The Faith in our Future team has made great progress on the plans for a new Parish Center. A meeting was held on May 23rd to present the status to parish members that were available. For those who were unable to attend, here is an update:
Final drawings are being prepared by Jerry Overmier of Beilharz Architects which will be submitted to the Diocese. These drawings will be available to view on the St. Mike’s website very soon. Many hours have been spent on the floor plan to construct a building that will serve the needs of our parish, look attractive, and remain cost effective. Once the plan is approved by the Diocese, construction bids will be sought. After bids are received the committee, in conjunction with Fr. Joe, will select the contractor best suited to complete the project. Once a contractor is selected the entire project must be submitted for another review and approval by the Bishop.
To date, $755,998.91 has been collected. Outstanding pledges equal $187,122.70, which puts the total funds collected/pledged at $943,121.61. THANK YOU to all who have donated, supported the many fundraisers, and prayed for the success of this project. 116 parish families have pledged/paid thus far. Additional funds are still being sought. Rising construction prices have pushed the estimated cost to $1.2 million. Please consider how you can help.
We are getting much closer to making this dream a reality. Not only will the new building serve our youth education, it will also have space for office use, adult gatherings, and St. Mike’s community events. We feel blessed to have such a supportive parish and a vision of the FAITH IN OUR FUTURE.
The History of St. Michael Ridge Parish Religious Education Program
In 1881, Rev. John H. Muehlenbeck became pastor of St. Michael's and had a 20x40 school built in 1882 to serve the children of St. Michael's. Lay teachers taught the children until 1912 when the Sisters of Notre Dame took charge. In 1919, parishioners erected a house for the janitor and began a campaign to build a new school. It was completed in 1921. Many of us were educated there up to the 8th grade taught by those nuns. A new sister's residence was also built and completed in 1922.
The best modern day history of the school building is given by the 1987 Historical Review. When the Sisters of Notre Dame could no longer stay, the parish grade school was closed in June 1978 and replaced with the CCD program. Sister Mary Lou DeBauche, OSU, Pastoral Associate at that time asked for, and quickly received, volunteers to begin teaching CCD using the school. The school building lasted until 2013 when, after years of trying to keep it open (see Council Minutes from 2010 until 2013 ) , our Parish Council decided it was no longer possible to maintain the building and voted to demolish it. The thinking was that, for the short term, they could use all available space in the church and convent to hold classes. As discussed in a meeting with Fr. Bob Kill, the building committee and many of our parishioners, the need is great to replace the space lost. Our parish CCD program has remained vibrant and the student numbers consistent or growing. You could see the growth when you watched the pre-schoolers get our Pastor’s blessing before their introduction to our faith on Sunday mornings. It’s also obvious from seeing the number of babies and young children at Mass. The present short term “work around” has been very inconvenient and inefficient for CCD teachers and students. No one at the meeting felt a new location wasn’t a real need. After considerable investigation, including having an architect review all possibilities for a location, it was decided that the new parish center would be located where the old school was. We don’t want to take long to be ready to start since the price of construction continues going up. We hope to have commitments (you can make a commitment by clicking his link for the Parish Hall Pledge Form ) made for the amount we need soon. We need everyone’s help.